How To Design A Boardroom: From Chairs To Lighting Choices
A boardroom has more gravitas than a regular meeting room, where it is designed to provide a place for those who manage or direct a company to congregate. Sometimes this space is for the board of the company who are elected by shareholders, or simply the leadership team of the business.
As such, a boardroom has to impress, where it should be suave and sophisticated, compared to a standard meeting room. Chairs, tables and presentation equipment can all be chosen to cater to the room’s important corporate purpose, where well-chosen decor can make senior staff feel appreciated within the company.
Read on for a comprehensive insight into how to design an impressive, impactful boardroom, with a guide to selecting everything from comfortable chairs to appropriate interior lighting.
Your table layout sets the tone for your boardroom, where you can opt for the typical oblong meeting room shape, or choose to go for a more innovative U-shaped style, which provides presentation space in the middle of the room. You may also choose a round table, evocative of King Arthur and his knights, where this layout implies boardroom equality for all. Tables can also include divots and carved out elements to support cups, writing equipment and charging cables.
The kind of material you choose to opt for can also alter the tone of the whole space. Do you want to really impress with mahogany or walnut hardwood, or are you going for a more modern feel with metallic chrome elements and synthetic fibres? Your table can convey formality or a laid-back atmosphere depending on its layout and design. Once you’ve chosen a design direction with your table, you can decorate outwards to complement this intrinsic piece of furniture.
Once your boardroom table is in place you can choose a selection of chairs to match, where you may wish to have every chair the same, both for a cohesive look and to give each board member the same treatment. This promotes an inclusive atmosphere where everyone is happy to contribute.
When you’ve decided on the look you’re after, you can peruse the endless variations of chairs available for a boardroom setting. Static chairs and stool seats create a more informal atmosphere, whilst ergonomic executive chairs with full back and neck support can help to make comfort a priority. You can then choose a material to suit your boardroom feel, where this could be leather, mesh or coloured plastic. Designer and branded chairs are also an excellent way to boost the look of your meeting space.
If you have the space available, you may also wish to consider adding a comfortable lounge section to your room, where sofas and armchairs can expand your boardroom to create an area for more informal interactions.
Although the main purpose of your boardroom may be to have face-to-face conversations with your senior colleagues, you may also wish to provide space to carry out presentations. These could be digitally or manually delivered, where a smartboard, whiteboard or projecting screen may be an essential addition to the space.
Other technology needs are likely to include a requirement for a good quality WiFi connection, to facilitate both presentations and call-ins from absent board members. Charging points by each seat can also help to make life easier if colleagues wish to bring laptops or other portable devices into the space.
A further technological feature to invest in would be an appropriate heating and cooling system. This will ensure that your boardroom is always kept at the most comfortable temperature, no matter the season. Air conditioning and centralised heating controls can be less intrusive to the design of your space than clunky fans or portable heaters.
The best way to make your boardroom feel welcoming and comfortable is to consider how you can maximise natural lighting. A large window in a meeting space can elevate the mood of board members and help to keep everyone feeling energised and awake. This can be tempered with non-intrusive blinds to manage bright sunlight and other adverse weather conditions.
If natural light is limited then you can use artificial lighting skilfully to mimic this natural effect. Soft LED lights can be more comfortable than fluorescents, where dimmer switches can help to control brightness levels. Mid-table lamps or built in spotlights can also help to light your room effectively.
When designing your boardroom, there’s no need to halt the decorating process once you’re equipped with a table and chairs. In fact, atmospheric accessories can help to boost morale and productivity at a low overall cost.
One form of decoration that is bound to be well received would be indoor plants and greenery, where these are shown to improve the mood of employees in a work environment, whilst also helping overall air quality.
You can also consider investing in artwork to complement your boardroom design. This can be chosen to reflect the style of your company or to add a point of interest to the space. Modern art works well in a large room, whilst sculptural pieces can help to fill room corners and adorn large table units.
As a boardroom is a hub for talking and listening, it is important to maximise the acoustics of the space so it can be utilised properly. This can be done by reducing reflective surfaces and choosing more absorbent materials such as rugs and carpets to limit echoes.
Technology can also be used to amplify voices and improve acoustics in the space. Individual microphone units can be incorporated into each seating area, whilst speakers can help to make presentations easier to listen to. It’s important that everyone in the room is capable of being heard at all times.
Even in today’s digital age it is still useful to have a selection of stationery and office supplies available in a boardroom. Space for each employee to jot down notes and ideas is a good way to encourage creative flow, where you can never have too many pens or notepads in this kind of environment.
Providing a managerial board with an agenda or meeting schedule can also help to keep everybody focused. These can be placed in front of every chair for when the meeting begins, where folders or clipboards may be chosen to match surrounding furniture.
Boardrooms can often be the site of lengthy meetings that can overrun or continue through unsociable hours. To account for this, it can be a boost to employee comfort to provide complimentary food and beverages.
A water glass can be placed by each seat, with jugs of refreshments reachable to all. Alternatively a water cooler or coffee machine can be incorporated into the space. Small snacks such as pastries or fruits can also make a pleasant addition to a boardroom environment.
There’s nothing worse than an uninspiring or impractical meeting space that fails to meet employee needs. Additionally, senior members of staff will have been meeting in such spaces for years, and so certain standards of comfort will inevitably be anticipated.
To avoid employee boredom or dissatisfaction with the space, think about including additional comfort features or exciting decor to provide a boost to employee morale. It also helps to reflect the company’s brand identity within the meeting area, where this can provide a source of inspiration when you’re decorating.
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