The trend today is to have small companies, especially start-ups share office space. It is a good idea for sharing ideas, cutting down of expensive office rent and sharing the cost of office equipment such as copiers and reception staff. But one area that often bogs down this whole idea is the meeting room. Even with smart room scheduling software to sort out the snags, booking time in a meeting room can lead to bad feelings and worse behaviour. It is not the sort of thing that any office wants to have, but how to prevent it? Here are a few tips for that meeting room schedule that just might help keep tempers under control and the shared office a concept that works for everyone.
Act the Good Neighbor
Meeting rooms are not soundproof, so plan ahead and even ask around if your meeting includes noisy presentations. Find out what the plans are for the offices that surround the meeting room if you know that your meeting might involve audio visual (AV) with sound. Letting others know means they can make plans to work elsewhere if they want to, and you get to keep all your brownie points for being a good neighbor.
Allocate Time Intelligently
Always allow some time for meetings to setup and tear down when scheduling for a meeting room. If there are presentations that require AV, give the AV folks time to get there, set up, and be gone before the meeting begins. By allocating the time correctly that includes setup and tear down, you eliminate that rushed feeling that can sometimes be expressed with anger or frustration.
Insist on a Reservation
Some people make a habit of simply taking over a meeting room, sometimes to work on their own, just because they don’t see anyone in it at the time. Others may take over a meeting room for a last minute meeting and not bother to look at the schedule. These tend to be the same offenders over and over again, so the best way to stop this behaviour is to forbid it. If they don’t book the room, they don’t get access to it. For some it means locking the meeting room and only unlocking it when it is booked.
Using Small and Large Conference Rooms Wisely
If you have access to various sizes of meeting rooms, be sure that you have booked the one that is right for your meeting. A short brainstorming session with four or five department members can use a small meeting room and leave the bigger one for larger events. Even if both rooms seem empty at the time, it is always smarter to book the room that works for the size of your meeting. It can be hard to concentrate if your little group is rattling around in a big conference room, so plan ahead.
Use Resources Accordingly
Sometimes it can be tempting to go ahead and book into that meeting room that has all the bells and whistles just to impress your clients. But if you aren’t going to use them, especially if you don’t know how to use them, it won’t pay off. This is why it makes sense to only book into a room that has the features you need and forget about the ones you don’t need. Wasting resources in a room where all you need is everyone’s laptop and some notepads just costs everyone.