A leading global financial organisation discovered a problem at its London HQ on the return to the office. Staff were able to book desks – but meeting rooms suitable for smaller meetings appeared to be not available, which was making collaboration a challenge.
The firm asked NFS to come up with a solution – and were delighted to find the results freed up 40% of previously blocked meeting space.
A data-based solution
NFS deployed state-of-the-art room sensors for the company – and after three months of data collection some useful facts were revealed:
- Smaller meeting rooms were booked by the PA community for senior staff visiting, in case a suitable desk in the right location of the building was not available. Key booking criteria cited were quietness, a good view and lower people flow.
- Staff coming in for collaboration sessions were also booking small meeting rooms and client rooms, rather than more suitable collaboration booths—apparently some staff did not realise this was the thing to do.
- Smaller rooms were booked for the day but typically used for less than two hours (75 minutes was the average use), so the room was left vacant for most of that day. Sensor data identified this problem and integration with the Rendezvous meeting room booking software helped show those who needed encouragement to use space more efficiently.
The data collected was analysed, and the organization then took these highly successful actions:
- Auto bump rules were applied to small room bookings so if a room was not in use by 10am and used for at least two hours the booking was cancelled. This released more than 40% of previously booked blocked space – and removed the myth that rooms were unavailable.
- Small meeting rooms in collaboration areas were made bookable for only two hours using a room panel. A new meeting type was created, called The Short Meeting – this also encouraged staff to book more appropriate space at the outset, such as a collaboration booth.
- All meeting rooms were supplied with sensors, and if a room was unoccupied, the space was released and the booker notified by email. Some larger meeting rooms with low utilisation rates were turned into smaller meeting rooms.
The combination of room sensors, the link to the booking system and the capture of detailed room use data by the minute solved the issue of meeting space and provided the data to make space re-purposing decisions supported by the staff community and senior leader.
Key learning: Data-driven decision-making is the key to effective workplace change and efficient space utilisation.
Discover more about sensors – download the guide.