The need for collaboration in the workplace is high. Collaboration ensures that everyone has a voice, we can brainstorm new ideas, and have successful communication. Usually, offices use the classic conference room to initiate collaboration and conversation, but today's contemporary office has some alternatives. Let's take a look at the 3 different ways the modern office is replacing the conference room.
Standing Room Only
Standing-room-only meeting rooms have recently been introduced to the modern workspace. Most people sit at their desks for extended periods of time throughout the day, but these meeting rooms encourage movement and increase circulation. Types of furniture used in these spaces include bar-height meeting tables, optional stools (for people who can't stand for long periods), and technology for video conferencing. With no need for chairs or stools, these rooms can even save you some money. These types of spaces are recommended for smaller group meetings that don't go over a 1 hour time period.
Also known as mini conference rooms, these spaces are for small groups collaborating on a project. These rooms usually consist of acoustical panels as walls that absorb noise and they can sometimes be portable. Other furniture included would be small tables, benches, desks, and even moderately sized screens for conferencing. These rooms are perfect for 6-8 people who need a quiet space to work side by side for longer periods of time, without interruption. Unlike standing rooms, which can be held in a cafe, open office space, or a larger conference room, these spaces will cut out non-essential conversation from people passing by.
Privacy booths have been introduced for simple noise cancelling, private conversations. They can be for individuals or for groups with around 4 people. It's a great way to have a quick private conversation without having to go to a cafe or a restaurant.
The Great Outdoors
Maybe not for everyone or every season, but some companies find it helpful to take the conversation outside. Some offices have provided patios, rooftop gardens, or landscaped paths to be used occasionally for meetings. If you cannot add an exterior conference space, bring the outdoors indoors with plants, photos of nature, or natural lighting. Outdoor accessories can include a shaded gazebo paired with a round table for meetings. If you don't have an outdoor space, sometimes just taking a walk around the block can add the same effect (this is better for very small groups). The amount of people you can host will depend on the size of your space.
What do you think about these alternative conference rooms? Let us know in the comments!