On the surface, choosing the right conference table seems like an easy task, doesn’t it?
Just go out and buy a table for the office, right?
But if you don’t quite know everything a conference table says about you and how will work within your space, that “easy” decision can quickly become frustrating.
It certainly doesn’t have to be. Just consider three important factors — space, technology, matching and mood — and you’ll find the perfect conference table for your company.
It’s important you take a good look at how much space you have in your conference room and how many people you will typically seat. If the majority of your meetings only have a handful of people, a big table is excessive, no matter how impressive it may look. Still, if your meetings can become large, you don’t want people squished together and uncomfortable.
Once you get an idea of how many people you need to accommodate, look at the size of your conference room. You want your table to allow enough room for people to be able to walk around the table, to be able to comfortably sit down and push away from the table and to be able to add more furniture if necessary. You may want a lectern, a coffee area and even bookshelves.
Now it’s time to consider the needs of your team and how the appropriate technology works with the table. Does the sales staff mostly use iPads? Make sure the ports are available in the table. A/C outlets integrated into the table can save a lot of headaches, such as when a battery is going dead during a major presentation.
Whatever your meeting room’s video system is, the table should be suited for it. If a projector is a good idea for your conference room, consider investing in a high definition model so when you meet with that high-profile client, your proposals and examples look as sharp as possible.
Not considering how laptops, projectors and tablets will work with your table will cause plenty of frustration down the road. But making technology a high priority can raise your image in employees’ and clients’ eyes.
Image is always a factor. You don’t want furniture that contradicts that image or doesn’t match other pieces. Not only is it confusing, but it can come off as sloppy. If you have furniture already in your conference room, make sure the table matches that. If the room is empty, consider what future pieces will fill in around the table.
Also, make sure you have conference chairs that suit your new table. You don’t want chairs too large or small. Chairs that are too large will make the room cramped and will limit the amount of people who can sit at the table. Chairs too short will make employees overwhelmed by the table.
This is a very important consideration. The table you choose is going to say a lot about your structure and will set the mood of every meeting. Conference tables come in many different shapes, but the most common are circular, U-shaped and rectangle.
A round table shows equality and creates collaborative environment. However, if it’s too big it can be difficult to talk across and present information. Also, personal space can be small.
A rectangular table is a classic design that shows hierarchy. It conveys a strong message about leadership structure and attitudes toward collaboration.
A U-shaped table is very useful in presentations, demos and videos. Because of that, it has been shown to be very conducive to productive and informative meetings. It’s good for collaboration but still hints at the authority structure. It’s an efficient space that is also comfortable for attendees.
Choosing the right conference table comes down knowing your space and understanding the mood and messages you want to convey. Once you’ve done that, picking the perfect conference table won’t seem like such a chore.
Have more questions about choosing the right office furniture? Contact us today with whatever questions you may have. We’d love to share our knowledge and experience to help your company select the right office furniture and create the perfect office.