What is Buffer-time?
Buffer-time is a function that gives providers (Kitchen/FM) the time they need to prepare a meeting room before and after a meeting takes place.
Ex: You have a business rule saying that the canteen needs 30 minutes to prepare a meeting room for catering before a meeting starts, and 30 minutes after the meeting ends to remove the catering and clean up. In this case, you can use buffer-time to make sure that the meeting room is not booked in the 30-minute interval before and after the meeting.
How does buffer-time work?
Buffer-time is a time interval that will be added to the duration of your meeting when you book a meeting room with the AskCody Workplace Add-in. When you search for a meeting room in the Workplace Add-in, it will add this time interval to the search and then only search for meeting rooms that are available at the time of the meeting + the extra buffer-time.
Ex: You are having a meeting from 9:00-10:00 and you know you need catering for the meeting. The Workplace Add-in adds the buffer-time to the search (in this example, the buffer-time is 30 minutes) before and after the meeting. Therefore, the actual search is for rooms that are available from 8.30-10.30.
The buffer-time will not be visible in your Outlook calendar, so your meeting will still appear in your calendar from 9:00-10:00, and your guests will be invited to participate in the meeting from 9:00-10:00, not 8:30-10:30.
**You have to use the AskCody Workplace Add-in to have buffer-time.**
How to use buffer-time?
If buffer-time is activated, you will see a checkbox in the bottom of the Workplace Add-in called “I need to order catering or additional services.”
- Click the checkbox, and search for a meeting room.
- Choose the meeting room you want and add that to your meeting, and send your meeting invitation.
- The buffer-time is now pending and will be activated as soon as you order catering in Meeting+. We recommend that you do this immediately after sending the meeting invitations.
The consequences of using buffer-time
- Workplace Add-in is mandatory
Because buffer-time is added by searching for the meeting room in AskCody Workplace Add-in, it is mandatory that all users use the Workplace Add-in to book their meeting rooms. If you bypass the Workplace Add-in and book your meeting room directly in Outlook, buffer-time will not be added to the room booking.
- Moving a meeting with buffer-time
If you move your meeting with catering (and buffer-time) in Outlook, Outlook will take the buffer-time into account when booking the new meeting room. Because the buffer-time is only added to the search of the meeting room in the Workplace Add-in and not to the duration of the meeting, Outlook only checks if the meeting room is available from 9:00-10:00 and not 8:30-10:30.
To move a meeting, the user needs to use the Workplace Add-in to search for available rooms, to be sure that buffer-time is taken into account.
This can lead to a lot of confusion and frustration, if not communicated thoroughly to the user.
- **Only relevant for Today+ users.**
When buffer-time is enabled, we highly recommend that all functions on Today+ are disabled (Booking, extending, ending). The Today+ receives the meeting information from Exchange and only shows the meeting duration, and therefore not the buffer-time.
Ex: A user books a meeting room directly from the Today+ from 10:00-11:00. However, the room was booked with buffer-time, therefore was not available until 10.30. The functions on Today+ can overrule the buffer-time, and then the provider loses their preparation time.
How to enable Buffer-time
- Log-in to manager.onaskcody.com. (manager.goaskcody.com for the US)
- Be sure you have the user role Owner
- Go to Admin Center → Meeting+ → Meeting+ Settings
- Here you will find the checkbox Enable buffer-time
- Choose the buffer-time duration.