There seems to be a re-occurring pattern in today’s office environment: You check your company’s calendar, look into what conference rooms are available, and there isn’t any. Do you always find that when you do eventually find a free slot, once you have already invited your colleagues to join you, you receive countless emails asking if you could change your time as they need the room for something more important?
More times than not, one of those emails comes from your boss, so you inevitably have to re-book and begin the entire process from the start. This game of cat and mouse continues for a couple of weeks and just as you feel like giving up, you manage to find a room and a time slot that is less than half a year away.
So, you’ve got your room and your time slot. The invitations are sent and preparations for your meeting is well underway. You organize the final touches and head off to the conference room. At this point, you have so much information to share with your teams, it feels like you are going to have to book another meeting regardless!
Just as you attempt to enter the meeting room, you realize that the room is full and you’re already five minutes into your time slot. Nobody looks up as you enter the room, only finally turning around when you ask if they are nearly done, only to be told that the room has already been booked for this time slot. Whether that is true or not, you have to leave begrudged.
So why is this a reoccurring situation? You may feel like this is just affecting you but in fact, it’s happening to businesses all over the world.
Firstly, companies are having consistently more meetings. There are studies that found that there are over 25 million meetings occurring every day in the U.S alone. This figure is roughly double what it was in 1999.
With more and more businesses expanding and trying to meet their every client’s request, meetings are a necessary daily requirement. With that in mind, the buildings, in which these businesses are located, are simply not designed to handle this increasing development. A traditional office used to be row upon row of personal cubicles with a handful of rooms available for meetings. Most office setups only had one or two conference rooms available. Now that meetings are becoming more and more frequent, the physical layout of most businesses simply doesn’t supply this demand.
Luckily, as businesses evolve and look to more modern offices designs, there is a big emphasis on open plan office layouts, many of which provide multiple tables and social areas in which meetings can take place, meaning you don’t have to queue up and fight for months on end about who has the projector room.