A major international financial organization found the return to the office created a real problem at its London HQ. Staff attending the office were able to book desks – but meeting rooms suitable for smaller meetings were simply not available, which was making collaboration challenging.
The company asked NFS to come up with a solution – and ended up freeing 40% of previously blocked meeting space.
The data-based solution
NFS deployed state-of-the-art room sensors for the client – and after three months of data collection some interesting facts were revealed:
- Smaller meeting rooms were being booked by the PA community for senior staff visiting the office, just in case a suitable desk in the right location of the building was not available. Key booking criteria cited were quiet, a good view and lower people flow.
- Staff attending collaboration sessions were also booking small meeting rooms and in some cases client rooms, rather than the more suitable collaboration booths—apparently some staff did not realise this was the thing to do.
- Smaller rooms were booked for the day and typically used for less than two hours (75 minutes was the average use), so staff were booking for a day and the rooms was left vacant for most of that day. Sensor data was used to identify this problem and integration with the Rendezvous meeting room booking software helped identify those who needed to be encouraged to better space use.
The successful actions
Based on the data collected, the organization took these highly successful actions:
- Auto bump rules were applied to all small room bookings so if a room was not in use by 10am and used for a minimum of two hours the booking was cancelled. This released over 40% of previously booked blocked space – and killed the myth that no rooms were available.
- Small meeting rooms in collaboration areas were made bookable for only two hours using a compact room panel. A new meeting type was created, called The Short Meeting – this also encouraged staff to book more appropriate space at the outset, for example, a collaboration booth for the day.
- All meeting rooms were supplied with sensors, and if a room was not occupied, the space was released and the booker notified by email to make a new booking if required. Some larger meeting rooms with low utilisation rates were converted into smaller meeting rooms.
This combination of room sensors, the link to the booking system and the capture of granular data by the minute of room use solved the issue of meeting space and also provided the data to make space re-purposing decisions in a manner that secured the support of the staff community and senior leader – a win-win for everyone.
Key learning: Data-driven decision-making is key to securing workplace change and effective space utilization.
Discover how to use data insights to shape your hybrid workplace