Five ways to improve meeting room productivity

In every corporate working environment, the meeting room is where the most critical business decisions are made, and are the main hub of communication, creativity and collaboration. The meeting environment has to have the right set up, with the ability to share visuals or information from different devices in order to help engage the participants and encourage collaboration to make the meeting far more effective. 

For businesses of every size, investment in today’s meeting rooms has to be based on bolstering productivity, innovation and that all-important element of improving collaboration. This concept becomes even more powerful if various people can share content at the same time, rather than it being limited to one person. And, as companies embrace BYOD and employees bring their own personal devices to meetings, whether that be a laptop, smartphone or tablet, being able to utilise it in a meeting room set up will help rather than hinder productivity. 

In fact, 74 per cent of organisations are either already using or are planning to use BYOD according to a survey by Tech Pro Research. 

We have put together some general top tips that should help companies run the most effective business meetings. No more finger drumming or distractions from dodgy technology and connections – now all of your meeting time can be maximised:

(1) Embrace – More businesses now recognise the benefits of BYOD and the advantages it can bring to the meeting room. The sharing of content stored across devices makes them ideal for many different meeting room scenarios, whether it is for training sessions, sales presentations or strategic planning. Companies should be embracing employee’s personal devices, after all many of these laptops, smartphones or tablets are often more technologically advanced than organisation-provided technology. That technological capability can be exploited to make meetings far more effective.

Read more about increasing productivity in your business:

(2) Enable – When sharing information, visuals and presentations, the meeting room technology has to be able to support multiple devices, and their associated operating systems, whether that is Android, iOS, Windows etc. So whichever device people want to use, and whatever sharing protocol, it’s important to just enable it  be it sharing via iOS or Android apps, or even airplay or Google Cast.

(3) Connect  Efficiency in meetings is about maximising every minute and not wasting time on unnecessary interruptions and technology glitches. The ideal solution is a world away from the tangled web of cables, adaptors and connectors that we’ve become accustomed to. New and emerging meeting room technology can make connecting seamless and easy, either via Wi-Fi, USB or Bluetooth, with no software downloads or settings changes needed. 

In a recent study conducted by Vanson Bourne, on behalf of Barco, it was found that meeting participants experienced 63 per cent more stress when technology problems occurred. This was demonstrated in an experiment within the study conducted by MindLab International where respondents’ heart rates were monitored. Where technology presented problems, their heart rates reached 179bpm which is an indicator of high stress considering a resting heart rate is just 60-100 bpm.

(4) Collaborate  The fundamental purpose of a meeting is to share information and express points of view. To encourage better collaboration and engagement among participants each of them needs to have the technological capability to share their information, data or visuals simultaneously on a screen. Multiple attendees may want to make many different contributions to a meeting and being able to do this at the same time as everyone else, on the same screen, is a vital step to improving collaboration.

(5) Stay Secure – Negate any security concerns surrounding connecting “external” devices to a company network. Whether clients want to connect to your meeting room technology, or maybe colleagues in a different location, IT may have a problem bringing foreign devices on to the company network. However, if your meeting room technology has its own Wi-Fi capabilities to enable users to connect with it directly, while not actually on the organisation’s network, security concerns will be eradicated, paving the way for a more efficient meeting.

Jan Willem-Brands is VP of collaboration at Barco.

“The culture of presenteeism is going to kill British workers” – that’s an actual title from an article in The Guardian outlining how working longer hours definitely doesn’t make us more productive. Now it seems staff feel their extra efforts have been in vain.

Image: Shutterstock

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