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.

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