A third of workers are unhappy with the ambiance throughout their offices, including in meeting rooms, according to a global study by Steelcase.
And as we know, unhappy works can often be unproductive ones. Make sure you’ve got the right mood for your meetings with these tips…
Get the temperature right
Being sat in the same room for an hour can be uncomfortable at the best of times, but being stuck in a room that’s too hot or too cold is even worse. The survey found that 45% of workers in the UK were dissatisfied with the room temperature at work.
Ideally, you shouldn’t notice the temperature when you walk into a meeting room. The air con system should be set at a stable level regardless of the weather outside.
If you don’t have air con, check the room before the meeting to see if you need to open a window or turn up the heating. If it’s a particularly hot or cool day, providing warm coffee or cold drinks can help make attendants more comfortable.
Keep it bright
The Steelcase survey found that 32% of workers were unhappy with the light intensity in their office, finding it either too bright or too dark, though it’s usually the former.
Lighting meeting rooms can be tough as it involves trying to get a steady, solid bright light throughout without any shadows. This usually means large strip lights.
Try lowering the lighting a bit if it’s too bright and putting desk lamps in the corners. This helps create a sense of intimacy and relaxation. You can also use blinds to help control natural light – keep them open in the summer if you can as natural light feels more comfortable than electric lights.
These days, most workers have comfy and ergonomically-correct desk chairs. But when you move into the meeting room it can be a different matter. Some are graveyards for old office chairs, while others are filled with simple plastic furniture.
Making sure people are comfortable during the meeting is key to keeping them engaged. If your meeting room adjoins the office, tell people they can bring their own chair through if it’s going to be a long meeting.
Make it adjustable
One of the best ways to solve many of the above problems is to make everything adjustable by those actually in the room. From the survey, only 61% said they couldn’t adjust the temperature, while only 21% could alter the lighting.
The study found that restricting control over the work environment led to workers becoming disengaged. The most highly-engaged employees were those that had the most flexibility over how and where they worked.
While this can be hard to implement in an office, during a meeting it’s a lot more acceptable to turn on the air con or open a window. Let your staff know they’re free to do so whenever.
Posted by Ashleigh Sharp