Every once in a while the design of an office needs a refresh, and we believe that one of the first spaces to tackle should be the conference room. This is your epicenter of collaboration, a place where big ideas will be discussed with profits hanging in the balance. There are many design elements to consider and adding on to that is the ever evolving transition to hybrid work environments. At Calyx by Claridge, we have all the tools to help redesign your space with some helpful tips to guide you.
One of the first things to consider is going with an oblong shaped table as opposed to the traditional rectangle. The straight lines of the latter means that people will be sitting in a straight line which in turn forces people to look over and around each other. Someone like myself who is 6’6” has no trouble in this regard but the average male and female heights in the US are 5’9” and 5’4” respectively so some one of that size would definitely have sight issues. An oblong shaped table allows for better sight line to any sort of presentation that’s going on in the front of the room. Also, as a little helpful tip, be sure no one is sitting at the head of the table, or make sure it is the presenter, as that can block visibility for people in the back.
Now you may think to yourself Calyx by Claridge doesn’t make tables so why is this blog talking about the line of sight a table provides? Well, the answer to that is you will need to be able to see whatever has been written on a whiteboard being used during a presentation, or a television/monitor. With some clever installation, a TV can be recessed into a wall and then used in conjunction with several of our unique sliding markerboard systems such as Aceno, Evolve, and Trak-it. Sliding units with multiple panels allow for more writing space than your traditional markerboard, the ability to cover or unveil specific ideas, or in the case of Aceno, remove and replace panels with ease. These abilities are especially useful in a hybrid working world because it allows for different groups who may be using the conference room on different days to make use of a writing surface without having to erase for the meeting that follows. Group A can jot down ideas which can then be covered up for when Group B is using the room.
It is no secret that we champion our sliding units but if that isn’t for you, Calyx also has several traditional markerboard options to choose from. First on that list is the glass markerboard which has been increasingly growing in popularity due to its wonderful aesthetics such as the ability to make the board in almost any color imaginable, and we think our standard colors are just fantastic too, as well as the crystal clear writing surface that allows for maximum visibility for everyone in the room. One thing to note is that if your room has several windows and is exposed to a lot of natural light we would recommend going with our non-glare glass as glass is a naturally reflective surface. Our LCS porcelain markerboards, which are also top of their class for writing visibility, are no slouch either and because of their lighter colored surface, which reflects more light, an LCS surface is absolutely ideal for projection.
Wall mounted boards are great but if you are looking for a little bit more flexibility in your space you should also consider Calyx’s mobile whiteboard offerings. From our customizable MIX mobiles, in both Contemporary and Industrial styles, along with the option to add a bit of greenery with a biophilic panel, to the Switch and Venue mobiles with their sleek designs, there really is no wrong answer. Above we mentioned our Aceno track system and that pairs perfectly with the Aceno Cart which allows for the storage of your sliding panels and the ability to move them from room to room but also doubles as a mobile markerboard as well. These two units paired together are a fantastic option for the hybrid workspace as well since multiple teams can use different panels and move them around.
Mobility doesn’t just refer to a writing surface that moves, it’s also about how people can move around in your space. We talked about tables earlier and the traditional large rectangle does create some flow issues which is why we recommend an oblong shape but what about storage? Every conference room needs a shelf or two to store materials needed for meetings such as pens, paper, projectors, etc., but a shelf doesn’t move and permanently takes away valuable space. Well, at Calyx by Claridge we have the solution for that too in the form of our Nimbus mobile. With shelves on both sides it is ideal for storing all of your meeting tools, a cord management systems which allows for easy use of projectors and laptops, and side panels fitted with an LCS porcelain writing surface or tack surface this truly is a triple threat of a unit for your collaborative space and if you don’t need it for a specific meeting it can be wheeled out of the room to allow for more latitude to move around and mingle, as we discussed in a previous blog human interaction and socialization is good for your overall mental health.
Many hybrid offices no longer have a dedicated conference room and are more of an open space that allows employees to come and work at their leisure but that doesn’t mean you can’t have the flexibility to create a space for meetings. Calyx’s space creator offerings allow the ability to create pop-up meeting areas anywhere in your office. Again we will come back to our Aceno collection, a truly all in one type of product line, that has bases for your writing panels and gives them the potential to become walls for your collaborative space that can be moved easily from one corner of the room to the other. For a more permanent solution we also offer the Ripple Dividers which can be put together to create a private space but also allow for viewing windows through the clear acrylic panels so you do not feel so closed off. The acoustic material in these units also has sound absorption qualities, a range between .45-.90 NRC, so your meeting isn’t being broadcast throughout the whole office.
As we have detailed here, a conference room does not just have to be a big table surrounded by chairs, it can be a fun and interactive environment that allows for ideas to be born and flourish. At Calyx by Claridge we are always here to help transform your spaces into idea places so reach out to our friendly customer service team or one of our amazing local sales reps to see how we can help provide the tools to make your redesigned conference room truly unique.