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What Are Meeting Room Analytics?

two professional women looking at workplace analytics
Stephanie Tilton
Published on

As more companies encourage – and even mandate – a return to office to drive higher productivity, better collaboration, and increased engagement, they recognize the need to optimize that time in office. That goal is tough to achieve without insight into how many employees are using office resources, such as meeting rooms … and how often. Moreover, wasted space and conference rooms are costly.

According to Robin’s The Office Space Report 2023: “For companies with a physical presence, the office is easily one of their top three biggest expenses. That makes underutilization an expensive problem to have and highlights the importance of strong space management strategies.”

Knowing accurate, timely data underpins informed decisions, you might be looking to access such information about your workplace spaces. By calling upon analytics for real-time insights, you can maximize your company’s investments and improve workplace planning to best serve your hybrid workplace.

Being able to deliver in this way is crucial as your company strives to create inviting environments that maximize in-office attendance, boost employee effectiveness, and drive enhanced collaboration. By analyzing quality meeting room data, you gain actionable insights to cultivate a cost-effective yet well-equipped work environment that results in positive workplace experiences.

Meeting room analytics help workplace leaders better understand what types of spaces they need in their offices.

Meeting Room Analytics, Defined

Conference room analytics and meeting room analytics provide a view into how and how often your meeting rooms are being used. They do so by helping you track both occupancy (the number of people in a meeting space) and utilization rates (think meeting room usage patterns, i.e., how often meeting spaces are used).

Through occupancy rates, you will quickly know whether a floor has too many or too few meeting rooms. Combine this with room utilization, and you can identify underutilized spaces, optimize meeting room spaces, and improve resource allocation.

More specifically, these important metrics help answer questions including:

  • Who is using a meeting room?
  • What is the average number of people attending meetings at a given time?
  • Does meeting room occupancy match our target occupancy??
  • How many meetings are happening each day, week, month, etc., and with what frequency?
  • Do certain teams favor particular meeting rooms equipped with specific technology (for instance, a whiteboard and AV equipment)?
  • How many room bookings are unfulfilled, canceled, or ghosted?
  • How many times are room bookings canceled, re-released, and re-booked by another meeting organizer for the same time?
  • How often do meetings run for their actual meeting length?

Essentially, analytics make it possible to measure usage of meeting rooms in the form of metrics and statistics against expected or benchmarked rates. Consider this one, suggesting the target usage rate for meeting spaces is 40-60%, meaning conference rooms should be used 16-24 hours per week. 

With the right workplace management platform, you can access strategic data about how your workplace is functioning.

Empowered with meaningful data, your workplace leaders can make informed decisions about whether meeting room changes are in order – and what needs to change.

Maybe usage data reveals that employees aren’t using certain meeting rooms…or that conference rooms are booked solid. Perhaps analytics shows that certain resources – such as whiteboards and projectors – are being requested consistently for use in certain meeting spaces. Or maybe you see that large conference rooms are being booked to accommodate small meetings.

Regardless of the insights gleaned from meeting room analytics, your workplace leaders and facilities managers will feel more confident that their decisions about meeting rooms are best serving the company and its employees.

How Do Analytics Impact Meeting Workspaces?

Whether meeting room data backs decisions to reduce real estate or boost room capacity and resources, you can use it to drive a number of measurable outcomes. By consistently and accurately capturing such metrics, your workplace leaders and facilities managers can identify trends and patterns that help improve meeting spaces and resources and how those are used by employees. In other words, they set the stage for better collaboration, higher productivity, and optimized space utilization – all of which generate business value.

Imagine understanding the occupancy and usage rates of each meeting room. That insight would make it possible to, for example, drive higher usage rates of underused rooms. Such an initiative would provide relief for rooms often filled to capacity while ensuring the company is making efficient use of all meeting spaces. In other words, your company could realize a better return on its real estate investment without adding any footprint.

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 people and conference rooms.

At the same time, meeting room data can shed light on how many desks and other resources, in addition to meeting spaces, are being used on each floor. This understanding paves the way for smart decisions about real estate needs.

Meeting room analytics can even provide a sense of employee and resource needs. Insight into resources being reserved for meetings might prompt a decision to provide meeting rooms better aligned with team requirements.

Workplace analytics can show you what conference rooms are constantly booked and which spaces typically sit empty.

7 Best Ways to Leverage Meeting Room Analytics Tools

As the examples above illustrate, your business can leverage meeting room analytics in numerous ways. Valuable insights are the foundation for space- and cost-optimization strategies that result in a number of benefits.

To that end, organizations commonly turn meeting room analytics’ insights into action in support of:

1. Pinpointing inefficiencies

Insight into meeting space utilization helps identify areas of inefficiency and waste in space usage. In turn, you can make data-driven decisions about how to optimize spaces and enhance workplace efficiency. Say you find patterns showing that some meeting organizers regularly book larger rooms than needed. With meeting data to back you up, you can explain to these employees how this seemingly trivial issue impacts their colleagues and your overall business. In turn, they can change their booking behavior for the better.

2. Optimizing space usage

By benchmarking your space utilization, you can identify ways to better use all your spaces. In addition to increasing the use of underutilized areas, you can optimize the use of popular meeting rooms. The result is lower real estate costs and higher workplace productivity.

3. Boosting employee productivity

The right-sized conference rooms outfitted with the right resources can positively impact employees. With insights from meeting room analytics, you can identify opportunities to improve these spaces and the resources you provide, such as providing a better mix of huddle rooms and board rooms or equipping rooms to better support remote employees. helping boost satisfaction and productivity while reducing the friction and frustration associated with space or equipment shortages.

4. Delivering an outstanding workplace experience

Meeting room analytics help you understand how often employees connect and collaborate in person, preferred conference rooms, and commonly used meeting room resources. They can even provide insight into the ratio of in-person meeting attendees to remote participants.  Combined, these insights empower you to make the right spaces and resources available – along with the room booking tools that ensure employees can access them when needed.

When you understand what your teams need, you can better support them with the right resources.

5. Supporting business growth

As your business grows and evolves, your space needs may change. Benchmarking your office utilization allows you to monitor and adjust your space usage over time to support your business growth and adapt to changing needs.

6. Improving workplace policies

With data-driven insights about meetings – including the types being held, their frequency, required capacity and employee attendance – you can refine return-to-work policies. For instance, perhaps you determine the best days for certain teams to be in the office and ways to streamline meeting room reservations.

7. Ensuring optimal facilities management

Facilities managers can provide optimal environments and workspaces by understanding how employees are using meeting rooms. Beyond space and resource needs, employees do best in well-managed, clean, safe environments. With meeting room analytics providing a view into occupancy and employee flow, facilities managers can make smart decisions about utilities, cleaning, and other services that impact the office environment and employee performance. For instance, they can reduce energy costs, the workplace carbon footprint, and cleaning expenses while optimizing spend on real estate and office equipment.

Keep tabs on which workplace services are used in tandem with meeting room bookings to better prepare for things like catering and AV setup.

What Other Types of Workplace Analytics Are Useful?

In addition to providing a valuable view into meeting room utilization and resource needs, workplace analytics can provide a better understanding of desk usage, employee attendance, and office activity. At a high level, these analytics make it easier to measure and assess your workforce and organization across multiple dimensions, including:

  • Employee productivity and performance
  • Employee satisfaction
  • Workforce effectiveness
  • Space and office utilization
  • Office utilization, activity, and attendance
  • Management needs

Workplace analytics make this possible by tracking metrics such as:

  • Desk usage by floor
  • Hot desk and hoteling utilization
  • Desk utilization across buildings
  • Office attendance rates
  • Department-level utilization
  • Historical office usage and forecasting
  • Occupancy data by department

With this data in hand, workplace leaders can proactively address issues and better engage and support all employees. 

Armed with the right information, office leaders can make better decisions for their teams.

Optimize Workspace Experiences with Meeting Room Data

Providing meeting rooms that best serve employees and your business is a matter of thoughtful planning and data-driven decision-making. Actionable meeting room data empowers your business to optimize these workspaces and cultivate an environment that encourages more in-office visits.

By calling upon a combination of meeting room analytics and best practices, your company can deliver workspaces where employee productivity, connectivity, and collaboration thrive. Ready to get your office in shape with better data? Let's chat.

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