Is the office just a big conference room?



The office has certainly changed, but it remains to be determined what it will be transformed into. Every company and every team finds its own relationship with the office, but one thing every organization needs to consider is why someone would come to the office in the first place. As more and more people work from home, at least part-time, the office needs to provide more than just a place to set up a laptop. For the most part, what the office provides that our sofas and kitchen tables don’t is a place to be with others.

Create a login space

Whether it’s a brainstorming session, a performance review, or a casual lunch break conversation, there’s a lot more interaction that happens from an office than from home. .

Collaboration is so important to the new iteration of the office that most workspaces now have more space dedicated to conference rooms than desks. Conference rooms are even assigned prime real estate at the edges of a floor plan, such as next to windows, which were previously reserved only for the most senior employees. Modern offices seem to lead with their conference rooms, trying to attract employees and entice their meeting time.

Conference rooms today are not like before the pandemic. Hybrid working has changed almost every aspect of conference rooms, from the layout to the AV equipment to how they integrate with a company’s workflow software. For conference rooms to be the attraction businesses want them to be, they need to be easy to use, functional and enjoyable. This means paying as much attention to the aesthetics and functionality of our conference spaces as to common areas. It also means creating conference rooms with excellent lighting for video.

There is a natural asymmetry when it comes to hybrid meetings. Participants in the room will always feel more connected to each other. On the other hand, in-person participants who need to share a screen may feel reluctant to interrupt or may be left out of a conversation. Good conference rooms can help balance the balance of power. Technology like face detection software can automatically frame everyone the same onscreen. Sound reduction software is increasingly capable of eliminating echoes or reverberation from multiple microphones in the same room.

Collaboration means more than just discussions. Conference rooms are finding ways to facilitate things like document sharing and whiteboarding in a way that’s helpful for those attending in person and digitally. Meeting planners are also getting creative with how to bridge the digital divide, such as ordering the same food or drinks for attendees from home so they can connect about non-work related things at home. accomplish.

Create better conference room experiences

Like any space, conference rooms are most useful when well utilized. Room booking software helps ensure that everyone is able to use conference space efficiently. A nagging problem for office managers has always been workers booking large conference rooms for smaller groups or for themselves. As conference room time becomes more valuable, this problem becomes more of a burden. To reduce conference room waste, some office designers are experimenting with offices that can serve as small conference rooms or one-person phone booths, providing workers with a good substitute for a private conference room.


Although the focus so far has been on how to expand and improve conference space in offices, this is probably only the beginning. Eventually, we might see other spaces, like common or flex spaces, start to be outfitted with the lights, cameras, microphones, speakers, and screens needed for video conferencing. There will always be a need for a private conference room, but now that we’re more comfortable seeing inside our colleagues’ homes, our tolerance for background noise and motion has increased. One day, we may not even distinguish between “workspace” and “conference space”. Instead, we’ll just find new ways to help people collaborate from any part of the office and from anywhere in the world.

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