If you’re doing business in 2022 and beyond, informal meeting spaces are key. The landscape of work has probably shifted permanently thanks to the increasing importance of technology and accelerated by lockdowns.
It’s unlikely that we’ll go back to having primarily old-fashioned stuffy boardroom meetings, and instead, we’re moving more towards creative spaces where people can have informal meetings.
In this article, we’ll look at why you need informal meeting spaces and 12 creative ideas for them.
Informal meeting spaces are smaller breakout rooms or areas where you can quickly connect and collaborate with different staff members.
Away from the traditional boardrooms that corporate professionals are used to, informal meeting spaces are much more casual, with some even featuring recreational objects like sports tables.
While you probably won’t do the entirety of your work in an informal meeting space, they’re excellent for casual catch-ups and for bouncing ideas off of each other.
There are lots of reasons why you need an informal meeting space.
Here are a few essential items that your informal meeting space needs.
Power sockets, scattered around the meeting space, are essential for successful meetings.
Using them means that anybody who is attending can be sure that their device has power and they won’t be stuck when wanting to present their ideas using a device. This is especially important when devices connect to interactive displays or other virtual spaces.
We recommend a mix of traditional plugs and USB chargers, as lots of people nowadays just carry their USB cable for charging their phones or smaller devices.
If you have seating in your informal meeting space, make it comfortable!
You’ll want to ensure that anyone using these spaces feels at home, and comfortable sofas or individual cushioned seats will help you to do this.
If you want to take your meetings one step further, why not install an interactive whiteboard like those that we sell here at Avocor?
These are incredibly useful gadgets that you can mount to the wall and effectively use as a giant tablet. You can write notes using the sensitive touch screen, browse the internet and use other applications.
Importantly, you can also connect it to meeting software that remote team members can connect to, so you can effortlessly host meetings with your entire team, even if they work on a hybrid schedule!
Plus, the high-quality video and audio make it feel like the remote team members are in the room with you.
High-speed WiFi is a must for any informal meeting space.
You’ll want solid internet that can connect to any device without problems; it might be worth investing in a separate router that can provide the highest quality connection.
Below are a few different types of informal meeting spaces. You could incorporate one or a few of these components into your space!
Adding sofas to your informal meeting space can make the area feel more comfortable and accommodating. They also add to a more casual atmosphere.
Equally, beanbags are casual seats that are very comfortable. Depending on how informal you want to go, these may be too much - but they could work well for some offices!
Rather than host your meetings in a boxy cubicle, you could consider having glass doors. These let light into your meeting space, which could automatically make it feel more inspiring and invigorating.
Again, bright walls can make your space feel more creative and welcoming. Opting for colours like yellow can make your space seem happy, or bright blue can seem calming.
Collaborative tables are often found in formal meeting spaces, but they can feature in informal spaces as well. Square or circle tables are great for team members to sit around and work on a shared project together.
If you want to have a very informal meeting space, why not incorporate sports games?
Adding a snooker or foosball table could help to bring some fun and entertainment to the meeting. You could go over the business figures while you’re playing a game!
You could incorporate a virtual meeting space into a library.
Having a bookcase of business-related books could provide you with inspiration when you need it, and it can also offer a great backdrop!
A virtual space is definitely the meeting of the future, and while these can be formal (they were a necessity during lockdowns!), you can easily make them informal as well.
Add some relaxed backdrops to your screen to make it a bit more casual or to match the meeting’s topic. Alternatively, you could do virtual activities or quizzes that are related to the meeting but make the atmosphere more relaxed.
Have you ever thought about taking your meeting space outdoors? Alfresco is perhaps not the best location for formal meetings, but some informal meetings can definitely be hosted outdoors.
You could even incorporate some of the other ideas and move beanbags or collaborative picnic tables to your outdoor meeting space.
Plants are an important part of any informal meeting space. Adding some greenery to an office space can help staff members with mental health and focus. They also provide clean air!
Some informal meeting spaces are best with food and drinks!
It’s quite normal to have coffee machines in workspaces, but you could add a little fun by including a blender to make smoothies or even a cocktail bar (for after-hours meetings!). Or, have a fridge with some snacks in. You might find that your staff come up with great ideas when they’re well-fed!
Think carefully about what lighting to put into your meeting room. You might want to add large stand-alone lamps or put smaller lamps on any tables.
They add more atmosphere and illumination to the room, which could add to the vibe of the meeting space.
Informal meeting spaces are excellent ways to collaborate with other colleagues, boost the mental health of your employees and even encourage productivity. As the workplace evolves in the 21st century, informal meeting spaces will become increasingly common; in fact, they’re probably going to be a big part of the future of work. It’s a good idea to jump on this trend to help your company be more immersive and productive from today!