A hybrid workplace is essential for modern businesses, as people prefer to divide their time between the home office and the physical office. Offering flexible solutions for employees has numerous benefits, including increased creativity and innovation. Desk booking is one of the cornerstones of the hybrid office, allowing everyone to choose a workspace of their preference. Let's take a closer look at why this innovative solution matters.
The importance of desk booking
The importance of desk booking doesn’t go unnoticed by office and space managers who want to control occupancy rates and optimize the office layout. Working patterns are changing, and new challenges have emerged when trying to make the most of the office building. Real estate doesn’t come cheap, and with the rise of hybrid work, occupancy rates tend to fluctuate, leading to plenty of wasted space. Companies end up with unused and underutilized office spaces and high overhead costs. They have to downsize but also offer functional spaces. The art of space management involves assessing every opportunity to maintain that balance, and desk booking plays an integral part.
The physical office is still needed to a large extent, depending on the sector you are working in. Going to the office brings a sense of community and direction, where people can meet up with colleagues for a coffee. The office building is a perfect place for networking and meeting clients.
Naturally, hybrid workers would want to spend time there, even if they enjoy working from home. A desk management system enables them to find a seat in a preferred space. Even though the number of work desks is reduced, employees can rest assured that there are enough available desks for everyone.
The dynamics of a desk booking software
Desk booking software serves a dual purpose as an analytical tool for office planning and a flexible booking solution for employees, functioning much like a Swiss army knife for professionals concerned about desk management.
By attaching sensors under each desk, the system detects desk occupancy, and the data is transferred for analysis and application in future office planning. Desk utilization analytics empower space managers to understand how and when people use different spaces. This information helps identify high-traffic areas and preferred meeting rooms. Moreover, it enables the analysis of peak hours and weeks with higher attendance, allowing predictions related to flu seasons. During such times, surfaces can be sanitized more frequently.
For instance, managers may discover that the lounge on floor three is rarely used, suggesting it could be transformed into smaller meeting rooms. Collaborative spaces are known to boost productivity and creativity, making multifunctional spaces ideal for freeing up space or accommodating new hires.
Companies aiming to stay ahead and continue growing need to rethink office space planning, and desk booking makes this possible.
When selecting a desk booking tool, expect the following features:
- Interactive floor maps
- Desk availability visibility
- Improved wayfinding
- Real-time display of movements in the building
- Easy localization of colleagues or teams
- Integration with other software like Outlook and Zoom
- Attendance notifications
- Visitor management tools
Most features can be accessed through an app, making it convenient for employees to book desks on the fly. With everything they need in their pocket, they save time searching for an ideal space and can expect to find a tidy and comfortable desk at all times. This increased stability and safety contribute to enhanced productivity and motivation.
Desk booking has significant potential when it comes to flexible working arrangements tailored to the needs of employees. By booking a desk, remote and hybrid workers can choose a workspace with the right equipment and manage to find a dear colleague.
Another option is to be seated next to another team or department, which will prevent the 'us' and 'them' mentality where people pull in different directions. People are able to create powerful synergies together and form new ideas. It will build a stronger company culture and drive innovation.
Hybrid workers feel that they can switch between the home office and the physical office seamlessly and enjoy the same amount of flexibility in both. When people are seated differently on a daily basis, fewer cliques are formed, and remote/hybrid workers can integrate into the team smoothly.
Successfully Navigating the hybrid workplace
Freedom in desk booking comes with responsibilities. Employees must adhere to specific protocols when utilizing a flexible desk booking system. This includes refraining from spreading personal belongings, maintaining a considerate noise level, and embracing a collaborative mindset with colleagues. Furthermore, it is mandatory for employees to leave the desk clean and tidy at the end of the workday for the next user.
Team leaders play a crucial role in communicating these guidelines in a friendly manner and ensuring that each floor is equipped with sufficient storage and lockers. The collective effort of everyone is essential in creating a pleasant work environment.
Consistency is key, and employees should only book a desk if they plan to use it. The more sophisticated booking apps on the market can feature an auto-release function, allowing desks to be reassigned if an employee doesn't show up. This feature promotes streamlined bookings and minimizes unused space, contributing to a more efficient and organized workspace.
Seeking guidance on how to set up your hybrid office for success?
Don't hesitate to schedule a meeting with one of our product experts. They can provide valuable insights into our solutions and how technology can help streamline your office processes without disrupting employees' daily work.
Read more from our blog