By Katherine Schwartz
Demand Generation Specialist
We define agile offices by their ability to quickly conform to the needs of different employees and groups. Michelle can work at a hot desk, then meet with Jordan and Ira in a conference room, then flex into a breakout space with Mia—all without breaking her stride. But this type of agile workplace is only possible with controls in place. There’s often workplace reservation and management software running in the background.
Imagine the chaos of multiple employees and groups as they try to converge on the same conference room or use the same hot desk. Without a system of order and prioritization, employees would spend more time looking for a viable workspace than actually using one. Nothing illustrates the importance of workplace reservation and management software like the following three examples.
1. Better space utilization
Workspace reservation software extends the scope of room utilization beyond what’s immediately present. Jason might exclusively use the third-floor conference room down the hall because it’s nearby and convenient. He’s familiar with this space. If someone’s in there, he might not bother to look for another space. At the same time, if he uses room scheduling software, he might realize there’s another conference room one department over, just a two-minute walk away.
Room booking not only improves space utilization, it can improve accommodation. Jasmine might have a tendency to book the same group workspace for all of her meetings. Unfortunately, this space only accommodates four people comfortably, and Jasmine frequently meets with groups of five and six. Urged to use booking software, Jasmine may realize better accommodations by booking different rooms based on her group size that day.
Both of these situations add up to better space utilization—both in terms of space locale and occupancy. This software encourages employees to branch out beyond what’s convenient or familiar and explore what’s best-applicable.
2. Saved commute time to workspaces
Time savings is an all-important aspect of a meeting room booking system. The amount of time employees spend wandering from space to space is time effectively wasted. The ability to book a room for a specific period of time eliminates wasted time upfront, with rolling advantages. Leslie and company can book the Blue Conference Room from 1-2pm, which might save them 10 minutes otherwise spent in search of an available space. Likewise, Donna and her team can see the Blue Conference Room is already booked, and won’t waste subsequent time walking there to check.
These minutes add up to hours and even days, depending on the scope of available workspaces within facilities. Consider how much one minute per hour saved can add up to, for example. One minute saved per hour is up to 10 minutes per day, equating to 43 total hours per year—roughly a week of work time.
Time saved through room booking is time gained in meaningful work elsewhere—whether it’s collaborating as a group or through a seamless transition between workspaces. There’s less idle, wasted time, less time spent in transition, and less time lost looking for the ideal workspace.
3. Easy employee locating and planning
An underrated feature of a desk booking solution is knowing where an employee is at any given time. This is especially useful in agile spaces, where employees change workspaces throughout the day. It’s easy to find an employee or even an entire team by checking active room reservations.
Nancy needs to speak with Talib, so she looks him up in the employee directory and sees he’s in a meeting for the next 40 minutes. She decides to email him instead of calling. Lauretta wants to get her design team together to go over revisions. Instead of tracking each of them down, she invites them all to a conference room and lets the room booking software determine the closest available space between them.
Room booking software makes it easy to get your bearings and collaborate with peers, no matter the size of a workplace or the commotion within it. Booking rooms updates calendars, which updates availability, which makes collaboration simpler and more efficient. Everyone knows where everyone else is, when they’re free, and what spaces are open nearby.
Space reservation promotes better logistics
Good logistics are the key to governing agile workspaces. Room bookings add buffers to the otherwise free-flowing nature of the workplace, which create order. Jeannie and Marcus can reserve a workspace for an uninterrupted hour to finish their project. This saves Gordon and Liz the trouble of wandering aimlessly as they search for their own space.
In examples like this one (and those above), employees develop a sense of proximity and awareness, which allows them to better-interact with their surroundings. It all culminates in better space utilization and workspace efficiency, and it’s built atop workplace reservation and management software.
Keep reading: Tips for Effective Conference Room Management