One of the Best of NeoCon 2013 winners in the Conference Room Furniture category is a handy little meeting booth that caught our attention. It’s the Rendezvous from Swiftspace. As the name suggests, this is a small collaborative meeting room that can be set up at a moment’s notice. It seats up to six people at a time. According to the manufacturer, it actually takes less than a minute to pop this module out to its full size. That’s a record that even beats our easy-to-install privacy panels. The booth is about 6.75’ per side when it’s open and folds down to a width of just under two feet when closed. The whole thing is set on casters so it can be easily moved into storage or from one room to the next.
Team Members Still Need Privacy
We find a couple of things interesting about this design. First, it shows that there’s yet another aspect of the open workspace that’s being adapted to fit how people really like to work. Collaborative areas that have no physical boundaries aren’t necessarily attractive to everyone. Sure, it seems like these spaces would be the vibrant hub of the office. But it is possible to get a little self-conscious when you have to brainstorm within earshot and visual inspection of every single one of your coworkers. Sometimes, having a space that’s a little more private (like a giant cubicle) lets you focus on the matter at hand – even in a team setting.
Coworkers Suffer Less Distraction Too
Of course, the meeting booth provides more than just privacy for those inside. The rest of the office may also be happy not to have their concentration interrupted by conversations that don’t include them. There’s nothing more annoying than being at your desk working on something tedious when others are involved in creative collaboration close by. Fortunately, the Rendezvous’ wall height of 60” can be increased to 72” with optional Acrylic Privacy Panels to help contain the commotion. So, even this mobile meeting room apparently needs wall height extenders from time to time. We wonder if our OBEX panels can be used to create an impromptu “conference cubicle” to host team meetings. What do you think?