Why Meeting Rooms Are Still as Important as Ever
Over the last six months the Covid-19 pandemic has had a seismic impact on the way we live and work in the UK. In March, to help curb the spread of the virus, company owners up and down the country were forced to close their offices and run businesses operations from home as part of the national lockdown. An unprecedented period in the history of UK business, only in recent weeks have office-workers been tentatively encouraged to head back to the office and resume normal life.
While the coronavirus pandemic has been challenging for businesses for a number of reasons, the general success of home-working is certainly a positive to come out of this testing period. As a result the pre-pandemic trend of companies moving towards agile and flexible working models has been accelerated in a way no one could have previously predicted, even leading some to speculate that the way we work may have changed forever.
The idea that going forward not all employees will need to be at their desk in the office during the working week has already led many firms to contemplate either downsizing their current office space or consider getting rid of it altogether. If, as many predict, this is a trend that is here to stay, it is likely it will be at the expense of a staple part of the traditional office… the meeting room.
It’s no secret that meetings in public locations and virtual meetings using online platforms have grown in popularity in recent years. Meeting a client in the local coffee shop or even having a board meeting over Skype has become normal. However meeting rooms still have a vital role to play in business. Not only are they often the face of a company they also aid productivity and creativity. Meeting rooms are without doubt still as important as ever.
To emphasise the integral role meeting rooms still play in business we have outlined a number of their benefits:
1. First impressions
The meeting room is often the only space a client or stakeholder sees in a company’s office so it plays an important role in determining a company’s image. What they experience when walking through the door into a meeting room can set the tone for a meeting and can have a bearing on whether a strong relationship is formed with that person. It is a particular space within your organisation where you can, to an extent, control how your guest feels. Such an asset is invaluable in the world of business and helps a business portray a professional image that just can’t be replicated in a coffee shop or on a sofa in the corner of an office.
2. Enhances productivity
Virtual meetings at home can be useful but there will often be a connectivity issue for someone on the call or there may be an unwanted distraction, like the neighbour’s lawn mower in the background. In a cafe you may also be at the mercy of temperamental WiFi or have to try and talk over a crying baby on the next table. A designated meeting room avoids such issues and unwanted distractions. Being able to chat to people face-to-face, in a specific area where everyone in that space is focused on the issue at hand, will ultimately enhance productivity, thus benefiting the business.
Also, when using a meeting room there are often a number of support services on hand that aren’t always available in other locations e.g a good internet connection, printers, presentation equipment, easily accessible refreshments. This will mean meetings run smoothly and everyone taking part feels comfortable.
3. Enables collaboration
A meeting room is often the place where ideas are born and key decisions are made as, in essence, it is a dedicated space where businesses bring together a group of people who are all working together to achieve a common goal. Like a physical think tank within an organisation, meeting rooms allow people to voice their opinions and bounce ideas off one another. Having employees, stakeholders, clients etc physically collaborate together in such a way, often under specific time constraints, facilitates creativity and is essential in helping businesses evolve.
Having a dedicated meeting space available in an organisation is also an asset when it comes to employee training as it means the employer is able to simulate a classroom environment.
4. Confidentiality and Privacy
As meeting rooms are generally enclosed spaces where the door can be closed should the meeting participants wish, they ensure a level of confidentiality and privacy that just cannot be matched anywhere else. Having this option available when sensitive or important issues are on the agenda is essential and will put those in the meeting at ease as they know what they say will not be overheard.
So we’ve established that meeting rooms still play an integral role in business for a number of reasons. But what if you don’t have this space available? If you are a business owner that has recently reduced the size of your office or got rid of it altogether you may be thinking “What do I do now? What options have I got so I don’t lose out on the benefits associated with a meeting room?”. The answer… Officefront’s ‘Virtual Office’ service.
With our virtual office service, not only do you have the option to enjoy many of the perks associated with a physical office, such as a registered business address and clerical services, you will also have access to a range of meeting rooms up and down the country. Using an Officefront meeting room you can host a meeting at the same location as your registered business address should you wish. Guests will be greeted by one of our friendly, trained receptionists and have access to refreshments and catering should you deem it necessary. Our rooms also offer free WiFi and audio visual equipment if required.
At Officefront we offer a comprehensive Virtual Office service package with prices starting at £25 per month. Get in touch to find out how we can help your business go virtual.