It’s such a common scenario. You need to hold a quick job interview, or a last-minute powwow with your sales reps, or just step into a conference room for a private conversation. But a moment later, someone is tapping at the meeting room door.
It's annoying, inefficient and unproductive.
If you and your team waste valuable time searching for conference room space more often than you like, there has to be a better way to handle meeting room bookings.
Read on to learn how some smart technology can help you avoid conference room chaos.
What's going on with your meeting room booking?
Do you know how people in your company work? Getting the most and best work out of your company is the goal of most managers. That means giving people the tools to do what they need to do. Are you looking at small group meetings? Teleconferencing? Web meetings?
Not enough rooms or not enough of the right type of rooms?
People bypassing the booking system or no system at all?
What equipment is needed in each room?
Can people find the right rooms? Are they labeled and mapped?
Do you plan across time zones or do block scheduling?
Do you have a way to collect information?
In its simplest form, meeting room management might be as simple as a sign-up sheet on the door. However, when that no longer works, it's time to use data to optimize your resources.
Find the tool that works for you
Start with the basics. Name, label and map your conference rooms. You can go with a simple alphanumeric system or colors of the rainbow, for example. However, we recommend trying to be slightly more creative with room names - here's why and some useful tips!
There are a lot of meeting space booking tools to make meeting room scheduling more pleasant. If your team is already using a calendar app or Outlook at work, then that software may be the place to begin. Create a calendar for each meeting room.
Set each room calendar to auto-accept invitations. This blocks out rooms on a shared calendar. Data collection from this type of system is limited.
A large team with conference rooms in more than one location and calendars spread across time zones need technology with a few more features. Look for software that integrates with calendar and email systems already in use.
Make room booking mandatory
It doesn't matter how simple or fancy your meeting room scheduling system is if no one will use it. You can't collect data about room use without consistent cooperation, so make it mandatory that rooms in use are officially booked. Have strict rules like making conference rooms off-limits, except to booked groups.
A handy software feature is an instant meeting function. This allows people to book available rooms and resources for a quick conference. Use a tablet or similar screen to indicate room availability and expected tenants. Use RFID or similar systems to check-in room that are in use.
Physical workplace optimization
There are a few chances you can make to your physical space which can result in more efficient meeting room booking. If you find some rooms are favored because others lack equipment, add equipment where needed. Sunlight and temperature also affect conference room use.
Sometimes rooms are too large or too small - so consider flexible spaces. Your workplace meeting room analytics may indicate a need for one-person quiet rooms for teleconferences. Or it might show very large meeting rooms being consistently used by small four-person groups.
Have more glass conference rooms. These glass conference rooms work wonders to minimize interruptions. If people can see that a room is occupied, they are less likely to jump in.
Also, try to put mixed-use spaces like conversation corners and break rooms into your open workplace design to allow more casual collaboration outside of booking with a room manager.
Other workplace analytics benefits
Learning how and when people meet can drive productivity, too. You may learn that some meetings last longer or shorter than expected. A 15-minute meeting might actually need an hour. Or, you might learn that the typical meeting has too many people invited. Harvard Business Review notes that the most effective meeting has fewer than 7 participants.
Improve efficiency with good data analytics. You can reallocate employee workload based on meetings data. Look at which team members collaborate more effectively and most often.
You can also use workplace analytics to plan heating and cooling, lighting and other comforts. Long meetings need more comfortable chairs, for example.
Choose advanced features
The right meeting room booking software includes advanced workplace analytics. Features such as room status indicator, room information, and a site map are very handy. Look for technology that centralizes these functions.
Software with these popular features and more are available. There are cloud-based or server-based scheduling systems. Compare features to find the one best suited for your needs. Determine your priorities for data collection and analysis, ease of use and versatility.
Conference room chaos avoided
Meeting room booking software does far more than schedule rooms. Inefficient meetings, misuse of space and wasted time all cost money. Meetio Room offers simple online room booking, schedule coordination (integrated with calendar programs) and advanced information collection.
Supplement Meetio Room with the Meetio App for mobile-friendly room search and booking features. Use Meetio View for friendly welcomes and a complete visual office overview. Use all three for a clear, easy-to-understand meeting reservation system. Meetio also provides extensive data reports to help you find inefficient uses of meeting time and assets. Use this data to recognize work patterns and eliminate wasted hours.
Ready to learn how Meetio can help your company? Contact us today!
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