Safe meeting rooms: 7 layouts to fit your next meeting

Our work habits and routines are changing, and safe meetings are a big question for many people who are returning to work after lockdown.

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.

And that’s why we also want to reassure you – yes, you can still have safe meetings!

Safety is a priority for all of us at the moment. Because of the coronavirus, the way spaces are designed is changing – both for homes and also for our regular offices.

Meetings can only happen if safe minimum distance is kept. So how should you plan seating arrangements to keep your team COVID-safe? What is the best way to set up tables and chairs, so the people at your meeting can interact without putting each other at risk?

Here are our ideas for how to adapt the most common meeting room layouts for your COVID-safe meeting. These are suggestions – make sure to 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. 

Remember: 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).

Safe meeting room layout #1: Face-to-face

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

Safe meeting room layout #2: Work cluster / group work

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

Safe meeting room 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

Safe meeting room layout #4: Boardroom

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

Safe meeting room layout #5: horseshoe

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

Safe meeting room 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

Safe meeting room 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

Once you have found a meeting room layout which works, here are some other 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.

Wishing you a great meeting – and keep safe!

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