A quiet room is a self-care feature of events. It is a physical space, ideally an enclosed room, where conversation and interaction is not allowed (nor phone calls). Participants can go there if for any reason they can't interact with other attendees at that time.
Common activities in a quiet room include:
- catching up on email or surfing the net
- listening to music through headphones
- catching up on work
Good things to provide in a quiet room include:
- furniture on which people can semi-recline, eg beanbags or lounges
- cushions, pillows, and blankets
- ample power points
- light reading material
- solo puzzles and similar toys
- cool temperature (especially in summer)
- non-stair access
Since taste in music varies widely, it is best to let participants use headphones rather than choose music for them.
Typically the quiet room is interruptable, ie, people move in and out, and may go in there looking for someone. Separate lockable space may be needed for people who really need a place where they will not be interrupted.
Someone who needs the quiet room should not have to interact with anyone in order to get access. The space should be able to be located without staff intervention rather than needing someone to demonstrate the route through an obstacle course of elevators, unmarked passages, narrow kitchens, volunteer break areas, and up stairs with no alternative access. If the main quiet room is inaccessible, provide an alternate space with non-stair access.
Establishing the quiet room
The "no conversation, no phone calls" rules should be explained with other policies. You likely do not need to have the quiet room constantly staffed to enforce the rules, but you should be prepared to act on complaints about them not being followed.