WLTM: The importance of meeting rooms in business

We live in a digital world and for some people in business, that means a virtual world. But meeting rooms still play an important role in bringing people together too.

It all depends on what works best for you. Google was born in a garage in 1998 but now has offices all over the world.

Some jobs can be done from anywhere, and for those people we offer virtual offices, giving you a professional-looking address and telephone number while you work from wherever you want.

But if you need to meet investors, suppliers or customers face-to-face, a formal meeting room can help you to put forward a professional image in person.

Our meeting rooms in Manchester and London are designed to do just that, in the business-like surroundings of our serviced offices and equipped well with ergonomic office furniture and other facilities.

Do meeting rooms matter?

In short, yes they do. A famous quote attributed to Apple innovator Steve Jobs says: “There’s a temptation, in our networked age, to think that ideas can be developed by email and iChat. That’s crazy. Creativity comes from spontaneous meetings, from random discussions.”

Whether this is wholly true is up for debate, an ever increasing number of entrepreneurs are making a success of working via virtual offices from anywhere with an internet connection.

Research by Great Business Schools found that 70% of young professionals in the USA did not believe it is necessary to physically go into the office anymore and 83% work remotely for at least some of the time.

But this is only one side of the story, and it’s not a question of whether physical meeting rooms are necessary – it’s a question of whether or not they are preferable.

The value of meeting rooms

The same study found that 95% of people believe face-to-face meetings are essential to maintain business relationships over the long term.

In-person meetings were especially popular for negotiations, with 93% preferring to meet face-to-face when negotiating with people of other cultural backgrounds or who speak a different first language, and 82% choosing physical meeting rooms to negotiate important contracts.

On average, 84% of people said they prefer physical meetings – even if they don’t believe they are essential to conducting business.

The research also revealed that most communication in business meetings is non-verbal (55%) with 38% of information inferred from inflection and only 7% from the actual choice of words used.

It’s a list that goes on and on, and it’s remarkable to see how many of the statistics are up around the 80-90% range or even higher, really highlighting how meeting rooms are still rated highly by the vast majority of people in business.

With our serviced meeting rooms in London and Manchester available to hire on an ad hoc basis, as well as our virtual offices in both cities for when you work remotely, you can have the best of both worlds – the flexibility of a digital career and the professionalism of an in-person meeting room when you need it.

Serviced offices help you avoid a sedentary work day

There’s plenty of advice about keeping good posture while sitting at a desk all day, but serviced offices help you to avoid becoming too sedentary by giving you plenty of opportunity to move around throughout the day.

In recent weeks we’ve looked at the option to cycle to work or arrive on public transport, both of which help to keep you more mobile than simply sitting behind the wheel of a car on your morning and evening commute.

But you’re likely to spend about ten times longer at work than you spend on your commute, so anything you can do to keep mobile in the workplace can have a big impact too.

Our on-site facilities in our serviced offices in Manchester and London give you a choice of different ways to get up and stretch your legs, as well as some much-needed thinking time away from your computer screen.

Get refreshed

One of the most obvious options is to visit the kitchen facilities for a snack or drink – which has the added benefit of giving you extra energy or hydration when you need it most.

With on-site kitchen areas in our serviced offices in London and Manchester, refreshments are right there when you need them, even if it’s just an excuse to take a screen break and stand up for a while.

All of our supplied office furniture is ergonomically designed by recognised brand names in the business, but as comfortable as you might be at your desk, it’s always good to change position once in a while.

To enable this, we also provide informal breakout rooms where you can again take a few minutes away from your screen to enjoy a comfy seat and perhaps catch up with some of your fellow entrepreneurs from elsewhere in our serviced office space.

Keep in touch

Our breakout rooms are not only for relaxing; they are also equipped with telephones in case you want to place an important call to a client in a more comfortable environment.

We also have serviced meeting rooms available in all of our locations, again equipped with ergonomically designed office furniture, so if you’re meeting face-to-face with clients, candidates or investors, you can do it in comfortable surroundings.

They say a change is as good as a break, and this is certainly true when spending a stretch of time in one position, so we encourage all of our patrons to make full use of all of our facilities and relax those muscles throughout the course of the working day.

Doing so can avoid aches and pains, which in turn can help you feel fresher and less tired towards the end of the work day, especially if you remember to stay hydrated too.

With the new year underway, we know many people will be aiming for a healthier lifestyle, and you might be surprised by the impact it can have just by getting away from your desk for a few short periods to recharge your mental and physical batteries.