Flexible and hybrid working models all rely on one pivotal enabler: An effective desk booking system.
Whether it be agile/hot desking, fixed desks, desk hoteling, preferential desk location, or a combination of all these approaches, 3 over-riding factors will dictate the success of your desk booking system:
- People need to be at the heart of your solution
- Right now, Covid-security needs to feature highly in your system’s features
- And flexibility is the name of the game.
So what are the secret ingredients that facilities and workspace leaders are baking into their desk booking specs, to guarantee those 3 crucial factors are addressed?
And what are the real secrets to desk booking system success?
In this blog I'll cut through the noise, and with the help of Space Connect Founder, Matt Pope, we'll focus on the 4 functional benefits your desk booking system needs to have nailed, and the 12 most important ingredients you need in the mix.
1. Easy management and analysis of desk space usage, down to contact-level.
“As human beings we are creatures of habit,” says Space Connect Founder Matt Pope.
“We like to go to the same spot in the office, and sit at the same desk every day. So the big shift right now towards desk booking solutions is crucial for organisations of all shapes and sizes.
Because this is what’s required to make sure employees are happy and safe. And to make sure they know that any day they get into the office, there’s a desk for them to sit at, and that they’re in control of that.”
Secret ingredient #1: Easy individual desk configuration
Whether you plan to assign fixed desks to employees, provide flexibility where people choose to sit or create different sets of bookable desks, the system you choose needs to enable easy configuration.
The fact is, however fixed your plans may seem, you are going to want to change them up in the future.
#2. The ability to assign fixed desks.
Hybrid-working models need to fit the needs of your people and your business. And sometimes that may mean prioritising certain teams or workers with a fixed desk that is only available for their use.
Make sure your system can assign and free-up desks in this way.
#3. Visual floor plans and location management
For both your workspace users and space managers, visual floor plans that show desk availability are a winning ingredient.
Combine this with location management so an employee can easily find their nearest, preferable desk, workstation or colleague.
#4. User-friendly mobile app
The more your teams can do easily from their phones for booking, finding and releasing a desk, the greater their engagement and satisfaction levels will be.
#5. Notifications & alerts
Real-time notifications and reminders for bookings, check-in and cancellations all make for the most efficient and seamless desk management experience.
#6. Multiple check-in options
Presence detection sensors placed at the desk enables passive check-in and out as a user docks or un-docks.
#7. Rich desk usage data
Successful desk-space management, in the here-and-now and into the future, relies on clear, detailed data.
Make sure your desk booking system provides rich desk usage data, reporting and analysis, right down to contact-level occupancy.
2. Built-in enablement and enforcement of social distancing for Covid-security
Secret ingredient #1. Flexible desks with automated distance
Covid-secure space management is stress-free when desks can be automatically made free or unavailable, based on real-time space occupancy and social distancing parameters.
Make sure the system you chose enables this, and disables access to desks flagged for social distancing.
#2. Automatic alerts and notifications
Sent to facilities management and desk-space users when booking capacity for a floor is reached, alerts will head-off problems before they arise.
3. Integral touch-free technology
Secret ingredient #1. No-touch check-in
Make sure your desk booking system readily supports every desk check-in method, from:
- RFID card
- Smartphone tap
- Passive sensor check-in. (This is where the sensor can automatically determine which user has arrived at a desk).
- Docking station
#2. QR Codes
Placed on desks to enable booking, check-in and check-out using with a mobile device, QR codes offer a no-touch, low cost, fast and easily scalable way to deliver desk check-in.
“Having QR codes on desks for desk booking delivers some affordable, powerful advantages”, says Matt Pope.
“The first is you are associating a person with a desk and a check-in time. For facilities managers this means having both contact-level booking data, and desk utilisation data. It enables contact tracing, usage planning and desk stock control”.
4. Integral desk cleaning
Right now, Covid-security guidelines mean the emphasis in workplaces is on sanitisation.
The right desk booking system can play a key role in that.
Secret ingredient #1. Cleaning alerts
- These can automatically inform facilities when an employee has checked out of a desk space, for cleaning
- Mark a desk as ‘clean’ for use by other employees
- Alert users as they check-out of a desk to ensure it has been cleaned using supplied hygiene cleaning material placed at the desk
You can find more advice and guidance on desk bookings systems on our desk booking blog here.