Aug 20, 2021

Hybrid working post-covid - the tools needed to start your journey

Smartphone laying on a wooden table next to a computer, displaying flowscape's flowmap in office view.

Hybrid working has been lifted as the most efficient office strategy post covid and companies are starting to see its benefits after months of remote working. Its no understatement that hybrid working will be the biggest change to office strategies in modern time. But what tools do we need to adapt to hybrid working when we start to return to the office once again? In this blog post, we will go through some of the key tools needed to make your hybrid office work.

What is Hybrid working?

Hybrid working has been increasingly more common during the last decade but reached
its peak in popularity during the covid-19 pandemic. At its core, hybrid working simply means working from different locations, or giving employees the ability to change work environment depending on the circumstance. For example, a hybrid workplace could allow employees to work partly from home and partly from the office or allow employees to freely select between different offices to work from. It can be combined in many ways and is not specific to a certain title or industry

Read our introduction to hybrid working here.

Starting your hybrid work journey

Hybrid working will drastically change how we view and manage our office layout. Fixed seating arrangements will no longer be a sustainable option with a more mobile workforce. Employees will also need new tools to find colleagues for collaboration. Adapting some form of Desk Management solution will therefore be essential to manage hybrid working schedules post-covid.

Desk management for Hybrid working

Desk Management solutions helps companies manage workstations at their office when fixed seating arrangements are replaced with shared seating arrangement. Desk Management is often the first action step taken by companies when hybrid working is introduced due to its space efficiency.  

Hybrid work and Desk Hoteling

Desk hoteling is a flexible seating model where desks are shared between employees. Instead of “owning” a desk, employees book desks in advance through a software system and uses the desks within their booking time. Desk Hoteling is a great way to give your employees the security they need to conduct their work effectively, and simultaneously create an efficient seating arrangement when most employees work partly from home.

There are many different tools that can be used to make desk hoteling work for you. Its possible to use a software only solution, meaning that employee’s book desks from an app, and also checks the app to see other people’s bookings. This can be a great way to start off desk hoteling quickly.

However, if you wish to manage ghost bookings, or have a sure way of knowing who uses
the desks even if bookings have not been made, you can add desk dongles to each desk. The Desk Dongle is an USB stick that is plugged to the docking station at the desk and acts like a check in function. When someone plugs in their computer to the desk, the employee is automatically checked in and visible on the map. If someone uses the desk without booking, the desk dongle can alert the user if the desk is already booked, asking them to move seats. Otherwise, it will be automatically booked in the employee’s name, showing the desk as red
on the map.

Hybrid work and Hot Desking

Hot desking is an even more flexible approach. In this case, desks are never booked in advance and always taken ad-hoc upon arrival at the office. This can be greatly beneficial if you want a completely flexible office. Instead of employees booking via the app, you can use a Kiosk Screen at the entrance of your office, showing employees where free seats are when they arrive. An app can also be used so employees can wayfind to the seats. Desk Presence sensors are often used to sense when someone is seated at the desk, showing it as red on the map. Busy lights can also be used to show availability from long distances, making it easier for employees to find available seats more efficiently.

Hybrid work and Colleague Finding

Colleague finding is a necessary tool when using hot desking or desk hoteling. When we are no longer assigned a seat, it becomes more difficult for employees to find each other in a big office. When using desk hoteling, the colleagues desk booking is visible for others to see, making it easy for others to know where they are located. The app also shows if someone is in the office or if they are away for the day, which lets people know if they should look for them or send an email. Read more about different tools for colleague finding here.

Finding the right hybrid work solution for you

Our experts can help you navigate the smart office landscape and go through what solutions that will fit your hybrid working model the best, you can contact them here for a free consultation. If you want to read more about hybrid work or desk management, we recommend our more extensive blog posts listed below.

What companies can gain from a hybrid workplace

A beginners Guide to Desk Hoteling

A beginner guide to Hot Desking

Desk Dongle or Desk Presence Sensor - What you should choose and why

A guide to Colleague Finding – Desk Check-in, Desk Booking and Indoor Positioning