How to create a conference room in your office for seamless collaboration

The UK hybrid work revolution is in full swing, with businesses adapting to flexible schedules and a mix of remote and in-person interactions.

While communication platforms like Zoom have become commonplace, there’s still a crucial need for well-equipped conference rooms to facilitate brainstorming, team building, and client pitches.

A recent study by Leesman, a workplace consultancy, found that the majority of businesses intend to reduce their real estate footprint in the coming years.

With that in mind, creating a functional and efficient conference room is an investment that can boost the connectivity and engagement of employees and even attract top talent.

What is a conference room?

It’s more than just four walls and a table. A modern conference room is a dynamic hub for collaboration, presentations, and video conferencing. It should present the personality of your business to visitors – be they potential partners or new hires.

Choosing a room and layout

Firstly, assess your needs. How many people typically attend meetings? What types of meetings will the room host? Based on this, choose a suitable size and layout.

Popular layouts include:

  • Boardroom: Best for focused meetings with up to 12 people, featuring a rectangular table and chairs.
  • U-shape: Encourages interaction and participation, ideal for brainstorming sessions and workshops.
  • Hollow square: Similar to U-shape but allows for more attendees while maintaining engagement.
  • Huddle rooms: Smaller spaces for quick consultations or informal discussions.

Remember, acoustics matter. Soft furnishings and sound-absorbing panels can reduce echo and distractions. Consider investing in noise-cancelling technology when adding a video conferencing platform.

Screen and display

Whether you opt for a traditional projector and screen or a modern interactive whiteboard, ensure clear visibility from all seats. Choose a display size appropriate for the room and invest in high-resolution options for presentations and video conferencing. Consider integrating annotation tools for real-time collaboration.

Cameras and microphones

Crystal-clear audio and video are essential for seamless remote participation. Opt for cameras with wide-angle lenses to capture the entire room. Multiple microphones placed strategically around the table ensure everyone is heard clearly. Investing in high-quality USB cables can reduce lag and ensure better audio-visual quality.

Video conferencing software

Choose a platform that integrates seamlessly with your existing tech stack and offers features like screen sharing, recording, and live captioning. Popular options include Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet. Consider user-friendliness, security features, and scalability as you make your choice.

Quickfire tips

  • Lighting: Opt for natural light when possible, and supplement with adjustable artificial lighting for different meeting needs.
  • Temperature control: Ensure a comfortable temperature for all attendees.
  • Power outlets: Provide easy access to power outlets for laptops and charging devices.
  • Whiteboard/flipchart: Offer analogue options for brainstorming and visual aids.
  • Clear signage: Label the room clearly and indicate booking procedures.