“Engagement” is currently a buzz word in the corporate world. Engaged workers equate to successful business results, employee retention, and overall employee performance. An area of the workplace interior that becomes an important component for engagement in the conference room.
With the escalating cost of office space, it has become essential for business owners to utilize their available working footprint to its maximum potential. The conference room is no longer a place to hold the monthly board meeting—it also needs to function as a training and presentation space. A traditional conference table is great for meetings, but not particularly conducive for collaboration and engagement. For maximum effect, a collaborative meeting room should be outfitted with versatile, reconfigurable furniture that is flexible, mobile, storable, and technology capable. Training tables are the perfect solution for an engaging meeting space. They can be pushed together to form a single traditional-style conference table or broken apart and reconfigured for training, presentations and collaborative teaming. “Nesting” flip-top tables with casters or folding tables are ideal for those situations where tables need to be removed so the room can function differently.
Determining the best table for your meeting room can be puzzling, but with planning, a little research, and the assistance of a design professional or experienced sales associate you can find a table that will work for you. Begin the process by creating your floor plan and budget, then you are ready to select the particular features that make a specific table design the perfect fit for your environment. Here are some factors to consider:
- Shape—rectangular, trapezoid, semi-circular, half-round, wave, crescent
- Size—most tables are available in 18-20”, 24” and 30” depths, and lengths from 48” to 96” (your floor plan will drive the size)
- Mobility—casters or glides
- Height—Fixed or adjustable
- Base function—fixed, folding, nesting or tilt
- Connectivity—wedges, ganging devices
- Modesty panel—permanent or removable
- Technology access—electrical, data, cable management
- Materials—Top: wood, laminate, glass / Base: metal or paint / Edge detail: wood, urethane, PVC / Modesty panel: laminate, metal, Plexiglas
Once you have settled on the features that fit your requirements and budget, the table design that best suits your interior décor can be chosen. Although “a table is a table is a table”, you can see that tables from different manufacturers have their own unique qualities. Many vendors offer conference accessories to compliment their tables such as credenzas, lecterns, and presentation cabinets. When outfitting your conference space, it is important to consider tables that encourage engagement and innovation.
On the flip-side, the corporate meeting room is not the only setting in which training tables are a sensible choice. Training type tables are excellent for education and hospitality environments. Bretford recently introduced EDU2.0 table line that is among one of the first modular table systems comprehensively designed and powered for the education market. The tables can adapt to all forms of teaching modalities and support the technological devices used in all levels of education. While this series was created for the education market, it can also be a good fit for the corporate interior.
Photos courtesy of: OFS http://www.ofs.com/products/tables_reception/tables/sebree/sebree.php, First Office http://www.firstoffice.com/products/tables/applause, Bernhardt Design http://bernhardtdesign.com/products/serif/index.html, Versteel http://www.versteel.com/index.php/products/tables/paces, Artopex http://www.artopex.com/en/collections/tables/collection/genius-table/, Groupe Lacasse http://www.groupelacasse.com/Brix?pageID=80&category=0&brand=1&product=49 , Bretford http://bretford.com/player/video/edu-neocon-2012/, Surfaceworks http://www.surfaceworks.us/products/pages/Pagesframes/main/ttp-ziidrive-main.html