How Meeting Room Design & Technology Affects Productivity

Have you ever considered that the design of your meeting room and the technology you install could be limiting productivity?

In many businesses, that’s exactly what’s happening.

For instance, research from Herman Miller revealed that small groups of workers are only using the appropriate smaller conference rooms for their meetings 10 per cent of the time, opting instead to take up larger meeting spaces. Their reason? The limited technology available in the smaller meeting spaces.

By contrast, rooms that are well equipped with technology are used five times more often that their poorly equipped counterparts. In other words, a poorly designed meeting room is limiting collaborative efforts in your business and taking up space.

The meeting room should be a place where people and great ideas come together. It’s a hub of creative activity and productivity. However, when it’s badly designed and poorly catered for with technology, the opposite is true. In this article, we’re looking at the impact of this and what can be done to turn things around.

What’s the Problem?

Research from Barco has shown that two-thirds of staff who have had to put meetings on hold in order to sort out technical issues have the same issues on a regular basis. The wider effects of this are that a quarter of workers have missed important deadlines, while 12 per cent state that it has led to the company losing business. It’s a real issue that’s affecting companies on a daily basis. So just what are companies doing wrong?

One of the most common mistakes organisations make when designing their meeting room is to install a screen size that doesn’t fit the room; it’s either too big and dominates the space, or too small, meaning participants can’t view the information displayed.

There’s also the familiar problem of overly complicated technology that requires someone from IT on hand 24/7 just to get a team setup. This isn’t practical for anyone, wastes time and eventually stops people using the meeting space altogether out of sheer frustration.

But the opposite is also a problem; baffled by the options on the market or simply unwilling to invest, some companies end up going too ‘low-tech’ with their meeting spaces and just throw in a few mismatched chairs, a whiteboard and, if you’re lucky, a phone.

This approach stops teams from realising their full potential. Instead of spending time tackling the business issues at hand, they’re wasting brain power on developing ways of working with the poor tools they’ve been provided with.

The Ideal

In an ideal world, a good meeting room should do the following for your team:

  • Enhance collaboration
  • Streamline meetings
  • Provide a communications hub
  • Give access to shared knowledge in real-time, allowing people to make informed decisions faster
  • Limit the need for physical attendance by external parties, bringing global teams together.

And with massive jumps forward in the accessibility and affordability of technology, this ‘ideal world’ can be a reality.

Real Meeting Room Solutions

Today, there’s a wealth of technology available that makes it easy for teams to communicate and collaborate, both locally and with their remote colleagues

High-definition video and audio equipment should ensure communication is crystal clear and effective between local and remote contributors. Tools like the Logitech Group Kit with Intel NUC PC offer excellent audio quality and a HD video that records at 30 frames per second with a 90-degree field of view and pan and tilt functionality. So you can fit the whole team into the frame and everyone can hear the conversation clearly.

Leaps forward in display screen technology mean that teams of three or four can now easily share all of their content on the screen at the same time. Wireless collaboration devices like the Barco ClickShare solution mean that connecting a new user’s input device to the display screen is as easy as pressing a button; there’s just no need to waste time faffing around with cables and adaptors anymore.

With a screen sharing solution like this installed in your meeting room, your productivity potential will increase. Entire dynamics will shift as people feel increasingly confident about sharing their work together; teams will start to really collaborate and meetings dominated by a single contributor will become a thing of the past.

You can take things even further with the installation of touchscreen technology. Imagine you have split your main display screen between two contributors, each sharing their own thoughts on a new design. Now imagine you could take a stylus and add the team’s feedback directly onto the screen as the meeting progresses, with everything you add saved directly to the Cloud. Now you’re starting to see why businesses are so interested in touchscreen technology and screens like the CleverTouch Pro series.

With technology sorted, don’t forget that the design of your meeting room can also impact teams and visitors. Research has shown that colour options and temperature can also affect productivity, so you’ll want to ensure everyone is as comfortable as possible.

The rule of thumb is to keep the temperature at just under 22 degrees Celsius and design the room so there’s plenty of natural light available – natural light has been show to make us more alert.

For colours, a restful green shade can improve efficiency and focus, while blue can be calming. But make sure you keep colours corporate as well as functional to avoid distractions.

Show Visitors You’re A Forward-Thinking Firm

Not only does your room design and technology affect productivity, it’s also a focal point for visitors that expresses how your business functions. The right choices will present the company as a forward-thinking organisation; innovative, competitive and at the top of your game.

So make sure your meeting room says the right thing about how your company operates. There’s a huge range of equipment available to bring your conference and meeting rooms up to date – and the right choices now will give your team the tools they need for years to come.

We’ll be happy to talk you through your options - contact the experts at DisplayPoint for help and product advice.