When King Arthur (or his fable, at least) first used a round table rather than a long rectangular one to hold court, the result was a fundamental shift in the way that political feats were carried out within his kingdom. In the same way, a subtle difference in the boardroom table you choose can have a major effect on the way your business runs. This is one piece of office furniture where ‘near enough’ might not be ‘good enough’ – use our buying guide for boardroom tables to ensure you make the choice that is right for your company.
Don’t calculate the amount of space needed at your boardroom table based on how many senior managers will regularly be meeting around it. You’ll need room for regular guests, natural company growth, employees who might occasionally come to meetings, and even hosting outside groups.
A good rule of thumb is to double the amount of space you think you’ll need regularly. Or, you can:
Use a Modular Boardroom Table
A modular boardroom table will allow you to add or remove sections as you need to. This means that your regular weekly meetings will remain intimate, while still comfortably accommodating extra guests as needed.
Major watchpoints with modular office and home decorating furniture of any sort include:
- Ensuring that space isn’t cramped and unusable when all the modules are in place, creating an unproductive and unprofessional space.
- Make sure the modules are easy to carry and will fit through the doors when necessary!
Choosing a Shape
Each distinct shape of boardroom table has its own advantages and disadvantages. For example:
- Rectangular boardroom tables fill out the usually rectangular space in a meeting room best. However, they often create the impression of having a ‘head’ of the table, and therefore a power differential. The sharper corners can also mean bruises!
- Round boardroom tables create the least power differential between positions but are also the least effective use of space in a meeting room.
- Boat shaped tables are a fantastic compromise between the two more common shapes. However, they must be carefully designed so that the ‘corner’ areas can still be used, rather than wasting space.
Choosing a Material
Look to the design of the rest of your office when choosing a boardroom table, and also consider:
- How much writing will be done on it – wood is best for writing on
- Privacy – glass top conference tables can leave people feeling exposed
- Whether it will also be a space for drinking and eating – in which case the material should be easy to clean and maintain. Glass is a good choice here, but laminate is also suitable. Alternatively, you can plan for covers or matting to be in place on the table to minimise the wear and tear on the table.