Hybrid work is possible with workspace booking software
The way that we work has changing. The days of spending all day in an office have given way to spending some days in and some days out of the formal physical office location. Most employees are looking for a hybrid work model and want to split their time between working in the office and working remotely.
Let’s face it the working environment is more complex than it used to be. But how do we manage all this new complexity? How do you know who is in the office and who is working from home? How can you make sure there is a desk available for the next time you’re in the office? Or will there be and open desk for the boss when they are in town next week? This is all possible with workspace booking software, many of which come with a great user experience on a mobile app and available for Android and iOS. It helps you to keep track of who is where in your organisation.
Easily book hot desks, car parking spaces, lockers, meeting rooms, you name it from a mobile device. Find rooms and co-workers when you need them, look at available workspace types or manage check ins and check outs. Generate powerful reports and understand how your workspace is being used and where it can be optimised.
Benefits of workspace booking software
Look around your office, how many seats are empty right now? The average office’s desk utilisation is only 38%. Desk booking software encourages employees to use space they might otherwise not. The desk they want isn’t available right now, but a similar desk nearby is open. Every alternative booking adds up to efficient use of available space and better accommodation of employees. Desks don’t sit idle. A booking system can recommend spaces to employees who might not otherwise think to seek them out. Desk booking allows you to keep better track of how much people are using the desks, and devise new plans for the unused space.
2. Increased productivity with time saving
Time spent looking for the perfect place to set up shop adds up fast. Imagine every employee spends just five minutes each day looking for a desk, and you manage 20 employees. That’s 100 wasted minutes each day! Those man hours add up, too. We’re talking just over eight hours per week and more than 415 hours wasted annually.
Desk booking software reduces this time because employees know the desk they have booked will be open when they get there. There’s no searching for an open spot when you know which desk you have booked and for how long you booked it for. If people can come into the office, sit down and start working straight away, that’s already increasing productivity. For certain projects, your employees may want to work with a particular team or people, so enabling people to choose which workstation they want to work at will make collaboration easier and people can avoid scheduling formal meetings. With noise disruption rising in the office and a greater need for agile working, providing people with the workspaces they need and allowing them the flexibility to choose where they sit is vital for a happier, more productive workforce.
3. Reduced costs
Desk utilisation is generally poor in some offices which leads to masses of unused space and resources. It’s not only the unused desks that take up space, but your business is also paying for the unused floor space and its cleaning as well as the desk infrastructure such as the computer, the chair, the cabling, the lighting, the phone etc. When you look at those empty desks around you, think of that cost floating above them and how it could be better spent. Desk booking software will help you reduce those wasted costs by making sure you only have the desks and resources you need.
4. Encourage flexible working
Every person has a different working style, so it’s important to provide workspaces and flexible working policies that suit your employees. Whilst millennials tend to be more open to working in different areas, you cannot forget about other generations that are part of your team. Without the right working environment, people can quickly become de-motivated and frustrated, which can eventually impact your retention. Desk booking software helps you identify your different workers and provide flexible solutions for the people that are in need of it. Each person faces their own set of challenges both in and out of the office, so giving your workforce options is a good starting point.
5. Fewer interruptions
Imagine trying to host a meeting as someone opens the door every few minutes to check if the space is available. Think of how frustrating it would be to concentrate on a project if someone comes up to you and asks how long you’ll be using the space. These types of interruptions are avoidable with scheduling software and digital signage. If a desk or space doesn’t show up at the point of booking, or shows it’s occupied, employees can move on to the next option or book a different time. No interruptions. No friction. No headaches.
6. Occupancy compliance
With social distancing and COVID-19 regulations, space occupancy has been top-of-mind for the last few years. Facility managers face a different set of challenges as they rearrange rooms, revise floor plans, or plan for a new occupancy level in a particular building. Desk scheduling and meeting room booking software can simplify the process and provide great results as you can limit occupancy levels at the point of booking. Make some desks off limits or unavailable. Display warnings or reminders to employees as they book certain desks or spaces.
How does desk booking software work? Key features to look for
Desk booking software assigns employees to a specific workspace for a day or more. In most cases employees can reserve desks or workspaces in advance, a practice known as hoteling. In others, they simply show up at the office and claim an available desk on a first-booked, first-served basis; this is known as hot-desking. Although they may use different terminology, most booking software offer users both options, so you could create different zones and have “hotel desks” in one area and “hot desks” in another. Some desk booking platforms allow groups of desks to be assigned as “neighborhoods.
Most of these workspace booking platforms allow companies to upload an office floor plan that shows individual workspaces in addition to meeting rooms and common areas. Facility Managers or users with administration permission can designate each desk as available for advance reservation, available as a hot desk, or permanently booked (for fixed spaces where they want the same employee to work every day). They can easily add additional floor plans as more employees return to the office.
When an employee visits the preconfigured booking page and submits a booking request, this request is either approved automatically or goes to a manager for approval before it’s finalised.
Many of the desk booking platforms offer integration with other enterprise software and can sync information between Microsoft Outlook, g suite, Google Workspace or Microsoft Edge. Some software offers contact tracing features or health questionnaires that ask employees how they are feeling before they enter the physical location. Most of the platforms also include analytic and reporting tools that tell office managers how spaces are being utilised, and larger facility management software platforms also include tools for reorganising spaces based on this data.