According to the most recent hybrid work statistics, over one-quarter of all workers work in a hybrid environment. Suddenly, the need for hybrid work solutions that support hybrid working and office-based collaboration is greater than ever before. 

And while a more complete workplace management solution can streamline and organize the usage and management of meeting spaces, maybe you’re not sure where to start. It can be useful to consider testing a free meeting room booking template in Excel first. 

Combine this template with a Desk Booking template in Excel, then evaluate and choose the right hybrid workplace management tool for your organization.

This article will cover the basics of meeting room booking software and why, in most cases, it’s best to go with it instead of choosing a free meeting room booking template in Excel. 

We’ll also discuss the pros and cons of both options.

With the right information, you can determine the best way to ensure that your hybrid workplace is efficient and cost-effective. 

You can use the button below to open the Excel meeting room booking template as a Google Sheet (you have to make your own copy).

Sheet button

What Resource Booking Method Is Best for Hybrid Offices? The Survey Results Are Clear

To choose the right meeting room booking solution for hybrid offices, it helps to consider the preferences of both office-based and remote workers. 

Generally, meeting room booking software is better than free meeting room booking templates. Excel templates are useful but lack the features and flexibility that dedicated software provides.

woman working in an office

According to a recent survey conducted by OfficeRnD, 30% of survey respondents have implemented some form of hybrid work software, while only 11% have used an Excel template for their desk booking needs. 

It’s safe to assume that the results would be similar for a meeting room booking solution. After all, usually, desk booking and meeting room booking are equally needed in a flexible workplace. 

Clearly, employees have a preference for dedicated software solutions to manage their resource bookings, as their benefits outweigh those of free meeting room booking templates. More on that in a minute. 

Meeting room booking software is designed to provide users with a frictionless experience, allowing them to easily book and manage meeting rooms and spaces for business conferences.


Further reading:

Free Hybrid Work Schedule Template In Excel

Why Your Hybrid Workplace Needs Conference Room Scheduling Software


This type of software offers useful features, such as real-time availability updates, collaboration tools, and reporting capacities, to help you make the most of your hybrid office.

Understanding the Options: Meeting Room Booking Software vs. a Free Meeting Room Booking Template in Excel

Companies need a practical and cost-efficient solution when managing meeting room bookings. While meeting room booking software is the preferred choice for hybrid offices, there may be times when a free meeting room booking template in Excel is a viable option.

Think of it like having an “MVP” or “minimum viable product” for your meeting room booking needs. It may not have everything you need as you scale, but it’s a good place to start.

pros and cons of meeting room booking excel template

Understanding the differences between meeting room booking software and Excel templates can help determine the best solution for your organization.

Free Meeting Room Booking Template in Excel

So, what does a free meeting room booking template in Excel provide?

These reservation spreadsheets are typically used by smaller organizations and teams that don’t yet require a comprehensive booking system.

Excel meeting room booking templates:

  • Offer basic features such as static availability calendars and manual room bookings
  • Often require a significant level of manual intervention for resolving conflicts and tracking changes. 
  • Are a strong beginner’s option for small teams that need a simple booking system.

excel spreadsheet

The following are helpful questions you can ask to determine whether you should utilize a free template:

  • Are there any limitations to the template regarding the number of meeting rooms or recurring bookings?
  • Can the template be easily shared and collaborated on with other team members or stakeholders?
  • Are there any security concerns associated with using a free template, and if so, how can they be addressed?
  • How frequently is the template updated or maintained, and are there any known bugs or critical issues?

Be sure to check out our free meeting room booking template in Excel if you want a quick and easy solution to managing meeting room bookings.

And check out this article to come up with creative meeting room names. It matters.

Meeting Room Booking Software

Meeting room booking software is a comprehensive solution that automates the booking process, from checking availability to sending reminders. 

These third-party applications are an excellent option for hybrid offices, as they allow users to access and manage their bookings remotely with little to no manual effort required.

pros and cons of meeting room booking tool

Ask the following questions to determine whether meeting room booking software is the right choice for your organization:

  • Will the software be able to handle the size and complexity of my organization’s meeting room needs?
  • What are the customization options provided by the software, and can they be tailored to my organization’s requirements?
  • How simple is the software to use, and will it require significant training or support for our team members?
  • What is the pricing model of the software, and does it have a freemium plan?

These questions can help you weigh each option and determine which one best aligns with your goals.

Ready to streamline your booking process? 

Click here to get started for free with OfficeRnD Hybrid today.

Why Choose Meeting Room Booking Software?

Opting for a meeting room booking software solution comes with several benefits. These include reduced administrative work, the ability to facilitate recurring bookings, allowing employees to create bookings from anywhere, providing visual floor plans, and enabling analytics and reporting 

Essentially, meeting room booking software proves to be a comprehensive solution that helps companies of all sizes manage their on- and off-site team collaboration.

meeting room booking solution as compared with an excel spreadsheet

Let’s take a closer look at each of these benefits of meeting room booking software.

Reduced Admin Work

One of the main benefits of meeting room booking software is its ability to reduce the administrative work associated with booking and managing meeting rooms, especially compared to cumbersome Excel sheets.

This automation allows users to check room availability quickly, select the required amenities, and invite attendees from a user-friendly interface — ultimately simplifying the booking process and eliminating the need for manual data entry.

Recurring Bookings

To give you an example, OfficeRnD Hybrid’s advanced meeting room booking system allows employees to schedule one-time, recurring, or private bookings. 

The software also enables users to book multiple rooms in one go and access detailed reports that provide insights into meeting room utilization. 

Looking at this type of data can help you identify patterns and optimize your space to ensure you’re getting the most out of it. And this can lead to a reduced office footprint.

Booking From Anywhere

One factor some overlook when choosing a meeting room booking solution is the ability to book from nearly any platform, including Microsoft Teams, Google Calendar, and Outlook. 

This makes it fast and straightforward for workers to book rooms at any time, whether the day of or weeks in advance. 

man booking a meeting room

Users can also check availability and make reservations using their mobile device or tablet. This flexibility ensures that meetings can be scheduled efficiently and eliminates double bookings.

Visual Floor Plans

For larger offices, meeting room booking software also allows users to view interactive floor plans for the workspace. These plans provide a visual representation of where rooms are located and the availability of each space. Much better than looking at confusing sheets.

They also help ensure that meetings are held in suitable locations and that the likelihood of equipment conflicts occurring and inadequate space availability is low.

Advanced Meeting Room Analytics

Meeting room booking software also offers advanced meeting room analytics, providing insights into room utilization, occupancy, and other vital metrics.

This data can help upper management optimize their meeting room usage, identify trends, and make informed decisions about future room allocations. 

Examining meeting room analytics can also reduce the costs associated with unused meeting rooms, helping to maximize efficiency and profitability over time.

Most Important Elements of Meeting Room Booking Software

Since 2020, organizations across the globe have witnessed a 12.9% rise in the number of meetings per employee. This means the demand for meeting room booking software is greater than ever.

Keep the following key elements in mind when choosing a solution for your business:

factors to consider when choosing a meeting room booking solution

Ease of Use

Ease of use is a critical element of selecting meeting room booking software. The software should have a user-friendly interface that makes it easy to check a space’s availability, book a room, reserve equipment, and create attendance sheets. 

The platform should also require minimal training to use and offer features like streamlined processes, web browser compatibility, and the ability to book meeting rooms on a mobile app.. Analyzing user reviews can also provide valuable insights into the usability of a particular software.

Customization and Configuration Options

Customization and configuration options are also necessary when selecting meeting room booking software. Look for solutions that offer advanced search capabilities, interactive floor plans, and automated check-in systems. 

OfficeRnD Hybrid’s meeting room booking software meets all these requirements and more, making it an ideal choice for companies of any size.

Integration With the Most Popular Work Tools

This is crucial for ease of use and can significantly impact the adoption rate. 

The software you choose must be easily embeddable. In other words, it should provide an app-less experience for employees. No one needs yet another app.

For example, OfficeRnD Hybrid seamlessly integrates with the most commonly used Google and Microsoft tools, including the following:

  • Microsoft Teams
  • Slack
  • Outlook
  • Google Workspace

Watch the short video below to see how that works in action:

Get Started for Free With OfficeRnD Hybrid Today

Businesses have several options for booking meeting rooms, including Excel templates and meeting room booking software. 

While manual systems and Excel templates can work for smaller firms with more basic needs, meeting room booking software provides the most comprehensive solution.

The best part?

You don’t need a budget to start with award-winning meeting room booking software such as OfficeRnD Hybrid. 

With its ability to automate the booking process, offer customization options, provide visual floor plans, and deliver advanced analytics, meeting room booking software helps businesses maximize the value of their meeting room resources and improve workplace efficiency. 

Get started for free with OfficeRnD Hybrid to manage and book meeting rooms with ease.

FAQ

Can you use Excel As a Booking System?

Yes, Excel can be used as a booking system. Excel templates can help manage reservations, including room availability, equipment requirements, and attendee lists. However, these booking form templates can be time-consuming, prone to errors, and not scalable for businesses with more complex needs.

Why Choose Meeting Room Booking Software Over an Excel Template?

While Excel templates can function as a booking system, meeting room booking software provides several benefits, making it a more appealing option for businesses. One of the critical advantages of meeting room booking software is its automation capabilities, which rationalize the meeting process and reduce the frequency of double bookings and the necessity of administrative work.

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".