Not every meeting is planned in advance. Say something comes up, and you need to host an impromptu meeting in the office’s cafe area with your team. You gather everyone together and hustle them all to the cafe, but you find the cafe being used by a different team when you get there.
So now you’re stuck in an awkward situation with a bunch of people in tow wandering around aimlessly, trying to find somewhere else to host the meeting. The worst part? You have no idea which meeting spaces are already in use, so you could run into the same situation with each space you visit.
Now imagine you’re due to host a hybrid meeting with in-office and remote attendees. This time you could plan ahead, so you’ve booked the best meeting room, and everyone is scheduled to meet in 10 minutes. As you start to set up the meeting room, you suddenly realize the room doesn’t have any audio-visual equipment, meaning there’s no way for the remote workers to attend the meeting.
Office life is full of these potential pitfalls. If you’re not careful when booking rooms and meetings, you could throw off the entire plan for your meeting and your whole day.
So the question is, how do we fix it?
Meeting room booking rules: the secret recipe for success
Rules may not be cool, but introducing a series of rules and etiquette can make day-to-day office life run smoothly. Often, introducing those rules is easier said than done. You will always have naysayers who say, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
That’s where Smartway2 comes in.
Having rules for how, when, and where people book space in the office means that the office runs how it should. No scheduling conflicts, no wasted time. Let’s quickly look at how the powerful rules engine works at Smartway2:
1. Make sure rooms stay under capacity
Booking a meeting room through Smartway2 helps you make the right choice every time, even suggesting which room suits you best based on preferences and historical booking. Prospective bookers can see all the features and amenities of each meeting space, from audio-visual equipment to capacity.
You will only be able to invite a certain amount of people to the meeting, depending on the capacity of the room you choose. This is helpful when the right size meeting room is needed for virtual meetings when not all will be there in person and is also helpful when social distancing restrictions need to be in place.
2. Prevent scheduling conflicts
Many of the conflicts that happen on a daily basis and impact workplace experience causing friction, simply don’t need to happen.
Instead of dragging the entire team to a meeting space already in use, the meeting’s host could check an easy to use the app to see which meeting rooms were booked, which were due to be used shortly, and which space was ready to use. After picking the best space, the host can send a message to the meeting’s participants, who will be able to see exactly where they will be meeting.
3. Permissions and approvals
Sometimes meeting spaces need to be held on retainer for special events, or maybe your office only has one room with audio-visual facilities. You can configure Smartway2 can to place restrictions on certain spaces.
If someone tries to book that space without prior approval, the app will flag that the space needs approval before booking. You can even include a message to explain why you need that particular room.
By setting up a rule and approval process, you can make sure spaces aren’t double-booked when others may need them.
4. Giving enough notice for amenities for special events
Sometimes you need to wow a prospective client. A nice meeting room, a nice working lunch… oh no. You forgot to book the catering.
With Smartway2, you won’t be able to forget to add catering when booking a meeting because it’s built right into our app!
You can configure available services on a room-by-room basis alongside rules that dictate how far in advance they need to be booked — helping you keep everyone fed and giving catering enough lead-time before your meeting.
5. Make sure you have the amenities you need
Remember that second scenario where an entire meeting fell apart because the booked room didn’t have the required AV equipment? With Smartway2, that particular problem is a thing of the past.
When booking a meeting room, you can see every feature a room has, from comfortable seating to the latest audio-visual equipment you need to make hosting hybrid meetings a breeze.
Why a meeting room booking protocol is essential for hybrid work
Having a system where managers and employees can pre-book meeting rooms helps keep things moving in a hybrid workplace.
Say you have an employee working from home, but they will need to use a specific workspace tomorrow. With Smartway2, they’re just a few clicks away from booking the space they want without going into the office or contact facilities.
Having a complete system with the details of all the features and tools available in each room ensures you’ll be able to pick the space with all the technology and equipment you need to run remote or hybrid meetings.
It’s not just about meeting room booking. You can also use Smartway2 to set up desk booking rules like:
- An advance desk booking period of time.
- Set a rule so you can’t sit at the same desk for more than two consecutive days to prevent ownership (AKA nesting) from creeping in.
- Enforce departmental neighborhoods, setting aside a neighborhood so only people from a certain department can book a space there.
- Only allow you to book up to X desk days in a given period to keep the in-office/remote balance for departments like sales.
- Allow one booking at a time per person to avoid people booking more than one space “just in case.”
The smart way to set up rules for your entire operation
The best feature of all is that the platform is simple enough for even the most stubborn technophobes to get their heads around. And it integrates seamlessly with Outlook and Microsoft Teams to help connect all your tech solutions together, so your people can book where they already work.