Conference room scheduling software helps your employees stay safe and be productive. It also helps you make the most of your office space by eliminating unattended reservations or the confusion of double bookings.
If you haven't thought about how you plan to manage conference room reservations when you return to the office, now is the time to invest in a solution. Here's why conference room scheduling software is essential for your new workplace and how to find the best system.
Protecting the health and safety of your employees is your most important priority. That means conducting employee wellness checks, increasing the distance between workspaces, and limiting conference room capacity will be among your new responsibilities. With conference room scheduling software, you can set capacity limits and display them on the room scheduling panels outside each room. Employees can easily see how many people each room can safely accommodate and choose the one that's most conducive to their gathering.
It's frustrating to book a room through your calendaring app only to realize (too late) that someone else has already reserved it. Unfortunately, this is a common problem if you only use calendaring systems like Outlook or Google or free conference room scheduling tools. The best conference room scheduling systems eliminate the source of this frustration so employees don't have to fight over who gets to use the room they both reserved.
In a recent survey, over half of Teem's customers said double-booking was the most common problem they faced before investing in conference room scheduling software.
Unattended meeting reservations happen for many reasons. Someone reserves a room and then cancels the meeting at the last minute. Or, they scheduled a recurring meeting every week for a year and the room is still showing as reserved for months after they've left the company. These "ghost" and "zombie" meetings keep your conference rooms from being used by others who need them, wasting valuable space and resources while contributing to a frustrating workplace experience.
Conference room scheduling technology eliminates most unattended reservations by requiring employees to check in. If no one checks into the room they've reserved after a certain period of time, the system will automatically make the room available again.
In the new hybrid workplace, employees will come to the office specifically to meet with their colleagues. They don't want to spend 15 minutes searching for a room. When they can clearly see which conference rooms are available and book them within seconds, they can get back to the work that matters most.
Unfortunately, not all meeting room scheduling systems offer the same features. Some aren't much better than calendar apps. Others are difficult to install or don't integrate with the technology employees already use, which makes them easy to bypass. For the biggest return on your meeting room booking software, look for these key features.
It’s not rocket science — it’s conference room scheduling software. An innovative solution should be more high tech than a piece of paper and tape, but it shouldn’t be more difficult to learn or use than your other office applications. Employees should be able to see which meeting rooms are available and reserve them in seconds. Although the learning curve should be minimal, software that provides resources for administrators and employees can help improve user adoption rates.
At least 20% of meetings are booked at the last minute, according to Teem's own data.
The number of impromptu meetings is likely to increase after you return to the office and employees are eager to have face-to-face conversations. You don't want to inhibit these interactions by making employees return to their desks each time they want to reserve a meeting room. And if you continue to support remote work options, you might decide it's more practical to eliminate assigned desks altogether in favor of a more flexible workspace model like hot desking or desk hoteling.
That's why mobile room booking and desk reservations are increasingly important in the modern workplace. If you’re checking your email on your morning commute and receive confirmation for a meeting time, it's much easier to reserve the room right then and there.
Employees should be able to search for open rooms on their smartphone and quickly schedule meetings based on their needs. They should be able to see each room's capacity, equipment, and amenities, too.
Employees shouldn’t have to learn or transfer over to a new calendar application to book meetings. The process of transferring contact information, emails and calendar appointments from one application to another is time-consuming and often error-prone. To reduce errors and lost time, your scheduling software should fully integrate with your existing calendar applications, whether you use Google, Office 365 or Microsoft Exchange.
Real-time updates are critical for fast-paced workplaces. Conference room scheduling software won’t do anyone any good if there is a lag in performance.
If a meeting is canceled, conference room scheduling displays and calendar appointments should be updated simultaneously to avoid scheduling conflicts. After all, your business runs in real-time. So should your conference room scheduling software.
Conference room scheduling software is much more useful when it provides insight on how to use your meeting space more effectively. It should capture important workplace analytics, such as:
An innovative scheduling solution can help you learn more about your organization’s meeting habits and what types of resources and technologies employees use most often. When planning for your annual budget, you’ll have a better idea of where your money can best be spent.
Gone are the days of taping a “RESERVED” sign to the door of your conference room — or at least they should be. When shopping for a modern room reservation solution, look for conference room scheduling software that incorporates a professional digital display to hang outside your meeting rooms.
Digital displays should provide a daily itinerary for the conference room, indicate when a meeting is in progress, and allow for automatic updating if an event is re-scheduled or cancelled. Using these displays can help you eliminate uncertainty, stay organized, and maximize your time when employees are scheduling or attending meetings. They can even be designed to support your company's brand. You already use customizations in your personal technology. A fully customizable conference room scheduling solution will help make the experience more personal.
In a recent survey, 95% of Teem customers said Teem's room scheduling displays were critical or important to their organization.
To help employees navigate the new environment, consider a solution that also integrates with wayfinding signage. That way, employees can easily see where each room is located, even if the names have changed or they're new to the office. You can also use your digital signage to share important announcements and reminders that keep employees safe (like reminding them to sanitize workspaces after each use.)
As an added bonus, some scheduling software can help manage other areas of your facility, including your reception area. Depending on the size of your company and the frequency of visitors, intercepting vendors and guests can be time consuming for one person to try and handle alone.
A visitor management system can help smooth the transition for visitors from the front of the office to their designated meeting areas. When properly in place and integrated with your conference room scheduling software, these systems also promote workplace safety and security protocols while seamlessly connecting your employees to visitors.
While meeting face-to-face meetings are one the most effective ways to collaborate, it’s not always easy to achieve when you’re juggling multiple schedules, conference rooms, and tech resources. Simplify your company's resource management by selecting a conference room scheduling software solution that streamlines productivity, reduces scheduling conflicts, and provides valuable insight for the future of your organization.