If you want a predictable and consistent experience with meeting room technology, standardisation is the key
For many of us, there’s no such thing as a standard day at the office. Every day there are different priorities, different tasks, different meetings. It’s what makes things interesting. But whilst we often crave a bit of variety in our lives, there are times when ‘standard’ is just what we need. Standard means predictable and consistent. It means less stressful, more straight-forward. If ever there was something in our lives that needs to be all these things, it’s workplace technology. And even more specifically, meeting room technology. Here’s why standardised meeting rooms are the way forward:
Standard meeting room problems
There’s nothing more frustrating than walking into a meeting room and not knowing how anything works. Even worse, to expect you’re going to have a certain amenity, like a display screen or conference speaker, only to find it’s not there. When you’re on the go, dashing from one meeting to the next, you want to be sure you’ll have the equipment that you need and that it will work first time, every time. And this doesn’t just affect you, the end user. IT and facilities departments around the globe are consistently inundated by support requests, trying to help users get meeting room tech to work, rather than dealing with bigger picture stuff. It’s no surprise that a recent study by Nemertes Research has found that standardisation of meeting rooms is one of the highest priorities for IT departments.
What is a standardised meeting room?
But what do standardised meeting rooms look like and how do you achieve this? The reality is that meeting rooms will vary from business to business, depending on the organisation’s specific needs. But the idea is that within any given organisation, staff can expect the same meeting room experience whichever room they are in. It could start with something as simple as a standardised meeting room booking system. This allows users to book or change room bookings and see room availability from either their own desktop or an interface outside the room. It really simplifies the process for users but also provides analytics of how rooms are being used which could shape your facilities strategy or office design going forward.
How to standardise meeting room hardware:
When choosing hardware, choosing a brand of technology that is uniform across all meeting rooms can be really helpful. But in the absence of this, trying technology which helps to standardise usage, for example wireless presentation systems that plug in via a USB. This takes away the need for different wires and ports, keeping things simple for the user and less hassle for the IT Team.
Centralised meeting room Management
Centralisation is also a key consideration for many IT departments. If you’re rolling out technology to 20, 50 or 100 meeting rooms in an organisation, it’s important that it can be managed centrally. You don’t want to have to physically go round every meeting room in the company to fix or maintain your equipment. Whilst choosing meeting room technology that can be managed centrally is more efficient for the IT department, it also prevents downtime for the end users. Problems can be addressed as and when they happen – rather than only being identified when someone starts to use the room. Some great examples of this are the Maestro management platform for StarLeaf video conferencing or a room booking system like EVOKO.
The Benefits of Standardised Meeting Rooms
The reason standardisation of meeting rooms is becoming such a focal point for IT departments, is due to the associated management, efficiency, usability and cost benefits.
- Meeting Room Management: Whether you’re responding to broken equipment, user queries or maintaining IT solutions, managing meeting rooms can be a real drain on time and resources. Standardisation makes meeting rooms easier to manage. If there’s one supplier for broken equipment or centralised maintenance of technology meeting room management is a lot easier. Having analytics on how your standard meeting rooms are used can also shape how they are managed going forward.
- Meeting Room Efficiencies: Being able to respond to all meeting rooms in the same way makes meeting rooms more efficient to manage. Even more so if there are centralised maintenance solutions that allow all rooms to be managed remotely. It saves time for the IT and facilities team and also saves down-time for the users.
- Meeting Room Usability: For the end user, standard meeting rooms means less down-time figuring out how things work. It also puts less pressure on the IT team to respond to technical problems associated with people just not knowing how things work. And if all meetings rooms are created equal, there is less pressure on a limited number of more desirable rooms.
- Meeting Room Costs: It’s true that to standardise meeting rooms, with a good quality fit out and enabling technology is going to cost money. But this can be offset against the cost savings of people working more efficiently, being less stressed and being more satisfied in the workplace. Things that can ultimately improve staff retention too.
Making it happen
The reality is that standardising meeting rooms can be a complex task. The trick is to identify the elements that you have that can be used, re-used or upgraded. What purchases offer value for money for your business and what will provide the greatest benefit? Technology is just part of the equation; you’ll need to think about the fit out and furniture of your meeting rooms too, in order to maximise the value you get from your technology purchases. At TecInteractive, our customers value our personal, consultative approach which means we can help you identify the most effective ways to standardise your meeting rooms. Our partnership with office fit out experts Blueprint Interiors means we can consider every element of your meeting room design to make sure your standardised meeting rooms are anything but standard.