Alternatives to Your Typical In-House Meeting Rooms

Meeting rooms are important spaces that encourage teams to collaborate and bond. Accommodating these rooms isn't always easy—growing teams and limited real estate can make free space hard to come by. 

Managers that want to foster teamwork while saving space can use these creative methods to establish new meeting rooms. We've even highlighted the benefits of each alternative, so you can make your decision based on what you need most in a meeting space.

Create pods for privacy

Open spaces are a great way to improve collaboration in the office—but privacy is important to help teams have honest and in-depth discussions with minimal distractions. Implementing privacy pods like the ones used by Skyscanner creates small meeting areas that can be spread intelligently throughout a space. Space management tools can help managers make smart choices around the placement of new furniture and meeting room space, to ensure they see frequent use. Positioning privacy pods strategically will also ensure effective wayfinding and productivity among your team.

The benefits of privacy pods:

  • Create isolated environments
  • Benefit individuals and groups
  • Don't require heavy renovations
  • Can adapt to future office changes
  • Go outdoors for a natural vibe

Work spaces that incorporate nature can provide wellness benefits for staff, while promoting focus and engagement. Companies like Facebook understand this and offer large garden areas for staff to work from or just take a break. Patios, gardens, roofs and even nearby parks should all be considered for outdoor meeting spaces. Doing this might involve adding furniture like umbrellas and tables or improving wi-fi signals, but it's often worth the extra effort.

Another way to provide staff with a change of scenery is to consider booking off-site meeting spaces. Companies like Breather offers up spaces that come complete with the latest in technology and design, meaning you can stay based in your current office while still offering your staff an innovative space to meet. New spaces can spark creativity in staff and larger teams can book rooms big enough for round table discussions.

The benefits of outdoor meeting spaces:

  • Don't use up internal space
  • Increase exposure to nature
  • Enhance productivity
  • Use movable walls for flexibility

Offices short on space will benefit from using furniture like movable walls or breakaway desks that can change to create custom working areas. These spaces can be arranged on an ad-hoc basis when a specific team needs collaborative space. Flexible meeting rooms can work wonders in a small space or with teams that need to consistently collaborate with different departments. Managers with larger spaces will want to track moveable furniture so teams can quickly pinpoint their location and put them to use.

The benefits of moveable walls:

  • Provide multi-functional equipment
  • Adapt to future office changes
  • Have standing meetings for engagement

Standing meetings are fairly common in the tech industry and come with a host of benefits. Staff can avoid distracting mobile devices and spend some time out of their chairs. Standing meetings are great for tight offices that can’t spare anymore space for meeting rooms. Offices don’t really need dedicated space for this, but managers can create areas that are particularly suited for these meetings. Providing whiteboards to gather around or privacy curtains are just a few ways to make a space more accommodating for standing meetings.

The benefits of standing meetings:

  • Use minimal space
  • Discourage distractions
  • Encourage activity and movement

Saving space in the office requires a certain amount of creativity. Managers that can design spaces that are both inspiring and efficient to promote a more innovative culture without being wasteful of resources.

Article by Zoe North,  OfficeSpace