The last few months have been a very busy time for video conferences and, in general, socialisation through new digital tools.
As the desire to return to the office grows stronger, a re-design of shared spaces is necessary. Meeting rooms are one of the main environments involved in this transformation, especially to ensure the security standards to which the Covid-19 has now accustomed us.
Here are a few tips to facilitate the return to the office while respecting the health and well-being of employees.
Microphones, speakerphones and webcams are no longer enough. The technology required by new conference rooms is much more advanced and takes into account not only those who are physically in the room, but also remote workers.
The aim is to limit the disparity between the part of the team that is in the office and the part that is teleworking through hybrid working, and to allow ideas to be shared among a wider audience, increasing participation and contribution.
In the new virtual meetings attention must also be paid to what surrounds the speaker and is captured by the PC or smartphone’s camera, because it must take on an appropriate image, free of visual disturbances that could compromise the qualitative perception of the meeting and webinar’s topics.
Microphones, screens and HD cameras are necessary, along with high connectivity. To further improve efficiency, the company can also equip itself with touchscreens that can act as interactive whiteboards with real time broadcasting.
The environment needs to be sanitised regularly, but greater attention must be given to meeting rooms: sufficiently long breaks between meetings need to be established to allow the environment to be properly cleaned. A smart idea is to choose easy-to-clean, hypoallergenic furniture made of certified materials.
The air quality should be monitored at all times through adequate ventilation.
The pandemic period has made the need for flexible workplaces even more apparent, in order to be able to respect social distancing.
This becomes particularly important in meeting rooms, where several people meet in small spaces: chairs with wheels and large tables with individual connection systems are advisable, or comfortable and mobile chairs with accessories that replace the work surface.
The possibility to have part of the team working remotely represents a potential for the company, which can opt for smaller meeting places alongside the traditional large conference rooms.
The reception and lounge areas therefore become meeting and socialising places for small working groups or for scheduled video calls with remotely connected colleagues or partners.
Armchairs with wide backrests and pods with video conferencing screens are transformed into mini-meeting rooms accessible to everyone.
Meetings become fast and efficient, with a quick exchange of data and content even with those who aren’t present.
To sum it up, the new meeting room is a technological, connected and flexible place. It’s design encourages meetings, interaction and exchange of views and ideas in the name of sharing. A room that eliminates physical barriers and limits to communication, in which several people meet around a fixed or mobile table with comfortable and ergonomic seating solutions.