Death to the Meeting Room

The tech-company friendly alternatives

By Lisa Imlach

Meeting rooms like these? Nah, we’re all about the putting green these days.

Meeting rooms. If your organisation is anything like ours used to be, they’re either booked out, double booked, too small, too big…in a company made up of Tribes and Squads we like to think of as multiple mini-start-ups, quick morning meetings, collaborative get-togethers and brainstorms are all part of our daily diet.

Not surprising then that a year ago one of the most common complaints to office management was the lack of available meeting rooms. Collaborative working being our bread-and-butter, we figured it was time for a change.
Back in the day (say, 2003, when we were but a young scamp of a company), meetings often took place in the nearest pub. Well, we like to keep that informal attitude, so while you won’t see pints-on-tap, our meeting room alternatives are a suitable tonic to meeting room stress. Here’s a selection of our favourites.

Stand up spaces

Lots of our team have daily stand-up meetings, with colleagues not in the same office or working from home dialling in over video conference. The idea is, if you’re standing, you’re less likely to waffle, get off subject or simply waste each other’s time. Nobody likes a time-waster. Quickfire daily updates work wonders, and a small stand-up area takes up far less room than a formal room.

Stand Up spaces allow for brief squad meetings between offices.

High-back confidential sofas and huddle pods

We’ve slotted these in between desk areas — they’re great for one-to-one meetings, catch ups, ideas exchanges… oh, and did we mention they’re made up of sound-muffling material, so conversations don’t interrupt others working nearby? Well, they are. We love ‘em.

Going to be yacking for a while? Our huddle pods have the same magical muffling material as the high-back sofas, but with a table, charging points, USB ports and a screen to share ideas, presentations and more.

Our colleagues in Edinburgh love to huddle

Vinyl Walls

Brainstorms need pens. They need some form of writing surface. They need post-it notes to go along with wacky ideas and creative juices. But they don’t need tables. Enter, the vinyl wall. Paper up, brainwaves on.

Quiet Room

Sometimes you need space. Whether it’s to read, to reflect, practise a presentation or to sort through a huge to-do list, the Quiet Rooms are the place to do it. Plus, they’re pretty comfortable too.

The Quiet Room in our Barcelona office has great views as well as relaxed vibes

The Putting Green

It’s a winner: a meeting room of sorts, with vinyl walls for scribbles and creativity, comfy bean bags and our very own putting green. We’ve scored a hole-in-one, a birdie, and quite possibly our next great idea.

Sure, we still use our private meeting rooms (pictured at the very top of this story) — they’re just as fun and funky and they’re great for interviews, reviews, visitors and confidential calls. But for anything else? We’ll see you for a quick game of golf or a scribble on the wall.

Bonus read: If you liked this then catch up on how our office design responds to growth.

Like what you hear? Work with us

We do things differently at Skyscanner and we’re on the lookout for more Tribe Members across our global offices. Take a look at our Skyscanner Jobs for more vacancies.

About the author

Hi, I’m Lisa and I’m the Corporate PR Manager at Skyscanner. As someone who once spent a miserable year working in an underground office with no natural light, it’s safe to say that our office environment is one of the many things I love about working here (the unlimited tea comes a close second).

Many organisations see an office as simply somewhere to house the workers, a necessary bricks-and-mortar structure and not much else. Skyscanner takes the opposite view; that an office environment should be complementary to and enhance organisational culture, allowing us to work at what we’re all passionate about — creating brilliant products that make travel search as simple as possible.

Like the sound of that? Come and work in our Skyscanner Growth Tribe where we have Growth Engineering and Marketing roles currently available.

Lisa Imlach works in our Skyscanner offices in Edinburgh.