Mar 4, 2021

Desk Management definitions you should know about

Two people chatting in the background, work desk is shown with a busy light attached, showing the desk as available,

Navigating the world of office desk management can be difficult. In this blog post, we will go through the most commonly used terminology within Desk Management, so you can start your desk management journey without unnecessary hurdles.

Ad-hoc seating

Ad-hoc seating refers to a form of flexible seating where desks are taken upon arrival at the office. In this desk seating model, employees do not have a fixed workstation, nor do they book desks in advance. Ad-hoc seating is instead a form of “first come, first served” type of method. Ad-hoc seating works well in open workspaces where employees flow in and out but is less beneficial if there are more employees than desks. Only using ad-hoc seating can in these cases result in employees coming to the office without getting a desk. Read more about how to manage these problems here.

Bookable desks

Bookable desks refer to desks that can be booked, meaning that an employee can claim a desk as theirs for a period of time. This can be any time span, from an hour to several days. During this time, no one else can claim the desk. Bookable desks can be taken Ad-hoc (upon arrival and directly if a desk is free) or in advance (see Desk Hoteling). Within desk management, bookable desks can hence be part of both an Ad-hoc seating layout and a Desk Hoteling solution.

Desk Analytics

Desk Analytics refers to statistics produced regarding desk usage. One example is data that comes from presence sensors that measure seating time and duration. Desk analytics can also be produced from desk bookings and allows measurement of number of bookings, duration, and usage rates. In summary, desk analytics is all the statistics that can be created around the usage of the desks at an office and is often included in a Desk Management solution. Read more about workplace analytics here.

Desk Booking

Desk booking refers to the process in which desks are booked/reserved in an office. Desk booking can be implemented either as a more ad-hoc desk check-in system, where desks are booked when someone is seated, or by adapting a system where desks can be booked for days in advance. Desk booking can also be managed by using advanced permission and booking rules that governs who can book certain resources. Read more about adapting a desk booking system at your office here.

Desk Booking Solution

Compared to the term Desk Booking, Desk Booking Solution refers to the complete system that is used to manage bookings of desks in your office, often a software system in combination with plug-ins or sensors. Desk bookings can either be conducted by a mobile app, PC, desk check-in hardware, outlook-plugins etc.

Desk Check-in

Refers to desks that are automatically booked when someone is seated at a desk, or to a check-in system where made bookings need to be confirmed by the booker before the booking starts. This allows the system to release desks that are booked if no one took the seat during the booking time. This can be managed by a Desk Dongle, that books the desk when a computer is plugged in, or by a desk presence sensor, that turns the desk red on the map. Read more about Desk Check-in here.

Desk Hoteling

Desk Hoteling refers to desks in an office space that are shared between employees. Desks are not assigned to a specific user but can be booked in advance via a booking system. Just like booking a hotel room, you book a desk at your office to use it. Read more about Desk Hoteling here.

Desk Management

Desk Management solution refers to the complete system of software, sensors and plugins that manages all Desk Types in your office. Fixed seats, bookable desks and hot desks are managed by the software and the sensors provided by the desk management system.  

Desk Reservation

Desk reservation refers to the same desk type as Desk Hoteling. Desks need to be booked in advance or upon arrival to enable usage.

Desk sharing

Desk sharing is an umbrella term for all Desk Types that are not Fixed Seating, where employees in one form or another share the desks in the office. If desk sharing is implemented, the employees in the office does not “own” their desks. This often means that there are fewer desks than employees. Desk booking solutions for desks are therefore often used to make sure that there are not too many employees in the office at the same time – and that everyone can acquire a seat if needed.

Desk Types

Desk Types is a descriptor of how a desk can be used and/or booked. There are multiple desk types. For example, a desk can be fixed (“owned” by an employee), bookable or “first come, first served.” Read more about different desk types here.

Desk utilization

Another word for desk usage. Refers to the analysis of how often the desks are
used compared to the time in which the desks can be used. This is usually measured through sensor technology and booking statistics. Measuring desk utilization can be helpful, especially if companies wish to reduce office space or enhance placement and equipment for the desks at the office. Read more about the benefits of measuring resource utilization here.

Fixed Seating

The traditional Desk Management model where all employees are assigned a permanent seat that they “own”. In this model, desks are not booked, and desks cannot be grabbed ad-hoc or in advance. Desk management solutions can however be used to view a colleague’s seating and enable wayfinding through the office. Read more about the benefits of colleague finding here.

Flexible seating

Flexible seating refers to Desk Types where people are not assigned fixed seats but can take a free seat in the office. Employees do not “own” desks, but sit where there is room, availability and so on. Hot desking, Desk Hoteling, ad-hoc seating, and Desk booking are all Desk Types that fall under this umbrella term.

Hot Desking

Hot Desking is at its core a system where employees take desks upon arrival at the office
instead of booking in advance (as in Desk Hoteling) or having an assigned seat (As in Fixed Seating). Hot desking and Ad-hoc seating is similar regarding the “first come, first served” type of method. Hot Desks are however never bookable, whereas Ad-hoc seats can be booked upon arrival or when seated. Read more about Hot Desking here.