The whole premise of a “meeting room” is that it is designed to enclose groups of people in a space for an extended period of time – definitely not the definition of a COVID friendly environment. So how do you strike a balance between “business as usual” and COVID restrictions such as social distancing within your meeting rooms? Many workers share that the main reason they want to come back to their workplace is to be with other people, to socialize and collaborate, so these shared spaces will have to evolve to meet the new post COVID workplace requirements.
The following are key design considerations:
Density – reduce the number of people within a space. A typical 4-6 person smaller meeting room is the likeliest meeting room to be at or over capacity. Therefore, when implementing the recommended 6 feet apart these smaller meeting rooms will have a capacity reduction of approximately 50% which means 2-3 people max.
Geometry – change the arrangement and size of meeting room furniture to create maximum distances within.
Division – add screens or panels to create barriers between people and spaces.
Some workplaces are taking their small meeting rooms and turning them into privacy rooms or collaboration pods and repurposing their larger board rooms for smaller meetings to upsize. The above design considerations help to shape these rooms into new shared spaces that encourage collaboration while keeping employees safe. What is your workplace doing to shift your meeting rooms to be compliant with COVID restrictions?