Do We Still Need the Meeting Room? Evolution of the Meeting Room

OSCA, Residential, Investment

How we meet has drastically changed in the past few years from face-to-face meetings to going completely remote. But now that the world is slowly starting to open up, while things are going back to normal, there are some things that have stayed, such as the integration of virtual tools. 

How the meeting room has evolved 

Life before the pandemic has been mostly on-site for many businesses and that meant in-person meetings in office conference rooms. Changes like videoconferencing happened as the pandemic has prompted many organizations to adopt remote work, changing the landscape of how meetings are done. Suddenly there was a low barrier to entry into meetings as meetings have shifted from performative to practical. 

Hybrid meetings are the new norm

A survey by McKinsey in 2021 suggests that a majority of organizations will adopt a combination of remote and on-site work. A hybrid meeting seems fairly easy to grasp at a glance but it is actually more complex than both fully remote or physical meetings. The issue would be to make the experience seamless for both types of participants — allowing the remote participants to engage while not reducing physical participants to just use their remote devices. 

Designing the meeting room of today 

Paired with the shift of meetings from being strictly physical to a looser hybrid setup, the conference room is no longer just the traditional rectangle shape, with some organizations opting to create conference rooms that are agile, and can upsize or downsize based on their need thanks to movable partitions. 

Open meeting rooms are becoming more popular as exposure to open spaces doesn’t just make for a good safety precaution but also helps reduce stress and spark creativity among workers. 

There are also much-needed technology upgrades that can help equalize the meetings between its virtual and physical attendees such as cameras and microphones to better capture the physical attendees without reducing them to just another remote attendee with a laptop. Paired with this technology is strong facilitation to ensure that all participants are heard and engaged throughout. 

A similar McKinsey survey in the United States suggests that 90% of organizations have already adopted some combination of remote and on-site work this year. Although many workers have grown accustomed to the convenience and flexibility of remote work, many companies are pushing for a return to the office. In the same recent study, 800 corporate executives all over the world indicated that hybrid work will likely be the norm going forward. 

Similar to the work pattern in the US, almost 80% of London-based staff now work remotely at least once a week.  And according to a report published by the Policy Institute at King’s College London, four out of five say working from home helps them feel more in control and that they’re happy to cut down on their daily commute.

When it comes to office and corporate real estate matters, Santos Knight Frank has a great track record of serving clients with services such as occupier services & commercial agency, investment & capital marketsresidential & sales leasing, property marketing, research & consultancy, valuation & appraisal, project management, asset management,  property management, facilities management, technical services & engineering solutions. Just visit our website and speak to our real estate practitioners at

If you want to know more about the different office spaces, you can also read about the  Important Questions You Need to Ask a Real Estate Agent.

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About Santos Knight Frank

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