Guest Post: Neil Rieger, Signet
Your workforce’s meetings are at the heart of your organization. They are where employees get together to collaborate and ultimately drive your company forward, possibly making them one of the most important aspects of your office environment.
What goes on in your meeting rooms can tell you a lot about your company from a process and productivity standpoint. Unfortunately, it’s hard to keep track of these many subtle details that truly add up and paint the broader picture across your entire company.
Luckily, today’s scheduling tools and their many related extensions are able to help you systematically aggregate all your meeting data. These tools can help you track and measure multiple metrics related to your meetings so that you can go back and analyze them and ultimately improve on your strategies regarding everyday efficiency, real estate planning and process definition.
Read on to see how other companies are tracking these important metrics using their scheduling software and letting this information help them plan for the future of their business.
Assessing Your Real Estate
By looking at the occupancy and usage rates of your individual meeting rooms, you’re able to get a clearer picture of which floor or departments of your business are leveraging their meeting rooms and to what extent.
This information is vital for your real estate planning department in order to make important decisions about the layout of your office space. This often includes subtle details like how many desks or cubicles to place on a floor, compared to how many meeting rooms.
By using your scheduling data to track the usage/occupancy rates of your meeting rooms, you’ll soon find out some pretty interesting facts about how your workforce utilizes your space.
For example, you may find that that your sales team prefers traditional, formal meetings in a room that’s equipped with tools like a phone, screens, projectors, and more.
Meanwhile, you might find your marketing division prefers more relaxed meeting environments in open spaces and doesn’t really leverage the same tools as the sales team. In fact, these informal meetings are becoming increasingly popular in today’s office culture.
Your occupancy rates, on the other hand, will quickly tell you whether you have too many or too few meeting rooms on a particular floor.
Ultimately, using your scheduling systems and tools to track and measure these metrics allows you to find your company’s sweet spot regarding the ratio between workstations and conference rooms. After all, the industry standard might not be the right fit for your unique work culture and process.
Effectively Calculate Room Size
By leveraging your scheduling software to track your meeting habits, you’ll quickly find out how many people are actually invited to your meetings on average.
Some industry metrics suggest that most meetings contain 4 people or less. However, you might find that certain departments have a consistent need for meetings of a greater number such as 8 or 12 people.
Once you have this data on hand, you can go back and reassess the efficiency of your real estate. If, for example, you find your meetings contain an average of 4 people but all your meeting rooms are set out for at least 8 people, you’ll want to consider making better use of this space.
New technology also allows you track who attends meetings. Conference rooms can include a variety of new sensor technologies designed to track the attendance of individual members in order for companies to get a better idea of meeting room usage in their offices.
Other features can include check-ins, which allow you to track whether a meeting actually took place. Ghost meetings can be a big problem for companies, inflating analytics even though some meetings never actually took place. Again, having accurate data allows your real estate planning team to make clear, concise decisions about your office space and how it is distributed.
Teach Your Team To Be More Efficient
Your scheduling software can help you teach your team valuable lessons about meeting room etiquette. Meeting analytics can be associated to an organizer and over time give you valuable insight into the different meeting techniques of your various team members.
In turn, this will give you valuable insight into which team members plan and run meetings efficiently. From there, you can create unique opportunities to help out those that need it most, ultimately driving up the efficiency of your entire team.
For example, you may find that some organizers book rooms that are much larger than what they actually needed. Based on your analytics, you can reach out to those team members, educate them on how such a seemingly trivial issue can actually have a big effect on the company, and help them improve in the future.
By reaching out to the team member you can also get to the bottom of why they schedule meetings the way they do. You might find that it’s a real estate issue and that your smaller rooms are consistently unavailable, for example.
Alternatively, you might find that it’s due to the fact that some rooms don’t have the same features as others. From there, you can equip your other rooms accordingly to stop this happening in the future.
Your scheduling data can also help you track which team members are booking rooms for longer than needed. You might find that your signage solutions or scheduling system lack a cancel option, for example, which can cause trickle down problems that can be easily avoided by simply tracking and analyzing your meeting room usage.
Take Control of Your Meeting Rooms Today
Thanks to new meeting room signs and scheduling technology, it’s now easier than ever before to track how your meeting rooms are being used. Whether you’re concerned with real estate or the efficiency of your team, these metrics can help you make informed decisions about your company’s meeting rooms and plan accordingly for the future.
Best of all, these analytics are becoming more affordable and accessible as technology and software become more advanced. It could be beneficial to audit your systems and their capabilities to ensure you’re tracking metrics to best help you future plan and take back control of your meeting rooms.
Neil Rieger is the Director of Creative Services at Signet, Inc., an enterprise software company headquartered in San Jose, California. At Signet, Neil helps lead product design, professional design services, and marketing along with consulting clients on digital workplace strategy, corporate communications, content strategy, and employee engagement.