Meetings should be as short and productive as possible. Every minute you and your team spend in the meeting is a minute you all could be doing something else. There are lots of great ways to avoid having meetings, but sometimes the best way to get things done is by bringing everyone into a conference room. Once you’re all there, everyone will want to tackle the work so that they can move on to the next task...or meeting. So, what can you do to run productive meetings? Below we’ve outlined a few ideas.
Stand Up Meetings
Standing during your meetings can have a big impact on how your employees interact with each other. In a research study that examined differences between standing meetings and sitting meetings, scientists found that working in a room without chairs “increase group arousal, decreased territorial behavior and increased sharing of information and ideas”. When people in the group were forced to stand, they put down their phones, pads of paper, and computers, and congregated near each other and exhibited more helping behaviors. Note though that standing meetings in conference rooms doesn’t work for everyone. Pregnant women, those with back problems, people with disabilities, and short people can all have a negative experience with standing meetings.
Connecting to TVs and Projectors
We’re big fans of wirelessly connecting to our conference room projector with Apple TV. But we also have standard wired options. Why? Simplicity and ease of use. Sometimes when guests join us, they have a hard time connecting to present. Well, nothing kills productivity like fumbling around with getting a presentation or screen sharing set up. Providing a range of connectors for computers will help guests get up and running quickly. We recommend the following at the very least: VGA (for older computers), mini-VGA, HDMI, mini-HDMI, DisplayPort, and mini-DisplayPort, and Thunderbolt for Apple products.
Wireless Access Information
Connecting to the wireless network can also get in the way of kicking off a meeting. Post it in the conference room, preferably on a whiteboard, Ideapaint, or a simple piece of paper so that it can easily be updated whenever you change the network information.
Share Meeting Room Information
Where is the room? How do you get to it? What equipment is in the room? How many people does the room hold. Nothing is worse than scheduling a conference room and finding out that it doesn’t have what you need for the meeting. A good conference room reservation system like Roomzilla should allow you to record important information right in each room’s listing. That way when users are scheduling a conference room, they’ll be able to check to see if the meeting room is fully equipped for their needs. In that listing you can also provide support information for how to use the overhead projector or tv as well as contact information for the IT department so that the people in the room can quickly resolve technical problems.
Reduce Air Conditioning in Conference Rooms
Studies have shown that productivity in the office peaks at 71.6 degrees. Anything below 68 degrees or above 77 degrees will decrease typing speed by up to 66%.
Natural Lighting is Best
While fluorescent lighting might be easy and economical, if you want your office workers to be more productive, try to incorporate as much natural sunlight and direct lighting as possible. Both the kind of lighting as well as the intensity of the lighting have proven to have a big impact on cognitive performance.
One of the simplest hacks for increasing employee productivity in meeting rooms is putting green plants. There’s a reason so many people are drawn to nature and outdoor spaces. Leaves make us happier! Research has shown that when employees work among green plants, their productivity increases 38%.
Paint the Conference Room
The color of your conference room can greatly affect how productive and energized people are. Depending on how you want the room used, you can go in a few directions with color. If you’re designing the meeting room to be a place of efficiency and focus, paint it a soft green. Want your conference room to spark innovation and creative thinking? Paint it a mellow yellow. Your employees will feel calm and stable in a room painted a muted blue. Check out Sherwin-Williams blog for more ideas on conference room paint colors.
Remote Connections for Decision Makers
Moving forward often requires input from decision makers. But what if they can’t all be in the room at the same time? Or what if all but one person can make it? Should you delay the meeting? Heck no! This is a post about productivity! You’ll make decisions more quickly and efficiently with a modernized conference room. By installing a proper audio-visual system, including conference room displays and conference-call enabled phones, you can loop in key stakeholders and decision makers. Installing conference room displays brings those people in the room, allowing you to quickly get consensus, identify problems and solutions, and come up with a plan that moves the business forward.
Draft and distribute a meeting agenda well before people walk into the conference room. This will not only help employees prepare for the meeting, but will also help the meeting facilitator to keep the conversation on track and give everyone enough time to discuss their viewpoints.
Block out Noise
Focussing in the meeting room can be very challenging if you or your team are overhearing noises from the office. This is especially true if your meeting room is near the lunch room, break room, or printers and copy machines. Beyond the distraction, office noise is likely to raise stress levels in the meeting and can negatively impact cooperation, mood, and productivity. There are a number of conference room soundproofing solutions that you can consider, such as soundproofing art (yes, this is really a thing), ceiling tiles, and sound absorbing wall coverings.
Stock your Company Break Room
Keep your team well energized and fueled by making sure that your office break room is well stocked. Nuts, fruit, granola, tea, coffee, and similar items will provide your team with a boost of energy that they need to hammer out those remaining details.
What do you do to help your team to be more productive in the meeting room? Share your thoughts below.