Shared resources like conference rooms are a source of great office culture, but also sometimes undue stress.
Sure you can design a space in company colors, and make it look picture perfect, but theres a lot more to company culture.
Culture is built over time – here are some tips for encouraging a great conference room sharing culture in your space:
1. Set expectations from the beginning. As early as the first tour through the space, promote your shared resources, and explain that the rooms are free to use, and encourage that they be good neighbors. Ending meetings on time, clearing off the whiteboards after use, leaving the room the way you found it are some examples.
2. Double down on these when onboarding new clients or employees. This can be a part of the orientation when employees and members are getting their keys.
3. Continue education throughout clients and coworkers time in the space.
Tip: Have clear signage!
4. Feel free to follow up in a friendly way to remind people of etiquette.
Tip: In-person is much more effective than over email! Its more effective to talk to repeat offenders in person and try to change their behavior, than send out an email to all members, clogging their inbox and causing annoyances.
5. Do a morning walk-through of each conference room every morning. At CIC Boston, a member of the staff walks through each conference room every morning. They make sure that the whiteboards are cleared, chairs are pushed in, the window sills are clear, that the phones are working, and that all the electronics are plugged in.
Lastly, remember the big picture: understand that folks are just trying to do their work, and that the best way you can promote a free market, non-monopolizing economy of conference rooms is by looking at their resources and trying to help them find a good solution to their particular needs for space. These may include extra off-hours usage, more flexibility about all-day bookings or periods of high usage, a different setup within their office, promotion of other, non-bookable meeting spaces like kitchens, phonebooths, common area couches, etc.