The death of the traditional boardroom?


There is only one objective in a boardroom – a successful meeting. Photo: via

Over the last few years, if you follow office design trends, it may seem that traditional “boardrooms” have morphed themselves into multi-coloured, multi-faceted playgrounds for the tech savvy millennials. Green walls, movie sized screens, a swing? No problem. However, the Alice in Wonderland style spaces that we see bandied around the place are most definitely the minority. According to the Oxford Dictionary, the definition of a boardroom is still simply “a room in which a board of directors of a company or other organization meets regularly.” As Steven Segal points out in this article recently published on the Australian Institute of Company Directors website, boardroom discussions are critical to the success of a business. “There is something about talking about one’s business rather than doing a presentation that makes it more real and less abstract. It creates greater connectivity and thus less distance.” In summary, boardrooms are for conversations not games. Sure you may ask a designer to inject some of your companies’ personality into the space and Google will always be Google, but a swing? The C-suite have specific requirements that must be met first and foremost. We asked 5 Australian CEO’s which items top their boardroom wish list.



Dr David Cooke, Managing Director of Konica Minolta Australia
Expensive artwork would adorn the walls of my perfect boardroom in an ideal world, but the two essential things a modern boardroom must have are good lighting and airflow. As well, I like a sense of openness to the outdoors to help people remain energised and refreshed. The table also has to be chosen carefully, as it sets the tone of the room. Whether it’s large and dominating, or small to make collaboration easier, getting the right balance is important.

Tony Gleeson, CEO of Australian Institute of Management, Victoria & Tasmania
Business is about getting the best possible return on your investment, so for me, a clock in the boardroom is the greatest must-have item because it is a reminder to those in the room – all of whom are high value assets – of the need to use time wisely. When it comes to advancing organisational performance, the clock never stops ticking. The right chair is also crucial. I favour chairs that are not too comfortable! They can make it too easy for the occupant to relax and lose concentration, causing a negative impact on boardroom meeting outcomes.

Olivia Maragna, CEO of Aspire Retire Financial Services
If I had to design my own boardroom, I would have a table that is quite unusual in shape. Overall it would be about creating a boardroom that encourages the flow of original ideas and energy. The most essential item though has to be technology. Doing business around the state, country and the world is possible now with the right technology, which can allow anyone to run a national or even an international business with ease.

Tony Schiffmann, Managing Partner of BDO Australia, Brisbane
The most important element to me in a boardroom is space – for people to stand and mingle away from a table. This gives participants the chance to effectively network both before and after meetings, without feeling like they have been squashed into a boardroom which is not designed for that purpose. A smart board is also excellent in allowing people to efficiently work in collaboration.

Marina Go, CEO of Private Media
The one essential thing that a boardroom must have is good Internet connectivity, as most documentation is now shared, read and stored in digital files. As for my personal boardroom wish list item, it would have to be the Aeron chair.



The articles on the Charter Build blog Officeionado – are written by the CB team and edited by Jane Bright, our Design Director. If you have any questions regarding our content, syndication of our content or content submissions, please contact Jane via email For notification on new blog posts either subscribe (top of sidebar on this page) or follow Charter Build @charterbuild and Jane Bright @1JaneBright.