Source: Three ways you can optimize meetings in your organization (hint: the room matters) from Google Cloud
Meetings are at the heart of team collaboration and productivity, amounting to 15 percent of an organization’s collective time according to Bain & Company. It’s the same here at Google—we collaborate in lots of meetings each day.
We all have the power to make meetings more valuable, which is why we’ve focused on creating tools that make collaboration more efficient in G Suite, like Google Calendar, Hangouts Meet and Hangouts Meet hardware. But beyond the people and the technology, the physical spaces where we host meetings have a big impact on productivity, too.
For this reason, we’re on a mission to help IT teams and facilities managers better utilize their meeting room space. Here are three best practices to consider.
1. Use room analytics to adapt your office setup to changing needs.
Understanding trends and usage can be crucial to helping you maximize ROI on real estate investments. To help IT and real estate teams make more informed choices about how to utilize rooms and resources, we recently launched the Room Insights Dashboard, a comprehensive tool in the Admin console that shares information about how rooms are being used. With Room Insights, you can see things like which rooms are most popular, which rooms are over or under-utilized and which equipment drives room usage.
Anju Antony, product owner at Thoughtworks, used the reports to gain insights into his team’s room usage. “The reports helped us realize that we had a room with booking rights restricted to a single team, which was getting very low usage. By sharing the metrics with them we were able to change this, opening it up for use by everyone.”
Learn how you can start using Room Insights in our Help Center.
2. Free up unused conference rooms.
Have you ever struggled to find a room to book, only to see empty meeting rooms throughout your building? More often than not, these rooms get booked but not used because attendees are working from home or traveling, or simply because everyone declined a meeting. We noticed this problem at Google, too, so we developed an intelligent system to free up meeting rooms when all but one person declines.
[Automatically releasing rooms] has helped us consistently free up 200-300 hours of conference rooms each day. Best five minutes I’ve ever spent.Jason Uhlrich
Since launching the automatic room release feature this year, we’ve seen nearly 86,000 room hours per month released at Google—the same as more than 400 conference rooms. Jason Uhlrich, senior system administrator on the Collaboration Team at Salesforce has also seen better room utilization. “This feature took five minutes to implement and it is consistently freeing up 200-300 hours of conference rooms each day. Best five minutes I’ve ever spent.”
With more room availability, organizations can free up space for other employees to re-book and collaborate. Read more about how to get started in this post.
3. Reduce IT support requests.
Making sure your meeting equipment—like cameras, speakers and touchscreens—is functional at all times across a growing fleet of rooms can be taxing and expensive for even the most experienced IT teams. We introduced Hangouts Meet hardware last year to make scaling video conferencing more cost effective and to reduce time spent on complicated installation and training.
More recently, we added auto-remediation functionality to Meet hardware to help organizations cut back on the number of support tickets filed for issues. With auto-remediation, Meet hardware auto-detects issues and takes corrective action so that your room is always ready for the next meeting. At Google, we saw a 65 percent drop in support ticket requests after introducing this feature—something our IT and support teams can appreciate.
More tips for Hangouts Meet Hardware users
These three tips above can help your organization increase ROI on meeting rooms and devices. More specifically, if you’re a G Suite customer and use Hangouts Meet hardware, take the following steps to optimize your meeting room strategy.
Properly catalogue your meeting spaces and equipment to help your employees optimize which meeting rooms they book and stay productive. For example, log equipment and room size detail in the Admin console so folks know they’re booking a space that fits their needs.
Start gathering insights on your meeting rooms to discover patterns and inform future facilities decisions. You can use tools like Room Insights to do this.
If you’re using Hangouts Meet hardware in your meeting rooms, you can benefit from smart features like auto-remediation to reduce the burden on IT (instead of having to respond to IT tickets that should be resolved on their own). You’ll be notified if the system detects a problem it can’t solve automatically, so you can take action when necessary.
Partner closely with real estate and facilities, service providers, technology teams and supply chain partners to develop a roadmap and prepare for growth and expansion needs.
Lastly, check out this Room Design Guide that includes best practices from teams who have helped design Google’s meeting room spaces, including provisioning 20,000 endpoints across 53 countries.