Hybrid Meeting Spaces for a Hybrid Workforce
November 6, 2023
Even before the pandemic and the widespread adoption of remote and hybrid work, conference rooms and other office meeting spaces were a point of contention. With studies showing that the vast majority of meetings involve four or fewer people, that 12- or 16-person conference room table was often underused or completely empty.
Now, in the age of hybrid work and correspondingly smaller office environments, that potentially wasted space is an even bigger issue. There’s still a need for closed-door privacy, especially in an open office plan, but few businesses can afford to have that much real estate sit empty most of the time. There are times, though, when room for the full group is needed, so permanently repurposing the space into smaller rooms isn’t practical, either.
If this describes a current dilemma in your organization, it’s time to look at flexible design options for meeting spaces. There are many options here, but they tend to fall into two groups: small meeting pods designed to seat two or three workers, and/or a traditional full-size conference room that can be reconfigured with moveable partitions.
Privacy booths, or pods, are usually enclosed in glass and feature prominently in open office design. They’re a perfect solution to allow a small team to gather with the privacy they need, leaving the conference room free. In an open office you might also want to consider adding one or more single-person pods. These allow a team member to depart the ‘bullpen’ and its background noise to make a phone call or to work in quiet when the task at hand demands it.
Flexible conference rooms are ideal when you sometimes need all hands on deck, filling the room to capacity, while other moments call for two or more smaller groups to gather without disturbing each other. Moveable partitions make the most of the space, allowing it to be reconfigured on the fly.
Of course, that option means saying goodbye to the 20-foot-long conference room table. In a flexible space that massive piece of furniture is replaced with modular tables. These are separated when smaller, partitioned spaces are needed, and can easily be reconfigured into a single large table when all hands are gathering in the big space.
Questions about getting the most out of your meeting spaces? Contact Office Images.