Automated Meeting Rooms: Leave Ghosts & Zombies Behind

We discuss a lot about automating the warehouse, the production line, logistics, and product delivery all across the supply chain. But what about automating the workplace experience by empowering the modern workforce to operate at more productive and effective levels?

Every supply chain manager knows that empowering the workforce is —or should be — of paramount importance for its organization to thrive. In order to collaborate more effectively, scheduling meetings effectively and, in turn, using resources sustainably leads to enhanced productivity. One would assume that scheduling meetings in an organization runs smoothly today, and that office buildings are designed with energy efficiency in mind.

However, insights captured about employee interaction with the physical space has given the conference room management and floor space utilization a shocking reality wake-up call.

Research conducted by Teem, a developer of cloud-based workplace experience meeting tools and workplace analytics, found that 21% of employees surveyed schedule ghost meetings (one-off meetings people fail to show up to) every month. And 4% organize zombie meetings (scheduled meetings that often result in employees not attending several times in a row).

”As a result, employees are left scrambling for open rooms, while reserved rooms sit empty, wasting roughly 30 hours of productivity each month,” Shaun Ritchie, co-founder and CEO of Teem, told EBN in an email interview.

Killing zombies

Through a meeting room analytics solution that includes a ”zombie killer” feature, Teem can actively monitor a company’s recurring meetings for which attendees are failing to check-in on the room display, according to Ritchie.

”Once a recurring meeting has failed to check-in for a specified number of consecutive occurrences, Teem removes the room from the recurring meeting series. This kills the zombie, and frees up that resource for the rest of the organization,” said Ritchie.

Powerful sensors & hunting rooms

”Our new platform integrates GE Current lighting sensors and Enlighted smart sensors to automatically check-in employees when they enter a room,” said Ritchie. This puts an end to hunted meeting rooms. Because it’s often difficult to see who is in the room people may be seen walking around the office wasting precious time to see if there is another room available.

”This is typically one of the frustrations among employees when they’re running around the office looking for spaces,” says Ritchie. ”When someone walks into a room, the room will be declared booked and will show up on Teem’s “Flightboard” display.

These sensors and IoT make the office space smart. However, things have not been always this way. ”Prior to sensors, meetings would have to be cancelled by the facilitator. Often times, it is someone who is no longer with the company, thus creating the zombie meeting. With sensor-integrated rooms, someone can look at the Flightboard display and see where they can find available rooms,” said Ritchie.  

Increasing productivity

There are many ways to improve productivity and collaboration in an organization. Offering a better workplace experience for people in the meeting room is one of them. ”As the workplace continues to evolve into office floor plans,” says Ritchie, ”it can get more difficult – even distracting – to simply collaborate and be productive.”

With the new smart sensor integration solution available in mid-October, Teem aims to allow companies of all sizes to make a better use of meeting rooms decreasing wasted room space. ”A better workplace experience not only means an increase in productivity but better efficiency, and overall happiness in the office,” concludes Ritchie.

Zombie & ghost meetings around the globe

Finally, having a closer look around the world, we can see – and be scared about – the distribution of the most haunted meeting rooms. The U.S. Pacific and Mountain time zones show the highest concentration of ghost and zombies in their meeting rooms, closely followed by U.S. Eastern and Europe.

Meanwhile, U.S Central is doing pretty well at keeping ghost and zombies away; organizations in Asia Pacific are so productive and efficient that ghosts and zombies are the ones who never show up in the meeting rooms!

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