How Did COVID Change Conference Rooms?
The COVID-19 pandemic raised a lot of questions about what offices would look like going forward. Would we say goodbye to open-plan offices? What would happen to communal spaces like break rooms and reception areas? And what about meetings? Would groups of people still be willing to get together in spaces like conference rooms?
Now that we’ve had some time to get a better understanding of the post-COVID workplace, it’s safe to say conference rooms – and meeting areas in general – aren’t going anywhere. If anything, they’ve become more valuable for many companies. Whether people have gone back to the office full time or only come in as needed, they still need spaces where they can have productive meetings with coworkers and clients. However, there have been some changes in what people need from their meeting spaces.
Connectivity is Crucial
Even before the pandemic, it was important for companies to have plenty of support for technology in their conference rooms. The idea that people need access to things like video monitors for presentations or remote collaboration isn’t new, but in the aftermath of COVID, technology in the conference room has become a bigger priority than ever before.
With so many companies switching to hybrid work, conference rooms need to be prepared for video conferencing so that people can collaborate whether they are. This can include high-quality video equipment, adequate lighting, good internet access, and acoustic controls to minimize unwanted noise.
Do You Have a Reservation?
Another side effect of the growth in hybrid work is that demand for spaces in the office can easily vary from day to day. Very often, people go to the office specifically because they have an important meeting planned so it’s good for them to have a way to make sure they will have access to the spaces they need once they get there. Room reservation systems have become very popular post-COVID as a way of helping people plan ahead. Nobody wants to show up for a meeting, only to find out that the space they need is already occupied.
Think Outside the Conference Room
Given the high demand for collaborative spaces, it’s good to remember that conference rooms aren’t the only places where people can have meetings. No company has an unlimited amount of conference rooms to choose from and having meeting areas outside of traditional conference rooms helps groups of all sizes find spaces that suit their needs. For example, you don’t want to run into situations where a large team needs a conference room that could accommodate everyone, but has a hard time getting in because smaller groups also need to have meetings. Adding areas like lounges, meeting pods, and informal meeting rooms can all be great ways to meet the demand for collaborative areas.
Need help creating a space that will help your employees collaborate more effectively? Premier Construction & Design has experience working with companies in a wide range of industries to create spaces that support their teams. Check out our portfolio to see a selection of projects we’ve worked on. When you’re ready to get started, contact us so that we can learn more about your project.