Is your Outlook obsession holding your company back? Here’s how to go for growth with perfect meetings
In just five to ten years, we’re going to be attending video conferences as holograms, according to one recent report by video collaboration expert Scott Wharton.
In Yale Insights, he says: “Video conferencing won’t be nearly as good as being there – it’ll be better.”
So is your organization already in danger of being left behind because you’re hung up on using just Outlook?
That’s no way to be. Video conferencing brings together teams from anywhere in the world with their clients in other countries and time zones – at low cost.
Distributed teams can work around the clock effortlessly to move your company forward.
But to make it happen, you need to be able to book meetings with multiple-locations and in different time zones.
You can do that in Outlook. But the process is complicated, and the time it costs and errors it creates can slow you and your organization down.
In fact, it could be doing this every day of the working year.
So what’s the best way to manage multi-location, multi time-zone meetings?
Let’s compare using just Outlook with state-of-the-art meeting room booking software.
Your ‘just Outlook’ experience
In Outlook, making multi-location, multi time-zone bookings is a complicated and time-consuming task.
You have to:
1. Open your calendar
2. Go to options then scroll down until you find the time-zone section
3. Tick the boxes for a second or third time-zone and select the relevant locations
4. Go back to the calendar
5. Right-click and select new appointment at the time relating to the main host’s location
6. Click on scheduling assistant and search for a room with availability in the main location. You have to keep on opening room calendars until you spot a free room at the desired time
7. Select first room
8. Repeat the search stage for the second and third rooms, remembering to apply the right time-zone each time
9. If the second or third locations have no availability that coincides with the first room, you have to repeat the process with a new time that works
10. Now you check attendee availability to make sure that everyone can make the time of the meeting
11. If any of them is unavailable, you have to try to find a slot that works for all – and then repeat the room search again
12. Invite all three meeting rooms to the meeting, plus all attendees
13. Click send
14. Take a deep breath – and hope none of the attendees suggests an alternative meeting time
This booking process takes a massive 30 minutes on average.
That’s 30 minutes for EACH meeting.
As your company grows, the number of meetings increases, and now you have to dedicate employees completely to managing meetings.
Even then, you can still only manage a maximum of three time-zones this way.
Your meeting room booking software experience
If you have access to an enterprise-level meeting room booking software you just:
1. Open your calendar
2. Right-click and select new appointment at the time relating to the main host’s location
3. Select room booking solution
4. Select multi-room booking
5. Add as many locations as required – this is unlimited
6. Select locations from the drop down – the correct time-zone for each is shown
7. Click Find
8. Click free/busy
9. See quickly whether attendee availability and room availability for each location match
10. Select the multiple rooms required and hit the book button
This booking process takes 2 minutes on average
For a busy person organizing 10 multi-location video conference meetings a month, the time saved with meeting room booking software is over 4.5 hours.
That’s not to mention the human cost of frustration and the burden of carrying out repetitive, boring and unnecessary admin tasks.
Why video conferencing = wellbeing + talent retention
Today, organizations need to work hard to retain talented employees, and most wish to create working environments where wellbeing is a priority and people can enjoy getting on with their jobs, without tedium or delay.
Collaboration tools like video conferencing and AV are a modern miracle when it comes to enabling innovation and productivity, and in bonding teams together across distances. They reduce frustration and promote happy working.
In addition, they reduce an organization’s carbon footprint and cut travel costs, as well as saving workers time sitting in traffic.
Sounds good, right? And it is when it works right – but it’s also been shown that employees shun these modern meeting methods if they find them hard to organize.
So what it adds up to is this:
You could actually be slowing the geographical growth of your company by failing to create perfect meetings the easy way – and putting a crimp in the collaborative power and productivity of your workforce.
You could even be making people unhappy at work by putting ‘just Outlook’ admin in their way.
And in five or 10 years, when holograms are sitting down to talk serious business, your company most certainly won’t be joining the party.
So the question is if you really want to grow can you afford to let using ‘just Outlook’ slow you down?
Or do you want to book a demo of Rendezvous meeting room booking software right now – before it’s too late?
Luis De Souza
Chief Executive Officer
Luis Desouza is CEO of NFS Technology Group. He has a proven track record in providing solutions for major international corporates, law firms, hospitality operators and venues. Luis takes a keen interest in technological trends and how they can be applied to space utilisation and improving occupancy and uses this vision to drive the development of our solutions.