If the boardroom is the most important place in an office, then the boardroom table is the most important piece of furniture in an office.
It’s the place where ideas are shared, discussions and debates are had, decisions are made and meetings are held (both internal and external). It needs to accommodate visitors, staff, seats and equipment, from digital technology to old-fashioned paperwork.
Although recent years has seen a rise in flexible hours, co-op work spaces, virtual conference calls and working from home arrangements, one thing has remained the same: important meetings are most productive when carried out face-to-face.
So, read on to learn how to choose the right boardroom table for you, your staff and your business…
First Impressions: Style and Suitability
When it comes to choosing a boardroom table, you need to consider its design in relation to your office décor, business branding and reputation.
Think of TV’s The Apprentice, for example, and how their boardrooms and boardroom tables set the mood of the show. Not only is it the place where the famous “you’re fired” eliminations occur, it’s also been deliberately designed to intimidate contestants. In the US production, the room was dark and sparse, with Donald Trump seated at a heavy, decorative inlaid wood table (which sold for $32,000 at auction in 2018!) And in the UK version of the show, the boardroom table was a huge, stark white, with boss Lord Sugar positioned directly opposite in a high-backed chair, flanked by executives.
Other pop culture examples of boardroom tables are good at representing the professionalism or lack thereof of a company too. The Dunder Mifflin conference room table in The Office was short-legged and cramped, representing their incompetence. In Mad Men, the room and tables were warm and wooden, giving the impression of a cohesive and dependable company. And in Suits, the boardrooms and tables were impressively big, showcasing their excess and success as a company.
Seeing as style is as important as substance when it comes to selecting furniture for a shared space, a timeless, simple look is best suited. Something sleek, smooth and uncomplicated will work in almost any business setting, from a modern fast-paced office on the top floor of a high-rise building, to a laidback suburban, open plan warehouse-turned-office-space. Boardroom tables can come in all manner of materials, from MDF or melamine to plastic and even glass, but the most common choice (and our personal favourite) is wood.
Wood is versatile, solid, long-lasting and sustainably sourced by us here at ND Furniture. It can be laid out to show off various natural grains or parquet patterns such as herringbone, chevron, checkerboard, mosaic and more. You can pair it with light and flexible ergonomic chairs which will not only balance the tones and textures of the room, but help with improving the acoustics as well (good for conducting important virtual meetings).
As the location for all business comings and goings, conversations and collaborations, the boardroom table’s tone and aesthetic shouldn’t need to be updated, even if the rest of the office undergoes changes. If you invest in a good quality piece, you won’t have to waste the business’ money conducting meetings and interviews off site at cafes and coffee shops.
Functionality: Space, Size and Shape
There’s nothing more uncomfortable or unproductive than cramming around a poorly designed boardroom table, elbows touching, papers stacked on top of one another. Ergonomics are important, whether a meeting goes for 30 minutes or over 2 hours.
This is why your boardroom table needs to be properly designed with the right proportions and utilities. Being accessible to everyone from the CEO to the intern shows you are championing equality - literally by having everyone gathered around the one table – so it needs to facilitate the sharing of thoughts as well as devices such as laptops, digital whiteboards, screens etc. Consider getting a custom-made boardroom table with built-in cable holes and a power box to provide a place to charge and connect.
You may know what you want out of a new boardroom table, but do know what you need in terms of the size and shape of the room it’s going in? Although the table will be the centrepiece, it shouldn’t overwhelm or dominate the space, as you have to allow for people to move around it, spread out, slide chairs in and out and set up tech. Also consider lighting. Does the room have windows with lots of natural light and a view, or is it enclosed and artificially lit? A big boardroom table, for example, will make a room without windows feel small.
The most common type of meeting room table shape is straight and rectangular or boat shaped as it generally fits everyone around it easily and suits the shape of a standard room. However, if your office set up isn’t conventional, you can always consider other more complimentary shapes and sizes.
A U-shape boardroom table draws attention to the front, particularly good for presentations or if one person is conducting the meeting. And a round table means everyone is looking inwards and at each other, which is good for social and interactive catch ups where organic discussions, collaborations and a sharing of materials is the focus (also, no-one is going to get jabbed in the stomach leaning over a circular table!)
Our Boardroom Table Range
When it comes to making the perfect boardroom table, look no further than us here at ND Furniture. Our pieces are custom-made to specification and we can include you or your company’s personal style and branding into the design.
Some of our previous projects involving boardroom table builds included a 4m long mixed species table with integrated power module and USB ports for a Commonwealth Bank branch in Darling Square New South Wales, and multiple meeting room tables of various sizes for an office fit-out in Mulgrave Victoria.
If you’re just after our standard in-stock variety, there’s a mixed species, stained boardroom table. Measuring 2.3m x 1.1m in size, it’s made of mixed recycled hardwood with a Black Japan stain finish and timber box end legs. For something a little more unique, we make industrial style refectory tables too. A standard 3600mm x 1200mm in size, it’s heavy duty, rustic straight board and made from recycled Kauri Pine. Featuring a hardwood refectory style base, it comes with the options of lockable castors too.
Both table varieties are also available in your own choice of size or finish – just send us an enquiry to place an order.