Private & Confidential - The Boardroom (Part 3)
If you read Part 2 of our boardroom series you’ll know that Privacy & Confidentiality is the number 1 item on our Performance Wishlist for the boardroom. Think about it; without the need for privacy there would be no need for a boardroom: we’d all be having our meetings in open spaces.
But before we get carried away giving you tips on how to achieve a Fort Knox level of privacy, we’d like you to consider a few things:
#1 : Decide what level of confidentiality is required. It’s important to identify how crucial a good acoustic performance is before you invest in any special measures. It’s easy to get carried away in the midst of a project, but agree this at the outset and your aim will be clear.
#2 : Good Acoustic performance is key, but what about visual privacy? The trend for glass partitioning is here to stay, and does bestow a room with more ambient light. However installing lots of it will reduce acoustic and visual privacy, meaning extra measures are required to bring these levels back up.
#3 : Familiarise yourself with the structure of the building. Before committing to major alterations, you may need to investigate further. Hidden items such as ducting may make it impossible to achieve the level of acoustic performance you hope for as these are natural carriers of noise, and cross the boundaries between rooms. Also, you will be responsible for returning the space to the condition you found it in once your lease is up (known in the business as dilapidations, or Dilaps). Drastic alterations such as slab to slab partitions (more on this later) are harder to reverse.
Once you’ve pondered these three elements, our top tip is this:
Consider the location & position of your boardroom first.
Proximity is crucial. Consider how close your boardroom is to the general office space; could it be moved further away? What other rooms does your boardroom sit next to? Planning a suite of meeting rooms together may seem like a good idea but as these areas have a lower level of ambient noise you may find yourself earwigging on next door’s meeting without meaning to.
If you are planning a fresh space, this is your opportunity to get it right. For those working with an existing plan and finding it wanting, don’t despair; you may be able to relocate your boardroom wholesale without tearing down a single partition. In our own office refurb we swapped the functions of two existing ancillary spaces meaning the boardroom was further away from general traffic and noise, and was already endowed with a greater level of acoustic performance.
If you already have the perfect location, or are stuck with what you’ve got and unable to move it, then you can start to consider the elements that make up the fabric of the space. Download our PDF document below for our full list of recommendations and points to consider.