Learn about buffer-time for meetings and how to set it up with AskCody
What is buffer-time?
Buffer-time is a function that gives providers (Kitchen staff/Facility Managers) the time they need to prepare a meeting room before and after a meeting takes place.
Example: 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 Bookings add-in. When you search for a meeting room in the Bookings 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 as well as the extra buffer-time.
Example: You are having a meeting from 9:00-10:00 and you know you need catering for the meeting. The Bookings 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.
It is necessary to use the AskCody Bookings add-in to have buffer-time.
How to use buffer-time?
If buffer-time is activated, you will see a checkbox at the bottom of the Bookings 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 the AskCody Services add-in. We recommend that you do this immediately after sending the meeting invitations.
The consequences of using buffer-time
- The Bookings add-in is mandatory
Because buffer-time is added by searching for the meeting room in the Bookings add-in, it is mandatory that all users use the Bookings add-in to book their meeting rooms. If you bypass the Bookings 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 not 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 Booking 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 Bookings 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.
- **Limitation only relevant for AskCody Display owners.**
When buffer-time is enabled, we highly recommend that all functions on AskCody Displays are disabled (Booking, extending, ending). The Display 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 Display from 10:00-11:00. However, the room was booked with buffer-time, therefore was not available until 10.30. The functions on the Display can overrule the buffer-time, and then the provider loses their buffer-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 → Services → Settings
- Here you will find the checkbox Enable buffer-time
- Choose the buffer-time duration.