“Meetings are indispensible when you don’t want to do anything.” Ouch – but who can deny that these words of wisdom from a celebrated American economist sometimes ring true?
Every day, millions of meetings are held around the world – around 11m in the US alone, according to the recently published Bytesized Guide to Resource Management. (You can download it here. http://www.unwired.eu.com/publications.php)
Employees spend around 37% of their time in meetings.
And when you add in the fact that each meeting costs on average at least $1,000 in salaries alone, it’s easy to see that any meeting – anywhere, with anybody – is an expensive commodity.
Yet who would really be without meetings? They’re where the magic happens, where colleagues spark off each other to provide innovation, enthusiasm, and in the end, create a better business.
So you can see why major organisations put great stock in designing workspaces that promote collaboration and good meetings. That doesn’t just mean a huge open-plan space. For instance, Amazon’s vast doughnut-shaped HQ is set up in modular pods dedicated either to teamwork, focused work or socialisation.
Organisations of all sizes, in fact, give quite a lot of thought to providing appropriate space for staff to hold meetings, and spend a great deal of money on real estate.
So why do so many workers find meetings a frustrating drain on their productivity?
Research in the Bytesized Guide – which NFS Technology Group is privileged to sponsor – gives us some valuable clues about why that might be.
It points out that workers complain about:
> Not being able to find an available meeting room
> Rooms that have been booked, but aren’t being used
> Rooms being used by people who haven’t booked them
> Too many big meeting rooms; 73% of all meetings only have two to four people, but 53% of rooms are set up for seven or more.
I’m sure none these issues will come as a surprise to anyone who has ever worked in an office – or tried to organise or even attend a meeting. It means meetings can cost big-style – in productivity, in staff satisfaction and in wasted space and time.
Luckily, technology has risen to the challenge of the way we need to work today. Amazon’s amazing workspace, for instance, is no doubt supported by state-of-the-art meeting room booking software that makes sure every inch of its space is utilised to the maximum benefit of the company, its workers and – in the end – its customers, who receive the service they demand.
The good news is, you don’t have to be a global giant to use meeting room booking software. Systems such as Rendezvous from NFS Technology – are providing cost-saving solutions for businesses large and small around the world.
So here are 9 top tips from NFS that will make sure every meeting you conduct is completely worth the money:
1) Make sure it’s easy to find available space
One global utility with 500 meeting rooms across 40 locations found employees were booking outside space because they couldn’t locate a suitable space.
After implementing Rendezvous, they saved over $100,000 in three months by reducing external bookings. See the full case study HERE.
Real-time displays of available space make it easy for staff to see in an instant what’s available at all times – and book it easily online.
2) Keep it simple to book a meeting room
A user-friendly portal makes it easy to reserve space, whether it’s a meeting space, an informal gathering space or even a desk, and book it online. It even takes different time zones into consideration.
3) Ensure equipment is available
Rendezvous makes it possible to book essential facilities such as videoconferencing or AV at the same time as reserving space – even catering can be added.
4) Help everyone to attend
Meeting room booking software sends out invitations automatically – and it integrates seamlessly with leading digital room signage so delegates can be sure they are in the right place.
5) Deal with meeting changes efficiently
It’s common for meeting details to change, and Rendezvous automatically notifies everyone involved in the meeting – even the caterers.
6) Tackle no-shows
If by any chance people don’t turn up, Rendezvous automatically releases the room back into availability so it doesn’t stand empty.
7) Make sure ad-hoc meetings don’t take over booked space
Digital signage and real-time space availability displays mean it’s much harder for ‘squatters’ to take over an apparently empty room.
8) Utilise every meeting space fully
With Rendezvous meeting room booking software, it’s much easier for people to locate an available workspace that’s the appropriate size for their meeting.
9) Capture detailed data to plan your future workspace
For office and facilities managers, Rendezvous technology provides invaluable occupancy information to support good decisions on space planning that can drive up efficiency and drive down costs.
As the global utility found (until it had the right software), the US economist quoted at the start of this blog – John Kenneth Galbraith – had a point: meetings can be a waste of money. But only if you let them!