Did you know that people consider meetings to be one of the primary reasons for returning to the office?
According to research from Gensler, meetings with colleagues are among the top 3 reasons employees want to come together in the physical office space. People are looking to connect and collaborate in-person. That's why having a streamlined and effective meeting room booking system in place is so critical.
Here's everything you need to know about meeting room booking software and how it can help you create better workplace experiences.
Meeting Room Booking Software, Explained
Meeting room booking software is a digital solution designed to streamline and simplify the process of reserving and managing meeting rooms within an organization. It provides a centralized platform where employees can view the availability of meeting rooms, book them for specific time slots, and manage related resources and services.
For workplace managers, this technology enables them to set permissions on certain spaces, better understand conference room needs and overall save time on room management. These tools can be accessed from a mobile device, tablet, or computer and the benefits are considerable.
Who Needs Meeting Room Booking Software?
Room scheduling software is really useful for any building or campus that has more than one meeting space. Let's take a look at some examples:
First, businesses and corporations find it super useful. No matter the size of the company, employees from different departments or teams can easily schedule and reserve meeting rooms that suit their needs. It's a great way to make sure everyone has fair access to rooms and avoid any scheduling conflicts.
If you're in a co-working space or shared office, you'll love meeting room booking software. It helps manage the shared spaces by allowing users to book meeting rooms whenever they need them. That means you can have organized access to meeting rooms and workspaces without any hassle.
For educational institutions like schools, colleges, and universities, meeting room booking software is a lifesaver. Faculty members, staff, and students can easily schedule classrooms and meeting rooms for lectures, seminars, or group discussions. It makes it simple to find and reserve the right spaces for educational activities.
Conference centers and event venues also benefit greatly from meeting room booking software. If you're hosting a conference, seminar, or workshop, the software helps you manage multiple rooms and assign them to different sessions or activities. That way, you can keep things running smoothly and ensure a successful event.
Government offices and public institutions often have meeting rooms that need to be reserved for official meetings, hearings, or public gatherings. Meeting room booking software comes in handy in such cases, simplifying the booking process and ensuring efficient use of available spaces.
Non-profit organizations and associations rely on meetings, board discussions, and committee gatherings to get things done. Meeting room booking software makes it easier for them to manage their meeting spaces and support collaborative activities.
Even healthcare facilities like hospitals, clinics, and medical centers can benefit from meeting room booking software. They often need meeting rooms for team meetings, patient consultations, and training sessions. With the software, healthcare providers can schedule and manage these spaces efficiently, optimizing their use and minimizing conflicts.
In a nutshell, anyone or any organization that frequently uses meeting rooms or shared spaces can benefit from meeting room booking software. It simplifies the process, reduces conflicts, and improves resource management, making professional settings more productive and efficient.
What are the Benefits of Using Meeting Room Booking Software?
Having a simple booking system in place for teams to book conference rooms makes it easier for teams to find the spaces and resources they need to more effectively collaborate. Here are just a few of the benefits of leveraging meeting room booking software in your office.
- Free Up Time for Teams: Reserving meeting rooms and coordinating schedules can be tedious. A conference room management platform frees up your administrative staff, letting them focus on other priorities while giving individual staff members the autonomy to reserve spaces as needed.
- Centralize Meeting Space Information: Too often, meeting rooms are managed on an ad hoc basis. But conference room booking software democratizes your meeting spaces. With one central reservation system that employees can access from any device, it will be much easier to plan out in-person work days and avoid double bookings.
- Keep Colleagues Connected: Most platforms let users view and reserve individual workspaces in addition to meeting rooms. That means that employees can book adjacent desks if they need to collaborate on a project, or plan their trip to the office based on when most of their team will be onsite. Employees can feel more connected to their colleagues – a major motivating factor in returning to the office.
- Track Utilization: Whether your whole team works onsite or you have a hybrid setup, you may be wondering if you’re getting the most out of your office’s square footage. Conference room management can track your space utilization and identify patterns in booking and usage. These insights allow you to better understand your team’s needs, you can optimize your physical office space.
What to Look for in a Meeting Room Booking Software
Typically, meeting room booking software offers features such as:
- Room Availability and Scheduling: The software displays real time information about the availability of meeting rooms, allowing users to check for vacant time slots and reserve rooms based on their requirements.
- Reservation Management: Users can book meeting rooms through the software by selecting the desired date, time, and duration. Reservations can be made either on desktop, mobile or via a room display outside of the room. The software prevents double-bookings by ensuring that only available rooms can be reserved.
- Custom Room Permissions: Room scheduling software can also be easily configured and customized to accommodate specific booking policies, rules, and user requirements. Set rooms to be released if no-one has checked into the space or limit access to certain spaces as needed.
- Interactive Maps: Create a digital floor plan that matches your actual office, so users can easily navigate the platform and find an appropriate conference room for their next meeting or workshop.
- Notifications and Reminders: The software often sends automated notifications and reminders to participants, informing them about upcoming meetings and providing any necessary updates or changes.
- Space Filters: Conference room booking software doesn’t just let users search for available spaces. It also allows employees to filter conference rooms by location, capacity, or amenities. This means that each user can quickly identify and book a space that suits their needs, without having to search all over the office in person.
- Integration with Calendars and Collaboration Tools: Meeting room booking software can integrate with popular calendar applications (like Google Calendar or Outlook) and collaboration tools (such as Slack or Microsoft Teams), enabling users to seamlessly schedule meetings and coordinate with team members.
- Reporting and Analytics: The software may offer reporting capabilities, providing insights into meeting room utilization, popular time slots, unused space and other relevant data. This information can help organizations optimize their room allocation and identify potential bottlenecks for better space management.
Quick Tips for Implementing Your Meeting Room Booking System
What should you consider as part of your planning process? Here are some starting points:
Invest in the right conference room scheduling software
Find the platform that best suits the needs of your organization. Make sure to consider things like functionality, cost and ease of roll-out.
Determine your conference room needs and booking policies
Whether you're just getting your office setup or you're planning on implementing your new conference room booking software in your current space, consider what types of meeting spaces you need and plan accordingly. It will also be important to define what types of policies you want to attach to your different spaces.
Document and communicate processes and policies
Once you've purchased your room scheduling software and defined your room booking policies, document your plans and communicate them to your teams. Typically, room scheduling software will let administrators set roles and permissions for users. This is valuable if you want to limit booking controls for specific meeting rooms, or if you want to assign conference rooms to individual teams or departments. Be sure to also record the process for booking spaces so you can share that information with teams.
Dedicate time to training and onboarding
Set aside time to train your entire company on how to effectively utilize this software. As part of your planning process, Make sure to provide training in a variety of different formats so everyone can effectively learn the process.
Review, refine, repeat
Once you've rolled out your meeting room booking system, make sure to monitor it's success and adjust plans as needed. Based on how things are being used, determine what improvements could be made to create an optimal meeting experience for teams.
When paired with the right space management solutions, meeting room scheduling software can provide you with critical insights into how your spaces are being used, making forecasting future resource needs a much more straightforward process. So make sure you review and adjust your processes regularly.
Better Meeting Room Management Starts with Robin
Looking to get started with meeting room scheduling software? Robin's flexible working platform provides workplace everywhere with the tools they need to better manage the entire office experience. From room booking to desk booking to tracking office utilization, learn more about how Robin can help you build a high-performing workplace.