Several companies hope to reopen in the near future after the Covid-19 vaccination program is completed. Most employees follow a hybrid work model, where they divide their time between office and home work. While the reopening of offices in the United States and other countries may be put on hold due to the increase in cases, it is not too early to start making plans to get employees back.
Business space will change considerably as employers reorganize their offices to comply with safety guidelines concerning social distance, cleaning, and sanitization, and capacity limits. When a person works in the office two or three days per week or if the number of employees exceeds the available office space, having a permanent desk or office becomes irrelevant. The solution to this problem is for companies to convert desks and cubicles into communal workspaces that are available during the day to all employees.
Desk booking software is the solution to this problem. It is available from a number of software providers. Furthermore, they added tools for visitor management that provide contractors and freelancers access to an office and resources. Using office booking software, employees have been able to reserve conference rooms or small “huddle rooms” for years.
Can you add table booking to your current scheduling software?
As Juliana Beauvais, Research Manager for IDC’s Enterprise Applications team points out, the demand for desktop reservation capabilities has opened doors for other enterprise software providers, such as those who provide facility management applications and ITSM software, according to Juliana Beauvais, Research Manager for IDC’s Enterprise Applications team. Companies in the matchmaking, workplace management, or scheduling business are entering this space because it isn’t hard to code and set up. Currently, many vendors use it as a gateway to sell their other products because of the high demand.”
How does the desk booking software work? Top Features to Look
Desk reservation software gives employees access to specific workspaces for several hours or days at a time. Hotelization is a practice in which workers reserve a space in advance. The term hot-desking refers to the practice of showing up at the office and claiming a desk as soon as one becomes available on a first-come-first-served basis. The majority offer their customers both of these options, so you could have drop-in desks in one area, and hot-desking in another if you wish.
An office’s floor plan can be uploaded with individual workspaces (desks and offices), meeting rooms, and common areas. A manager can designate each desk as being available for early booking, available as a hot desk, or permanently reserved (for fixed offices where they want the same employee to work every day).
Other Important Considerations
A web or mobile app is used by employees to search for available workspace for a given day and reserve a desk in advance; or in a hot-desking scenario, they check in at a physical desk in the office via QR code, RFID tag, or touch screen. As long as the pandemic persists, employers may prefer hoteling, since it avoids situations in which too many employees show up for available desks on any given day.
A booking request submitted by an employee is automatically approved or passed to a manager for final approval. Some platforms provide managers with the ability to block adjoining desks and/or switch employees as needed, and some platforms can make these adjustments automatically when employees make reservations.
Assigning desks to neighborhoods makes it possible for similar employees to meet (for example, an engineering department, a sales department, or a customer service department). Employees using some platforms can locate their colleagues and reserve nearby spaces to facilitate collaboration by seeing where they will sit.
Don’t forget about security.
Systems that combine software and hardware include screens outside meeting rooms, availability indicators (green or red lights) on individual desks, or even facility equipment such as employee id cards. They are used by employees. The majority of hardware features are optional for customers, and their usefulness is usually dependent on the business’ size. These systems would be more necessary for an organization with thousands of desks and hundreds of meeting rooms and other facilities than for a small office that might just use QR codes for check-in.
In larger companies, detailed maps may be provided to help employees locate their reserved desks, especially if desks are located on different floors.
Use the tools to save space costs, but be careful.
There are many business software integration options, including Google Workplace, Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft Teams, Jira, and Slack. Employers can use platforms to trace contact information and to fill out health questionnaires before arriving at work. In addition to analytics tools that let office managers see how their spaces are being used, the most comprehensive facilities management platforms include tools for rearranging spaces based on this information.
Desktop reservation programs vary greatly in price depending on the features desired. For many vendors, you can try their software for free before you buy it, or you can buy a free tier with limited features.