The Blog on Meeting Room Management

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This is not AskCody reviewing AskCody. Having recently started working for AskCody, the focus during my onboarding has been getting an objective insight in how customers perceive the company and the platform. Exploring reviews on technology review site G2 seemed a good place to start;

Are you as curious as I am to read what they like, and maybe even dislike about AskCody?

Return to office post Covid-19

Is it the faint smell of coffee, the white noise of colleagues slamming away on their keyboards, or a chat at the coffee machine... what do we miss the most about the office? Definitely not the the challenge of finding a parking spot... or traffic.... Maybe not surprisingly, after a year of social isolation, recent studies have shown that what we miss most about the office is the people, our colleagues. Yes, also the one firing bad dad-jokes all the time or the one that is always 5 minutes late for meetings. We look forward meeting all of them again, it is top of mind and discussed nearly every time we interact with our customers.

The Future of Workspace Through the Eyes of the Employees

What are employees' expectations and preferences, and what to consider as employers plan to return to the office?

With the global pandemic forcing countries to lockdown and companies to enforce work from home policies, companies realize that the way we work will drastically change long term. The corporate mindset was already shifting, but the pandemic has hastened the realization that work is not somewhere we go but something we do. The crisis accelerates the transformation of work at an incredible pace toward a hybrid work ecosystem, shifting expectations of a liquid workforce who want to continue working from home regularly post-crisis.

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When hiring a new employee, you search carefully for the right candidate who checks all the boxes from a skills, personality, and experience perspective. It’s important to find someone with the right tools for the job, who would fit in with the current team, and who will continue to help promote company culture. When you find the right person, it’s obvious.

When it comes to fulfilling the company mission however, it’s just as important to create the right environment as it is to find the right employees. Don’t waste an ounce of the talent you’ve cultivated at your organization.

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Today more and more companies compete for new employees, not only on salaries or benefits but in the work environment too, to make the employees shine giving them the ability to perform their A-game. 

In this infographic, we give you an easy way to improve work environment and help your employees stay productive - even improve convenience and their happiness too. 

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Today, culture is so enmeshed with a company brand that it’s hard to discuss one without the other. It is what you stand for as a company leader and an organization as a whole. Beyond benefits and vacation time, company culture is an environment of support, transparency, and enthusiasm. And it cascades from the top. It’s a huge part of your role to set the tone for how employees feel, how they treat each other, and how they perform.

Tips for desk & meeting room booking during the pandemic

The pandemic is still a big challenge on both a personal level and a challenge for your business and society at large. For the AskCody customer base, the pandemic has naturally affected the utilization of the physical office spaces.

Here, I will describe our customers' experiences in this pandemic and how they work through the needed restrictions and compliances in this Covid-period when preparing your return to the office.

Build versus Buy: Don't Build Your Own Meeting Management Solution

As a CIO, CTO, or an IT project manager, balancing your company's immediate needs with its long-term growth is paramount to success. But it is also one of the business's most significant challenges.

Complicated questions arise, such as whether you should invest aggressively in long-term initiatives or take a less expensive and more conservative approach. And these questions have not become easier considering the consequences of Covid-19.

A standard piece of this puzzle is the "build versus buy" question that many companies face when addressing their software needs. Does a cloud-based solution address your company's unique needs, or do you need a customized solution designed for your organization?

First welcome at the office reception

Chances are you already know that making a good first impression is essential. Dressing up for job interviews, booking the board room for meetings with high profile clients, or carefully choosing your photo and bio for your LinkedIn page are all ways in which you might strive to make an excellent first impression.

But when was the last time you thought about the way clients and visitors experience your office space and front desks? If visitor experience isn't part of your company's discussion, it's time to bring it up. Office and facility managers fulfill many roles, but one of the most vital is making sure the office is a professional and welcoming place for long-time clients and first-time visitors. If you are looking to take a more active role in great first impressions at your company, we're here to help you start.

The secrets behind implementing a meeting management system right now

In some way or the other, it seems we will be dealing with a mix of closed offices, semi-open offices, and fully open offices for quite some time to come. The natural thought would probably be to postpone any investment plans directly associated with your physical office space. We can empathize if you have that feeling in these months.

The ILTA>ON 2020 Conference Takeaways

This year's ILTACON (even the name was changed) was a different conference compared to earlier years. If you have been used to attending a conference to participate in engaging keynotes and breakout sessions and come back with new ideas and inspiration for what you need to do when you're coming back – this year was a dramatically different conference and digital transformation in law firms and the legal industry was at the center.

ISAE 3000 Audit

If you think compliance is expensive, try non-compliance.

In today's data-heavy environment, being compliant in every aspect of a company's business is vital. Especially talking data processing and information security.

In the EU, this has primarily been made obligatory through the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and similar data protection regulations are apparent in other parts of the world. Regulations like GDPR require that companies uphold different obligations such as a continually updated Data Protection Addendum and agreement between a Data Processor and Data Controller, stating and regulating on what legal basis data is processed, etc. 

Does AskCody work with Microsoft Exchange, Outlook and Azure?

To that, we can answer clearly: YES!

And not only that: AskCody is uniquely directly built into Office, Exchange and Azure. And we work very closely together with Microsoft to ensure it will continue that way for the future. As we like to say it: we are the meeting management software platform built for Microsoft.

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All law firms — whether they are single-lawyer practices in the midwest or massive firms in NYC —- have one thing in common: They are looking for ways to make more money.

The most obvious path is to make more money by taking on more clients.

More clients = more cases = more money.

The math is pretty simple, right?

But what happens if you are already drowning in cases? Do you hire more lawyers? Where would you put them? Now you are talking about getting a bigger office space which means more overhead and higher bills, not more income.

If your firm is looking to drive revenue, the first step is to take a long look at the biggest profit-killer of all — soaring overhead costs.

9 Tips on How to Make Your Office Corona Compliant

We are all still challenged by the current coronavirus pandemic status. Most business offices are still closed, but we are now starting to see more and more companies getting into preparation mode for the re-opening of all the physical facilities. So, it is getting time to move from a situation where everybody is working remotely and prepare for the “Post COVID-19” workplace and basically get into the mindset on how to secure the office space and make all your employees and visitors feel safe in your environment.

Microsoft 365 vs AskCody

Have you ever wished for more hours in the day? More time to spend focusing on deep work rather than running around to meetings? (That could have been an email, Susan!)

We've all been there.

The rise of technology has given us access to a vast amount of data about how we work — but many companies don't have the tools to turn that data into real insights.

Luckily, there are several software solutions aimed at doing just that. Today, we are comparing two of the most popular workplace analytics tools — Microsoft's add on and AskCody's built-in workplace analytics solution.

Which comes out on top when it comes to pricing and features? Is one solution a better fit for your company? Let's find out.

Robin Alternative

In 2019, Jorge Masvidal floored Ben Askren in the fastest takedown in UFC history. A flying knee took Ben down in less than two seconds, ending the fight before it really even began.

Most fights, however, aren't a one-hit takedown. There is sparring, fighting, a few takedown attempts before a winner emerges victorious.

What does this have to do with choosing a meeting management tool, you might wonder?

Just like in UFC, there is rarely a clear winner in the first two seconds. The right tool for your company might depend on your industry, the size of your company, and a variety of other factors unique to your business.

This can get complicated and overwhelming — especially when you are trying to take care of clients and get actual work done.

We decided to make it easy for you.

This guide will help you compare Robin with the best Robin alternative, AskCody. We'll look at features, support, integrations, and a few pros and cons. By the end, you'll have a clear idea of which software will best suit your needs.

The Advertising Agency Profitability Field Guide

When Meghan Trainor co-wrote the popular song "All About The Bass," she didn't expect to make a dime. The 2014 song about loving your body the way it is went Diamond and launched the singer and songwriter to international fame.

As an advertiser, you know profitability sometimes has more to do with marketability than anything else. Too often, agencies let business details slide as they focus on the profitability of clients over their own agency.

When it comes to advertising agencies it's not about that bass — it's all about those margins.

Profit margins, that is.

(Yes, we went there.)

Before we explore improving your profit margin, we need to consider if your current profit margins are accurate.

How to improve your meeting conditions during and after the coronavirus

We are in these weeks all confronted by a challenging situation with the coronavirus pandemic—both personally and professionally. Many of us are staying home and are currently remote working, trying to do our best for our families and companies.

We are in a period with more or less fully closed physical offices. So this is an excellent time to reflect on what you can do to ensure the best office setting when you all come back to the physical environment you rely on in your professional life. Here are some ideas for you.

Utilization Rate: The Ultimate Guide for Professional Service Firms

It’s been yet another busy week at the office.

Your firm has been bustling with activity and everyone has been hard at work wrapping up several big client projects.

Or have they?

Now that it’s time to send out invoices, you’re realizing how many hours have been whiled away at lunches, in meetings, and completing administrative duties instead of actually utilized on billable, client work.

Utilization rate is a critical metric for measuring a professional service firm’s health and potential for growth. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know when it comes to measuring your utilization rate correctly, applying it efficiently, and growing it to increase your organization’s productivity and profitability.

Implementing and visualizing a Meeting Management Platform

Meetings are taking over our workday. A recent study found that most workers attend a total of 62 meetings every month — which is an average of 3.1 meetings a day. At the end of the month, we spend an average of 31 hours in unproductive meetings.

It is a waste of time, and it is a waste of money.

In fact, U.S. businesses waste a total of $37 billion in salary costs annually for unproductive or unnecessary meetings.

What could your salespeople do with an extra 31 hours of time a month? What about managers? Customer service reps? How much could you grow your company with just a sliver of the $37 billion spent on unproductive meetings?

How to Improve CPA Firm Profitability - AskCody

As a CPA, you are used to being under pressure. Tax deadlines, client mergers, and audits are all just part of the job.

But when it comes to your own firm's profitability, it can be easy to look the other way. Bury your head in the metaphorical sand.

Here's the thing — the accounting world is changing. The way things have always been done is no longer the path to success. Ever-growing competition, the rise of AI, automation, and the gig economy have made it harder than ever to maintain profits.

In this ever-changing climate, how can you improve the profitability of your firm? Do you double down and find more clients? Shift your niche? Offer a broader range of services?

What if I told you there was a way to increase CPA firm profits by doing less?

ROI of Meeting Management Software

Meetings are a fact of life in the business world — and they can certainly be useful.

They serve as a vehicle for communication, give rise to innovative brainstorming sessions, and help businesses develop solutions to critical problems. They can also play a role in maintaining company culture and help employees build solid relationships with their colleagues.

Yet the average worker spends as much as a full workday every week in or planning for meetings.

Is that time well spent?

And, more importantly, how can you tell if your meetings are actually valuable or time wasters?

Visitor Management System Requirements Checklist

You know that old saying, “You only get one chance to make a first impression?”

That’s true with everyone you meet—and it’s also true with visitors to your office.

Guests and visitors who come to your office have expectations, and it’s up to you to meet them. The easiest way to do that is with a visitor management system that handles the entire experience from when your guest steps off the elevator to when they head back out the door, plus everything in between, like check-in, security, and navigation.

If you ever have visitors or guests coming into your office, you need a visitor management system. But what if you’re not sure how to choose one that’s right for your office needs?

Visitor management systems can come with a lot of features and functionality. Read on to learn about all the options, and to see how you can choose a system that has the right features for your needs.

Office Space Utilization & Efficiency: A Guide to Getting it Right

It is no secret that the way we work is changing.

In the past, everyone worked from the office, every day. Today, nearly 70% of people work from home at least one day a week. From 2005 to 2017, there has been a 159% increase in remote work.

Other offices are switching to an ABW (activity based) model, which provides a mix of quiet workspaces, shared workstations, breakrooms, and conference rooms that allow workers to switch environments based on the type of work they are doing and how they work best.

Flexibility at work is important to workers, and that includes flexible workspaces. In fact, 82% of millennial workers said they would be more loyal to that employer, and 22% would be willing to work longer hours if they had more flexibility at work.

But, these changes come with unintended consequences.

Envoy Alternative: The Best Full Meeting & Visitor Management Platform

Think back, if you will, to a decade ago. How much of your work was done on paper (or even digital spreadsheets) versus the cloud?

Back in 2010, 1.7 billion people had access to the internet — which was an astounding number.

Today? Well, as of January 2020, nearly 4.5 billion people had access to the internet.

(For a bit of perspective — 4.5 billion miles would get you to the moon and back 9,433 times.)

It's changed the way we eat, watch television, communicate, and, yes, even how we work.

The days of pencil and paper are all but gone. Yet, many companies are still reliant on manual practices to track visitors, send notifications, and manage meeting rooms.

It doesn't have to be that way.

If you are looking to break free of manual processes, you may be considering a visitor management and meeting management tool. But which one is right for your company?

The Office Efficiency Handbook: 30 Frivolous Timewasters to Eliminate in 2020

It’s no secret that basically no one goes to the office and stays perfectly on task for eight straight hours, five days a week.

From social media notifications to pointless meetings, and long lunches to water cooler chats with other coworkers, a typical office workday can feel like a constant bombardment of distractions from the real work that needs to be done.

You’ll never be able to create a completely distraction-free workplace, but that’s not to say you can’t make some changes to cut down on some of the most common timewaster plaguing offices today. If your 2020 goals include eliminating barriers to efficiency in your office, you’ve come to the right place. These are 30 of the most common frivolous timewasters that can (and should) be eliminated.

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Most people already know they’d want nothing to do with a job at Dunder Mifflin.

The fictional paper company from The Office was a poorly managed cubicle farm in a failing industry. The employees ranged from simply disgruntled to downright incompetent to physically, mentally, and emotionally scarring — both for their fellow Dunder Mifflinites and for viewers, who found that the cringe-worthy cast made for an entertaining sitcom, but would be absolute torture to work with in the real world.

And in addition to its myriad problems, Dunder Mifflin had office security policies that would be horrifying in any real office environment (not to mention crazy dangerous). Let’s take a look at some of the biggest office security threats and security best practices — and how, in the world of The Office, none of them seemed to matter.

How AI and Analytics Will Revolutionize the Legal Profession

Necessity really is the mother of invention.

In 2016, Stanford University student Josh Browder was facing thousands of dollars in parking tickets in New York City. To combat those fees, he created DoNotPay—now dubbed "The World's First Robot Lawyer."

The AI-powered chatbot asks a series of questions before guiding users through the legal process to avoid parking tickets, sue corporations for data breaches, and even get money back when airline prices drop.

DoNotPay might not have really been the first, but it was one of the most visible introductions into how AI and machine learning might impact the future of the legal industry.

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In today's world, there are dozens of daily threats to your company’s safety.

That’s why you need to make protecting your property, your data, and your employees a top priority—whether it’s from unauthorized visitors, criminals, violent actors, natural disasters, or even thieves.

Many office buildings use a paper visitor sign-in process or badges to restrict access to sensitive areas of the building. However, these security measures can be easy to overcome.

Take for example a polite employee holding the door for someone they think is a colleague. That single action can put the entire building at risk. And that doesn’t even take into account natural disasters or hackers who can threaten your business without coming anywhere near your building.

Let us guide you through these and other top workplace security threats as well as why a more high-tech solution like visitor management software may be just what you need to keep your business and its workers safe.

What is a room display

To design the smartest office environment, you need to add functions that make daily life at the office as frictionless as possible. Here room displays can be an immense help for you, co-workers, and visitors.

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Work and the nature of where and how it’s done has changed a lot in recent decades.

Where once an employee toiled in a factory or managed files in a cubicle; the rise of portable computers, high-speed internet, and creative knowledge work has allowed many jobs to be done in any number of different locations.

Accordingly, employers are beginning to offer flexible accommodations while trying to balance productivity with happiness and personal fulfillment.

It’s a fine line, which is why today we’re going to explore the pros and cons of increasingly popular flexible, collaborative workspaces as well as why traditional, dedicated workspaces still have their place—and how to strike the best balance for your business.

The Hidden Link Between Employee Retention and New Technology

When you think about employee retention, does your mind go to things like in-office perks, benefits, and salaries?

Time and time again, it's been observed that these actually aren't the things that convince employees to stay or to leave.

What does sway this decision is what their workplace does to make them feel supported, productive, and fulfilled.

Employees leave when they feel their workplace isn’t making an effort to keep up with and empower their future.

There’s an observable link between workplace technology and employee retention. Here’s how to use tech to improve employee retention—and what it’s going to cost you if you choose to ignore it.

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Design-wise, the modern office has undergone a seismic shift over the past generation.

Instead of cubicles and coveted corner offices, the modern workplace is an expanse of foosball tables, dogs, and mid-century-inspired desks stretched as far as the eye can see across wide-open spaces.

But beyond these radical design updates, the modern workplace has also evolved in a variety of other ways. From culture to technology, today we’re going to dive into how both the nature of work and how it’s being done has changed considerably in recent decades—and what you can do to keep up. 

The Morale & Productivity Spiral: How Office Inefficiency Kills Firms

Inefficiency in the office causes more than just slow progress and wasted salary dollars.

Inefficiency directly impacts productivity, which is inextricably linked to the all-important element of employee morale.

When offices are inefficient and people feel they are unable to do good work for reasons that are beyond their control, it wears down their morale and, thus, their productivity. This hopelessness and inability to make an impact leads to worse and worse work—creating a dangerous, downward spiral that’s hard to break out of.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

20 Meeting Management Tools So Amazing, You'll Wonder How You Ever Lived Without Them

We live in an age where there are hundreds, if not thousands of tools that can help streamline your meeting management.

And with new tools coming available all the time, you have to wonder why anyone is still scheduling and running meetings manually.

Here’s why: With so many tools available, it can be tough to cut through the noise and find the tools that are truly worth having — the ones that are so great, you’ll wonder how you ever managed meetings without them.

Avoid Double Booking Rooms: How To Prevent Meeting Room Mixups in Microsoft 365

How often has this happened to you?

You spent all weekend prepping for a presentation to your boss' boss. You are hyped. You’re ready to knock it out of the park. You head to the conference room you reserved specifically for this important presentation—only to find John from compliance giving his end of the year update in your meeting room!

Whoa, what just happened? Well, you just became a victim of the double-booked conference room. Here’s exactly what that means, what it costs, and what your organization can do to keep it from happening and taking profit and productivity down with it.

Meetings Aren't the Enemy—It's Wasted Time

Today, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of effective communication tools for the workplace.

There are all kinds of email platforms, Slack, Google Drive, custom intranets, Asana, Jira, knowledge bases, Basecamp, video chat...the list goes on and on.

It almost makes you wonder: Why have face-to-face meetings at all? Especially when you think of all the stats pointing at their ineffectiveness.

Because, as it turns out, meetings are the best way to transmit company culture and important nonverbal communication, boost productivity by as much as 10 percent, solve disagreements, and even improve creativity by over 70 percent.

Professional Service Benchmark: What To Know About Operations Health

Let’s face it: Not every hour at work is created equal.

Some hours are more productive, and some hours are less effectively used.

While this is true in most industries, companies like professional service firms that bill by the hour are particularly affected by this phenomenon. When every billable hour isn’t created equal, how do you measure the health of your firm?

The first step is to distinguish between different types of hours.

All hours are not billable to the client.

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Client and case confidentiality is a key tenet of any law firm. The privilege of confidentiality fosters trust between attorneys and clients. Duties related to confidentiality, such as the attorney-client-privilege, assure clients are open and honest with their representation so lawyers can provide the best advice.

The challenges of complete confidentiality abound both outside and inside of the office. Attorneys, of course, know not to discuss sensitive or privileged information regarding clients or cases in public places. However, the offices, conference rooms, hallways, and reception desks of the firm are all also hot beds for potential information leaks.

There are three key steps law firms can take to ensure total client confidentiality in every corner of the firm.

Law Firm Profitability: The Final Guide to Maximizing Billable Hours

Time is money at law firms. It’s that simple.

The billable hour is a major part of the language of the legal profession. Your profitability as a law firm depends on how well you manage those billable hours. There are a number of critical factors to explore when tackling how to best measure and manage billable hours.

The end goal, though, is always the same: law firm profitability.

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We talk a lot about what it means to be modern workplace here at AskCody. We’re always taking a microscope to the latest office trends so we can figure out what works, what doesn’t, and what it would take to make something that doesn’t actually work. You follow?

There are plenty of movements in recent years that have totally flipped corporate culture on its head. I don’t need to tell you about the death of the cubicle farm or the rise of the WFH wave. But as we’ve written about before, what works for one company (or even one department), does not necessarily work for all.

The key is be able to respond intelligently and thoughtfully to the flexibility that today’s workforce craves without letting the office slide into a free-for-all of open spaces, zero privacy, and a frustrating search for open resources.

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Hot desking has become a popular practice for growing companies as a way to save money, improve efficiency, and create a more agile work environment for their employees. Office space can be pricey, and in more traditional office models space is often under-utilized. Hot desking capitalizes on the growing agility in today’s workplace to help save companies money by moving away from the 1-to-1 seating model in the office. Rather than have assigned desks, employees operate out of an open workspace where they can reserve a desk for the day on-the-spot.

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The nature of the modern workplace is rapidly changing. Where once static workstyles in  traditional office environments were the norm, advancing technology and changing ideas about the nature of work and productivity are shifting the focus in today’s office space. Now more than ever team-based and collaborative cultures in spaces designed to enhance creativity are critical to business’s success.

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When you hear the words “modern office”, what do you think? Many people start talking about open concepts, ample natural lighting, and contemporary furniture. That’s all true. But today’s modern office is much more than the physical environment. Intelligent technologies are changing the way employees interact with and work within their offices. The modern office is a smart office.

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What’s more personal than a name? We make painstaking efforts to find the perfect name for our children and pets. We obsess over celebrity baby names and chuckle over clever band names. Real estate developers invest millions of dollars to hire companies to create the perfect name for new condominiums and communities. In today’s fast-paced business world, some companies even live and die by their names. And there are some real doozies out there. 

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By now, we all know what constitutes acceptable office behavior. We try to be courteous of the people we spend so much time with five days a week. No one wants to be known as the guy who microwaves fish every day in the office kitchen or the woman who never cleans up after herself in shared spaces. But what about being known as the guy who always camps out in pre-booked conference rooms? Or the woman who can never get the A/V to work during meetings?

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The definition of workplace security has expanded greatly in today’s digital age. Companies must not only consider employee, customer, and financial safety from external forces – fires, natural disasters, chemical spills and contamination, civil disturbances, terrorism – but also from internal forces – workplace violence, employee theft, intellectual property theft, and data theft.

There are many security risks that could happen within the walls of your office and systems. Your priority must be to provide a safe and secure work environment for your employees and visitors. By law, that means your company must provide an environment free of health and safety hazards, as well as psychological hazards.

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The list of reasons to hire an office manager are almost as endless as the potential roles they can fill within your company. Search through job descriptions for the position and you’ll find a dizzying array of responsibilities outlined from operations and administrative duties to budgeting and billing. That’s because an office manager’s main job is to make the day-to-day operations of your business run smoothly, whatever that may mean for your company, and because of this the role is flexible enough to fulfill just about any needs you may have.

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Everywhere you go, it seems that hot desking is the hot office spatial management technique. Corporate real estate prices are through the roof, and to add insult to injury, most expensive office spaces are under-utilized. Hot desking helps optimize those spaces and dollars by allowing multiple people to share the same workstation or desk at different times.

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External events are a great way to bring potential customers into your space and gain wider name recognition in your industry and community, but a poorly executed event can easily end in disaster if you’re not careful.

Fortunately, some thoughtful planning and a few basic guidelines can help ensure a successful gathering and prevent most major catastrophes. Whether it’s a meetup, a networking night, or a fundraiser with a 150-person guest list, we’ve got the six most important things to keep in mind when planning your next external event.

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Most of us are already familiar with a hierarchical, or centralized organizational structure. From the government and military to large corporations, a centralized management system has long been the norm. However, more and more organizations of every size are starting to value more egalitarian organizational landscapes. As technology increases agility in day-to-day business operations, decisions need to be made with equal agility, and many are finding that it has become necessary to adapt.

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Given the mobility and flexibility of today’s office workers, a new challenge has emerged for the modern workplace: the optimization of office space. Hot desks, office hoteling, and collaborative workstations have taken the place of the traditional office. As a result, companies must evolve their thinking of what an office even looks like. To do so accurately and effectively, they are turning to office sensors.

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Boston-based law firm Burns & Levinson is comprised of 125 attorneys who focus on a number of core practices and specialties. The firm was founded in 1960 on the principle of being accessible and responsive to clients. This client-centric commitment to service means attorneys serve as advisors, legal counsel, and business strategists and are available to offer personal attention from senior partners on down.

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GDPR compliance is an essential factor for many companies when utilizing a visitor management platform. AskCody offers different settings in Visitor Management that allow you to respond to GDPR requirements according to your needs and context. Through a mix of existing and new features, we have you covered. To make it easier to decide, here’s a summary of actions to take.

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Move over, Baby Boomers, the next generation of the workforce is here. And they’re demanding change.

As of 2017, Millennials—those born between 1981 and 1996—make up the largest generation in the workforce. They’re bringing with them new talents, capabilities, and work ethics. They’re also bringing a number of expectations about the type of companies they want to work for, the offices they want to spend their time, and the style of working they want to execute.

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Operations managers know—one of the biggest expenses associated with keeping a business running is the cost of office space. 

And with the increasing mobility and flexibility of the workforce as well as rising rent prices, it’s getting harder yet more important than ever to understand and drive down the cost of utilization. 

So without further ado, let’s delve right into the true cost of poor office space utilization as well as the key metrics to track to boost utilization and improve the ROI of office space. 

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Consider a slow but consistent faucet leak. You may barely notice the individual drips, but before you realize, you’re up to your ankles in water. Bad meeting culture proliferates a company much in the same way. Examined in individual pieces, bad habits around company meetings may not seem like that big of a deal. However, often, those bad habits create a snowball of more bad habits that, when added together, result in an entirely toxic meeting culture.  

Is your company a breeding ground for bad meeting culture? Often, you might not even know it or know what to do about it. The result within the office is a lack of productivity, frustrated employees, and wasted resources. 

Know the signs of a bad meeting culture and the steps you can take to eliminate them. 

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The meeting challenge: We say it so often it, it should be one of our taglines: without a meeting management solution, a one-hour meeting is never just a one-hour meeting. Meetings are a constant source of wasted resources and frustrated office workers. In fact, according to recent research, meetings are considered the No. 1 time-waster at the office

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The following post is a guest post from GetVoIP

Running efficient meetings is an essential part of running an efficient business.

In the modern workplace, with workplace flexibility and remote workers, scheduling and executing meetings has become more complex. However, it's still possible to conduct meetings effectively by following best practices such as:

  • Using a detailed agenda

  • Provide necessary preparation materials ahead of the meeting

  • Designate a meeting facilitator to provide structure

  • Focus on task completion rather than timeframes

  • Implement some sort of follow-up mechanism to review meeting takeaways

GetVoIP has put together an infographic that shares these tips, plus specific meeting strategies from some of the most successful leaders from around the world.

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These days, every smart business has their eye to the future. Not just for goal-setting, benchmarking, and bottom-line growth, but for cultivating the type of office environment that serves as a lasting space for attracting top talent and allowing workers to flourish. 

We’ve gone in depth with our own 10 steps to creating tomorrow’s future workplace today, which you can read about in one of our recent blog posts. With the right amount of planning that focuses around an understanding and appreciation of the way your employees work best, you don’t have to invest millions into creating the type of future workplace that rivals that of Google or Facebook. The future, after all, is all about people. 

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The modern workplace of today bears little resemblance to the modern workplace of 50 years ago. Just think about the mid-day booze-swilling, male-dominated, Mad Man-era office setting compared to today’s increasingly diverse, kombucha-sipping, dog-friendly open spaces. Some changes have evolved slowly like workplace diversity and others have cropped up seemingly overnight like gourmet coffee bars and company kick ball leagues. 

We’ve written a lot about the environment of today’s modern workplace, but as you strive to keep your company attractive and competitive today, it’s critical to plan for what’s going to make it shine in the future. The last thing you want to do is invest in a full-scale office remodel, only to find what you consider modern today is outdated thinking five years from now. Making those predictions may seem like an exercise in futility which office worker in the 1970s would dream that ping-pong tables would replace conference room tables and cubicles would relegated to the depths of office hell? That’s why we’ve put together a guide for planning for the office of the future. 

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Today's companies must think beyond just competitive salaries and generous benefits packages to attract top talent. The modern office environment has become the de facto face of the companies that workers are competing to enter. But businesses need more than modern furniture, open concepts, and cappuccino-slinging baristas to ensure the face of the modern company isn't just a facade.  

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Planning the perfect meeting is so much more than putting together a compelling PowerPoint presentation. Much of a meeting’s success has to do with not only the flow of the presentation itself, but also the care you put into creating a welcoming environment conducive to productivity for all of those involved. A professional mentor once told me that he never schedules meetings that would last longer than it takes a butt to fall asleep in a seat. I love that philosophy, but in today’s meeting-filled business world, it can often be unrealistic.  

The best way, then, to keep the room’s attention high is to provide ample comfort options, besides the comfort level of the chairs themselves, of course. When it comes to keeping productivity high in lengthy meetings, there are two magic words you need to remember: “food” and “coffee.”  

5 common Front Desk Problems

How often do you find yourself in front of another guest log book in a fancy office building lobby, hurriedly scribbling your name at the end of the a long list of names and times before you? Then you hand over your ID, have your photo taken, and wait as your visitor pass is printed out.

But wait, your host must have forgotten to add you to the day’s front desk visitor list because they can’t find you on the approved list. So you stand and wait while front desk security calls up to your host company.

Your meeting host is away from his desk, so you just have to sit tight until they can be tracked down. As the minutes tick by, you worry about the time cutting in to your meeting. If the meeting goes over, you’ll have to push back all of your afternoon appointments.

[Infographic] A one hour meeting is never just a one hour meeting

The Curse of the One-Hour Meeting.

There’s no shortage of jokes about the futility of the average business meeting. Comic strips lament it. Television shows highlight its honor in the hierarchy of company doldrums. It’s possible there is a level of Dante’s Inferno devoted solely to business meetings. 

Almost everyone in today’s business world has experienced the frustration of meetings on scheduling more meetings, the one-hour meeting that stretches well into the afternoon, and most agonizingly, the crush of work that follows the valuable time spent planning for, scheduling, and organizing meetings. 

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Here's an elephant in the meeting room that no one ever discusses: Meetings are hugely expensive. 

During the next meeting you attend, add up the hourly cost of every person in the conference room. Then imagine, that you're writing the check for that meeting. If the money came out of your pocket, would you have the meeting? Has the meeting been worth that amount? Who's going to pay for it? And would you have any meetings at all?

Then factor in the opportunity cost for what every person in the room could be achieving instead of listening to John from the Dev Team talk about groundbreaking innovations in a code update somewhere in the stack, or Suzy from HR having another of her monologs during the roundup.

Any meeting that won't directly generate revenue or cost savings, either in the form of a key decision or a concrete plan of action, is likely a complete waste of money.

And I would bet that a lot of people and organizations don't have a clue! One thing is the cost of all the resources and time spent on planning the meeting. Now, this is just about the meeting itself. 

The intelligent design of meeting rooms in a Modern Workspace

The following post is a guest post from RUMAS, a Danish office space design company.

This is how to design your meeting rooms to achieve more effective and creative meetings

You know how it goes. On Monday morning, the accounts department has appropriated the company meeting room. After lunch, the creative department needs it for great ideas and mock-ups. In the evening, there will be a board meeting – and already Tuesday morning there are job interviews. That’s how it is with meeting rooms. They keep having different events with different objectives – and that generates challenges and makes it hard to design the rooms so that they always match the different objectives. This is where you need to bring intelligent design into your solutions.  

How to use Meeting Room Analytics to design your future workplace

You meet to share ideas, make some progress, gain some results, move forward, collaborate, learn, improve, grow. This is a reason that people end up in a ton of meetings every week in a professional context. It's simply the way modern organizations work these days. Therefore, meetings are an integral part of business life. Your workforce’s meetings are at the heart of your organization. They are where employees get together to collaborate and ultimately drive your company forward, possibly making them one of the most important aspects of your office environment.

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