The Real Cost of a Double-Booked Meeting Room

March 13, 2017

Imagine you’re getting ready for an important meeting with a client, business partner, or company leader. The meeting room is booked; your team is prepped; your PowerPoint is perfect down to the smallest details. Everything seems to be ready for a successful meeting.

Then, you get to the conference room and it’s occupied. Or another group shows up claiming they need the room for an even more important meeting.

Getting bumped or re-assigned from one space to another is something that most people experience from time to time in professional life. But when it becomes business as usual for employees to ignore, abuse, or circumvent the meeting room booking system, the impact isn’t limited to the time wasted rescheduling or searching for open rooms.

Double Booking Meeting Rooms Damages Employee Morale and Engagement

When employees are forced to scramble for space due to poorly managed schedule changes, it’s not just an inconvenience—it’s a message about how much the company values their time. Last-minute room shuffles demonstrate which groups and projects are viewed as priorities.

Getting bumped frequently or without sufficient notice can be a major frustration for a person, team, or an entire department. For example, you might have a sales staff that consistently takes priority over a group of product development people. Sales are critical—everyone accepts the logic. But if the two groups fall into a pattern where the sales team starts to abuse its room-booking privileges—or even seems to be abusing the system—it can foster resentment and damage important collaborative relationships.

Over time, complaints increase, disputes escalate, and meeting room scheduling becomes a dramatic spectacle that distracts everyone from their work. When these types of problems start occurring in the workplace, the best and brightest employees start thinking about finding a new opportunity somewhere else. Rumors spread and negative comments appear on Glassdoor about the company’s “toxic culture.” Hiring and retention become increasingly difficult.

Optimize Your Room Scheduling System for Employee Convenience

It’s important to minimize double bookings and make it easy for employees to manage any last-minute changes to room assignments. For many companies, the solution involves updated room scheduling software. However, having the right system in place is only half the battle—you also need to get employees to consistently use the software and abide by the rules. These best practices can help:

  1. Accessibility

Your workforce is increasingly mobile, so it’s critical for tools to be available anytime, anywhere, on any device. Providing 24/7 access to the booking system helps employees manage changes as they occur so the system is always up to date regarding room availability.

  1. Clearly Defined Expectations

To avoid frustration and conflict, everyone needs to understand the rules and expectations around meeting room use. For example, if certain rooms are meant to be reserved for specific groups or types of meetings, employees should be aware of this before booking the space.

  1. Transparency

Utilization of workspace should be transparent to management so any issues can be identified and addressed. Whether you have a popular room that gets double booked frequently or an underused location that’s gathering dust—you need to know so you can ensure the needs of your workforce are being met.