As we increase herd immunity with every Covid vaccination, we’re optimistic that flexible office spaces will start to see an upsurge in meeting room usage this summer. Just about every business has formulated their return-to-work game plan and we’re sure this plan includes the need for meeting space, so coworking operators should be prepared! Here are three ways to ensure your meeting room business is primed and ready to navigate the post pandemic office successfully.
You must offer online meeting room booking capabilities
- Even if you’re a single space operator, real-time meeting rooms and guest office booking capabilities are more important now than ever. Teams haven’t been able to collaborate in-person for over a year, so meeting room users want the ease of viewing availability real-time and the flexibility to make bookings 24/7/365. The inability for a prospect to book a meeting space online can be a reason they choose to go with another space over yours, so we can’t stress this enough.
- Your online booking system should also show the size of each conference room and occupancy maximums. Groups will want to know which room will serve their needs best in terms of space to ensure too many people aren’t crammed into a small area.
- The resources available in each meeting room should also be listed such as mirror displaying devices (AppleTV, Apple Airplay), whiteboards (electronic or otherwise), and any other technology features that users can leverage to optimize their productivity.
- Your meeting room booking system should also list any other amenities that are important to users post Covid such as touchless door-entry systems and check-in capabilities, foot operated sanitizing stations, and touchless charging stations.
Consider investing in meeting room technology
- When it comes to meeting rooms, much of the concern stems from the inability to social distance, but there are ways to keep a safe headcount without sacrificing productivity. For instance, leveraging technology tools like Zoom Rooms Video Conferencing can be a great solution to reducing over-crowded meetings. A Zoom Room differs from a regular Zoom Meeting as it offers a high-level video conferencing experience with HD cameras, built-in microphones, large flat screen TV’s, and wireless content sharing between multiple users for a professional interactive experience. Teams can do a combination where some people attend meetings in- person, with the rest of the team connected via Zoom Room Video Conferencing technology to avoid a high headcount so that everyone feels safe.
- Whiteboards are commonly used during collaboration sessions, but the concern here is people congregating too closely around a shared surface. This is where digital versions of whiteboards come in handy. Many of our partner locations like Pacific Workplaces have electronic whiteboards like Kaptivo, which allows you to capture all ideas written on a white board, save it, and then share it with the rest of your team. Zoom Rooms Video Conferencing also offers interactive whiteboarding capabilities. Jamboard and Mural are other digital whiteboarding tools you can look into as well.
- Offer options when it comes to types of meeting spaces users can book. Instead of just small and large conference rooms, offer media rooms (i.e. multipurpose spaces where people can gather to enjoy any type of media and collaborate efficiently), and if you really want to step up your game, offer a podcast room!
Keep up the good work
- One of the good things that has come out of Covid is that it forced us to take our Health & Safety procedures to the next level. In our post Covid era, it’s important to stay diligent and make sure your meeting rooms are clean, sanitized, and disinfected regularly to ensure a safe and healthy work environment for your members and customers. Train your team to keep the pandemic sanitation procedures in place as much as possible to avoid reverting back to old habits. Continue to offer convenient (in-room) access to wipes and cleaning supplies so members and guests are also encouraged to wipe down and refresh surfaces before exiting the meeting space.
- It’s also a good idea to communicate with your team about the importance of monitoring meeting rooms so that they are not used as ad-hoc crash pads by existing members. We’re all familiar with members who like to pop into meeting rooms (without a reservation) to make phone calls or have a quick conversation with someone. Some may not see this as a big deal, but if people are utilizing meeting rooms randomly and without a reservation, not only is it hard to track and limit exposure, but that’s more time staff has to spend sanitizing and cleaning to make the space available for the next group. Train your team on how to handle these old habits as they come up so that everyone in your space can feel confident about the benefits in-person meetings can offer.