Meeting room furnishings

This recommendation contributes to improvements in Social Group and Spaces

A major source of stress at work is employees’ relationships with each other. On the other hand, a major source of resilience against threats is psychosocial support between people. As we noted in The Healthy Workplace Nudge, the quality of your relationship with your boss is a better predictor of stress than your relationship with your doctor. At work, mistrust, whether it is built into the management culture, or part of a specific relationship, can increase psychological stress. 

Good relations within a work team and in general between workers positively influences individual health. Supportive relationships can mitigate perceptions of stressful work situations. Thus, the design of social and other group meeting spaces, that promote social cohesion, can play an important role in the quality of individual and group relationships – and in stress. And, innovation and speed of decision-making for high performing teams and groups is another important driver. The furnishing of meeting spaces can play a critical role in both performance and building social support.

1

Provide furnishings and technology that support flexibility in types of meetings. Ideally, build in enough flexibility to support conference style, horseshoe shape, or classroom style arrangements.

2

Whiteboards and vertical surfaces are extremely useful for team interaction to facilitate visualization and sharing of ideas. Moveable walls and partitions support meeting room adjustability and user control.

3

Building trust and social support at work is critical to well-being. Consider interior furnishings that are casual and provide a residential vibe (unless the room is strictly for formal interactions/presentations).

Read more

If you want to learn more, we suggest the following resources:

Creating collaborative spaces that work. Knoll, 2013.

25 Meeting Room Layouts for Events: Tips & Examples. Maria Waida, 2019.

Kristin Stoller. Hot-Desk Sensors and Movable Walls: Meet the Companies Facilitating the Return to Work. Forbes. February 2021.

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