7 safe meeting room layouts

Our work habits and routines are shifting in response to COIVD-19, and meetings are a big question for many people who are returning to work after lockdown. In times of change, we all need to think about safe meeting room layouts that minimise contact between people.

That’s part of our job at Spacebase. We know good things happen when people get together – that’s why we love meetings and why we love helping to make your meetings more inspiring and productive.

That’s why we also want to reassure you – yes, you can still have safe meetings! Here is our advice for how to set up a safe meeting room.

Meeting rooms and coronavirus

Safety is changing the design of our homes and also our regular offices. Meetings can also only happen if safe minimum distance is kept.

As organiser, you need to plan seating arrangements to make sure your meeting room is COVID-safe and your team not at risk. This means thinking carefully about the best way to set up tables and chairs, so the people at your meeting can interact safely.

Safe meetings – best practice

Here are some things to keep in mind when setting up a meeting room during coronavirus:

  • Decide on the layout before your guests arrive, so you can arrange and disinfect the furniture.
  • Have only the number of chairs you need.
  • Assign seating, by placing pens and paper at each free space ready for use. People shouldn’t share stationery.
  • Keep the door open for people arriving, so they don’t need to touch the door handle.
  • Ventilate the room before your meeting starts and if possible, keep the window open throughout to encourage air circulation.
  • Provide hand disinfectant and tissues.
  • If you are planning a meeting or small event, you must check local regulations for health and safety. It is your responsibility to guarantee the safety of your meeting participants (check our recommedations here).

COVID-safe layouts

With those things in mind, here are our ideas for how to adapt the most common meeting room layouts for your COVID-safe meeting.

Adapt these to your own furniture dimensions, so that the minimum distance between two people’s chairs is 1.5m. If in doubt, our rule of thumb is one person per table. 

Layout #1: Face-to-face

  • 2 tables, 2 people
  • Allows you to discuss important topics face-to-face
  • Good for: interviews, short discussions, apparaisals.

Layout #2: Work cluster / group work

  • 4 tables, 4 people
  • Gives everyone enough workspace, for longer shared work sessions
  • Good for: coworking, team discussion

Layout #3: Team talk

  • 4 tables, 6 people
  • For meetings where the whole team needs to be together, face-to-face
  • Good for: group discussions, brainstorming, team breakfast

Layout #4: Boardroom

  • 6 tables, 8 people
  • This classic setup allows discussion between all members
  • Good for: board meetings, committee meetings, group discussions

Layout #5: horseshoe

  • 6 tables, 8 people
  • For a strong dynamic between a speaker and an audience
  • Good for: presentations, video conferences, training sessions

Layout #6: classroom

  • 6 tables, 7 people
  • Gives the audience a workspace for making notes or placing a computer – but avoid squeezing too many people in!
  • Good for: presentations, video conferences, training sessions

Layout #7: theatre

  • No tables required, 10 chairs
  • Be careful – this format usually brings maximum capacity of people into close proximity, so give extra thought to spacing the chairs – you could also mark the floor with tape to indicate the safe distance
  • Good for: speeches, conferences, long presentations, training sessions

Wishing you a great meeting – and keep safe!

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