Office Furniture
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Choosing a Meeting Table

Most offices have a room designated as a meeting room, and have to decide on what to put in this room. This is quite a hard decision to make. The best way to work out the answer is to find out what the room is going to be used for 90% of the time. If for example the room is mainly used for internal staff meeting and interviews, but once a year there is a meeting with 24 people, it would not make sense to fill this space with a very large meeting room. It would be much better to utilise the space more efficiently with two meeting rooms, or one meeting room and an additional office, and find a local venue to rent for the very infrequent meeting.

Similarly if you have a need to the meeting room to be used in many ways then a large fixed boardroom table may not be the most efficient use of the space. If you use the room for staff training one day, then a health and safety meeting the next, followed by a few department meetings, and at the end of the week, a department buffet lunch, then it would not be a good choice to have a large fixed meeting table for a number of persons. A much better solution would be to have a modular and sectional table, made up from a number of rectangular and semicircular tables, all of which are free standing and can be configured in a number of ways according to how you wish to use the room for that particular occasion. These tables can easily be reconfigured by any member of staff for immediate use. In addition small meeting chairs, or even stylish stacking chairs, can be used to make even more space when required.

If you talk to your office furniture dealer about the available options you will be surprised at just what is on offer. Nowadays there are many modular table layouts, in inlayed wood veneers, which look stunning as a fixed together large boardroom table. But pull a few levers and the whole table comes apart and reforms into a training room or presentation room in minutes.

There is also a large range of folding leg tables, some of which are good enough to achieve boardroom status. There is even a range of table which are on lockable castors and have a flip top. This means that very easily and quickly the tables can be packed up and pushed into a corner, where they can be stacked against each other, taking up the minimum of space. The fact that they stay on their wheels means that no member of staff has to carry them (some of the larger folding tables with steel frames can weigh as much as 40 kgs) and anyone can manage to change the layout of the room to suit their own purpose. Many of these tables also have an interlocking mechanism, should you wish to use the group of tables as a large meeting table for a reasonable length of time.

In most cases a man made finish is chosen for all general purpose meeting, training, and conference rooms. This is mainly because they are much more hard wearing and are significantly cheaper than a wood veneer. They are able to withstand the additional bumps and knocks which are inevitable with furniture which can be wheeled around and reconfigured. In addition the standard of artificial wood finishes nowadays is so good, that sometime it is difficult to work out whether it is real wood or not. Having said all of this there are still more and more companies asking for a top quality board room table in wood veneers, but made from reconfigurable modular units. Space is at such a premium nowadays that even the Directors Boardroom has to be used more than a few times a year.

Most office furniture dealers will have a good knowledge of the different products available and will be able to help you choose the one that will meet all of your needs in the office at a price which fits in with your budget. They will have had many experiences of customers with the same requirement as you, and will have solutions which can be demonstrated to you. You have only had this experience once or twice, and would probably not have the same level of market knowledge as your office furniture dealer, so it does make sense to ask their advice, and see what they have to offer.