A conference room scheduling software is essential for any organization that wants to transition to a flexible and hybrid way of working. All conference room booking systems enable users to essentially book rooms. However, the most important elements of good scheduling software are:

  • How easy it is for employees to schedule hybrid or fully in-person meetings.
  • Is the system highly customizable to support the agility of your organization?
  • How the software integrates within your entire hybrid work strategy.

Hybrid work is a workplace model where employees work partly from the office and partly remotely. The foundation of the hybrid work model is flexibility for employees to work from anywhere. Furthermore, the future of the office is more and more about collaboration and less about just doing focused work. Therefore, scheduling office visits and booking meeting spaces are becoming more important than ever!

A few years down the line of the big hybrid work experiment, we can say that one of the most painful parts of it is the “hybrid meetings”. A hybrid meeting is whenever some of the people are in the office and others are joining online.

Painful or not, hybrid meetings are here to stay and we should not just brace them. We have to equip our employees with the best scheduling tools to make them feel awesome and spend enough time collaborating with their teammates!

What is a Conference Room Scheduling Software?

Conference room scheduling systems have always been with us in one way or another. We’ve all been through the pain of using Microsoft Exchange, Outlook, or Google Calendar to ‘reserve’ meeting ‘resources’. These systems are not built for the purpose of room booking though and as a result, the employee experience is very subpar, to say it mildly.

The focus of the conference room scheduling systems of the future though is more about scheduling meetings in an easy way and providing outstanding employee work experience.

Technology is so deeply ingrained in our life and so the workplace must be. However, in order to get there, meeting scheduling apps have to be at least as good as the apps we use on a daily basis, if not better.

Ease of use – Book from anywhere, meet anywhere

OfficeRnD Hybrid Microsoft Outlook SyncYour main focus when choosing a room booking solution should be the ease of use and potential reach of the application. The adoption of your booking platform and your employee satisfaction relies heavily on that. You really want to enable booking on all screens.

  • Book from a Web portal; We spend our working days in the browser and it is still the #1 utilized way of booking desks.
  • Book from a Mobile app; Your room booking system must have an extremely easy-to-use and awesome mobile app for iOS and Android.
  • Integrate a Calendar solution – Outlook or Google Calendar; Your system must be extremely well integrated with your organization’s calendar system.
  • Book from a Collaboration system – Teams or Slack; Your booking system must be where your people are – in your messaging app, like Microsoft Teams.
  • Book from Google Chrome; Most people use Google Chrome and having your booking system deeply integrated into the browser can make it a million times easier to reserve a space.
  • Reserve on the Room’s Tablet; Some people prefer to directly book the space from the tablet mounted in front of the room.

We use many screens for many reasons in our daily life. Your meeting room booking software should be available anywhere in order to increase your employee adoption and satisfaction, thus your use of office space.

System Customization and Configuration

The modern conference room booking systems are highly customizable and configurable to suit your need for agility. Some of the more important elements you should look for include:

  • Advanced space search; Employees should be able to not just find a room, but search for the right room – based on location, size, amenities, and other important details
  • Real-time availability and visibility; The future workplace is extremely dynamic. Meetings can get moved or canceled, and it can be hard to keep up in such a fast-paced environment.
  • Configurable interactive floorplan and way-finding features, where everyone can easily find available rooms and book them in real-time.
  • Delegated bookings; Such functionality enables your team leaders and managers to place bookings for their teams.
  • Recurring bookings; Arguably, one of the most important features that will make the lives of your employees a lot easier is recurring bookings. This can save them a lot of time and struggle to find space for their daily or recurring meetings.
  • Private bookings; In some cases, you may want to book a meeting space with limited visibility.
  • Room booking policies; You may want to allow specific employees or teams to book specific rooms only, or in certain areas, locations, zones, or neighborhoods. Or you may define your own cancelation policies, or prevent back-to-back bookings to allow for cleaning or preparation.
  • Great looking meeting room displays right at the door; Prevent conference room ghost bookings with a scheduling display tablet app.
  • Easy to use, or automated check-in system; You may use a check-in system to automatically free the room if no one shows up for their booking.
  • Configurable and white-label web, mobile and integrations experience; Your employees should easily recognize your brand.

Meeting Scheduling in the Hybrid Workplace

The future of meeting scheduling in the hybrid workplace relies heavily on technology to help people find the right spaces for their meetings based on a wide range of data.

For example, the system can detect that you have a meeting but no one has booked a room, so maybe you should. Or might be invited to a meeting with 8 people on Thursday, 5 of them are in-person. Maybe you want to book a desk for that day and join them in person? Some of the exciting features of meeting scheduling include:

  • Collaboration and Smart Scheduling capabilities; Coming to the office is a team play, so you should enable your teams to collaboratively reserve spaces.
  • Integrated Hybrid work experience; Your conference room scheduling system can be well integrated within your complete Hybrid Work policy. For example, booking a desk or inviting external guests and having an awesome visitor experience can be fully integrated with your meeting space scheduling system.
  • Advanced analytics; Last but not least, you should collect, measure and analyze all data about your space utilization. This way you can adjust your space to the needs of your employees. Even the free meeting room booking systems should have that.

What are the Benefits of a Room Booking Software?

A good meeting room booking solution can help you create a more productive and collaborative workplace experience for your employees. By the way, all that is part of a list of important hybrid work KPIs you want to track.

By spending less time scheduling conferences, your teams will be able to focus more on their day-to-day activities and get the most out of each meeting. Furthermore, you will significantly reduce the scheduling errors, such as duplicate bookings, wrong rooms, cancelations, etc. With meeting room software, you’re saving yourself a lot of time and frustration in advance.

Last but not least, conference room scheduling software provides you with data on how your employees use your space. You’ll gain valuable insights, such as meeting habits, space utilization, employee satisfaction, etc.

For example, if you frequently book a large room for 10 people to jump on a call just on your own, the software can help you choose a better space for your needs.

It sounds simple, however, the benefits exceed many times the investment in an easy-to-use, customizable and integrated meeting room booking system. If you’re into this topic, you should also check out our piece on how to improve your meeting room management process.

How to Get Started with a Meeting Room Booking System

The easiest way to start is by talking to one of our workplace experts about room booking and hybrid work software. You can book a time slot here. Or you can try it yourself by starting a free trial! It is as easy as 1,2,3!

Happy meetings and hybrid working! Don’t forget that OfficeRnD Hybrid also comes with an easy-to-use desk booking system too.

We hope to see you all collaborating in the offices. 🙂

Miro Miroslavov
CEO and Co-founder of OfficeRnD
Miro Miroslavov is a software engineer turned into a tech entrepreneur. In 2015 he co-founded OfficeRnD - a leading flex space and hybrid work management platform. As a CEO at OfficeRnD, he grew the company from inception to a leading software vendor that serves thousands of customers worldwide. He is a big fan of flexible working and is on a mission to "Making Flexible Working the Way of Working".