The 4 Most Frustrating Ways Meeting Rooms Get Abused

February 21, 2017

The people in your organization need to be able to access conference rooms and other shared spaces to do their work effectively. Despite the increasingly popularity of flexible scheduling and remote working, in-person meetings still consume millions of hours for U.S. workers—and billions of payroll dollars for employers.

Your people can’t make effective use of this time when meeting rooms become difficult to reserve and use due to unclear rules, lack of available space, or other employees “gaming the system.” When people abuse the scheduling process, it impedes efficiency and productivity for everyone in the workplace.

Some of the most common causes of employee frustration include:

Last-Minute Changes Are Poorly Managed

In any business, there are always contingencies. There are a lot of reasons why a meeting might suddenly need to be scheduled, moved, or canceled. Flights get delayed; kids get sick; major clients suddenly request a conference call with multiple key members of your team.

When schedules change and room assignments need to be adjusted, it’s important for several things to happen:

  1. Any group bumped from a room should be able to quickly find and reserve a new space
  2. The scheduling system should always reflect the latest changes in availability
  3. It should be transparent who actually used a given room and why

Groups Get Bumped and Can’t Find A new Room

When a group gets bumped from a reserved room, every minute spent searching for a new space is burning payroll dollars and draining productivity from the planned meeting. That’s why it’s essential for employees to have tools they can access from any device so they can quickly find, reserve, and use available meeting rooms.

It quickly takes the energy out of a meeting when a group doesn’t have access to the latest schedule and needs to go through an office administrator or physically search for an empty room. Without up-to-date room assignment information, one displaced group might inadvertently take over a room reserved by another team—and end up back in the halls again 15 minutes later.

Employees Game the System by Abusing Informal Channels to Reassign Space

Even when they have innocent intentions, employees can cause their coworkers a lot frustration when they go outside of the usual scheduling system or use personal relationships to bypass the rules. For example, an employee might reach out to a friendly administrator to get a room assignment changed.

The individual probably thinks they have a valid reason for making the request and doesn’t mean to offend anyone or abuse their privileges—but for the person on the receiving end of the room shuffle, it might look differently.

Scheduling Rules Are Unclear or Inconsistently Applied

It’s always important to be flexible when you’re part of a team, but when employees can’t rely on the official schedule, it can become a significant source of tension. Consistent scheduling rules and processes are essential to avoiding disruptive conflicts.

However, the organization’s stated policies only matter if they are consistently followed. Actual patterns of behavior and examples set by leadership will determine how employees use the resources available to them.

Asure Software supports best practices in workspace utilization with Resource Scheduler—a comprehensive solution for 24/7 self-service employee reservations. Our cloud-based scheduling tools enable your workforce to find, reserve, and use everything from conference rooms and parking spaces to a full range of hoteling services.