We can’t all be lucky enough to have this set up, but we often have discussions, chats and debates at or near our desk – and having a workspace designed for it is a great help.

With this design, a custom made set up from Dalen Designs in Birmingham, the natural curve on the user’s side of the desk has been extended to blend in to a circular table offset from the main working area. Power and HDMI cable holes allow for repeat displays and it can comfortably sit three or four plus the office owner. It looks the part too.

Of course not everyone has the budget for such a bespoke set up, but you often see either a break-out table in the corner of an office, or a long table at right angles to the main desk. These all work in principle but I think there is a point to watch out for here. Depending on the culture and style of meetings, there is a danger that the rectangular setups can impose a very strong sense of hierarchy. The boss is down one end ‘at the head of the table’ and everyone else is lined up along the sides – possibly with the most senior having a regular seat closer to the ‘boss-end’. The circular table, in true King Arthur style, especially this one added to the main desk, allows for a quick switch from individual work to team work – without the implied superiority.

So think carefully about your office layout when designing it for small scale meeting use – especially if you are inviting people in to be creative and not just be told what to do.

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