Any business establishing a new office space must try to envision what their ideal daily workflow will look like. This includes everything from individual workspaces and staff amenities to rooms for meetings and collaboration. Right now, these considerations are top of mind for many organizations because offices are not only being opened by fresh startups — they’re also being reopened by businesses that were interrupted by COVID-19.
Many companies have put vast amounts of effort into planning a successful, productive return to the office. Comparing May 2020 to the end of 2021, workplace traffic grew more than 300%. At the beginning of the pandemic, employees were unable to collaborate with one another in person, and now, they're making up for the lost time.
As the revived need for in-person collaboration exceeds expectations, organizations both new and established face the challenge of optimizing their meeting spaces. Now, businesses must ensure that their conference rooms and audiovisual systems will be sufficient to meet these demands.
When evaluating the dimensions of each meeting room, bigger is not always better. Ultimately, it is about creating a meeting space that fits your team’s unique needs. As such, it can be much more efficient to work with audiovisual integration specialists that can enable your organization to optimize your square footage for an improved user experience all-around.
Why Is a Meeting Room's Size Important?
Every meeting room has its own unique dimensions, and when meeting spaces are utilized efficiently, organizations can improve employee productivity and enhance collaboration for a phenomenal end result.
Even in the age of remote work, employees consistently struggle with a lack of available meeting rooms. Studies show that employees waste an average of 27 hours per year searching for a suitable meeting room. Despite their searching, employees are often unable to find available meeting rooms because they are occupied or ill-suited to their needs.
Although it is plausible that your organization simply does not have enough meeting room space, in most cases, the issue is improper space utilization. It is vital that companies use every modicum of available space to the best of their ability. An optimized meeting space offers companies the opportunity to increase productivity with more personal workspaces, improved technology, and enhanced collaboration.
Furthermore, meeting rooms that are not used efficiently translate into wasted financial resources. For example, every square foot of space costs companies an average of $30 for rent and $300 for payroll. If your company is not using every meeting space to the best of its ability, you are simply squandering financial resources that could be better spent elsewhere.
How to Evaluate Your Meeting Space Needs
The space in which employees work has undergone drastic changes, and it's vital that companies ensure that their meeting rooms are up to par. As organizations transform their office spaces to accommodate both remote and in-office employees, it has become clear that traditional meeting rooms must undergo changes to meet the unique needs of a globally dispersed workforce. Take the time to evaluate each meeting room’s specific dimensions, space, and resources so that your organization maximizes every inch of square footage.
Evaluate Your Company-Wide Needs
Not every business has the same requirements for meeting rooms. If your organization is composed primarily of remote employees, you may not require more than one large conference room for presentations and employee training. Instead, you may benefit from multiple huddle rooms to accommodate fewer participants. On the other hand, large and busy offices may require multiple large conference rooms for interdepartmental meetings.
Determine the Room's Purpose
When organizations are planning for improvements, such as an updated audiovisual setup, it is vital that they begin with the room's purpose. What are your organization's specific needs for the meeting room you intend to create? Meeting spaces in which most participants are teleconferencing may require a video wall display, along with well-positioned cameras and microphones to ensure that remote participants can interact with those in the office.
In contrast, meeting rooms for in-office participants may only require a single display for presentations and roundtable seating for engaging discussions. These meeting rooms will also benefit from interactive whiteboards, microphones, and cameras which allow them to relay information to remote participants.
Choose Tools That Fit the Space
The audiovisual experience and the user experience are directly related to one another. Employees with high-tech home office setups are accustomed to advanced sound systems and crystal clear visuals from collaboration technology with integrated audiovisual capabilities. It's only natural that they will expect the same experience, whether in a secluded huddle room or hosting an event in a spacious auditorium.
A room's size has a significant impact on what purposes it will be best suited for and what amenities it will need. When your organization's audiovisual system is carefully crafted for each room's specific dimensions and layout, participants are much more likely to have a high-quality audiovisual experience. Typically, meeting rooms are complete with built-in microphones and cameras, which ensure that colleagues can communicate effectively, while strategically placed lighting fixtures facilitate maximum productivity.
When setting up resources like the AV system, audiovisual integration specialists must consider the room's size to determine which tools are appropriate for use. Many pieces of equipment like speakers, microphones, or projectors feature different models — some which will work best in smaller spaces, while others may fit larger meeting rooms. Make sure you’re implementing systems that are an ideal match.
Enhance the User Experience
Since remote work has become more common, employees have grown accustomed to communicating using collaboration tools such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams. These tools' appeal lies in the ease of facilitating high-quality collaboration and communication.
As employees return to the office, they expect the same seamless user experience they had in their homes. However, one of the most common pain points that plague organizations and hinder employee productivity occurs when users spend time connecting personal devices for presentations or logging into video conferences for scheduled meetings.
Audiovisual integration specialists can ease this pain point with advanced room systems such as Crestron Flex, which allows remote and in-office employees to benefit from a seamless user experience from any location. Crestron Flex systems are complete with BYOD capabilities to simplify presentations. Furthermore, these systems are easily scalable for any room size to ensure that employees in conference rooms, huddle rooms, and even auditoriums have a high-quality experience.