Today, companies maintain a strong focus on cutting costs, boosting productivity, and increasing profitability. Because leasing commercial office space is one of the largest expenses incurred by new and expanding businesses, real estate is an area where businesses frequently look for ways to aggressively cut costs.
While the term “Return-On-Investment”, or ROI, might seem overused, it’s a highly important concept because businesses of all sizes must ensure that any investment they make yields positive returns. The ROI of resource scheduling software and hot desking/hoteling lies in the time and space recovered when you book and use your resources in the most optimal way possible.
In order to reduce real estate costs, you have to know exactly how much space you’re using and why. Nevertheless, it’s not uncommon for management teams to devise space reduction or expansion plans without even knowing exactly how much space is used and for what purposes. Capturing space utilization data with resource booking software enables you to exploit workspace more efficiently. Knowing exactly how many rooms and desks are sitting empty and how much it is costing your company can inform future decisions.
People frequently book workspace with the intention of using it but then have a change of plans and the workspace remains vacant. On other occasions, a meeting coordinator might schedule a meeting room for multiple dates but then fail to release the unused resource even if it turns out they won’t need it. This renders open spaces unavailable for other employees. Another common situation is when meeting organizers book a large meeting room because they aren’t sure how many people are going to show up, so only a small fraction of the space is even used. According to a survey by architecture and design firm HOK, 73% of meetings involve only 2 to 3 people, but 53% of conference rooms are built for meetings of 7 or more people.
If all of a company’s meeting rooms appear to be in use even when they’re not, meeting organizers may have to resort to renting expensive office space and audiovisual equipment off-site. This leads companies to incur unnecessary costs.
Workspace needs are also changing as a result of the growing “anytime, anywhere” workforce. Many employees now work off-site and therefore do not need a permanent office. These employees typically work from home and only come into the office when they need to meet with co-workers. Some workers, such as salespeople, travel frequently, so they only come to the office on occasion. In workplaces with a large population of remote or mobile employees, shared workspace strategies like hot desking and hoteling can be beneficial.
Hoteling allows mobile employees to schedule a desk, meeting room, or other workspace in advance of their arrival, while the term “hot desking” refers to the use of open workspaces that don’t require a reservation. Hoteling and hot desking provide workers with convenient access to workspace on an as-needed basis, enabling them to stay connected with their co-workers in the office.
Predicting and planning the amount of workspace mobile workers with fluctuating schedules will need is a challenge. If you allocate too much workspace, you won’t be able to cut costs. If you allocate too little workspace, you’ll have employees fighting over workspace and eventually avoiding the office because they don’t want to deal with the hassle of trying to secure workspace. Workspace shortages fuel anxiety and cause employees to book space in advance just in case they need it. This just worsens the shortage. Workspace utilization reports generated by resource booking software are helpful because they allow organizations to evaluate actual usage data to support their planning efforts.
Equipment is another sizable investment for companies. Managing equipment with resource booking software provides a healthy ROI. For example, if you tightly and effectively schedule audiovisual equipment with resource booking software, you may find that as the number of meetings your company holds increases, you don’t necessarily need to purchase more equipment and resources. Instead, you may find that all you need is a better tool and process for booking and managing equipment.
Resource booking software that can be accessed from a desktop, laptop, tablet, or mobile device streamlines the process of finding and booking meetings. Paper-based booking can easily lead to mistakes like double bookings, but resource booking software allows you to cancel meetings with the click of a mouse, freeing up the room you reserved and notifying attendees automatically. Furthermore, resource booking software gives users a clear view of all meeting rooms at your facility and their schedules, making it easy to find an available slot at a glance.
Implementing resource booking software like Resource Central by Add-On Products can achieve a significant ROI. Resource Central is a meeting and resource booking system for Microsoft Outlook® and Exchange that generates resource utilization reports and supports hot desking and hoteling arrangements. Add-On Products representatives are happy to discuss your current scheduling environment and needs with you. We can show you how Resource Central will lower your real estate costs and increase your company’s efficiency. Contact us today and schedule a free trial or free online demo of Resource Central.