Whether you run a medium-sized business or a large corporate space, we’ve got no doubt that you host lots of meetings. In any workplace setting, meetings are essential for collaboration, sharing ideas and relaying information.
If you have multiple meeting spaces, whether they be in-person or virtual, standardizing them - making them seem the same across the board - can help you to boost productivity and increase engagement. We’ll go into what standardization is, the benefits and tips on standardizing meeting rooms in this article!
Standardization is the practice of having a consistent experience across meeting rooms within a company. It doesn’t necessarily mean that everything is exactly the same - of course, meeting rooms come in different shapes and sizes and naturally, they won’t look exactly the same!
Instead, we’re talking about standardizing meeting experiences, particuarly the technology inside a meeting room, which can enhance productivity.
There are quite a few benefits of standardization! It can help you to be more productive and deal with issues when they come up. Here are some of the most crucial advantages:
Potentially the biggest perk of standardization is that it can save colossal amounts of time. During COVID times, employees across the world become much more acutely aware of how time-wasting meetings can be.
In fact, some reports show that as much as 15% of meetings is wasted time - which is time that employees could spend on other projects more directly connected to their roles. And this Forbes article goes even more extreme, suggesting that half of the time in meetings is wasted time!
This happens in virtual meetings too - how many times did you have to say “you’re on mute!” during your hybrid meetings? Plus, this hilarious but also very relatable story of a lawyer who was trapped in a cat filter demonstrates how much time can easily be wasted in meetings by not using the right technology.
One of the biggest time-wasters in meetings is setting up hardware and software, switching presenters and dealing with any issues that come up.
You can tackle this by standardizing your meeting technology; using the same hardware and software for all meetings, so everyone knows exactly how to operate it as the meeting begins.
As we mentioned, standardization saves time. But it’s worth also mentioning that saving time often equals increased productivity!
The fact that employees will already know how to use particular forms of technology in their workspace can boost productivity dramatically. This has a lot of knock-on effects, including more positive meetings - as everyone will feel like they are there for a reason - and more time spent doing tasks outside the meetings if they end earlier.
In the long run, productive workplaces usually result in more business growth, higher profits and better staff retention. So making the tiny step of standardizing your meeting rooms can have huge positive consequences!
Standardization can also help when things go wrong. While the workplace has undergone a digital transformation and forms of technology are increasingly reliable, small errors (as tiny as forgetting to turn on the plug at the wall!) can cause things to not work. But when meeting rooms are standardized, troubleshooting becomes a whole lot easier!
If meeting rooms appear the same across the workplace, troubleshooting becomes effortless. If you ever do encounter a problem, it’s likely that you already have discovered it in another room. Or, if it’s a brand new problem, you can note it down so that if you run into the same issue, it’s easily resolved!
You can dramatically reduce the time spent training staff members by standardizing meeting rooms (and the whole workplace). If you use the same technology across the office, you’ll only need to train a staff member on one of them, rather than a range of different hardware and software.
Starting a new job can be incredibly daunting, and any newbies will appreciate not needing to do too much training when they begin!
If each department was making choices about their project management software, you could end up using Slack, Asana and Monday in just one office! However, if this is standardized and you invest in just one project management software, not only will it save you money, but you might be able to justify paying for the higher-level package (such as Asana’s business package or Slack’s business+ or enterprise grid).
This means that you’ll access better features than if you were using the more basic packages - for example, Slack’s enterprise grid offers collaboration with support for up to 50,000 members.
Having the same tools in your meeting rooms is an immediate fast track to audio-visual standardization. If you utilize identical hardware and software across rooms, then you’ll be much more likely to offer a universal experience across the workplace.
Some of the tools that you can incorporate include:
Software is another important part of meeting room standardization. Throughout the workplace, use the same virtual meeting software (such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams) and project management tools (such as Asana or Slack).
Not only does using the same software have potential money-saving benefits, as discussed above, but ensuring that your staff members are accustomed to a particular software platform is a surefire way to boost productivity and engagement.
Remote meetings are becoming increasingly commonplace, so don’t forget these when you are thinking about standardizing.
If your employees all have workplace laptops, try to make them the same, so troubleshooting becomes easier if anyone experiences issues during a remote meeting.
The use of virtual meeting spaces, informal virtual rooms where remote team members can gather in a more lifelike setting, is becoming more widespread.
There are lots of different platforms on offer, so it might take you time to find the perfect one for your workplace, but try to eventually select just one space to standardize this as well.
Make any decisions about hardware and software in standardized rooms at a higher level, rather than individual departments deciding.
Appoint one manager in the office - they could perhaps be in the human resources team - to make decisions about what hardware and software the business uses.
Of course, they could invite people’s comments about different tools, but ultimately this one person will decide on the standardized tools for the entire company.
As we move into a technology-focused workplace, increasing productivity and saving office time have never been more paramount. People are hyper-focused on the fact that menial tasks can waste a lot of their working time, and quite a few of these can be resolved by standardization.
By utilizing the same software and hardware throughout your meeting rooms - and indeed, in your whole office - you can have a more engaged, productive and ultimately successful workplace!