Powering Change In The Workplace | How to solve the problem of meeting room no-shows

How to solve the problem of meeting room no-shows

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Posted 14 July 2016 11:32:47 BST | By Jill Duncan

Many companies are starting to figure out that certain issues relating to meeting rooms aren’t just “annoying” or “inconvenient.”  These issues are also costly for the company, both in terms of money spent on inefficient use of meeting space, as well as on the loss of productivity for the employee base. 

Take, for example, an issue like meeting room no-shows.  A meeting room no-show is when someone books a meeting room, then cancels their meeting but does not cancel the room booking.  This results in other employees trying to book meeting rooms but finding that there are none available.  Yet when they walk around the office, they see a bunch of unused meeting rooms.  So why can’t they book a meeting room when they see all this empty space? 

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Studies show that that as many as 40% of room bookings result in no-shows.  Think about how disruptive and inconvenient this is to the employees who can never seem to find a meeting room when they need one. 

Multiply this by the number of meetings someone is trying to schedule but cannot do so when they need to. And, multiply this by the number of employees using a particular set of meeting rooms.

Now you’ve got a lot of unhappy, unproductive employees who are having to spend inordinate amounts of time looking for places hold meetings in order to carry out certain aspects of their jobs.  The costs of that loss of productivity starts to add up. 

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Paying for unproductive people

Let’s say you’ve got 4 Product Marketing Managers, at an average salary of $111,760 for that position, each walking around for an average of 30 minutes per week looking for places to meet when they can’t seem to schedule the right meeting room because they all appear to be booked.  The company is having to pay a total of $5,400 per year in salary for that unproductive time for those 4 employees.  When you start adding in all the other employees having this same type of problem every week, the company really starts to feel that hit in paying for lost productivity. 

Paying for unproductive space

Now let’s think about the cost to the company of the wasted space relating to no-shows.  Most companies are paying to rent or own and maintain meeting space that is potentially not being used an average of 40% of the time.  With the average annual cost of $26,600 for simply “having” a meeting room, the amount of money lost to maintaining, say, 20 meeting rooms while 12 of them go unused 40% of the time is very high, at $127,680 in this case. 

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Solving no-shows

A relatively easy solution to this costly problem is to implement a meeting room check-in/check-out policy which can be enforced via an RFID-enabled room screen.  A couple of very key benefits result from this setup. 

First, the company can institute an auto-bump policy where if someone does not check-in at the room screen to start their meeting within 15 minutes of the scheduled start time, their booking is canceled, the room goes back into available inventory, and the employee goes onto a no-show report.  As employees realize they’ll go onto a no-show report and can then be called out on their poor behavior as corporate citizens, this alone can virtually eliminate the whole problem of meeting room no-shows. 

Second, the company can begin to glean exactly how big this problem was and how well it has been solved by viewing ongoing no-show reports. This is possible after just a short amount of time, once a business has deployed the RFID-enabled room screens and implemented the check-in/check-out policy. 

The money saved by solving the problem of meeting room no-shows could then go toward something more useful, such as upgrading the equipment in your meeting rooms or divvying it up as a bonus or kicker to employees for becoming better corporate citizens (albeit with a little prompting). 

Sources

https://www.glassdoor.co.uk/Salaries/new-york-city-product-marketing-managers-salary-SRCH_IL.0,13_IM615_KO14,40.htm

http://blog.condecosoftware.com/condeco-discover-average-office-utilisation-just-39-2

TOCs Report 2014 (no link available)

White paper: Doing more with less

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