We all know the meeting room struggle. Calls run over, meetings don’t actually occur and there’s a bartering system for booking the best conference room. More than fun and games, struggling to find the right meeting space can waste valuable time and leave employees frustrated with their work environment, greatly affecting productivity.
The good news is that there’s a fix for these scheduling troubles: Conference room scheduling software can eliminate wasted time and confusion booking meetings, relieving your employees from the fight for meeting space.
How it works: Utilizing conference room scheduling software
With advanced tools for reserving meeting spaces within offices and shared workplaces, conference room scheduling software goes beyond Exchange and Google calendar capabilities. The latest software allows organizers to reserve meeting spaces without worrying about double bookings or limited room availability for high-priority events. What’s more, facility managers and administrators gain transparent insight into how employees utilize office space. This insight can provide a more efficient use of shared spaces and help teams refine room-scheduling processes.
Generally cloud-based for streamlined, up-to-date scheduling across both mobile and desktop devices, reservation software can sync with other calendar and email tools so all attendees receive the same meeting notifications. A conference room scheduling software vendor like Samsung SDS can also provide the necessary external hardware to accompany the software. For instance, touchscreen mini-room displays outside of conference rooms indicate current meeting in progress and upcoming event. It allows meeting attendees to easily check in and out of the room to increase the utilization of the conferencing spaces. Interactive digital displays can assist employees to view upcoming events, find ways to the correct conference room, and also display content to welcome visitors to the office.
These scheduling solutions come complete with administrative features, such as setting user permissions for booking rooms, blocking time slots for special events, managing space utilization, and updating facility resource information. Advanced search options make it easy for organizers to quickly find available conference rooms with the space and resources optimized for the meeting.
With such robust capabilities, conference room scheduling software can eliminate the headaches of reserving meeting spaces and significantly improve workplace efficiency. Enterprise organizations with multiple locations can especially benefit from streamlining how they schedule and manage meetings.
Overcoming barriers to productivity
Room scheduling software can eliminate the challenges of securing conference room spaces, allowing meetings to occur seamlessly without significant losses in productivity.
No wasted space
When the calendar says there aren’t any rooms available for an 11 a.m. meeting, the attendees resort to changing the time, huddling around the lunch table or dialing into the call individually from their respective desks. They’d be frustrated to know that some of those so-called booked rooms didn’t actually get used - and rightfully so. This false scarcity of room availability is often due to meetings that are scheduled but never materialize, last-minute cancellations, ongoing calls that remain on the calendar way beyond the project’s end or out-of-office employees who forgot to clear their schedule.
With conference room scheduling software in place, smart sensors can identify when rooms are not in use and alert the system to mark the space as available. Attendees can also check in and out of rooms, so other employees can use the space when meetings end earlier than originally planned. These automatic scheduling updates happen in real-time and are available for viewing on digital displays throughout the office as well as on mobile and desktop platforms.
Making the best use of office space translates to optimizing employee time, ensuring productivity doesn’t stall because of scheduling frustration or confusion.
No double booking
The flip side of wasting meeting space is overbooking conference rooms. This is a common pitfall of scheduling solutions like Outlook. One organizer can book a room for the whole day, yet the space chosen for the all-day event will still appear available for other users. That’s when the battles for meeting space ensue.
More advanced room booking software can help teams avoid this kind of scheduling hiccup. Of course, advanced search results will not suggest a room that’s already booked. However, the software also provides users with up-to-date calendars so they can view meetings in relation to their own schedules - making it easy to find the time and space that is sure to work.
Updates on the fly
Many scheduling conflicts, including the phantom meetings and double bookings discussed above, can be avoided when the system is flexible enough for users to make adjustments on the go. With an advanced scheduling solution, users can book rooms, access meeting details and make adjustments from mobile applications. That way, users can stay in control even when they’re not at their desks.
The ability to make real-time updates is especially helpful when attendees are running late for a meeting, for instance. It’s also beneficial for scheduling meetings and booking rooms on demand, no matter where the organizer is at the time.
Some meetings require screens for presentations, while internal brainstorming sessions may just need a room with a whiteboard wall. Of course, unlike a routine internal chat, in-person meetings with clients require a sophisticated, modern conference room. Other concerns, such as whether there will be enough chairs in the room for the number of attendees or if the room is equipped with the right wires, are also on the organizer’s mind.
The problem is that your employees don’t always have time to prepare rooms before meetings. In some cases, they may not even have access to the equipment they want to use during the meeting. That’s where conference room scheduling software is essential: Organizers can send facilities requests when they book rooms, detailing the tools and setup necessary for the meeting. They can even send catering orders through the scheduling platform, which further enables seamless preparations and far less back and forth between office managers, admins and employees.
Superior remote employee inclusion
Many organizations are dispersed across multiple buildings and locations throughout their home country and even across seas. The growing presence of remote workforces further creates a need for companies to cater to employees who may not be in the same physical building as other team members.
With a cloud-based scheduling system, employees can manage meetings that are set to occur at another office site. Managers can also reserve workspaces for remote employees or team members from other offices who are visiting for a certain period of time.
Enhanced visitor management
When clients or interviewees arrive at the office, you want to make a solid first impression. But if front desk personnel aren’t present, visitors won’t receive the direction they need when they first arrive. That’s why room scheduling software can integrate with security and visitor management, using digital displays to greet guests and direct them to the correct location.
Samsung SDS’ conference room reservation system starts the experience before guests even arrive. The software sends external attendees a calendar invite with a QR code. Once they get to the office, the visitors can present the code at security to check-in. The meeting host will then receive a notification that tells them it’s time to greet their visitors. And, by averting any room availability catastrophes, your office is specially equipped to make that important first impression.
No more confusion
With room scheduling software in place, all employees are on the same page. There’s a centralized location for all meeting needs - and, of course, it’s easily accessible for all users. Plus, the solution helps office managers implement a standard procedure for reserving shared spaces. They can even block out rooms and designate VIP spaces so employees aren’t caught off guard when they show up for a meeting and can’t use the space. Employees can carry on with their meetings, avoiding any confusion.
Investing in a better conference room reservation process
With Samsung SDS’ enterprise conference room reservation solution, you can introduce a seamless and flexible scheduling process for your team. The cloud-based system allows your employees to use web and mobile applications to view available meeting space and manage bookings in real-time. Meeting room reservations will be an intuitive, seamless and frictionless process.
Theresa Park heads up the Conference Room Reservation solution at Samsung SDS.