How To Always Know What’s Going On In Your Office

It’s important to keep track of what’s going on in your office.  Sometimes, you can take this too far (and turn into that nosy person that every office has), but there are ways to keep track of what’s going on.  Doing so can keep you in front of the winds of change so that you’re not blindsided by unexpected events.

There are many standard ways to find out what’s going on including departmental meetings, listening to office gossip, and the like.

One thing that I’ve found that works to give me some extra insight is a simple trick:

Keep an eye on the conference room schedules.

In our office, anyways, the conference rooms are booked through Microsoft Outlook.  When you’re setting up a meeting, you can reserve the conference rooms simply by ‘inviting’ them to the meeting.  If nobody else has booked it, the conference room will then be booked for you automatically.

This can be useful because, at least in our case, we can view the calendar of any conference room.  I can see who booked conference rooms, what the meeting is for, and who is attending.  While this probably won’t give you any big information, if you see HR booking interviews, it might be a good sign that the company is doing well (or if HR books a big block of time with a vague description, maybe not).  If you see a bunch of vendor meetings or project meetings, you might get a heads up on big things that the company is planning. If you see long term strategic planning meetings, you might know when to drop a casual inquiry to someone in management that could get you assigned something big.

I tend to peruse the conference room bookings every couple of weeks. I’ve never learned anything that made me gasp in surprise, but I have learned a few interesting things along the way, and you never know what information might come your way.

Have you ever monitored the conference room schedules (or the conference rooms themselves if you have a good vantage point) to get a feel on what’s going on in your department?

7 thoughts on “How To Always Know What’s Going On In Your Office”

  1. I don't really pay much attention to our conference room schedule. Mainly because I don't care. Is that bad? Probably…

    Anyway, my Department has so many committees and between both of my supervisors, they're on almost all of them. I just look at where my supervisors are (for selfish purposes like can I blog with no one looking :)) and I keep track that way!

  2. My company is large enough that not everyone knows everyone else. Our conference rooms get booked pretty quickly too – so people will often end up on other floors for a meeting.

    That said, I do see a bunch of names I recognize when I check the schedules – but finding where all of the HR meetings happen would be tough for me, heh.

    Have you been able to be added to any of the long term projects with this strategy?

  3. I'll tell you what goes on in my office. My cube neighbor clips his fingernails and it bugs the crap out of me!

    I have used your tip before though. If you think layoffs are coming, check the conference rooms for HR reservations and you'll know for sure.

  4. @Kevin – I'm with you. I have two different cube neighbors who think it's OK to clip their nails at their desk. It makes me literally want to scream. I usually just get up and take a five minute stroll around the office while they finish up to keep sane.

  5. Good advice beagle – I Never thought of this. Usually in our conference rooms though, we have meetings with people who come in to complain or have questions.

  6. I have monitored our conference rooms, but that was mostly because I was an admin who was booking meetings all the time. I work for a fairly large company, with conference rooms in multiple buildings just on my campus, let alone in our city and state.
    For the most part, I know what's going on because I'm an office manager and my executive director believes it's important to keep me in the loop, but I also look for other opportunities. For example, a week from Friday, I will be joining our Women's Leadership staff group, now that they've finally opened the membership up to people below the ED level.

  7. Great advice! I never even thought about it. I usually watch what my boss is up to. Tomorrow I am going to check out the schedules and see what is going on. Can't wait! 🙂

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