We have all been in this situation before. You invite a colleague to a meeting, reserve a room, but on the day of the meeting, you unexpectedly work from home without remembering to cancel the room booking.
The phenomenon is called a ghost meeting.
A ghost meeting is a single scheduled meeting that goes unattended. Perhaps you have also come across the term 'zombie meetings.' A zombie meeting is a recurring scheduled meeting that continues indefinitely without anyone attending. For simplicity's sake, and because ghost meetings represent 80% of all no-show meetings, we will refer to both types as ghost meetings in this article.
Why ghost meetings should send shivers down your spine
Not enough meeting rooms?
Many offices often face the challenge of inadequate meeting room availability. However, before considering an increase in the number of rooms, it is important to evaluate how existing spaces are being used—or not used.
On average, 36% of scheduled meetings end up as no-shows. This means that over one-third of the meetings on your schedule will never take place in the reserved meeting rooms. While these rooms are left deserted, other employees may struggle to find available spaces for their own meetings.
Ghost meetings create a perception of insufficient space and resources for employees, despite the actual availability. This is known as 'perceived utilization' and can have significant consequences. When there appears to be no space available for important meetings, private phone calls, or collaborations, productivity is stalled, and reserved space and time go to waste. Moreover, it can lead to stress, frustration, and an overall negative office experience for employees.
The hidden costs of ghost meetings
With real estate prices soaring, ghost meetings may be feasting on your budgets too. The average U.S. office listing rate is $38.36 per square foot, and in Manhattan, class-A office space can cost over $129 per square foot. This means that the price of a medium-sized meeting room occupying 250 square feet falls somewhere between $9,590 and $32,250. When ghost meetings occupy valuable space without being utilized, the financial impact becomes alarmingly evident.
A survey of workplace productivity found that ghost meetings waste an average of 27 room hours per month - and that is just for one room. This means that if the annual cost of a medium-sized meeting room is $9,590 and you have 10 rooms that each waste 27 hours per week, then ghost meetings are costing you $64,704 per year. If you have 100 meeting rooms or if your rent is higher…well, you get the picture.
How to say “Boo!” to ghost meetings
An indoor map and occupancy sensors are all you need to scare off ghost meetings for good.
By integrating your booking solution with an indoor map and occupancy sensors, you can automate your workspace, ensuring that room bookings are automatically canceled if the room remains empty after a set period of time. Simultaneously, bookings will be created automatically if a room is in use while unbooked. This seamless integration guarantees that no one will ever book an occupied meeting room, optimizing room utilization and putting an end to ghost meetings.
Many companies are trying to solve the problem of ghost meetings with booking panels. However, booking panels require users to take action on the panels, their phone, or similar, and people tend to forget or overlook them.
A good user experience often means that users do not need to do anything and with occupancy sensors and indoor mapping they do not have to.
If you are ready to say 'boo!' to the ghost meetings in your office, we are here to help. Reach out to us for a quick chat and a personal demo, and together, we will work towards scaring off ghost meetings for good.