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Windows Collaboration Display Helping End ‘Phantom Meetings’

Meeting rooms are an integral part of the office but can be frustratingly difficult to manage efficiently. One common frustration is not being able to find a room for your meeting because they are all booked, even more annoying when people book rooms, but then don’t show up – the ‘phantom meeting’. With Windows collaboration display from Sharp, we believe there’s a smart solution to this problem.

The modern workplace has had to change rapidly. The traditional design layout has had to adapt to the evolving work habits of employees, whether that’s in the form of flexible working hours, shared workspaces, the rise of remote working, or even the outsourcing of many roles.

Many businesses require less desk space than they used to, but still need the same amount or more space for collaboration. We still spend a lot of time attending meetings, Sharp’s own research put this conservatively at 25 hours per person per month for European office workers.

However, one of the biggest issues raised by employees is that there are never enough meeting rooms available when required. In most instances this is not due to a lack of physical meeting spaces, it is down to rooms being oversubscribed.

According to Smart Buildings Magazine, the result of this lack of space means that an average of 70 per cent of workers waste up to 15 minutes per day simply looking for a room to carry out a meeting.

Meetings Space Management

In the average office, there are typically two types of meeting: Planned and Ad Hoc. Planned meetings have a longer lead time, while by their nature Ad Hoc meetings are more spontaneous.

Reports vary, but it is believed that between 20 and 40 per cent of meetings rooms are booked but never used. A report from Senion, a location-responsive solutions provider, hits the middle-ground, placing this figure at 30 per cent.

This in turn has led to the phenomenon known as ‘Phantom Meetings’ – where a meeting room has been booked in advance, but no one actually attends. The Senion report states that ‘for the person who caused the no-show there are no consequences. But for everyone else, the result is one less room to choose from.’

There are various reasons why planned meetings are missed; the meeting is no longer taking place, but not cancelled, to meetings having been mass booked on the ‘off-chance’ the room will be needed. These all add up to phantom meetings taking up valuable resource space that could readily be used for ad hoc meetings.

It is believed that 33 per cent of meetings are unplanned, so finding a shared workspace for such ad hoc meetings can be tricky.

Many room booking applications are available to help people set-up meetings. However, although a system that makes it easy for employees to book meeting rooms remotely has lots of benefits, making sure that the meeting physically takes place is another matter. More importantly, if the meeting doesn’t happen, steps need to be put in place that allow the room to be freed up for those in need.

Ending Phantom Meetings with Windows collaboration display

This is where a feature of the Windows collaboration display from Sharp can help. Windows collaboration display from Sharp is a new type of interactive display for meetings and teamwork. The 4K interactive display uses Sharp’s latest 10-point P-CAP Capacitive Touch screen technology to make it easy to write on and easy to read from.

The Windows collaboration display from Sharp is complemented by our new WorkSpace Intelligence platform, which is Azure Digital Twins compatible, and provides real-time information from IoT sensors on the display. This information can be used to give facilities managers the information they need to make sure meeting rooms are used efficiently and productively.

What is Windows collaboration display from Sharp?

Our solution not only includes the capability to monitor the number of people in meetings, allowing businesses to make informed numbers-based decisions about the kind of teamwork areas needed, but also to register when no one has attended a meeting. Using AI algorithms based in the cloud, this information can be passed on to the booking software, allowing the room to be freed and used by those in need of meeting space.

The Windows collaboration display built by Sharp will be available to buy in Summer 2019 and represents new ways of working for teams regardless of location or project. For a demonstration, please Get In Touch.


Urszula Rost
Marketing & Communications Specialist CEE