In a Harvard Business Review survey, 71% of senior managers, across a range of industries, reported that they found meetings to be unproductive and inefficient. Sound familiar? Even if this is the case at your office, your meeting room is still an important place of business, and more importantly, it doesn’t have to be that way. One way to make those gatherings more bearable is to make sure your office’s meeting room is consistent with your company’s brand and quality standards. Here are four best practices to follow to get the most out of this space.
1. Room Standards Should be Established and Followed
Consider how you use your meeting room: firm or department-wide meetings, client meetings, one-on-one appointments, voice and video conference calls, etc. The room should be professional and modern enough that it can fit a variety of uses. With clients, the meeting room can often make a big impression on their decision to hire or fire you. For employees, the state of the room can affect their morale. Steve touched on this in his post about the evolving workplace, which you can find here. In addition to setting up the room to appeal to different audiences, make sure you have guidelines in place, so the room is maintained on a regular basis.
2. Technology Should be Advanced and Functioning
In today’s fast-paced, digital world, you probably need more than just an empty room for meetings. You likely need a phone, computer, internet, video conferencing capabilities and more. Depending on your tech budget and needs, you may even want digital whiteboards and fancy sound systems. It’s important that this technology works, the average employee can figure it out, and specialized assistance is on hand for troubleshooting (especially for sales pitches or client meetings). Remote monitoring and diagnostics are one way to take care of your equipment and make sure it is always operating up to your company’s standards.
3. Scheduling Should be Easy and Accurate
Depending on your office set-up and nature of your work, the meeting room may be in high demand. It’s important to have a process in place for reserving the meeting room. The process should use technology that is capable of real-time updates, so everyone in the office can know if the room is available. You can see if your existing scheduling or calendar tool has location integration. If not, you can set up a profile for the meeting room as you would a new employee. This gives the meeting room its own calendar, so the meeting room can be added to appointments along with other invitees. Another option would be to employ an all-in-one conference room device that has a scheduling feature built in and can display the room’s calendar with the touch of a button. You can find a review of the one we use in our office here.
4. Reporting Should be Simple and Useful
Although it is just a room, it’s still an important source of information. Be sure to track and record usage statistics throughout the year, so you can get a better understanding of how the room is being used and determine your company’s meeting space needs. Some statistics to monitor:
• Number of meetings per day, week, & year
• Busiest day for meetings
• Average length of meetings
• Who is using the room (by department or seniority)
• Purpose of the meeting
You can use these stats to make the case for increasing capabilities, repairing technology, or adding more meeting spaces due to demand.
Following these best practices means that you are making the most of your meeting space and allowing it to work for you, whether you’re in the room or not.