Many companies have switched gears to a hybrid office following the events of 2020. At the moment, we observe office space transformation affecting common interior items, from water coolers to good old meeting rooms. Now, we would like to focus on six trends that are going to change our meeting rooms in the nearest future.
According to statistics, over 50% of office meeting rooms are designed for seven or more people, but usually they are occupied by three or four persons at most. This started a downsizing trend: companies tend to choose smaller meeting rooms accommodating two or three individuals. Some get rid of chairs for people to stand through meetings! Some go even further and arrange rooms for private video conferencing sessions. Basically, these are more like small booths or cubicles where you can bring a laptop to chat with colleagues or partners via Skype or Zoom.
Convertible office space has every chance of becoming the dominant trend in the near future. As for meeting rooms, they can be sized up or down to fit the number of attendees. Rooms in convertible offices are managed via special apps that enable booking of both meeting rooms and working places. Apps also help keep track of room occupancy, maintain social distancing, and even monitor surface sanitation.
Finally, a harmony of multimedia technologies and functional design is catching the wave. Screens and audio systems are selected to match the room design well, and IT engineers help architects implement the most ambitious ideas.
What are employees' prime concerns?
Resume: meeting rooms are integrating with the office ecosystem with easy booking and connection as a priority. Moreover, this goes beyond corporate equipment. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is as relevant as ever, since advanced meeting rooms can connect a personal laptop to a corporate system within seconds.
The ease of equipment management in meeting rooms is oftentimes achieved by pre-set scenarios, which can include lighting intensity, shutters closing/opening, LCD panels brightness, and audio system modes, etc. Now, picture this: you enter a meeting room, press the Brainstorm or Meeting button, and the system automatically creates the mood you need. Scenarios can adjust to the time of day and natural lighting. For greater simplicity, it can be activated by voice in addition to manual manipulations.
Analytics-based space management
Let's come back to the booking of meeting rooms. This functionality constantly expands. For example, some solutions have features allowing you to book equipment along with the room, and it will be automatically prepared for operation by the meeting time. Meeting rooms can be also equipped with presence detectors. If nobody comes, then multimedia devices will be automatically turned off.
Furthermore, administrative service can use booking analytics to figure out the amount of time spent in a particular room and how often it is booked without further attendance. Six or twelve months' insights into meeting rooms usage are enough for a company to see whether they are used to their full capacity and decide whether the building has enough of such rooms or more rooms are needed. When business is concerned about the most efficient use of its office space, such an approach seems extremely relevant.
Flip charts and touch panels
This trend is growing, since both tools dramatically improve team work. You can upload content from any device to an interactive flip chart or draw something and make notes together.
An interactive canvas combining multiple LCD screens would provide a more advanced digital experience here, as touch panels process unlimited number of user interactions at a time. The digital canvas can display documents, notes, videos, and tables. One of the key advantages of such solutions is that they enable cooperation between geographically distributed teams. Moreover, each process participant is not required to have a full installation, because a laptop screen will suffice.
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