Want to set up a wireless Conference Room?Try Now

For IT managers, renovating conference rooms can be a mixed bag. On the one hand, few things in life are more satisfying than throwing out old AV equipment and replacing it with state of the art technology. On the other hand, IT managers are not interior designers, know nothing about conference room furniture, and are as out of place in an office furniture store as a sales rep in a server room.

So for all those IT managers out there who are installing high-end projectors, cameras, and speaker systems in their conference rooms and are thinking about adding some new furniture to go along with all that new technology, here are a few things you need to know.

The Size

The first thing you need to do is take measurements of the room. Knowing how big or small your conference room is will help you select the proper size of furniture to place in it. The two biggest mistakes you can make are cramming a tiny room with gigantic conference room furniture and sparsely furnishing a huge conference hall with a few tiny chairs. You need to utilize all available space in the best way possible.

The Conference Room Table

The first piece of conference room furniture you should purchase is the table. Once you have the conference room table in place, the task of picking the chairs, furniture, and appliances (such as a coffee machine, a display board, bookcases, shelves or a water dispenser, etc) becomes easier. When buying the table, think about the shape and the size of the room and the table which would be best suited in the room. You can select an oval, rectangle, and even a U-shaped conference table.

The Conference Room Chairs

The number of chairs that you can fit in the meeting room depends on the size of the conference table. One good way to determine the number of chairs you can have is by knowing that the table’s width in feet is the number of chairs that can be placed comfortably. This means that an 8-foot-wide table will seat eight individuals.

Another way to accommodate more people is to line some chairs against the back wall. This will be helpful during larger meetings where not everyone can be seated at the table due to space constraints.

The Spacing

There should be at least a space of 48 inches between the wall and the table. However, if you want a more comfortable space then you should increase the space to 56 inches.

If you want people to walk sideways between the wall and the chair, keep a space of 16 inches. However, if you don’t want the employees and the visitors to walk sideways then leave a space of 24 inches.

Per chair, allow 30 inches of space on each side. For rising from a chair, keep a space of 32 to 34 inches between the back of the chair and the table.

The ideal space between the visual display board and the table should be 56 inches and there should be at least a bending space of 36 inches for when you want to use the lower shelves of a bookcase.

The Right Office Furniture Can Help You Work Smarter
The Difference the Right Office Furniture Can Make
10 Conference Room Design Mistakes

Want to set up a wireless Conference Room?Try Now

The first colour laptop, the Commodore SX-64, hit the market in 1984. It came with two video ports: an S-video port and composite video port. The device didn’t have batteries, weighed 23 pounds, and used a floppy drive that was bigger than the monitor (5 1/2 inches vs. 5 inches).
The laptop has come a long way since 1984, and so too have the ports that they come with. Over the course of just the last 8 years, laptops with one or more of the following ports have been in widespread use: VGA, DVI, USB, miniport, HDMI, Thunderbolt.
Prior to 2012, the multiplicity of video ports did not have a significant impact on the efficiency of business meetings. Most conference rooms had a shared PC connected to the TV or projector, so as long as everyone’s PowerPoint project was transferred to the shared PC prior to the meeting, presentations could go forward without too much difficulty.
In today’s BYOD era, this is no longer the case. If the shared PC hasn’t already gone extinct, it’s certainly high up on the endangered species list. Nowadays everyone brings their own laptops, and hooking up all those different laptops with all those different ports to a TV or projector can be a bit of a nightmare.
Luckily, 99.99% of today’s laptops come with WiFi capability, and connecting laptops to a TV or projector through WiFi is a lot cheaper and more time-efficient than hiring an AV company to drill thousands of dollars worth of wires, adapters, and cable management boxes through your walls and conference room tables.
In the three videos below, an unfortunate IT manager learns this conference room AV lesson the hard way…

Want to set up a wireless Conference Room?Try Now

Like being a stock broker in the year 1929, being an IT manager in 2016 can be a pretty stressful gig: Your backend system is a complicated mixture of old and new applications that have been randomly pieced together from multiple vendors as a result of decades of acquisitions, Russian hackers are constantly trying to infect your system with malware in order to extort precious, precious Bitcoins, and Martha from accounting keeps trying to torrent The Force Awakens even though it’s been available on Netflix for at least two months now.

With so much on your plate, it can be hard to stay organized. Hopefully this 7 item priority list will make your job a little bit easier.

1. Manage Time. If a help desk ticket unexpectedly balloons into a 15-hour-long marathon session, your team should inform you. You may need to find another team member or resource to assist.

2. Balance Human Resources. If your department is understaffed and you have deadlines that desperately need to be met, be careful not to push your team to the point of mental and physical exhaustion. That strategy didn’t work out so well for J.K. Simmonds in the movie Whiplash, and we doubt it will work out well for you. Create a simple spreadsheet that lists your employees and the current and upcoming projects they’re working on. It acts as visual representation to allow you to make the appropriate adjustments.

3. Monitor Usage. Dedicate time for you and your team to review the way technology is being used at your company. If you use Ubiq for wireless presentations, go to the Dashboard and study the usage logs. The information you find there could hold the key to improving meeting room productivity.

4. Security Check. As more and more companies are implementing BYOD policies and opening up their network to external teams, it is critical to make sure your infrastructure is protected from viruses and hacks. If your company has more than 100 employees, it’s safe to say that at least one of them has fallen for the trick popularized by Mr. Robot of leaving a USB stick out in the parking lot and hoping that an employee will plug it in on a company computer. Find out who it is and give them a stern talking to.

5. Team Check. As a leader, you need to check in with your team and talk to them about the work environment, their vision, and opportunities to grow the department. Make sure they stay engaged and motivated. If you sense their motivation is lagging, take them out to lunch or buy them coffee and try to boost their spirits.

6. Speak with Vendors. Chances are that your technology is not all “in-house.” Reach out to your vendors to address concerns, get updates on new releases/upgrades, and review performance and optimization. Those conversations should then be shared with your team to prepare for any new tasks or projects.

7. Benchmark Trends. Is it time to upgrade technology or implement something new? Look at the industry landscape for the latest hardware and software. If your company has the money, see if they’ll fly you out to one of this fall’s major tech conferences. You may not be able to make changes right away. However, it gives you an opportunity to create a roadmap with other departments, and set priorities and timelines in the future.

By following the steps on this checklist, it is our hope that your stress levels will go from that of a Great Depression-era stock broker to that of a Newfoundland fisherman circa 1535. But in the off-chance they don’t, there’s always diet and exercise. That almost always does the trick.

Additional Reading
Working In IT is Getting More Stressful
IT Stress: Management, Empathy, and the Kindness of Strangers
Most IT Admins Considering Quitting Due to Stress