Creating and maintaining a strong team training environment allows for more effective learning and collaboration. But what goes into making a great training room? Designing the ideal space means that you will want to take into account the types of training you will undergo, the number of participants you have, and the end goals that you have in mind. It may even be that you have multiple goals to accomplish, which is more and more common in the professional world. This means that your training room will need to be adaptable to various training and meeting sessions.
Training Room Layouts
There are plenty of options for layouts of a training room, some more common than others. Below are core concepts and strategies you can use to design an effective and adaptable training room.
The classroom style is the most common and recognizable layout with several horizontal rows of tables with chairs facing the direction of the presenter and accompanying displays. This provides fantastic visibility of the presenter and material. The disadvantage here is the clear divide between trainer and participant, meaning that collaboration can suffer, which then may create a static environment under training scenarios used to also foster teamwork and community.
It should be noted that the classroom layout can also evolve depending on your space into an auditorium or lecture-style space if elevation is part of the room.
Another common layout is enclosed, where the tables all face each other in a circle or square shape. This is ideal for discussion and debate, creating a sense of equality in all participants. There will be a disadvantage for technology and visibility here, though, if the goal is a discussion, this shouldn’t be much of an issue. That being said, some technology equipment providers have an effective solution for this, such as the Clear Touch Convertible Mobile Stand which can lay flat, allowing up to four people to collaborate together. This can turn what was once an opportunity in design, into a dynamic approach to teamwork and learning.
With tables spread into small groups of three to five chairs, the classroom takes on a new form. This gives the presenter room to move about the classroom and the participants space to collaborate in small groups. A cluster style setup fosters community and teamwork, though depending on the setup of displays and other technology, it can provide small challenges in visibility.
Design Details To Consider When Creating a Training Room
Aesthetic is important here, but so is practicality. From tables to chairs and even lighting and wall space, there are a good number of options to consider for ideal training spaces.
Proper lighting can make or break a training room. Having uniform lighting that isn’t too bright or fluorescent makes for a more comfortable environment. Additionally, putting in a lighting system that can dim and adjust on the fly allows for smooth transitions from dialogue to presented visual material via displays. Lastly, if there are windows, shades, curtains, or any other solution can greatly reduce or eliminate glare, which can be a potential distraction.
Comfortable and ergonomic chairs are a must. Sessions can easily last an hour or more, and if your participants are uncomfortable, their ability to focus and participate can drop drastically.
Tables are another important consideration. Have sturdy tables that can also fold and move to be adjusted into different layouts as needed. Bigger is not necessarily better here. You want as small a footprint as you can have for space in the room, while still providing adequate space for laptops and note-taking.
Alongside the footprints of the chairs and tables, your floor space should be clear. This allows the presenter to move freely among the participants. As a matter of safety, everyone should be able to exit the room easily should there be a need to evacuate at any point. A cluttered room can cause excess stress and anxiety, so keep things open and clear.
Every training space will have its fair share of technology. The right devices can make a big difference, of course, but so can where they are placed, how far or close they are, and whether they are stationary or mobile.
Ideally, you’ll want as much as you can have. Some classroom layouts will not demand as much, such as a classroom style needing perhaps one large interactive display, while circled and cluster layouts may require additional displays in the room. A quality sound system can go a long way. It does not have to be what you would use in a home theatre, but having strong audio that can reach everyone in the room easily is imperative. It should go without saying that reliable Wi-Fi needs to be here as well. With all of these things, having a setup that allows presenters and even participants to transition into digital content quickly will make effective use of time and eliminate any possible frustration with presenting content.