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Conference room booking should be the easiest part of your day. Unfortunately, it becomes a source of frustration and conflict all too often. Whether it’s due to a shortage of available space, a perceived lack of availability or a disregard for conference room booking etiquette, when employees can’t access the spaces they need, it creates a ripple effect in your workplace. Employees become less likely to collaborate. Productivity suffers. Client relationships may even become strained.
The good news is, there are a few simple steps you can take to resolve these issues and make conference room booking better for everyone.
It might seem like a trivial matter, but what you name your meeting rooms can actually have a major impact on the efficiency and efficacy of your conference room booking.
Choosing directional names like “Northeast 1” and “Northeast 2” may be simple, but for directionally-challenged employees, it can be confusing. Generic names are also harder to remember, which makes it more likely that employees will reserve the wrong rooms.
Coming up with clever and unique conference room names simplifies conference room booking and also gives you an opportunity to showcase your company culture. For instance, the iOFFICE team is proud of our Houston roots, so the conference rooms in our new headquarters are named after notable parts of the city like the Astrodome.
Naming your conference rooms is also a crucial part of our second tip: get employees on board. Invite employees to vote on conference room names and offer their own suggestions. This helps build a sense of ownership and connection to the rooms, which can make employees more willing to adopt new conference room booking policies and procedures.
You should also introduce these systems and proper conference room booking etiquette as early as possible in an employee’s tenure.
From their very first day, employees should know the proper way to reserve a conference room, any official and unspoken rules regarding specific rooms and the most common conference room booking blunders to avoid. For example, they should know not to take a room that’s already been reserved or reserve a room for a recurring project meeting without setting an end date. By including this in the onboarding process, you’ll prevent bad habits from forming.
Microsoft Outlook is a great tool for email communication, but it is woefully inadequate when it comes to room reservations. It doesn’t allow employees to see the size or layout of a space or the available assets, such as a TV or projector. Outlook also allows rooms to be double-booked and can’t automatically update the status of a room that was reserved but unoccupied. That’s why room reservation software is a critical part of simplifying your conference room booking.
Employees can use room reservation software to see the seating capacity, room dimensions and available technology so they can make sure they’re choosing the space that best suits their needs. They can also view the real-time status of every reservable space in the workplace and book a room from their computer, mobile device or digital kiosk.
Along with room reservation software, it’s a good idea to invest in digital room scheduling panels, which can be mounted on the wall just outside each space and display the current status of the room. They also show any upcoming meetings and let employees reserve the space for the next available time.
The right conference room booking software increases meeting room productivity, improves space utilization and boosts employee satisfaction. To find the best solution, look for software that meets these criteria:
Traditional hosted software solutions are expensive to maintain and update. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is the preferred choice of modern-day workplace solutions because of its subscription-based pricing model and flexibility.
Eliminate “ghost” bookings with room scheduling software that integrates with IoT sensors and triggers automated cancellations if sensors don’t detect any activity.
Employees should be able to book rooms via a mobile app, wayfinding kiosk and digital room scheduling panels as well as their computer.
Your room scheduling software should integrate with calendar apps like Outlook, Google Calendar or iCal, as well as notification platforms like Slack.
The solution you choose should give you actionable data that helps you improve space utilization, fix broken or missing assets and be smarter about maintenance.
iOFFICE’s room reservation software not only checks all these boxes; it also connects seamlessly with a full suite of integrated workplace management solutions. This allows employees to not only reserve rooms, but also easily locate them and request service as needed. It also gives workplace leaders deeper insight into how the office environment is being used so they can make adjustments accordingly.
Ready to see our conference room booking software for yourself? Request a demo today.
Hai worked in the corporate real estate division of BB&T for 10 years focusing on facilities management, vendor management, and IT systems before coming to work for iOFFICE. With extensive experience in the IWMS software industry, where he served many years in sales and as a solutions engineer, Hai knows his facilities management stuff.