Meetings are meant to improve productivity and efficiency. It is a time when people gather to get on the same page, create awareness of what needs to be done, and hold each other accountable to ensure that tasks get completed. If not planned out well, however, meetings can be a waste of time, and ultimately, hurt your company’s bottom line.
It’s important to schedule meetings for the right amount of time and with the right people, always starting with a clear objective in mind. Assigning someone to lead the meeting is key to ensure that it doesn’t go off the rails. But it’s not just the meetings themselves that can hurt efficiency and productivity if not carefully planned out.
The process of scheduling meetings, inviting attendees, finding and booking available meeting rooms, ordering catering, and sharing calendars with teammates can be wrought with time-wasting inefficiencies. If you often host visitors at your office, having a disorderly meeting scheduling process can also make a poor impression on prospects and business partners.
Microsoft Outlook® is the go-to email platform for most companies, and many people also use it to organize their tasks and schedules. It is ubiquitous in the workplace. Most people are familiar with Outlook and its features, so user adoption is never a concern. But out of the box, Outlook® alone isn’t sufficient for booking meeting rooms, effectively managing office space, and ordering services for meetings.
Managing multiple meeting rooms effectively isn’t always easy. From double bookings to no-shows, there are multiple issues that can plague the meeting room management process.
A meeting room booking system like Resource Central provides you with a number of features that Outlook® alone cannot. An add-on seamlessly integrates with Outlook® and feels like a part of the original system, so people can learn how to use it with little to no training. Users don’t have to log into a separate tool in order to complete their bookings since the add-on is an extension of Outlook® itself. Below are some helpful features of meeting room booking software.
Finding a meeting room that meets your needs is easy in Resource Central because you are provided with an at-a-glance overview of room availability and features. You can review pictures and seating charts to get a better feel for a room and whether it is suitable. This ensures that the use of space is maximized.
Resource Central also allows you to book other services from within your Outlook® calendar, so you can take care of all aspects of your booking in one place. If you need catering, A/V equipment, or other services, you can place orders with internal and external service providers in just a few clicks to ensure that you have what you need for your meeting.
With space utilization data and reporting, you can track when and how people use space, determine which meeting rooms are under- and overutilized, and gain a better understanding of usage trends. This helps you make more informed decisions about office design and meeting room sizes, resulting in significant real estate savings in the long run.
A group calendar provides a single place where teams can track common schedules in Outlook®. A group calendar is beneficial because it allows you to quickly view the schedules of your teammates and streamlines the meeting scheduling process.
Personal calendars aren’t scalable for teams because you have to follow multiple calendars. It’s also hard for team members to add events, and team members and people from other teams aren’t able to easily view or subscribe to the group calendar. Exchange Central is a group calendar for Outlook® that provides a central place for teams to track their schedules on an ongoing basis or for specific projects.
To learn more about Resource Central, Exchange Central, and other add-ons that extend the capabilities of Outlook® to help you maximize productivity and efficiency, contact us today and schedule a free trial or online demo!