- Use Cases
Desk booking is quickly becoming one of the best solutions for enhancing work environments and tailoring them to a more hybrid workforce.
As companies embrace the distributed workforce concept, they’re obligated to implement a desk scheduling tool to manage seating arrangements and accommodate flexible work schedules. Though a seemingly daunting task, implementing a desk scheduling tool will both simplify and enhance the employee’s experience at work, providing all the resources they could need via one, convenient interface.
Gartner’s renowned survey on hybrid workplaces, reveals that 82% of company leaders are planning to allow employees to work remotely, at least some of the time. Nearly half, or 47%, say they intend to allow employees to work remotely full-time, going forward.
For better or worse, hybrid is here to stay, which calls for a smarter, more contextually aware system for managing spaces, workstations, and the average workplace. Cue desk booking solutions.
Here are just some of the benefits desk booking technology offers:
Of course, to make desk booking run smoothly, there is a significant amount of work done behind the scenes by operations teams. Some examples include the management of facilities, repurposing real estate, installing IT and smart devices, and so on. All of these newly adopted systems and technologies make desk booking seamless for employees and visitors.
As successful and beneficial as desk booking can be, many questions surround its implementation, usage, and maintenance. Will it work for you and your organization? What are some things you might need to know beforehand? Is it truly worth the investment?
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions:
Desk hoteling or desk booking is when you utilize software to manage advanced reservations within the workplace, specifically to assign shared desks or workstations. Employees can make a reservation from anywhere, and claim specific times or dates in the future.
But do people want this kind of system? In a Gallup survey, 37% of employees say they would leave their current job in traditional office and work environments to join a company that offers a more flexible setup.
Similarly, it’s using software to make on-demand reservations for a shared desk or workstation, on the spot. It requires the employee to be on-site, in-person, and near the physical location of the space they’re reserving. Imagine someone walking up to an open desk, claiming the space in an app, and sitting down to work, all within minutes, if not seconds.
Hot desking is more of an on-demand and instantaneous approach for on-site setups. It allows employees to walk by, or right up to, available workstations and spaces, with the option to reserve them immediately. The space is then secured for their needs, but it’s also an incredibly flexible system. Once they leave, the space can be reserved again after being cleaned and sanitized. When spaces are reserved they’re taken out of inventory and workers both on-site and off can see what’s available and what’s not, allowing them to make more informed decisions about where they spend their billable hours.
Dedicated desks, on the other hand, are the exact opposite. They are exclusive workstations dedicated to a specific employee, group, or department. They are not shared, and cannot be used as a “hot desk” because they technically always belong to someone in a 1:1 ratio.
Even employees with dedicated workstations may still be required to “reserve” them before coming into work, but that’s only to report on-site capacities and measure population densities. Although they are much less flexible, certain location-sensitive jobs require a dedicated space. Some examples are executive support, network operations, physical maintenance, and beyond.
The process is remarkably simple. When an employee knows they’re going to the office, they can look up available workstations through a mobile app, check stats like occupancy rates, nearby amenities, who’s on-site, and more. Using that information, they can find a space that works for their needs, reserve it, and then head to work.
When they arrive it’s ready for them, complete with turn-by-turn navigation to the workstation and they also get smart controls — like the option to order lunch and schedule a delivery to your station.
Desk booking solutions offer many benefits, but in hybrid workplaces specifically, here’s what makes them supportive:
A report from global HR and recruiting firm Adecco shows, in the wake of Covid-19, 77% of professionals want greater flexibility in how and where they work. They want the options, support, and capabilities to choose their work setups, especially when they’re on location.
While there are some drawbacks, they can be addressed in several ways. Let’s look at the drawbacks first:
Here are some answers to those issues:
Once you get into the swing of things, hot desking is not difficult at all. First things first, you use the app or software to reserve a space by researching a desk that meets your needs and then claiming it. During that phase, you can consider and review details about location, amenities, time availability, and more.
When you head to work, bring your own supplies, arrive on time, and use only your reserved space. To help you remain as productive as possible during your reservation, take advantage of in-app services and benefits — like food delivery! When you’re done, leave no trace behind by cleaning up your messes, packaging all your gear, and wiping down equipment and surfaces.
Now there’s no need to memorize all that! Bookmark our hot desking checklist for you to reference on the go.
Analytics are a beast to define, at least in a general context, because every operation will be a little different. However, when it comes to workstation and hot desking analytics, there are a few critical metrics to gather:
Property managers, executives, maintenance crews, and other professionals benefit from the space management insights that are created and delivered through the system. They can see what’s happening within the facility, where improvements need to be made, where there are bottlenecks, and much more. The analytics don’t just help the employees stay organized and productive, but also help continue the momentum of the entire operation, especially in today’s increasingly health-centric landscape.
In most cases, although unfortunate, workplaces don’t have tools or technologies to accurately contact trace when something happens. It’s usually after the fact that those systems are put in place. That’s bad news for any work environment, let alone a flexible workplace where people are coming and going constantly.
Simple desk booking platforms can help facilities and operations, with nominal contact tracing tools, measure events by real, contextual data, which benefits the entire workplace. By merely knowing when and where employees are at a given time, or date, the information can be used to pinpoint potential infections. Alerts can be sent to anyone that was nearby, or those who used the same space, giving ample time to arrange for testing.
All information is confidential and used to inform potential risks to impacted employees. Only those affected will be shared notifications and information, and the data is only ever used when there’s a potential issue.
Each solution offers a unique experience, but features you should watch out for include:
Many of the top companies embracing desk booking technologies are looking for more than just a visual rendering of a desk, or a top-down map of where a workspace is located. Employees demand more value out of desk booking tools and insights — such as who they will be sitting or working near, or choosing spaces for collaboration.
This is one desk booking capability that truly gives employees more information and power to make informed decisions. They get to decide who, what, and where, which is increasingly important for both flex work environments and a healthier work arrangement.
Building support for a distributed workforce and implementing the shared desk model impacts workplace experience, positively. It’s a necessary component of the ever-evolving digital workplace technologies. Without proper space management and occupancy insights tools, you cannot understand how the workforce is moving around an environment or making use of it, especially in a hybrid setup. What’s more, desk booking and hot desking solutions better serve the employees and the new, flexible way of working on-site or off.
In its 2020 Global Occupier Sentiment Survey, CBRE reports that 73% of senior-level global real estate executives agree flexible office space will be a part of their long-term real estate strategy going forward. The demand is there, and real estate executives are reacting. It will be a continued focus for the foreseeable future.
Schedule a 20-minute meeting with our workplace experience experts to learn how desk booking can benefit your organization.
Leon Papkoff is the Executive Vice President of The CXApp Division with 20+ years of executive leadership paving the way for emerging technologies shaping the future of work and dedicated to solving real problems for the digital workplace.