As hybrid workplaces become the new norm due to Covid-19, businesses must adjust. Fortunately, there is a way to solve many of our modern-day, post-pandemic problems, at least in the office. To be specific, desk booking software is the ultimate solution for hybrid workplaces. As you continue to read this article, you will understand everything you need to know about desk booking software. We will discuss what it is, what problems it solves, how it works, why it’s important, how to implement it, and which software to use.
What is desk booking software?
In short, desk booking software allows employees to book a desk in a given workspace. In fact, employees can book a desk depending on closeness to coworkers or the needed amenities. Oftentimes, employees use the software to find open workspaces for a certain day. They can book a desk in advance. Sometimes, people call this hoteling. Or they can do hot desking, which is simply checking in at an office desk using a QR code.
Additionally, desk booking software provides useful data to facility managers that helps them optimize the workplace. For example, this software allows managers to analyze how employees book desks and their requirements. To explain, let’s say that this software shows that employees book one desk quite often while they don’t book another one. This information may lead a facility manager to understand why one desk is not being booked. As a result, they can utilize the space more efficiently.
What problems do desk booking software solve?
In general, desk booking software solves a variety of problems. For example, this software creates remedial solutions like:
- Wasted time. The biggest culprit of low productivity is wasted time. According to some studies, if employees don’t have an available software to book meetings, they will spend a lot of time checking in with one another. As a result, employees cannot be as productive since more time goes to arranging the meeting than working. Finally, relying on spreadsheets, paper-booking methods, etc. greatly increases your administrative staff’s workload. This also kills productivity.
- As the pandemic is still prevalent, remote work has become the new norm. However, some projects still require teams to meet in the office sometimes. Since employees can book desks ahead of time with this software, collaboration is easier than ever. In fact, booking a desk ahead of time means more collaboration space since the office is used more efficiently.
- Logistical mistakes. Oftentimes, issues arise when there is no software to track workspace availability and occupancy. Particularly, large organizations with dozens of buildings and offices with multiple floors face these problems. In this case, employees must arrange meetings without a software. To explain, they must find an open workspace. Then they must invite, register, and keep track of attendees. Clearly, this leaves room for errors due to lack of available information. Further, it leads to cancellations that may not be sent out soon enough. As a result, this could cause other communication errors. Plus, it could cause overbooked meetings.
Why is desk booking software important?
There are four main benefits that desk booking software has to offer. In particular, desk booking software:
- Optimizes office space. With desk booking software, employees have more seating options. If they do not get the desk they prefer, they can easily book a similar nearby desk. As a result, the available office space is used more efficiently as this reduces idle desks. In addition to supplying seating alternatives for employees, a facility manager can use the software data to keep the ideal 4:1 employee to desk ratio.
- Helps meet occupancy requirements. As most people are aware, social distancing requirements are still in place. So, a facility manager must make workplace occupancy a priority. As floor plans are changed for social distancing, desk booking software makes this process easier. Plus, it offers better results. Specifically, managers can make some desks unavailable to meet social distancing guidelines and limit workplace occupancy.
- Saves time. On average, an employee spends five minutes or more choosing the best desk to work. However, desk booking software greatly reduces this time and improves productivity. When an employee books their desk ahead of time, they no longer need to search for one. As they walk into the office, they already know where to sit and for how long.
- Provides space management insights. Top desk booking software like VuBook provides real-time insights about the office. As a result, managers can make more informed decisions on space management using the data recorded on a desk booking software.
From optimizing office space to providing real-time space management insights, all members of the workplace reap the benefits of desk booking software.
How does desk booking software work?
Although the makeup of desk booking software is complex, it is actually quite simple for employees to use. In fact, this software gives employees access to features like
- Filtering options based on location, availability, type, and amenities.
- Finding and booking workstations in advance.
- Seeing pictures, floor plans, details, resources, and other information about a certain space.
So, there are two main ways for employees to book a desk in the office. On one hand, there is desk hoteling. As you may have guessed from the name, desk hoteling is like booking a room in a hotel. Employees use hoteling to book a desk in advance. On the other hand, employees can also book a desk in the office through hot desking. In contrast to hoteling, hot desking is when an employee uses a QR code, RFID tags, etc. to check-in to an available desk. Then the desks are assigned on a first come, first serve basis.
While the benefits of desk booking software for individual employees are clear, what should a work team do if they need to collaborate on a project? In this case, a facility manager can permanently assign a workstation for the team to allow for easier, more long-term collaboration. Finally, this software prioritizes the user. So, it offers businesses the best of both worlds by offering hot desking and desk hoteling.
How to implement desk booking software?
In general, most people agree that the sudden need for remote work due to Covid-19 threw most people and businesses off guard. To avoid a similar experience, companies are looking to implement a desk booking software to create a seamless transition to a hybrid workspace. So, the question is: how does a business implement desk booking software? .
- Create a user policy for your desk booking software.
Business changes take careful thought and should never be made overnight. To lessen potential issues with a new desk booking software, employers should create a user policy. First, ask these questions:
- Are employees required to attend work on certain days?
- Does there need to a time period before a reservation can be made and how far in advance can they make reservations?
- Should certain employees only be able to book desks in certain areas?
- Do employees have to check into a reservation?
- Does a manager need to monitor the space use?
After defining the objectives and drafting the policy, inform all employees at the company. Ensure every worker understands the change. Thus, expectations are set before implementing the new software.
However, the implementation of the desk booking software should not halt these efforts. Rather, employers should offer employees the following information through consistent, frequent communication:
- Best practices for a hybrid workplace.
- Benefits of desk booking.
Ultimately, these consistent efforts will make the addition of the desk booking software smoother and quicker among different teams.
- Write up a code of practice.
By enforcing rules for the desk booking software, all employees will understand what is expected of them. To do this, write up a document with guidelines such as:
- Clear rules for using desk booking software.
- Specific, available workspaces.
- Steps to book a workstation.
- Ways to get IT support.
In short, this document will ensure easy onboarding for current employees and new hires.
- Offer a consistent experience for workers.If employees must work in the office, they should be able to quickly find an on-demand workspace. Or they should be able to book a desk in advance so that they don’t have to worry about it when they get to the office. In addition to more easily finding an open workspace in the office, employees should also have available tools and resources for collaboration. In fact, remote and on-site workers should both have access to these tools. As a result, teams can communicate and collaborate easily. Finally, monitor space utilization data to find gaps in your implementation plan. Specifically, note employee seating practices and complaints. This will improve the user experience.
- Adjust the desk booking software implementation as needed.
Employers should expect a series of trials and errors before a successful desk booking software implementation. In the initial stage, prioritize improvements at the team level for the software implementation. Ultimately, the goal is to provide solutions to current and future problems by monitoring each step of the process.
- Create a user policy for your desk booking software.
Which desk booking software should you use?
With the continuous change and evolution of hybrid workspaces, an effective desk booking software is vital. Instead of risking issues like wasted time, project delays, and logistical mistakes, companies simply need to implement this software.
Fortunately, Avuity’s desk booking software, VuBook, is the perfect solution. In fact, VuBook offers desk hoteling. VuBook has many unique features that enhance the user experience.
For example, this software includes both digital displays and a mobile app. Specifically, VuBook’s Room Display offers custom branding, details of any meeting room or space, and access to your current calendar. Plus, it runs on any display panel with internet connection and supports both Microsoft Office and Google Suite.
In addition to Room Display, VuBook also includes an interactive map. Usually, this interactive display is placed in the lobby or concierge area of a space. It serves as a central hub to your space and offers many booking features. For instance, VuBook’s Interactive Map allows users to find and book open spaces in real-time, filter amenities, and communicate with VuSpace, our sensors, and our mobile app.