Q: How does the layout of a room impact meeting success?
A: For in-person meetings room layout can be very important, particularly for larger meetings.
One of the critical factors is the seating arrangement. A circular arrangement conveys an impression of equality amongst the participants. Having a lectern or desk in front of rows of seats confers power onto the person occupying it. To a lesser extent, the person at the head of a rectangular table has an implied higher status. Long tables mean a half the attendees can’t see each other well and can be a barrier to communication. Separate tables might help collaboration around a table but tends to break the meeting into separate groups. A horseshoe arrangement can be effective provided everyone is seated round the outside.
Which arrangement you can choose may be limited the size and shape of the room. Other factors that you should take into account are lighting, acoustics and ventilation.
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