The hidden cost of meeting organization

Poor meeting organization is costing your business way more than you think. Next to employee satisfaction, it also affects workforce productivity, employee experience, and facility staff effectiveness.

Fragmented process

We all know from personal experience how difficult it can be to arrange a proper meeting. It requires orchestration of 5 things – people, space, technology, amenities and catering – each typically organized by employees through more than 6 different systems or channels (e-mail, phone, intranet, face-to-face, chat, etc.) [1]. The result is a waste of valuable time and a poor employee experience.

The mismatch of people and space

Meeting rooms always appear empty when you walk by, but when you need to actually book one, they’re not available. Expressed in numbers, only 23% of employees have access to meeting rooms when they need them. Meanwhile, meeting room utilization is only around 30% [2], which means they sit empty 70% of the time. Clearly there’s a mismatch of employee needs and meeting space – rent pays for spaces that aren’t being used, but at the same time people waste time trying to find a space and can’t.

Lost time

Employee time is your most expensive asset, and it’s also the most quantifiable loss when it comes to meeting organization. One study estimated that employees are spending 15 minutes a day [3] trying to find meeting space. For a company with 1000 employees, that’s 62,000 hours a year, or $1.7M in wages [4].

Compromised employee experience

The fragmented process of organizing a meeting is frustrating for employees, and sometimes the friction at every step of the process prevents a meeting from happening in the first place. Instead of waiting on people and systems to reply with availability, today’s workforce (especially millennials) wants quick and intuitive self-service.

Studies show that lagging technology and processes really influence one’s opinion of their employer and have a material impact on employee satisfaction. In a McKinsey report, 78% of employees say automation of manual, repetitive tasks would allow them to spend time on more meaningful, rewarding aspects of their job, and 72% said they would replace that time by working on something more valuable to the business [5].  Eliminating all the manual components of meeting organization frees up time for employees to spend on more meaningful work, which will undoubtedly contribute to their individual job satisfaction.

Through our own research, we estimate you can achieve a 10% increase in employee satisfaction by streamlining your facility operations, and meeting organization is a key part of that. A happy employee has a ripple effect on the entire business – this is evident in a recent study which revealed high employee experience (EX) workers had 28% higher productivity [6].

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A reactive facilities organization

Your facility staff are on the other end of all of these space and amenity requests, just trying to keep up with the manual madness. They don’t know how to get ahead of the issue, because they don’t have insights on meeting room utilization. Only 1/3 of businesses are currently tracking meeting room usage [1], and for those who don’t, it’s impossible to make improvements that align spaces with employee needs.

By giving employees a self-service tool that combines all aspects of meeting organization in one place, you’re also giving time back to your facilities team for more strategic work, like reconfiguring office space to increase room utilization from 40% to 50%. This is where facility managers can impact workforce productivity –facilitating increased collaboration.

Workplace Service Delivery streamlines meeting organization

In sum, facility managers should be focused on two key areas in 2020 as the market shifts to less space available and more millennials: optimizing use of space to meet budget and showing a real impact on the employee experience.

Workplace Reservations Management in ServiceNow’s Workplace Service Delivery Suite, available in the ServiceNow Store, allows you to optimize space utilization using powerful ServiceNow reporting insights, and streamline all aspects of meeting organization with the tools your employees already use. Giving employees a self-service tool to manage all meeting needs will save your organization a lot of time, increase collaboration, and enhance the day-to-day employee experience.


[1] Condeco: The Modern Workplace Research Report 2019/20,
[3] Based on average hourly wage of 27.00/hour,

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Chiel van Til Chiel van Til
Platform Consultant
+31 (0)30 76 02 670 Get in touch

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