Leveraging Meeting Rooms For Collaboration In A Remote Workforce

Introduction – What is a decentralised workforce?

More and more businesses have in 2024, adopted a remote workforce model.

A remote or decentralised workforce refers to a work structure where employees are not centrally located in a traditional office setting but instead are distributed across different locations (perhaps from home or in a co-working space). In a decentralised workforce, team members may work remotely from various geographical locations, at least for some, if not all of the time. This model has become more and more popular in recent years, as it gives employees more freedom and flexibility, which has come to be expected by many following the pandemic.  

As businesses adapt to this new normal, the challenges of maintaining effective collaboration in remote work scenarios have become increasingly evident. In this article, we will delve into the importance of collaboration and introduce the role of meeting rooms in bridging the gap for remote teams.

The evolution of work: From office-centric to decentralised workforces

The pandemic has accelerated a transformation in work dynamics, challenging the traditional office-centric approach.

The adoption of remote working has allowed businesses to save costs by reducing their office space and opting for a remote workforce. Although this is advantageous from a financial standpoint, it poses a challenge when in-person meetings are necessary. As a result, meeting rooms in business centres or hubs have emerged as a crucial element in facilitating collaboration for remote teams. Business centres offer modern amenities a professional environment, and space for collaboration –  ideal for bringing dispersed teams together.

Bridging the physical gap: how meeting rooms facilitate collaboration

There is plenty of evidence to suggest that virtual meetings have many benefits and have transformed the modern world of hybrid work. However, as you would expect, there are some common challenges associated with working in a completely remote capacity, which we shall consider below. Interestingly, most remote work challenges can be overcome by the occasional face to face meeting.  Meeting rooms are the perfect solution for this challenge, as they offer a physical space to meet without being tied into a costly financial agreement.

What are the challenges associated with virtual meetings?

  1. Communication barriers

Communication barriers are a common pain point for remote teams. Remote workers can often feel disconnected from their team, isolated and frustrated. Meeting face to face aids communication and helps teams to feel connected. Using a one off meeting room for the occasional meeting means that the workforce has a dedicated space where team members can interact face-to-face, fostering clearer communication and understanding.

  1. Team cohesion

Building team cohesion is essential for a successful decentralised workforce. Meeting rooms, as neutral and professional environments, play a pivotal role in creating a sense of belonging among team members. Meeting in a physical space enhances team cohesion and companionship.

  1. Effective brainstorming

Creative brainstorming is often raised as a challenge in remote settings. Meeting rooms provide an ideal setting for dynamic brainstorming sessions, enabling teams to engage in collaborative thinking and idea generation.

remote workforce
decentralised workforce

Strategies for productive meetings

If physical meetings happen infrequently, it’s important to make sure that when they do take place, they are optimised to their full potential. This section will provide practical tips and strategies for conducting efficient meetings in these spaces, emphasising the importance of location, preparation, and agenda.

  1. Location

First up, is making sure that the location of the meeting room is convenient for all team members within the remote team. If your team cannot access the space easily, you’ll be starting off on the back foot!  Make sure that the meeting room is strategically located in a central place that is easily accessible for all team members.

  1. Strategically designed meeting spaces

If you are meeting occasionally, it’s important that the space that you choose can be configured flexibly. Opt for meeting rooms that can be easily set up to accommodate various meeting formats, from collaborative brainstorming sessions to formal presentations.

It’s also important  to consider the technology that’s available. For example, will the available technology allow for effective communication between remote and in-person participants.

  1. Purposeful agenda setting

Preparation is key in all meetings but especially for infrequent ones. Encourage meeting organisers to circulate detailed agendas well in advance. Clearly outline the primary goals and expected outcomes of the meeting. This will allow attendees to come prepared, keep discussions on track and allow participants to contribute meaningfully.

  1. Comfort and well-being

Choose a meeting space that is comfortable! Think ergonomic seating arrangements, plenty of desk space and plenty of natural lighting. This will encourage participant engagement and focus, promoting a conducive environment for productive discussions.

By embracing some of the above strategies, you can transform your in-person meetings into dynamic, purpose-driven sessions that capitalise on the strengths of both remote and on-site team members. The best of both worlds!

Case Study

Mandy Willmore and her team at PowerMed UK are longstanding users of the meeting rooms here at Bloxham Mill. Mandy’s team is based remotely across the UK and Bloxham Mill has proven to be a great location for her team to meet regularly.

We've been happy clients of Bloxham Mill for 9 years, utilising the meeting room facilities as part of our regular operations. Having our registered office address at Bloxham makes it convenient, and the meeting rooms, particularly Oak – the largest one, have become a key part of our team gatherings. The professional atmosphere at Bloxham Mill significantly contributes to the success of our meetings. The staff, including Emma, Louise, Arenea, and Damiane, consistently go above and beyond to ensure our needs are met. Their dedication makes us feel like they are an extension of our own team. The Oak meeting room, which comfortably accommodates all 30 of our team members for our 3-4 day stays, has played a crucial role in enhancing our productivity. Damiane always makes sure that the furniture is laid out in our preferred setup ahead of our arrival and we make use of the large screens. The booking process is seamlessly handled by Louise or Arenea at reception. In summary, Bloxham Mill has been our go-to meeting place for its professional atmosphere, remarkable staff support, and positive impact on our team's productivity.
Mandy Willmore
PowerMed UK

Conclusion

Remote work thrives on flexibility, but too much can lead to chaos. Meeting rooms strike the right balance by providing a structured environment within which teams can operate flexibly. They are helpful tools for fostering collaboration in a remote workforce post-COVID.

If you are looking for meeting rooms in a professional, friendly environment then Bloxham Mill can help. We have five meeting rooms of various sizes available, bookable by the day or the hour. We facilitate businesses with the space and technology to host team meetings, and training courses or invite clients for a catch-up session or presentation.

Join us at Bloxham Mill

To find out more about how Bloxham Mill can help you with your workspace requirements, give us a call on 01295 722800 or drop us an email (reception@bloxhammill.com) and Louise at Reception will be happy to help.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Subscribe

* indicates required

Please select all the ways you would like to hear from Bloxham Mill:

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.

Call us...

Need to speak to someone
directly?

We are here to help you.

All Enquiries

+44 (0)1295 722800

Or we’ll get back to you