The Return to the Physical Meeting Room

Are you prepared for the changes required to return to meeting rooms?

According to PwC, ”Navigating the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath will be one of the biggest challenges of our time.”

Although we’re still in the early days of the reopening, the return to work shift is happening. Chances are you’ve likely already started working on your return to work strategy or you might already be implementing it, but does it take into account your meeting rooms? If not, here are three ways you can keep your meeting rooms productive, yet still safe for employees.

Adjust Room Occupancy Limits

It’s safe to assume that normal occupancy limits no longer apply in the new normal. But how can offices properly adjust to ensure employee safety? One approach proposed by Density is allocate 60 square feet per person within a meeting room to create a 6-foot radius each for occupant – which translates to roughly 40-50% of the original occupancy. Another approach is to follow the lead of major retailers, who have reduced occupancy to 20% to allow for proper social distancing.

Look at your meeting spaces and determine what limits make sense for your organization and make sure your employees are aware of these new rules. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to look at the rooms and determine any changes in layout or furniture to ensure attendee distancing.

Source low- and no-touch technologies

There are many easily available technologies that can be make launching a meeting a seemingly touchless experience.

Upon entering a meeting room, motion sensors can remove the need for occupants to turn on lights, cameras and even monitors. Once in the room, meetings can be launched using voice-operated personal assistants like Amazon Alexa or using Bluetooth connectivity to remove the need to manually connect using a VGA or HDMI cable.

Ensure Cleanliness Measures

Determining a proper meeting room cleaning schedule requires understanding what rooms are being used and how often.

Organizations should track room usage and occupancy to fully understand their room demands and construct cleaning/maintenance plans that fit within their larger return to work guidelines for other common spaces.

Likewise, rooms should be stocked with disinfectants such as Clorox wipes for employees to clean chairs, podiums and any other items they have touched during their meeting. If possible, consider placing checklists within each meeting room for employees to sign/initial when they leave the space to denote that the space has been sanitized.

It’s only a matter of time before everyone is back at the office, so it’s important to get a jumpstart on identifying the return to work plan that fits your organizational goals. While there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to how to resume in-office meetings, looking at seating, technology and maintenance is a great place to start.