Nov 23, 2020

Sensors for Desk Hoteling – This is what you need!

Desk hoteling is the new and modern approach to manage the desks at your office.
Instead of using fixed seating, you can adapt a booking system for your desks to create a more flexible work environment. Studies show that the covid-19 pandemic will drastically change the way we work, and fixed seating will create cost deficiensies when more people work at home. Desk hoteling is the solution for that.

Desk Hoteling vs. Hot Desking

Desk Hoteling differs from hot desking mainly regarding booking. Desk hoteling allows for booking in advance, booking for teams and more extensive planning regarding your desk management. You can read more about the differences between Desk Hoteling and Hot Desking here. This type of solution requires a software system that can manage bookings and indicate to others which desks are booked and which are occupied.

Software system for Desk Hoteling

The most important system to adapt to make your desk hoteling possible is the flowmap. The flowmap will show which desks are booked and which are free. The flowmap also allows employees to reserve desks directly or in the future, view their booked desks and other employees booked desks. Read about or desk management solution here.

Sensors for Desk Hoteling

In addition to the Flowmap, Flowscape provides two sensor options that you can use to maximize your Desk Hoteling. Which sensor that fits your office the best depends on your specific needs. Below we will go through them both; Desk Presence Sensor and Desk Dongle.

Desk Presence Sensor

The desk presence sensor can sense when someone is seated at the desk via motion
detection and temperature. Our specific sensor has a wireless connection to the Flowmap and a 3-year battery life. Read more about the specifications here.   

If you have a Desk Hoteling solution, a desk presence sensor can be added to give valuable insights on colleagues positions and desk utility. Firstly, the desk sensor gives other people in the office an indication if you are seated at your desk. This helps your colleagues to know if they can find you at your designated seat or not, instead of going all the way over just to check. By using presence sensor, you can save valuable time and energy for your employees. Secondly, the desk presence sensor can be a valuable analytics tool when analysing how your desks are utlized. For example, if the desks in your office are reserved 80% of the time, this can be seen as good utilization of the office, but does this mean that the desks are used? With a desk sensor, you can see how much the desk is actually occupied. Maybe employees have meetings and other things going on? The true utilization is maybe 40%.

This information can be a good base when planning how your office should be structured. If employees don’t stay at their seat, why not turn more seats to hot desks or ad-hoc desks? Read more about the benefits with hot desking here. When maximizing your utilization costs, sensors are the only sure way to understand how your office is used, and how to optimize it. Thirdly, if you already have a desk sensor installed, the desk can in an esay and manageable way be reporgrammed to be an ad-hoc desk or a hot desk instead if that solution fits your needs better. For hot desking, sensors are requiered in order to give occupancy information to the flowmap.

Desk Dongle

The desk dongle is an ingenious solution that automatically books the desk when a laptop is connected at the workplace. The system will also know who has taken the desk and their name will be indicated on the Flowmap. You just need to plug in Flowscape’s USB dongle in an available USB socket at any desk, after installing a software agent onto your laptop. Read more about the specifications here.

The Desk Dongle is beneficial for its real time update on desk booking without having to use the Flowmap. For example, if an employee has booked a desk and then plugs in to the desk via a laptop connection, the system will send a message to the computer indicating that the employee is seated at the correct desk. If someone connects their laptop at a desk they have not booked, the system will ask the employee to book the desk on the laptop. If the desk is already booked and someone else connects their laptop, the system will tell the employee that the desk is already booked and to find another seat. This will make sure that employees use the booking system in an effective way.  

What you should choose


Desk Dongle is recommended if you have bookable desks with computers or computer screens. Desk presence sensor is however also good to have to indicate presence in this case. Remember, Desk presence sensor gives complete insights in desk utilization, and Desk Dongle gives easier booking options or warnings if the desk is used. If you have workstations without screens or computers, you only need a Desk Presence Sensor. But if you have screens, we recommend both.

In summary, the basic tool needed to start a desk hoteling system at your office is the Flowmap, but desk presence sensor and Desk Dongle should be added to give both enhanced productivity, analytics, and adaptability. Make sure to also use busy lights to visualize the desk booking status of your desks in real life. Read more about our busy lights here.

Want to know more? Feel free to contact us for a demo or read more about our desk management solutions here.