What makes the perfect meeting? Energy, effective collaboration and efficient decision making will all play a part. But what takes a meeting from average to outstanding?
As research into productivity proliferates, so too does the idea that the working environment has a significant impact on worker performance. Multiple studies have shown that increasing the comfort and happiness of workers can significantly reduce factors that inhibit performance, such as stress and anxiety. Through ensuring worker wellbeing by enhancing comfort, happiness and stimulation, workplaces can, in turn, heighten productivity and efficiency.
This has led to more and more businesses intent on creating the optimal working environment. One outcome has been an increase in so-called ‘Biophilic’ workplaces – architecture and interior design which attempts to integrate nature into the workplace in order to encourage staff wellbeing.
All the evidence suggests that a green, comfortable environment means happy, productive working. So what does this mean for your workplace and how can you leverage this new insight to take your meetings to the next level? Here are six simple ways you can create an environment conducive to efficient and collaborative meetings.
There are many studies that are testifying to the importance of natural light on mood and productivity. Indeed, having a view of the outside world is one of the simplest and most effective ways to enhance energy and wellbeing. Windows in workplaces are positively correlated with improved moods, decreased stress levels and better worker performance.
Try to hold meetings in rooms with lots of windows and natural light. Even better, if the meeting is informal and you have suitable outside areas, then utilise them. Where windows are scarce, try to simulate natural light as much as possible, or use artwork and photography of natural views to emulate them.
Efficient and effective collaboration requires workers who feel focused and at ease. In turn this requires meeting spaces that are comfortable and ergonomic. Mental and physical comfort go hand in hand: a meeting room that feels like home will inspire security, confidence and good feeling in workers. Any discomfort will serve as a distraction, so try to make your meeting spaces as congenial as possible.
Choose comfortable, cushiony seating that will support an easy, upright posture. Make sure the room is a pleasant temperature — not too cold so as to be distracting, nor too warm and sleepy. If you can, create a flow of air to imitate a gentle outdoor breeze: this will be soothing and invigorating and has been shown to aid concentration.
If your meeting is long, see that workers are fed and watered in order to maintain energy levels. Home comforts such as a cup of tea or coffee will also carry positive associations, making workers feel safe and free to focus their energy on the task at hand. Your Billi taps will mean you can keep everybody in the room hydrated, and tea breaks are quick owing to the instant dispense feature of our products.
The foundation of biophilic thinking is that humans have an innate need for and connection to the natural world. It follows that establishing an affinity with nature in the workplace will have a positive psychological effect — something that has been backed up by research.
Introducing indoor plants to your meeting room is a quick and easy way of evoking the natural world. Foliage will be psychologically and aesthetically pleasing, encouraging calm and positivity, which will in turn encourage productivity. Not only this, plants will also boost oxygen levels, which will improve concentration and brain function, as well as reducing fatigue!
Productive meetings require productive brains and the meeting environment must reflect this. Hydration is crucial for optimal brain function, with a lack of water being shown to have a multitude of negative effects. These include a deterioration in mood, poor cognitive and motor skills and memory malfunction — all inhibitive to efficiency and productivity. As such, servicing your meeting space with plenty of water will transform it into a flowing spring of focus and vitality.
Water bottles in meeting rooms will mean hydration is always on hand and the flow of the meeting does not have to be broken. Billi offers branded glass bottles, which are sustainable, as well as adding an air of professionalism to your conference room.
As well as availability, choice is also important: making a variety of options available to attendees will ensure everybody is catered for and will encourage hydration. Taps such as those offered by Billi provide instant, filtered refreshment and workers can have a choice of chilled, sparkling or boiled.
Productive and efficient meetings are only possible with all the necessary tools on hand. Missing resources, unreliable technology and clunky appliances are all unnecessary hurdles that will cause creative chains of thought to stumble, or worse, stall altogether.
Quick and easy access to resources, and in sufficient quantity, will ensure meetings run smoothly. Make sure there is enough seating, table space and writing implements for all attendees. Ensure that any technology is switched on and running correctly before the beginning of the meeting. Refreshment should be effortless and on hand: readily available hot drinks and food will keep energy levels up during long meetings.
Sparking creativity is a sure-fire way of boosting productivity. A stimulating environment with plenty of colour will galvanise the brain and get neurons firing. In contrast, a drab, grey environment will not only lack inspiration, but will dampen the mood and create a climate that works against your meeting rather than for it.
Green and blue have been shown to inspire relaxation and calm, whilst red invokes energy and stimulates brain activity. If you don’t want to redecorate then bright artwork and exotic indoor plants are easy ways of injecting some colour into your meeting room.
At the heart of productive, efficient meetings are happy, healthy workers who have their needs well-provided for. Here we have outlined just some requirements for a truly exceptional meeting. Through harnessing the rejuvenating powers of the natural world and creating a conference room that is comfortable, nourishing and hydrating, you’re only a few simple steps away from meetings that reach their true potential in productivity.