Design Advice / 08.11.2017
From the austere to modernity; bringing the boardroom into the 21st century
Whether you are a multi-national with an executive boardroom as well as meeting rooms of varying size and formality, or a smaller company with one multi-purpose board/meeting room; a relatively modest refurbishment budget can provide a significant upgrade to your facilities.
Traditionally the boardroom was the seat of power within a company and imposing, grandiose furniture demonstrated to employees, competitors and society at large that you were a company capable of making your mark on the world. Dark, sober colours reigned supreme and mahogany, polished sideboards were the ideal vessel to house your luxury cigars and cut-glass decanters. Your board would be seated on the finest chairs around a luxury liner of a table so vast that the captain of industry at the bow would struggle to see the members at the stern, although the fug of cigar smoke may have had something to do with that.
In the modern world, introducing technology to the boardroom has proved more challenging. If you’ve never been at a meeting where latecomers embark on a mission to reach the empty seat, trying to hurdle the laptop cables stretched taut from wall to table while carrying their own laptop bag and trying not to spill their coffee over their colleagues, then you’ve missed a ritual sport of many a UK office.
The TV on a stand and the flip-chart for brainstorming have all fought for floor space whilst assaulting the aesthetic and those antique wooden tables bear a thousand scratches from the laptop bags that are laid on them while their cargo is wrestled free and manoeuvred into a comfortable typing position.
Of course, if you are a hip, modern, company that eschews such old-style formality, then you can do away with the boardroom and meet on beanbags in a multi-functional space. For most companies though, the challenge for the modern boardroom is how to make a space that is both formal and functional, embracing both sobriety and technology.
Furnishings in simple, classic colours and materials will provide the distinguished feel and careful planning of cabling and audio visual (a.v.) needs will allow technology to work supportively in the room without dominating.
Wall-mounted or wall-recessed smart TVs, interactive whiteboards, ceiling mounted projectors and tables that provide power, USB & network connectivity all bring 21st century technology to the table whilst removing the clutter which should leave you enough room to house your cut-glass decanter!