They say time is money, but the same could be said of space. Commercial real estate is the second largest recurring cost for businesses after salaries. Considering how expensive it is to build, equip, and maintain workspaces, it is crucial to optimize resource utilization. Using office space more efficiently lowers real estate costs and allows companies to redirect funds to important activities.
Room utilization, known generically as resource utilization, is a measure of how workspace is used. Frequency rate measures the proportion of time workspace is used in comparison to its availability, while occupancy rate measures how full a space is compared to its capacity. In a corporate environment, understanding resource utilization is crucial to making decisions regarding real estate holdings. The underutilization of space is costly, not only because it involves real estate, but also because it affects employee efficiency. That’s why it’s important to consider whether meeting rooms are being used to their maximum value and whether the space supports the work employees are doing.
Reduce the number of empty meeting rooms with a meeting room manager
A meeting room manager that provides business intelligence reporting can help companies optimize the use of workspace. Resource utilization reports contain quantitative data demonstrating how existing meeting rooms are used. You can leverage the data to make improvements and guide informed management decisions. The reports give facility managers insight into actual demands so that they can make the most of existing real estate and avoid costly real estate expansions.
Merely finding empty rooms for meetings and assuming that you’re scheduling meetings in appropriate rooms isn’t enough. Optimizing meeting room utilization involves making sure that meetings are taking place in rooms of the appropriate size and that meetings are distributed across a company’s real estate holdings so that no space is over- or underutilized.
In order to use space optimally, you need to have the ability to review details about meeting rooms, such as their capacity, features, and other criteria. Not only does properly matching meeting rooms to user demands create financial savings, it also leads to greater staff efficiency and more satisfied visitors.
Extract reports on meeting room usage and reduce costs on real estate
Resource utilization reports provide insights into meeting room usage and availability throughout a building, equipping facility managers with actionable intelligence on how well meeting rooms and workspaces are being used. This enables companies to use existing space more intensively and maximize the employee to office ratio. Decisions regarding the need for additional office space can be delayed and resources consumed by underused workspaces can be reallocated.
Meeting room manager reports also inform decisions about the type and size of meeting rooms built in the future. For example, reports may show that meeting rooms are hosting fewer people than their maximum capacity allows, demonstrating that you have too many large meeting rooms and not enough small ones. As a result, you could lower costs substantially by creating more small meeting rooms, which are less expensive to build.
Meeting rooms can go empty if meeting organizers cancel meetings but don’t update their calendars. There are costs associated with no-shows. For instance, catering that was ordered for a meeting would go to waste if the meeting organizer forgets to update his or her calendar. A meeting room manager that sends automated reminders to meeting organizers can minimize no-shows. Meeting organizers have the option to click a link in the reminder email to cancel the meeting, which automatically cancels all associated services and frees up the unoccupied room. Eliminating no-shows creates additional meeting room capacity and supports your resource optimization efforts.
In a typical office building, lighting, heating, and cooling account for between 54% and 71% of total energy usage. A meeting room manager that generates resource utilization reports can help you lower energy usage and expenses as well as reduce your carbon footprint. This can be accomplished by leveraging the data provided to ensure that meeting rooms are used to their full capacity; switching heating, cooling, and lighting off when meeting rooms aren’t in use; and converting underutilized meeting rooms into office space.
Resource Central is a meeting room manager for Microsoft Outlook®. Resource Central generates resource utilization reports that identify how often your meeting rooms are used, for how long, and for what purpose. The reports help you uncover ways to improve resource utilization and increase efficiency, which results in significant cost savings. Resource Central also supports hot desking and hoteling, which increase the headcount in your office without requiring you to add more workspace. Sign up for an online demo or download a free trial today.