How should the ideal meeting room look? What’s an absolute must to have in it? And what definitely shouldn’t be in it? We turned to the main partners of the Meeting Room of the Year contest with these questions. They answered us with this advice and experience:
Filip Muška, Workplace Strategies Lead, CBRE: ↴↴↴
A meeting room has to meet general requirements: enough air at the right temperature, enough light (ideally daylight), and pleasant acoustics. Ironically, precisely these requirements often go unmet.
But these are the only generalizations we can make here. The other requirements come from rooms’ specific functions – and those are countless. A stand-up room for a morning scrum will have a high table without chairs, a large screen, and writable walls. It’s no problem if it’s right next to the busiest hall – meetings have to be brisk and productive anyway. A room for creative work, meanwhile, must evoke calm, coziness, and harmony, so that visitors can disengage from the outside world and devote themselves entirely to the creative process.
Iveta Králová, Key application manager, Ecophon: ↴↴↴
There are thousands of ideal meeting rooms – they’re ideal for specific companies in view of their activities. But they definitely all should be pleasant, cozy, and inspiring spaces. Today they will by all means include smart technologies, not to mention healthy seating and an influx of natural daylight. But sometimes you’ll find they’re still missing well-designed acoustics, which are critical for communication. It’s been proven that first impressions are created in just seconds. No matter how visually attractive a meeting room is, if you sense stuffy air when you step inside, that definitely ruins your overall impression.
Aneta Klímová, CMO, Spaceti: ↴↴↴
For us, the main criterion for the ideal meeting room is its flexibility and ability to react to a variety of employee needs and work types. Under this heading, let’s imagine both software and design tricks, and a way of customizing the meeting room’s settings – its temperature, light intensity, etc.
This, too, is something that can lead to more effective meetings. And today that’s a valuable element that saves time and money for the people present.
Jan Klusoň, Proud Chief, Proudly: ↴↴↴
Proudly mainly focuses on what’s happening inside the meeting room itself. So: it definitely shouldn’t be lacking a motivated team, and ideally it should never be stuffy. A room design that fits the company culture and the team’s atmosphere, meanwhile, is a bonus and something that’s good to never underestimate when you want to keep a team and to support it in giving its best.
The best meeting room of 2016 according to the Meeting Room of the Year competition. This one is located at BlueLink Internationl CZ.
Jan Mergl, Sales Director for the Czech Republic and Poland, Techo: ↴↴↴
Meeting rooms are an inseparable and important part of modern offices. They’re typically closed rooms, but that’s definitely not a necessity.
For a meeting room to serve optimally, its acoustics should be superbly designed, and overall it should be a pleasant, optically separated space that’s suitable for multiple purposes – for meetings, presentations, classes, team projects, etc. It should also enable a variable table arrangement and, last but not least, IT connectivity. Videoconferencing is a typical standard as well, so that it can be used to connect with, for example, a company’s branches abroad.
And what are the biggest mistakes? Poor placement within the offices’ overall layout and badly handled acoustics.
Alexandra Tomášková, Managing Director, Skanska Property Czech Republic: ↴↴↴
I’d say the ideal meeting room is one where people feel pleasant – as if they weren’t even in a meeting room. It should be inspiring, so that people are full of good ideas when they’re there. It has comfortable seating, and also attractive accessories like floor lamps, carpets, and artworks that produce an entirely different atmosphere than what meeting rooms used to have. Naturally, presentation equipment that everyone can use without having to read instructions is important. The worst things you can encounter in a meeting room are stuffy air and distractions. In that kind of environment, you’ll be hard-pressed to have any interesting thoughts at all.
Simona Kalvoda, CEO, Česká rada pro šetrné budovy: ↴↴↴
A meeting room is a space that is accessible to visitors from outside the company and acts as its “shop window.” So it should reflect the company’s culture and philosophy. Long, demanding meetings sometimes take place here, and so it has to have everything that’s needed from a healthy indoor space, to ensure that everyone’s wakeful. That means good air quality (including good humidity and temperature), well-handled acoustics and lighting, the use of health-safe materials, and flexibility in the furnishings and their arrangements – and ideally greenery to liven up the space.
You can arrange a meeting in a train's coupé when you work at SAP in the Czech Republic. Photo by: Meeting Room of the Year competition
Jan Kaňka, partner at SilentLab: ↴↴↴
The ideal meeting room should be able to offer ideal conditions for any kind of work activities. No matter whether that means concentrated work or team meetings and presentations. So it’s about the meeting room having acoustic arrangements that absorb noise and create a calm and echo-free work environment.
Jan Kaňka, partner at SilentLab (left on the photo)