Room Scheduling Systems Benefit both Large and Small Organizations.
Your most important client has just arrived at your office for a review of your performance over the last year as well as to discuss taking your business relationship to the next level. You greet your guests at the door and lead them down the hall to the conference room. As you approach you see that the CEO is now using the space that was empty just minutes ago for a meeting with some other internal employees.
Rolling with the punches, you smile at your guests and suggest you head to the other side of the office to use a different room. As you approach the second room, you see that another Account manager Jim is in the room, papers strewn across the small table that he has commandeered to escape his desk in the open office space next door. After about 7 or 8 minutes, Jim has vacated the room and you are finally ready to start your meeting.
You launch your presentation on a display somewhat smaller than the one you envisioned using, and then half way through your meeting, your client asks to connect someone at their office for some quick input. The room you are in doesn’t have a teleconferencing system built in like the main conference room, so the team ends up huddled around your laptop camera to get the needed input. The meeting is cut short as your clients have a hard stop, and they leave without ever signing up for another year of your services, saying they’ll let you know when they free up for another meeting.
How could this potentially costly mishap have been avoided?
Enter the Room Scheduling System.
Room scheduling systems, at their core, are fairly simple. They typically include small screens outside of each meeting space that relate the schedule for the space throughout the day. The systems are typically tied together with scheduling software and are even integrated into the business’ Outlook calendars. The rooms themselves are resources, often with descriptions of the room size and meeting technologies that exist in each space, so that the meeting room of the proper size and with the appropriate assets can be added to meetings as they are set in Outlook.
Now if you are a large organization with a variety of meeting rooms, huddle spaces, and open space meeting tables, it is easy to see how valuable it would be to have a system that allows you to choose a room or space based on your specific meeting requirements and not have to explore the facility to find the one that best fits your needs. There is nothing worse than getting half way through a meeting to find that you don’t have all the tools you need from a technology perspective to reach your goals.
The screens outside of each meeting space relay the day’s calendar and typically have red or green lights on them to relay availability of each room currently. That same status can be seen through the meeting room scheduling system software interface. This helps prevent false starts and stops and eliminates the embarrassment of walking important visitors to a room that may be occupied and then scrambling to find another available space.
Large organizations benefit not only from the lost efficiencies of choosing the wrong room or trying to find a room that is available and equipped as needed, but also from the data that a room scheduling system can provide. Imagine a CTO being able to see the utilization of several types of meeting rooms across the organization. This allows the business to see relevant meeting trends, technology usage, and room utilization to determine the best use of valuable real estate and technology funds as the organization grows and changes.
Now I know what you’re thinking.
You’re organization isn’t that large or that structured. Your meetings just “happen” and meeting space needs to be flexible for ad hoc discussions. Room scheduling systems can benefit these environments as well. Having the ability to schedule meeting space doesn’t by default make the spaces inflexible. In fact, room scheduling systems may help define and communicate that flexibility even better.
The implementation of a room scheduling system in these scenarios just needs to be measured with some company policy. If you have a floor full of creatives in an open office layout that need places to collaborate on the fly, a room scheduling system can help define that. The meeting spaces on that floor can be blocked out for several hours during the middle of the day as first come, first serve. Then when utilizing one of these meeting spaces, the team can quickly touch the room scheduling screen to mark the space as “In Use”.
This combination of company policy and real time status of meeting spaces allows employees to quickly see what spaces are available from their desks, or if they are just walking by, they can utilize the space marking them taken, so others in the open environment can quickly scan the floor for green lights indicating current availability. The system can again relay the resources available in each of the spaces as well from a technology perspective, to assure that you don’t have to change locations part way through a meeting because you need to bring a 3rd party in on a video conference that the space is not equipped to handle.
If you have formal conference rooms, those can be managed and scheduled just as they are in larger or more structured organizations, while still maintain flexibility in the locations that need it. The great part is, that it’s not all or none, and most room scheduling systems are flexible enough to allow for calculated board meetings in the executive conference room as well as drop in pow-wows in a huddle space.
No matter the size of your company, there is nothing worse than a meeting gone wrong. Meeting mishaps cost money, whether they result in lost revenue generating opportunities with clients or lost productivity of internal employees. If your business has experienced meeting room conflicts, with rooms being needed for important purposes, only to be found occupied by meetings of less importance or squatters turning the meeting spaces into their own private offices, then a Room Scheduling System is something that you should definitely explore and implement.
Your company’s bottom line depends on it.