Spaces are about people. People that inhabit and use a place have a huge effect on it, but it’s also the space itself that has a bigger effect than you might expect on how the people feel, interact and relate among one another.
At Staples, we believe better space leads to better work. Some of our most meaningful professional moments come from sharing our ideas and making ourselves feel truly heard and understood. That’s why a smart and effective MEETSPACE is something every workplace needs, whether you’re working with a team of two or twenty.
The best meeting areas, and the tools that make meetings happen, connect and inspire employees and clients, encouraging productive conversations and fruitful collaboration that leads to a happier workplace and success all around. Because when your space works, everything works. Here’s how we can make it easier.
We don’t all do our best work seated at a desk. And when we’re in a cubicle or closed off place, there’s all the less room for interaction. When meeting rooms are full, or when they’re non-existent, a dining or lounge area can easily double as a promising MEETSPACE to get new ideas brewing.
Lighting also has a major impact on energy and mood, which you should keep in mind to optimise the atmosphere of your meeting area. Natural light is always best, but when it’s not available, try to steer clear of fluorescent and aim for the benefits of biodynamic, or circadian illumination. By mimicking the naturally occurring changes in temperature and intensity, it helps the body produce the right levels of hormones at the correct time of day. This synchronises our internal clocks so that we’re balanced, well rested and, ultimately, more productive and keen to have a meaningful conversation.
A seven-month Healthy Offices research initiative from international real estate giant CBRE and the University of Twente, VU Amsterdam, found that circadian lighting could have a slew of positive effects on employees, from reports of heightened performance—which went up 12% objectively, and 18% based on personal perception—to improved health, energy and happiness levels among 50, 71, and 76 per cent of participants, respectively. All of which is to say, lighting makes a serious difference when you’re trying to think outside of the box and successfully collaborate in your MEETSPACE.~root~>
Whether it’s a quiet corner to duck into for an important call or to work from for a change of scenery, it’s important to cultivate a MEETSPACE that suits the needs of your business as well as your workers. A buzzing mind needs a comfortable body, so make sure your furniture and accessories are doing their job. Ergonomic fixtures from keyboards to writing utensils promise fewer aches and pains at the end of the day, and back support is crucial—whether you’re at a desk chair or seated on a couch.
On the visual side, bright colours and forward-thinking design make people happy and inspire creativity while branded gear adds to a sense of company spirit. The BBC reports that certain studies have found varying hues to produce varying effects —blues and greens boost creativity, for instance, while red may enhance attention to detail. And meanwhile, something as simple as a set of stylish mugs featuring your logo along with a quirky quote or graphic can boost morale and get a sense of camaraderie brewing. A few key touches, and you’ll be ready when inspiration strikes and guarantee to keep it flowing.
Everyone shares their ideas differently, so it’s important to allow for all kinds of creative genius. Whether it takes a flurry of Post-its on a common wall or a room with a whiteboard that helps get a point across, in meetings where you’re trying to gather opinions or drive new thinking, interactivity is key and it’s important to have easy ways to capture what’s being said. With the right supplies on hand, you’ll be primed to get it all down—and add some innovating of your own while you’re at it.
Of course, connections with clients or colleagues will often be digital, so it’s important for any home office or co-working setup to have the technology available to keep you on top. Laptops, headsets and conference call providers enable you to nurture business relationships and take your MEETSPACE anywhere—your kitchen, a taxi, an airport waiting room.