Meetings are a constant source of wasted resources and frustrated office workers. According to research, meetings are considered the No. 1 time-waster at the office. How can you solve the challenge of ineffective meetings and wasted resources? Here we propose an integrated meeting management platform that brings meeting automation to your company to help you regain lost productivity in managing meetings.
Just as frustrating as an unnecessary or low-value meeting are the inefficient tasks required to meet in the first place. Workers report that finding a place to meet is one of the most significant meeting challenges.
- A one-hour meeting is never just a one-hour meeting
- How to win back lost productivity in managing meetings?
- What does an integrated meeting management platform bring to your company?
- What does it mean for your company’s bottom line?
A one-hour meeting is never just a one-hour meeting
Meeting organizers are tasked to assemble a group of busy people together at the same time and place. This may involve communicating back and forth with attendees via email or phone. Once everyone agrees on a meeting time, organizers must find a meeting room that fits their needs, reserve audiovisual equipment, order catering, and other additional services, register guests at the reception, and ensure the necessary information is available to the finance department for tax purposes. When finally finished coordinating a meeting, meeting planners may find that they have spent more time scheduling the meeting than they will spend in it.
Consider the different organizational units involved in meetings. Facility Management must ensure the right amount and room configuration are available with the necessary table arrangements. The corporate kitchen prepares food, beverages, or other services. Reception must track the day’s visitors, manage check-ins, print visitor badges, notify the host upon attendee arrival, and checkout guests. Finance must settle costs and manage tax and cost centers
A one-hour meeting is never just a one-hour meeting. Meeting management is a proper cross-organizational discipline with many elements prone to poor processes that tarnish employee productivity. Without the right tools that integrate processes and bind organizational units together, every one-hour meeting is more likely a five-hour meeting.
How to win back lost productivity in managing meetings?
- First: Know your company’s needs.
Ensure that there is a match between supply and demand when it comes to available meeting spaces and the technology inside these rooms. Too often companies believe that all meeting rooms are created equal. That is hardly the case, and that is not going to help you meet the needs of your organization.
This starts with figuring out which types of meetings are most commonly utilized by members of your company. These can include internal meetings, project meetings, sales meetings, external meetings, stand-ups, video conferences, and so on. These different meeting purposes define the needs you must consider when designing and configuring your meeting spaces. What equipment is needed for an external sales meeting?
What is the preferred presentation type for an internal presentation? Do you want large screens or projectors? How do you want to share content on those screens? Wireless HDMI? What about video conferencing? How many rooms must be equipped with conference cameras? Will your company be utilizing Cisco or Polycom, or are you are Skype for Business kind of company?
All these different questions are important to ask to get a clear overview of your company’s needs. Meeting room layout, design, and configuration must support these to ensure conference rooms are utilized properly. Knowing your company’s meeting room needs will position you to be able to ensure it is easy to find and book a room that meets users’ criteria.
- Next: Know your people.
With a good overview of the types of meetings your company commonly executes and a plan to make any technical improvements to the meeting room layout, it is time to think about who is involved in the meeting process.
When you book a conference room, do you do it yourself or ask your assistant or office administrator to do it for you? If you book refreshments for the meeting, who manages this? Who announces guests at the reception? Who makes table arrangements? Is there a dedicated team, department, or individual to manage meeting costs and tax reports? Who delivers dashboards to management looking for an overview of meeting room utilization?
Make a swim lane diagram to get an overview of processes, time spent on different activities, and systems used. This quick exercise will help you understand where the productivity killer is lying in your organization.
- Lastly: Know the tools that change the game.
The most important step in your quest for meeting improvement is finding the right tool to manage all processes related to meeting room booking and meeting management. Do not force employees to be bogged down with the details of meeting room management themselves. A meeting room management solution takes care of everything in just a few clicks.
A solution like AskCody can completely change the way meetings are booked and managed, and how all associated items and resources are ordered for meetings across organizations and locations, all from inside your current Microsoft Outlook, Office 365, or Google Calendar environment. The AskCody integrated workplace platform built for Microsoft streamlines room and hot desk booking and management. All those tedious tasks and hurdles to productivity related to meetings? Gone.
With a solution like AskCody, users will be able to search for and book rooms based on availability, the number of people, the purpose of the meeting, and in-room equipment right inside the tools they already use most at work. It only takes a few clicks to book rooms and order associated services from inside Office 365 or Outlook’s familiar interface.
With a combination of Office 365, Outlook, and an integrated meeting management solution, you can provide the flexibility your employees need to stay productive and effectively and efficiently manage their time and activities in the modern workplace.
What does an integrated meeting management platform bring to your company?
There are teams throughout the organization who feel the productivity pinch at every meeting. Consider the facility services, company cafeteria, front desk, and finance department who all have a role to play to ensure a smooth, seamless end-to-end meeting process that makes the most out of the entire organization’s resources at every meeting. Then think of all the employees and administrative assistants who book and manage the meetings.
Here is what an integrated meeting management platform like AskCody will do:
- Consolidate all activities related to planning and scheduling meetings into a single tool
Meeting room booking software integrated with and enhances Outlook or Exchange by providing simplified booking features. This replaces disparate systems with a single, easy-to-use solution that consolidates all activities related to planning and scheduling meetings.
Users can search for and book rooms, handle visitor pre-registration for the front desk, and order additional services directly within Outlook. There is no toggling back and forth between applications when booking and managing meetings, and users get a consistent booking experience across your workplace. Consistency is key to optimizing cross-organizational processes.
Employees are already familiar with Outlook and its interface. An integrated booking tool that is built on top of Outlook simplifies the process of booking rooms and resources from directly inside a familiar interface. This encourages user adoption and keeps life simple for users.
- Eliminate tedious manual processes
No more paper-based booking methods, spreadsheets, and other outdated tools that add to the workload of busy administrative staff. Ditch the manual, back-and-forth processes of arranging meetings with phone calls, emails, and post-it notes. Users manage everything within one, integrated and familiar interface.
This reduces the organizational load by slashing the number of hours each employee spends on scheduling and organizing meetings and increases operational efficiency by enabling people to meet more effortlessly.
- Eradicate disjointed point solutions
You have Outlook or Office 365 for booking meetings and sending invitations. You order meeting services and catering through SharePoint. You log into another platform to order a specific table arrangement from Facility Service.
Your booking system is not integrated with the front desk system, so you must alert reception of all meeting attendees. Facility Management reports are done in a separate system. And Finance uses home-built integration between the catering system and the ERP system for managing tax information for meeting orders.
In addition to a time consuming process for meeting organizers, this complex, disjointed system is a bear for IT to manage. Data is not shared between the systems and it is impossible to optimize cross-organizational processes.
With an integrated platform for meeting management like AskCody, you have Outlook and AskCody. That is it. AskCody’s Meeting Management platform is a unified meeting management solution that accommodates every possible meeting need. There is no more need for other third-party applications.
- Prevent scheduling errors
All information about meeting rooms, schedules, and additional resources reside in the same system, which is updated in real-time. AskCody provides users with access to up-to-date meeting information in a centralized location. This prevents double bookings and other errors around additional resources. Information is always accurate, and users never have to worry about synchronization between disparate systems.
- Avert meeting snafus
Never worry about double-booked meeting rooms, attendees showing up to canceled meetings, or catering delivered at the wrong time or to the wrong meeting room. With an integrated booking solution, changes and cancellations are automatically updated throughout the entire system in real-time and all meeting attendees and service providers are alerted instantly.
This simplified process eliminates mistakes, uncertainty, and frustration from employees. Easy communication across the platform reduces office friction by ensuring everyone is in the know. This level of meeting organization sends a strong first impression to staff and visitors. It also removes the heavy lifting so you can focus on keeping important projects on track.
- Handle changes and cancellations automatically
An integrated meeting management solution ensures you only do things once. If a meeting is changed or canceled, the system updates automatically. Because everything is connected, vendors are instantly notified if the meeting is rescheduled or moved, meaning no need to manually synchronize systems, or worry about if things are updated accordingly.
This means that if a user needs to move or reschedule a meeting, attendees and service providers are notified immediately and have time to adjust their schedules, rooms are released and available for others to use, and the list of expected visitors are updated automatically.
- Display orders at a glance
Vendor and Facilities Managers can see at a glance what is needed for each meeting, how many people need services, and where services must be delivered. This is an instant, one-stop interface with an updated overview in real time. If in-room equipment breaks down, faulty equipment can easily be reported so Facility Service knows what to fix, where, and when.
- Exhibit the entire workplace in full context
When you do not know, you can not act. But with an integrated meeting management system, you will be armed with knowledge instead of guesses. Understanding how your spaces are utilized helps you best optimize what you already have.
Say, for example, employees are regularly noting that they can not find an appropriate space for their meetings when they need them. It sounds like an office expansion or relocation might be necessary to accommodate these needs. But by digging into utilization data, you see that there are a number of spaces and resources in different parts of the office that are actually underutilized. With a little tweaking, you can ensure your employees have the spaces they need.
It turns out that costly office expansion isn’t necessary after all. It is important to always have an understanding of employee habits and behavior so you can adapt or change spaces as different needs demand.
- Save time & increase productivity
Save time. Plan more effectively. Eliminating the back and forth communication jumping in and out of disparate systems makes every meeting organizer more efficient and productive with the tasks that truly matter. Meeting room scheduling software saves meeting room users, facility managers, office administrators, and other employees incredible amounts of time. Remember those hours of preparation, we discussed in the beginning of this guide? Gone. The right meeting management platform will enhance your employees’ productivity and free up time to focus on what is most important to your business.
What does it mean for your company’s bottom line?
The benefits of the right meeting management solution are plentiful. Overall productivity increases because employees spend less time in the weeds coordinating the details of meetings such a searching for and booking rooms, planning catering, and handling visitors. The meetings themselves get a productivity boost because interruptions are eliminated, and time is more properly utilized.
Seamlessly integrated into your existing Microsoft Outlook and Office 365 environment. AskCody helps you create a happier, more productive and efficient modern workplace while optimizing available resources. Meeting room management processes has a direct impact on overall employee performance and organizational financial standing. AskCody frees up users’ time to do what is important to your business instead of spending time on cumbersome, unsynchronized processes.
A seamless meeting management process boosts efficiency and collaboration between employees who can easily find a space that is conducive to their needs—whether that be a large conference room with all the bells and whistles or a small huddle room for a few coworkers to gather to brainstorm.
Consider the face of your company as visitors enter your offices. First impressions matter. A meeting management and visitor management system delivers and elegant experience to employees and visitors. Finally, the long-term cost savings make it a smart investment. Important resources are utilized where they really matter, and employees stop wasting time dealing with meeting minutia. A fully integrated meeting management solution is the key to creating and fostering a truly modern office environment. Give your employees the tools they need to succeed.