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 RoomFinder Add-in. When you search for a meeting room in the RoomFinder, 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 RoomFinder 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 RoomFinder to have buffer-time.**
How to use buffer-time?
If buffer-time is activated, you will see a checkbox in the bottom of the RoomFinder 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
- RoomFinder is mandatory
Because buffer-time is added by searching for the meeting room in RoomFinder, it is mandatory that all users use RoomFinder to book their meeting rooms. If you bypass the RoomFinder 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 RoomFinder 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 RoomFinder 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.