How Companies Can Fight Room-Sharking in the Workplace

Guest Post: Neil Rieger, Signet

Ever needed a meeting room right away, and taken one that seemed available? However, you were unaware that it was already booked and the next group is walking in shortly. Now, they feel awkward about asking your group to wrap up and give them the room.

Neil Rieger

Room sharking is not as bad as it sounds, even though it is a catchy term. Most employees are not doing this intentionally. Nevertheless, companies need to find ways to help employees avoid it altogether.

Modern workplace tools are interconnected and meeting room signs are, connected to the company scheduling system. Thus, avoiding room sharking and giving employees the information they need to find an available room instantaneously.

  1. Leverage Digital Meeting Room Signs

The first major step is having a digital meeting room sign outside each reservable meeting room. Meeting room signs show if rooms are booked, thus, avoiding confusion and employees do not experience awkward situations. They no longer have to ask others if they are finished with a room, that they did not book in the first place.

  1. Show How Long and When a Room is Occupied

It just makes sense to show when a room is booked, and the duration thereof. Your employees need this necessary information so that they avoid frustrating issues. A plausible scenario is that employees may need the open room for an hour-long meeting, but another group will be using that room in 35 minutes. Now, the room sharks did not do anything wrong for using an open room. However, a meeting room sign that displays the availability of the room solves this problem.

  1. Visual Indicators that Stand Out from Afar

Make life easier for your employees by choosing a meeting room sign that is discernible from afar. This sign should stand out and clearly indicate the room’s status, with a quick glance. Quite often, meeting room signs use green to indicate room availability, whereas red indicates a taken room. Some products let brands choose their own colors, which employees will quickly learn.

  1. Use Interactive Signs to Book a Meeting Room

Interactive meeting room signs are more versatile than one would expect. Employees can book the room via the meeting room sign, and clearly see for how long they can have it booked. Furthermore, the user can book the room immediately, and the sign’s interface will allow the room to be booked for the time it is available. Confusion is, avoided when the following group has booked the room.

  1. Check Schedules and Book Another Room Easily

There is no need for someone to shark a room, if it is not available for the duration they require. Advanced meeting room signs let employees view the schedules and availability of other meeting rooms, on that floor and building. This saves them the time and effort from wondering around looking for an available room. The meeting room sign can even let them reserve that other room across the building. Now, they have booked it when they get their group over for their impromptu meeting.

It is important to note that room sharking is the result of employees trying to be collaborative and productive. They just want to use the room on the fly, therefore, give them the tools to do so appropriately and efficiently. A good meeting sign is a smart way to empower your employees. Compare the various sign products with the points above, to ensure that they have the necessary and advanced features to avoid room sharking.


Neil Rieger is the Director of Creative Services at Signet, Inc., an enterprise software company headquartered in San Jose, California. At Signet Neil helps lead product design, professional design services, and marketing along with consulting clients on digital workplace strategy, corporate communications, content strategy, and employee engagement.

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