Sofia Fonseca Discusses How Meeting Rooms Can Help Transform Companies
Today’s conference rooms serve as critical spaces where employees can innovate, collaborate and inspire.
“It all starts with understanding employee needs and working habits. Sofia Fonseca, a consulting specialist based in HOK’s Houston office, says that this understanding is paramount when building an ideal office environment.
“According to Fonseca, not all meetings are created equal. A company’s culture and how formal the meetings tend to be, help to define the space. Some companies are comfortable with informal chats while lounging in open areas. Others require more privacy.
“When it comes to smart use of meeting space, adaptability is the name of the game. ‘Keep it modular. On one wall, it may make sense to have a smart board. But it’s just as important to be able to have furniture you can move to provide a variety of setups,’ Fonseca says. The more collaborative the meeting, the more modular the room should be.
“According to Fonseca, it’s important for designers to understand the purpose of the space and choose furniture that works within its ‘envelope’ of walls, since there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all conference room. That means finding the right balance of things, such as writable surfaces that can run floor to ceiling, and glass walls that let in light but also use shades for privacy or projectors.
“Balancing all the different priorities in terms of work space versus meeting space can be difficult, but it is possible. When organizations focus on what fulfills their employees’ needs in addition to aesthetic and collaboration best practices, the results can be transformative.”