Once a standard of the office space, traditional meeting rooms seemed to fall behind on appeal with the introduction of open office space designs and the more flexible and modernly designed office meeting pods. However, as “cool” the new meeting pods have become, traditional meeting rooms could still have their place in an office space. With some new improvements and features, traditional meeting rooms could gain some ground and come back with a vengeance!
Some new features that we could see being added to new and improved traditional meeting rooms include the following:
Going Digital! – From digital door labels to digital attendee sign-ins and calendar bookings, traditional meeting rooms could take full advantage of advanced digital technologies. Applying touch screen models of digital displays could add to the aesthetic appeal of the new traditional meeting room.
Built-in power supplies – Flexibility won’t only be for meeting pods. Meeting room tables are now being built to have enough built-in power supplies to allow each individual user the option to plug in their tablets or other electronic device and use the meeting table as a co-working space.
Flexible Glass Wall Systems – Ceiling to floor glass walls, whether permanent or temporary, will likely be the walls of choice to frame the new traditional meeting room as their transparency allows for the emitting of natural light while still offering a level of separation from other office activities. The walls may incorporate a door, or offer more flexible options in the form of folding or sliding walls, thereby allowing a meeting room to either become a part of the office space decor or an office community meeting space while open, or a boardroom/meeting room while closed. In addition, temporary glass partitions could be added to further create break-out meeting rooms out of the original meeting room space when in use.
E-Paper Display solutions – Along with white-boards and/or blackboards and the use of presentation software, traditional flip chart and presentation paper pads could be replaced with electronic or “E-paper” electronic display devices that reflect light like paper and mimic the appearance of ordinary ink on paper.
Even with a strong come-back of traditional meeting rooms, we can’t say that meeting pods are fading out. Meeting pods will still have a place with businesses that value flexibility in an open-space office environment for team collaboration meetings, informal staff get-together or simply to give individuals a place where each can take some time to recharge. They may just have to co-exist to give added flexibility to how an office space could be designed in the near future.