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Having a meeting for the sake of having a meeting has long been a somewhat controversial (and even annoying) part of business, but luckily that old-fashioned mindset is beginning to change.
This, in part, is due to the sheer number of employees that work remotely full-time, or at least some of the time, and partly due to the evolution of technology that means we can collaborate with team members without having to be in the same room as them.
It’s Virtual Team Building!
So what does this mean for the trusty meeting?
Related: 42 Remote Team Building Activities (Infographic)
The modern workplace is giving meetings a facelift
The concept of gathering together to talk about all things work isn’t disappearing altogether. In fact, it will still form an important part of business, but it is undergoing a transformation.
Equipment upgrades and new, sparkly tech is one pillar holding up the new landscape, but the biggest push comes from the change in how people and companies work today.
The Nature of Meetings is Changing
Remote work is revitalizing the need for team meetings
Meetings are now regularly made up of a mixture of remote workers tuning in virtually and staff members who are physically in the meeting space, which creates a sort of hybrid scenario.
According to research, as many as 90% of office workers in the US would prefer to telecommute, while the number of remote workers has increased by 115% since 2005.
On top of this, meetings are becoming less of a lecture and more of a collaborative event between people who are there in person and remote workers.
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Attendees are encouraged more than ever to pitch in, come up with creative ideas, and generally tackle solutions head-on thanks to the growing realization that meetings consume at least 15% of a company’s collective working hours.
So, rather than the stagnant meeting rooms of the past that came armed with uncomfortable chairs and long boardroom-style tables, the whole structure is undergoing a shakeup to tie into new demands.
Technology is fueling productive collaboration
Not only does a creative meeting space now need to be equipped with tools and software that harness productive and collaborative meetings, it also needs to streamline processes that used to be manual – things like taking notes, recording outcomes, and putting out polls.
On top of this, meetings are shrinking in size and are more impromptu affairs than before.
Of course, there are still those obligatory weekly meetings kicking about, but as workforces get younger and more working styles are accounted for, the meeting is evolving into more of an organic event for ideas rather than anything else.
Workspace Design is changing how we meet
The way people work is changing, but also the spaces in which they work are evolving, too. When people aren’t working remotely, they’re in new-age offices that are characterized by open-plan spaces.
While this might mean there’s a bigger need for privacy for meeting spaces, it also tips the other way with “social meeting spaces” – often dubbed “huddle spaces” – popping up.
In fact, Wainhouse Research has estimated that there are already around 50 million “huddle rooms” globally.
As you can imagine, there’s a lot to think about when it comes to choosing a team meeting space these days.
But, if you want to get the most out of your meetings and ensure they’re a productive use of your company’s time, it’s important to choose the right room and make sure it fits the wants and needs of your business goals.
Before You Choose an Offsite Meeting Space…
Choosing the right meeting room for your team goes a lot deeper than simply researching the cheapest or nearest option. Instead, you need to be thinking about a number of things that will determine the size of the room, what it’s set up for, and what technology you’ll need.
You’ll need to consider:
- What the room is going to be used for – will it be a small, collaborative meeting, or is it a full-sized board meeting that needs a lot of seats?
- How your team prefers to work – is it more productive when working in smaller groups or does everyone like coming together as a big team?
- Whether the meeting is for clients or internal teams – will you be hosting clients in the room or will it just be members of your staff gathered there?
- How easy the room is to access – do you need a top-secret room for a confidential meeting or can it be less private?
- Whether members of your team will be joining the meeting remotely – do you have the equipment and technology you need to do this?
Once you’ve got an idea about what you’ll need the room for and what you hope to get out of it, you can start looking at the logistics and digging deeper into the concrete details, like price, location, and aesthetics.
How Do I Book a Meeting Room or Conference Room Rental?
The first step in getting a meeting room set up for your team is to actually book it.
It sounds simple (and you’re probably sitting there rolling your eyes and mouthing “duh” at the screen), but with so many different ways to book a room it can be more complicated than you think.
Sometimes it’ll be an online form that updates automatically when it gets booked out.
To book many meeting spaces you’ll have to go through a receptionist or an event specialist and actually speak to a real person to book in your slot.
The bottom line is this: the booking process is different for every meeting room.
Watch out for these Possible Booking Restrictions
You might face some restrictions with certain meeting spaces:
- Only certain teams might be able to book
- The room might only available at specific times during the week
- You might not be able to bulk book rooms
- There might be a limit to how far in advance you can book
Double Check availability, equipment, tech, and accommodations
Most importantly, you need to know whether the venue is available on the dates you need it, as well as whether any equipment, accommodation, or extras you need are also available on those dates.
Do you know their Cancellation Policy?
And, finally, consider the cancellation policy: how flexible is the venue if you need to change the meeting date at the last minute?