Meetings are a big part of business life, and it’s important that they are organised in the most productive way. The trick is to make sure you are holding the right meeting in the right room for the right reasons. That’s where psychology plays its part.
Unless facilities managers give the proper guidance, meetings and the rooms in which they are held can become haphazard, wasting space, facilities and, ultimately, impacting negatively on a company’s bottom line.
To better understand the psychology of how and why meetings rooms are booked, facilities managers need to analyse the profile of the meetings held on a daily basis.
- How many were small meetings?
- How many were large meetings?
- How many meetings were internal?
- How many meetings were external?
- How many meetings involved catering
- How many required video conferencing?
Space management is dependent on the psychology of human behaviour. It’s all too easy for people to use any meeting room space that’s available, irrespective of whether it’s the right space or the wrong space for a particular type of meeting, or whether the space is being put to best use or not.
To avoid this, examine space request trends by meeting types. Then, with intelligent scheduling, align the requirements for each type of meeting with the resources available in specific rooms. Investigate space requests by services needed for a meeting – catering requirements, audio visual needs, etc. Then organise meetings to make the most of rooms in which those services are available.
Look also at size of rooms versus number of attendees. Are large rooms with video conferencing facilities being used by just a few people with no need for the technology? Does this mean that others who do need those facilities have to go elsewhere – maybe even organising their meeting externally, and costing the company money in the process?
How about timing? It’s a psychological fact that we all leave things to the last minute, and that applies as much to booking a meeting room as anything else. So don’t procrastinate. Book early to make sure a room that’s right for your meeting is available. But make sure you turn up. If the meeting has to be cancelled, let your facilities manager know, so that the room can be rescheduled for another meeting.
Finally, it’s worth asking yourself if a proposed meeting is even necessary. Before you book a room and pull people away from their desks to attend, consider if it might be better organised remotely. Video conferencing no longer needs to place people into a dedicated room. It is now available on desktop PCs, laptops, iPads and even iPhones. Using the facilities saves time and workspace, both of which save money.
Occupancy level in the average organisation runs at between 40% and 70%. That means you could be paying rent, rates, energy and utilities charges for at least 30% and, at the worst, 60% of unoccupied space. Look at he psychology of reducing unoccupied space and you’ll see the impact on your net profit.
The psychology of meeting room management is something that is fully understood by NFS Technology Group, providers of Rendezvous Workspace meeting room software. Rendezvous Workspace is a browser-based scheduling software solution that enables the booking of meeting rooms, hoteling and hot desking, car parks, catering, video conferencing, telepresence and AV. It streamlines scheduling processes for rooms and resources, increases utilisation of facilities, provides employees with efficient meeting management and reduces energy consumption while contributing to a company’s green agenda.