If there is one thing we have all become a pro at, it is navigating virtual workplaces. And this trend is only expected to grow, with 73% of employees stating that they want remote work to continue. With the increase in flexible workplaces, the demand for well-coordinated meeting spaces has risen to new levels of popularity.
Meeting rooms are all about ensuring seamless collaboration between teams and boosting your productivity levels. However, booking a meeting room still looks like a complex puzzle for some managers. From endless inquiries about room availability to the hassle of double bookings, reserving a meeting room comes with challenges.
In this blog, we will dive into the top 5 meeting room management challenges and find easy fixes to them. So let’s get into it!
1. Scheduling Conflicts
Scheduling conflicts are common mishaps faced by companies regularly. The marketing and human resources teams both show up in Room 32, each with a monthly report submission deadline of 2 hours. Such a meeting mishap results in heated discussions between both teams to secure the same meeting room. This gives birth to frustration in the employees and also shows up negatively on team morale and collaboration.
Companies should use a centralized meeting room management system to address such challenges in the workplace. This system would integrate with the firm’s calendar and booking tools. Plus, it should display the real-time availability of the meeting rooms so employees can make their decisions in advance.
This helps take the guesswork out of the equation and minimizes multiple teams showing up for the same room’s reservation. Such systems should also send out automated confirmations to record the room reservations. The result? No more ugly conflicts and misunderstandings in the workplace disrupting the team morale.
2. Double Bookings
Companies often struggle with many meeting room management challenges, and double bookings always prove to be one of these hurdles. Double bookings result from outdated conference room management tools that don’t update the room’s availability in real-time. The marketing team may have already booked Room 32 at 4:00 pm. However, when the HR director checks the system at 4:03 pm, the room is unoccupied. This led the HR team to double-book a room that was already reserved.
These mishaps lead to confusion in the workplace, potential conflicts, and wasted time when two teams try to book the same meeting room. Moreover, it adversely impacts employee productivity since teams cannot find a proper space to conduct their meetings.
Companies should use robust scheduling systems to tackle such issues. To avoid double bookings, these systems update room reservations and real-time availability within seconds. If two teams book the same room simultaneously, a reliable scheduling system would flag the conflict and send out notifications to both groups with alternative time slots or meeting rooms (“The HR department booked room 32, would you mind booking from Rooms 12, 15, and 19 as the available options?”)
Your company should also set out protocols to deal with double bookings. Train your meeting room management solution to assign meeting rooms based on the urgency or seniority of the staff. For example, if someone books Room 32 for a C-suite meeting and other reserves it for their departmental meeting, your system should assign the meeting room to the higher-priority meeting.
3. Emergency or Short-Notice Meetings
Emergency or short-notice meetings are impromptu gatherings that disrupt existing schedules and hinder an organization’s smooth operations (Think: marketing team calls a meeting in 15 minutes to discuss the backlash on the recent campaign). When such time-sensitive discussions or sudden issues arise, they require teams to make critical decisions. In such trying times, not having access to meeting spaces can delay those decisions and response times.
To address such meeting room management challenges, organizations should introduce unique solutions. You can designate a few of your meeting rooms only for “on-demand” or “emergency” meetings. These should always be ready and well-maintained for those 15-minute meetings. Moreover, introduce a priority booking system in your office to cater to these meetings. This system will ensure that any pressing concerns are addressed within time, and regular bookings should be tackled later.
4. No-Shows and Underutilization
No-shows and underutilization are common meeting room management challenges faced by a multitude of organizations. Despite reserving the room earlier, many attendees don’t show up or fail to release the rooms after their meeting. This hurdle drains a company’s resources and translates into disruptions for other employees looking for meeting rooms.
Introduce a culture of personal responsibility in your organizations to tackle this. Implement a room release policy of 20 mins where a meeting room is automatically released if an organizer doesn’t appear within this grace period. This will help meeting organizers be more aware of their room reservations and make your employees more accountable. You should also conduct data analysis in your firm.
Examine the trends and patterns in the utilization of your meeting rooms. This will help you spot peak usage times, recurring no-show incidents, or underutilized spaces (Room 32 is mostly unoccupied after 8:00 pm, slots 5-6 pm are recurring no-shows, etc.)
5. Inefficient Resource Allocation
Inefficient resource allocation poses significant challenges for organizations. Such mishaps arise when an unfit meeting room is assigned to a particular team. There is no point in assigning a conference room for a bunch of HR personnel wanting to discuss their work plans: small discussion rooms will work fine. Similarly, scheduling a video conference in a room without webcams or projectors may negatively impact the meeting’s productivity.
To address such meeting room management challenges, organizations should categorize their meeting rooms by key factors (tags like room size, available technology, functionality, etc.) By dividing your rooms based on these categories, employees can easily pick the one that suits them best.
Small discussion rooms, medium-sized conference rooms, and large presentation rooms are a few separators you can identify your meeting rooms with. Consider setting up an approval process for rooms with advanced technology like video conferencing, monitors, etc. This process ensures the right rooms are used for the right purpose.
Offers detailed descriptions of each room, including the available technology (like projectors, screens, and video conferencing equipment), seating capacity, and any unique features. Moreover, if a room has built-in whiteboards, this information should be readily available to those booking the room.
Tackling all these meeting room challenges is essential for smoother workdays. By addressing workplace issues like double bookings and 15-minute short-notice meetings, businesses can create a more productive work environment. In essence, a well-managed meeting room has a multitude of benefits and ensures the right usage of your resources.
And what better way to tackle all these meeting room management challenges than an online room reservation system? SpotBooker is a cloud-based solution that offers an intuitive and efficient way to handle your company’s meeting room reservations. The user-friendly interface streamlines the process of reserving, and organizing spaces, giving you more time for essential tasks. Gone are the days of confusion and double bookings; try Spotbooker today!