The Philosophy Of Conference Tables
In any office or meeting atmosphere, the conference room is a critical feature. The idea of the
conference room is to encourage creativity, solve problems and make sure the company is projecting
towards a positive direction. The people who enter a conference room should know the room's
intended purpose, so the room is solely used for conferences and meetings and not as a break room,
lunch room or other common area. If there are space limitations, and the conference room is used for
another purpose, make sure to clean up the room and wash the table after each use.
The most important feature in a conference room is the table. It is the element that will spawn
successful discussions, decisions, breakthroughs and solutions. Conference tables are also the
element that can spawn negative talk, conflict, indecision, petty arguments and create cliques. To
encourage the positive and minimize and even eliminate the negative, the shape of the conference
table is critical.
To establish the leader of the meeting, the leader should be at the head of the table. If the table is
round, it doesn't lend itself to establishing a leader. A round table makes everyone equal, and it's
difficult to establish a lead role when everyone is considered equal. A round table tends to encourage
teamwork, but doesn't place the focus on the leader as they facilitate a meeting. A rectangular
shaped table that is too narrow will allow those who sit across from each other to chat instead of
listen. If individual tables are put together to form a bigger table, the people seated at the individual
tables tend to form cliques.
A rectangular or oval table will give the leader a distinct seat at the end of the table and establish that
person as the leader. The length of the table will depend on the size of the room and the number of
people anticipated attending the meeting. If conference rooms are built to specifications, the rooms
can be built around the size of the conference tables. If a room is being turned into a conference
room, the table that fits will usually be the one chosen.
Before choosing a conference table size, it is essential there is enough room for people to walk
around the table while others are sitting at the table. Unless there is assigned seating, most people
walking into a conference room will sit in the first available seat. The last few people to arrive,
typically end up with the seats furthest from the door.
Conference tables are available in a variety of materials and price range. The conference table has to
be durable, easy to clean and inviting to sit at. The top should be smooth, and the edges rounded. A
table cloth should never be placed on the table as that takes away the business element of any
meeting, and when in the conference room, business is always the first order of the day.
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