Mar 18, 2019 in Viewpoint

How to improve meeting room utilisation?

When office space is limited, and the workplace population is high, meeting room utilisation will not be at its best. As a facility manager or IT person, there's a lot you can do to improve it. So far, we've looked at the benefits of a smart building platform and the ROI of ad hoc room booking. However, there's another aspect to room utilisation that we haven't discussed yet: matching the right activity to the right room.

Anne Wernand
by Anne Wernand
Different types of meeting rooms
Different meetings come with different objectives. Let these objectives correspond with whichever rooms are available

Different meetings come with different objectives. Let these objectives correspond with whichever rooms are available. Some need larger rooms for a big group of people and lots of amenities, while others might not even need a meeting room at all. To get you started, let's have a look at the different meeting objectives, and how to improve meeting room utilisation accordingly.

Meeting room objective 1: sharing

Sharing information is one of the most common objectives for meetings. Think of updating statuses, brainstorming, discussing dashboards or analytics, or even employee training. Depending on the number of attendees, the size of the room should be large or small. However, status updates, Skype calls, or brainstorming are both objectives that can happen outside a meeting room. Co-workers can use open space, booths or even a couch to update each other, without having to book a room. Make sure, as a facility manager, to provide for these amenities as well. By placing booths, couches and bars in the working place, workers will stay away from meeting rooms, leaving them open for meetings that do need a meeting space, such as training or sharing dashboards.

Meeting room objective 2: creating

So, how about creating? Well, the same applies. The smaller the group, the smaller the meeting room. The difference with sharing information is that creating typically requires attributes; flipcharts, screens, post-its. Additionally, research has shown that the atmosphere in a creation room should be engaging and stimulating. By providing great decor, you create an inspiring space that empowers creativity and collaboration. These rooms should be situated in a (semi-)private area, to avoid disturbing others, and to have the freedom to make noise and to brainstorm uninterruptedly. Make sure to provide for all of these options with the setup and proper technical support.

Meeting room objective 3: deciding

Most workers do their job while sitting for about eight hours a day. Break the habit and enable standups. Especially smaller meetings on decision-making can be held while standing. Examples of these meetings are SCRUM meetings and project management. Make sure to check the average number of attendees at every decision meeting. The larger the group of people, the sooner you'll need an actual meeting room. Meeting in standup with more than 10 people isn't that efficient anymore.

Usually, during these meetings, the project management tool needs to be visible. Whether you’re using a physical Kanban board, or software; teams needs to see what is being finished, and what is taking longer than expected. But at the same time, reviewing the project management tool right before the meeting, results in higher efficiency. So not all project management meetings should require a screen. Make sure to check the wishes of your user beforehand, to be able to find the room best suited for them.

Provide for standing desks and bars to enable your users in doing standups. These lower the pressure on meeting room availability and provide for healthier and happier workers: two birds, one stone.

Meeting room objective 4: presenting

From product demos to executive briefings; presenting something should be done somewhere privately. Prevent users from having to present their product demos on their personal laptop computers. Beamers, screens, smartboards need to be available for smooth-running presentations. You'll want to make sure the setup in the room is suited for different group sizes. Presenting can also be done by the board or executive members. In this case, enable these users to share their conversations in private, without letting the team eavesdrop their managers. Also, make sure official setups are possible when looking at desks and chairs. These meetings may take a little longer, so comfort should be high when meeting for hours.

With these four objectives in mind, setting up your office space with the right facilities is easier than ever. Think further than just your meeting spaces, and make it possible for your users to stand up, or sit down, with smaller groups of people. Use these meeting room objectives to see how people in your building meet, and use these tips to improve it.

Curious to see how we do it? Have a look at Mapiq’s perfect meeting rooms. Need help with making your building smarter? Talk to Mapiq! We're glad to help.

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