Have you noticed that the office environment is changing? Few people go into an office at 8 a.m., sit at a desk, stay for eight hours (with an hour lunch break), and come home. Instead, we see the rise of the mobile workforce. Technology coupled with demands of children and aging parents have revolutionized the way we work.
When employees are in the office, they need to meet. These meetings often are not planned as the statistics show: 33% of all meetings are unplanned — but quickly finding space is challenging.
One company stated that 60-70% of their meetings in conference rooms are ad hoc.
There is also the challenge of not having enough space to meet even though 20% of meetings rooms that are booked are not being used at any one time.
Organizations tend to not have the right combination of meeting space. One survey found that 73% of meetings involve only two to four people, yet more than half of conference-room space is built for meetings of seven or more.
It’s clear: Employees are wasting valuable time every day looking for the right meeting space.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
What’s keeping organizations from making better use of meeting spaces? First, most companies don’t use room scheduling tools because of high cost and large quantity needed to implement. Instead, many organizations rely on programs like Outlook to book rooms. We know, however, that’s not the primary purpose of Outlook, and thus it’s difficult to schedule ad hoc meetings using that software.
Another problem? Lack of visibility of meeting room usage. Who is using the rooms? When are the rooms used? How many people are in the meetings? This data would be beneficial for any company, but most organizations do not even attempt to gather such data.
Then there’s the problem of rooms that are booked but not used. “Aspirational” meetings are often scheduled, but they never materialize. Others are canceled at the last minute. Meanwhile, there are continued requests for more meeting space.
There are some great meeting solutions in the market, but these are often expensive to deploy, with upfront hardware and implementation fees. There’s a lack of return-on-investment.
Here are some tips for finding a conference room solution that is cost-effective:
- Look for real-time availability so that employees can book rooms on the fly.
- Consider an out-of-the-box solution that allows you to set up your own conference room kiosk without any cost of outside vendors or specialists.
- Ensure you have compatible tablets. Some solutions are flexible and allow any type from iPad to Kindle.
- Find an application that is compatible with your scheduling platform. For example, many work directly with Office 365 software.
- Consider a system that allows you to pair with sensor technology, so that you can know what conference rooms are in use and re-book them at any time, in real time.
Looking to get started with conference room booking technology? Contact AVUITY.