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Room Bookings

02 August 2011

SPONSORED ARTICLE:

CELLULAR OFFICES ARE A DYING BREED in office buildings. Many organisations have made the, often painful, transition to open-plan, and shared space, in response to a need to both save money, and also to improve communication through more Collaborative working. Yet some conversations need to be held in private, people need some quiet space to work uninterrupted, and mobile and home workers need to get together with their teams, which means that meeting rooms are in more demand than ever.
The types of space required has also changed. Whereas a six-man meeting room with a flip chart used to suit all occasions, now people require small pods for quiet working or phone calls, two-person rooms for confidential chats or space for 50 people for a monthly sales meeting. Technology needs have advanced with interactive whiteboards, conference calling facilities and telepresence often mandatory. And catering requests are often more sophisticated.
These changes have led many businesses to abandon paper diaries and Excel spreadsheets and choose more sophisticated room booking software. This allows customers to book meeting rooms online, or at point of use on electronic signage, and log in when they arrive. If there is a no show after 15 minutes, then the system releases the room and puts the availability back into the system – avoiding the need to search through diaries to find out who booked it.
This also provides cost savings, where booked rooms are often left unused as a result of cancelled meetings, forcing other office workers to seek room availability off-site, therefore incurring additional costs.
By using comprehensive room booking software, the FM team can have visibility of the most popular meeting rooms, most frequent bookers, together with trends in catering and can use the reports to target key bookers and communicate information or changes to meeting rooms without blanket mailing staff.
Having visibility of important management information also means that the facilities manager can optimise meeting room usage to ensure that the right room is used for the right purpose – no more two-person meetings in a room which fits 10 people.
And further development of this type of technology are anticipated – some organisations are using the same technology to manage car-parking spaces and hot desking facilities.
Service Works Group is the international supplier of QFM, the market-leading customisable facilities and property management software which includes comprehensive room booking capability, available as a standalone module, or a completely integrated solution. For more information visit www.swg.com, call 020 8877 4080 or email http://info@swg.com.


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