October 12, 2023

5 Essential Elements to Designing Conference Rooms Built for the Hybrid Professional

by: Align


There are many things to consider when designing  conference rooms built for hybrid professionals: the technology, location within the office, and much more. Full-time in-office work is no longer the norm; instead, the new hybrid workplace includes a mix of full-time, part-time, and remote workers. 

Over the last three years, the landscape of work dynamics has experienced significant transformation. The concept of working from home has rapidly evolved, giving rise to a connected and collaborative digital work environment. While initially conceived as a temporary measure, this transformation has given birth to a new type of professional—the hybrid professional, which is here to stay. 

In the wake of these shifts, companies must rethink one of the most vital components of the modern office: conference rooms. So, how does conference room design need to pivot to meet the new requirements of a hybrid work environment? If your organization features hybrid professionals, you need to ensure that individuals working remotely can connect with their on-site teams and vice-versa. 

What to Consider When Designing Conference Rooms for the Hybrid Professional

Since office attendances have changed so drastically, you must make new considerations for the layout and capacity of your conference room. If you're expecting a majority of remote attendees, a U-shaped seating arrangement will be the best for collaboration as it allows the presentation screen to be the focal point. If the opposite is true, a round table should suffice. 

Another key consideration is the room’s purpose. You already know the answer to this question – meetings. But exactly what kind of meeting will the conference room host? Will the meetings require on-site employees to make illustrative demonstrations for their at-home counterparts? Will the meetings call for interactivity? 

These are just some of the questions that will guide you and your trusted  AV technology experts during workspace design. The answers will also help you choose the right technology solutions to install.

Conference Room Image

5 Essential Elements to Designing Conference Rooms Built for the Hybrid Professional

While meeting room designs are bound to vary from organization to organization, there are five hallmarks of a great conference room for the hybrid professional.

Video Conferencing and Collaboration Technology

Effective collaboration is every successful project’s cornerstone. As such, ease of collaboration should remain a priority when designing conference rooms. The conference room should feature technology that lets professionals participate in meetings regardless of location. Some of the collaboration technologies to consider include: 

  • An interactive whiteboard that lets teams collaborate during brainstorming sessions 
  • Collaboration platforms such as Microsoft Teams that allow remote professionals to view, edit, and delete files securely 

These technologies and more are imperative to enabling seamless collaboration between your employees and clients, whether they are in-office or remote. Many of these technologies can be installed regardless of your project type, whether you are working on an existing space or creating one entirely from scratch. However, you’ll be afforded more freedom when you’re able to design the space from the ground up and determine the room’s dimensions. These ground-up projects allow Align’s experts to install multiple screens or windows so users can run many applications simultaneously. 

AV Implementation

Excellent audio-visual technology  helps bridge the gap in a distributed workforce. It’s a must-have feature in every modern and professional conference room. 

AV specialists ensure that your network will have sufficient bandwidth to support multiple simultaneous streams without buffering or breakup. A trained AV design technician also ensures that all meeting participants will be visible by creating strategic room layouts and camera placements during the design stage. It’s also important to understand the acoustics of the space and consider any treatment that could improve the user experience so you avoid issues like echoes in the room which could hinder your meeting's productivity. 

Joel Hauxwell-circle

Joel Hauxwell, Align's Senior Audio-Visual Technology Consultant states, "We keep up to date with new technology to ensure we have the leading-edge solutions for our clients. Most recently, we have adopted new video technology featuring cameras that track presenters dynamically using intelligent fully body recognition."

A Seamless User Experience

The conference room should offer a seamless, stress-free experience for video conferences. The success of your video conferences will rely on top-quality audio and video connections, and having the most appropriate video conferencing software is crucial. It should be easy for any hybrid professional to connect their own devices with the conference room’s infrastructure.  

People require the ability to use their adopted conferencing platform in meeting rooms without limiting accessibility to other platforms. New systems should give users the flexibility to join different platforms from one system. Making this integration easy and seamless ensures that teams are unencumbered when presenting their projects, thus optimizing productivity. 

Design and Aesthetics

According to Forbes, employees are more productive and motivated in neat and well-designed workspaces. As much as functionality and utility are key when designing a conference room, the room should be well-organized and void of clutter. Some of the ways to achieve this include: 

Oftentimes, your conference room serves as the first impression for new clients, partners, and even professionals. Sleek design and well-organized infrastructure will ensure you leave a lasting, positive impression on visitors and could instill a greater sense of trust in your business. 

A Reservation System

Depending on your organization’s hybrid work model, different teams will need to use the conference room at different times. This means that if uncoordinated, meeting schedules might clash, leaving teams stranded. 

To mitigate this, a conference room for hybrid professionals should feature a scheduling system that lets employees book conference rooms for their meetings. The system should also be integrated into the organizations calendar to ensure that everyone can see when the conference room is available. 

The Hybrid Office is Here to Stay

A hybrid work model has become the norm. Offices in large cities like New York, Chicago or San Francisco are not requiring their teams on site all five days of the week. To maintain this new normal, you must be sure you are able to provide seamless conferencing to distributed teams, or run the risk of reduced efficiency.

Trey Somers, Align's Managing Director, Workplace Technology states, "As we know, the hybrid work model is not a temporary strategy and is here to stay.  Align is continually evaluating innovative technologies to build and recommend solutions for our clients that make remote or hybrid environments more collaborative with on-premise employees.”

Contact us today to speak to one of Align’s AV technology experts and learn how we can help design and build a conference room fit for today’s hybrid professional.

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