From remote work to the new technologies and systems that enable it, the way we work is undergoing a major transformation. Now that employees are heading back to the office, room booking software will play a key role in modernizing the workplace and helping to craft a more engaged, connected future.
Here's why your digital transformation efforts need to factor in the physical office space — and how to make sure you deliver the best environment for a distributed workforce.
One thing that's crystal clear is the importance of creating an environment where your workforce can get the resources, sociability, and benefits they want — without negatively impacting the profitability of the business or the return you get on investment.
For the uninitiated, a room booking system is a way to organize, manage, and reserve conference rooms. That can be as simple as a paper-and-pen system — or as advanced as a conference room scheduling tool like Teem, or even an enterprise-wide all-in-one integrated workplace management system that connects space management, reservations, service requests, and other workplace tools such as move, visitor, and asset management into a single platform.
Sometimes, what seems like the simplest solutions are actually more trouble than they're worth.
Though a paper sheet on the wall could technically be considered a "room booking" solution before COVID-19, it's also prone to errors and damage — illegibility, smudges, rips, spills, and so on. Plus, since information can be easily seen by others and possibly even stolen, it's not a very secure option, either.
Spreadsheets and shared calendars are a step up from paper when it comes to organizing conference room scheduling. There's still room for improvement, though, namely that while they do a better job of giving access to scheduled meetings and room availability, they don't necessarily help make the tasks more efficient.
Not to mention, there's little benefit in the way of utilization insights unless you've got the time and resources to analyze your data. And that is only if your data is accurate, centrally located, and input correctly in the first place.
Traditional methods of conference room scheduling fail to match the pace of change transforming the workplace because they're not dynamic. The workplace isn't static and your employees aren't either, so you need solutions that have evolved to match the rapid advances that have continued to transform work.
Managing conference room booking after the pandemic
Modern workplace technology, including meeting room booking tools, are united by a few simple characteristics: they're simple, powerful, scalable, and highly effective. They need to be, to keep up with today's rapidly evolving workplace.
The other byproduct of recent developments is that employees have come to rely on the efficiency of a connected, integrated, wireless workday. So much so, that it's all but certain that while most employees will return to the office in some capacity, it won't be the same office they left.
For starters, people today have a level of autonomy over their schedules that they didn't necessarily have previously. Because of this, they can wield their power to change the world around them — they are the operator of their daily reality. The creator of their life, experiences, and outcomes — with the power to change them as they see fit.
How will that translate to the workplace meeting employees are returning to?
This is where a modern room booking management system reigns supreme because it merges two needs into a single solution, concerned with not only the employee experience and the business outcomes — but also the relationship between them.
First, room booking calendar software addresses the needs of a distributed workforce. After more than a year of organizing their virtual meeting calendars from anywhere, there's no going back to a traditional meeting room organizer.
Secondly, a room booking management system helps address the needs of company leadership: maximizing space utilization, identifying opportunities to cut operating costs, and providing a great place for meetings and other types of work to occur.
Technology for the workplace needs to evolve with employee expectations, accelerated digital adoption, and hybrid work models. The workforce is ready to embrace mobile solutions like a conference room scheduling app to simplify the workday when they attend in-person meetings.
From March of 2020 to the current day, employees have had greater autonomy over how they work versus any other time in the history of the workplace. Previously, for the most part, everyone had the same working arrangement options, but those didn't necessarily reflect the true differences and circumstances of the individual.
Some people work better in the morning — some in the evening. How can employers find ways to recreate the value of the past year? People want balance — whether you know the term by flexibility, hybrid, or distributed collaboration.
After a global shift to work-from-home, most companies are planning to implement a hybrid model that combines at-home and in-office work. In this digital era, employees don't plan on coming back to using outdated technology to work productively in their environment. People expect their employers to implement smart solutions that meet the shifting needs of the workplace.
We live in a dynamic world, and your room booking management system needs to reflect that. Modern organizations should offer an interactive, visual way for employees to explore which rooms and spaces are available, create room reservations with one tap, and make changes to their reservation as needed.
An important element that's changed in the aftermath of the pandemic is the speed and accessibility of information employees have come to expect — and where they expect to access it from.
In order to survive the disruption from the pandemic, employers had to support their teams as they began working outside the physical walls of the office. Not only are employees using company-issued desktop computers to access business applications and information instantly, but also smartphones and tablets, maybe even from their personal devices.
As employees return to the office, they'll feel more at ease if they can quickly check room availability, book a room in seconds, update reservations if their schedule changes, and access details regardless of where they're working that day. Ensure they have access to meeting room booking and meeting room reservation tools that they can use from the office as well as from their homes.
Now that 50% of the U.S. adult population has at least one dose of their COVID-19 vaccinations, it won't be long before meetings can be held in the office again.
In the time that's passed, technology leaders have pushed for greater interoperability between communication, scheduling, and knowledge management applications that support productivity at work and drive success for the business. Face-to-face meetings hold a renewed sense of value for high-performing teams. And employees are looking forward to what's ahead.
They can attend in-office meetings again (if they can get a reservation).
They can collaborate with (returning) colleagues in person.
They can check the schedule before they leave home (if their company implements conference room scheduling).
In a recent Paycom survey, 67% of employees said their company doesn’t sufficiently prioritize updating its technology.
Employees want to see their organization replace outdated systems and tools that don't integrate easily. What they want is to have live views of space availability from a conference room scheduling app that's highly intuitive and lets them reserve meeting room space in advance.
Giving employees more opportunities to collaborate has huge business benefits. When implementing a room booking management system, you are able to plan for, execute, and adjust conference room scheduling, including:
Get ready to operate in the new world of office-based meetings. Evolve your room reservation program to accommodate your multidimensional workforce, see how Teem can help.