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It’s the environment, stupid

Improving the effectiveness of meetings is not just a question of implementing best practice but also of having suitable meeting spaces, claims K2 Space in its Meeting Expectations report.

In a YouGov survey of 1,000 UK-based office workers for the report, 31% described the meeting rooms in their office as dull and uninspiring; 35% agreed that traditional meeting rooms, such as boardrooms, are outdated.

Younger workers felt this even more strongly, with respective figures of 36% and 46% amongst Millennials.

When asked what could be done to improve the quality of meetings, most respondents felt it would be helpful to have a variety of spaces to suit different types of meeting. These include:

* quiet rooms or spaces where people can take calls or concentrate without distraction (cited by 31%);

* informal meeting spaces, instead of dedicated formal meeting rooms (20%);

* a variety of differently sized meeting rooms (18%);

* outdoor spaces (17%); and

* tall desks to allow for standing meetings (11%).

Respondents said the quality of meetings could also be improved by redesigning existing meeting rooms to make them more attractive, fun and inspiring (14%) and by integrating technology (25%) and better meeting room booking systems (16%).

K2 Space warns that having uninspiring meeting spaces makes it more likely that participants will become distracted and turn their attention to other things:

  • 24% of office workers admitted to messaging friends or family during a meeting or conference call;
  • 29% have got on with other work unrelated to the meeting;
  • 18% have checked or posted on social media;
  • 19% have browsed the internet for non-work purposes, including shopping online; and
  • 10% of office workers have fallen asleep or ‘dozed off’.

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