A well-designed and real-time desk scheduling and workplace experience platform is the key to managing a hybrid workplace, with people balancing time between on-site and off.
The digital workplace is evolving the way we work at a rapid pace. Workers are becoming used to a more dynamic workplace environment - paving the way for emerging technology to help employees seamlessly transfer between home, transit, and headquarters.
The ideal post-pandemic workplace solution is one that improves productivity, boosts employee satisfaction, provides added convenience, and keeps everyone healthy and safe. A prime example of this — especially in a flexible workplace — is a desk booking system that can help companies manage the hybrid workplace.
With a mixture of remote workers and on-site workers, it can be incredibly difficult to manage and balance a campus, even more so with conventional practices. Traditional assigned seating, for instance, is a disaster when you have some people working on-site and others at home, for days or even weeks at a time. A lot of space is underutilized with desks or offices that remain empty when they could be used by those working on-site.
What Is a Desk Scheduler?
A desk scheduling system meets hot desking and desk hoteling needs in the workplace by allowing employees to book conference rooms, desks, workstations, and other shared spaces. A proper system will bring a ton of value to the new workplace, not just because of better organization and improved work environments, but because the benefits stretch far and wide.
6 Desk Scheduling Benefits for The New Workplace
A well-designed desk scheduling program will shape the modern workplace in many ways that help different personas across the workplace including facilities, human resources, IT, real estate, and of course employees!
#1 A Desk Booking App Makes It Easier to Manage Your Work Schedule
When you work in a flexible office setting, hot desking and hoteling gives employees greater freedom in choosing a workstation that matches their daily or weekly needs. This is vital to the new office structure because tasks and project needs will change, especially between off-site and on-site applications. It also means individual work environments play a large role in how productive people are.
By allowing workers to choose their workspace or station, everyone has the opportunity to personalize or fine-tune their on-site experiences.
#2 Desk Management Tools Aid In Better Management of Workplace Capacity
As is evident at the local level, every community has unique re-entry requirements. The workplace and large office settings are one of the last to be reopened, and doing so will need to be carried out with precision and care. Space management is a huge concern.
Tools must be implemented, now and in the future, to scale up or down depending on local and societal protocols. It's an ebb and flow that must match up with population, density, available space, and even current events.
Managing workplace capacity means limiting the number of people on-site, at a given time. This can be enhanced through the activation or deployment of desks, spaces, and stations. Everything is added to an inventory pool so that rooms or stations ready for use are open. When space needs to be limited, that inventory pool can either be slowed or limited. It leaves less on-site space available, telling workers to plan their remote or at-home strategies.
From a management perspective, everything is visible and in real-time, including the local population at a facility.
#3 Smart Desking Empowers Safer, Healthier, Social Distancing Applications
Unfortunately, social distancing is a practice that many forget about, even at the moment. Part of a healthy workplace management strategy, however, involves finding ways to not just promote proper practices, but also to enforce them, without damaging relationships. That can be tricky, but with the use of modern technology, things get a whole lot easier.
The mobile and online system can be designed to analyze or measure activities, matching them up with set guidelines. Ultimately, the system can then send alerts or advisements to workers depending on what's happening. Trying to book a desk that's too close to one already occupied? No problem, the system will tell you. Getting ready to visit the cafeteria or lunchroom which is too crowded at the moment? The system will alert you immediately.
This also works through the activation and deactivation of desks or stations. The system can disable areas that don't meet the requirements, like leaving a desk or workstation empty to keep up with social distancing.
#4 A Desk Booking App Syncs With Seating and Workstation Usage
Imagine walking into your workplace for the day, and your mobile automatically checks you in, letting everyone know you're on-site. Simultaneously, it books the same desk or station you generally work from. When you're ready to leave for the day, that same station is released, allowing someone else to use it.
This automatic check-in and seat release system can help better manage space efficiency. Also, the option to see when a workstation is reserved and in use is a valuable form of data for companies managing occupancy. They can measure, in real-time, what's happening per floor, building, or location. It also helps reduce "ghost bookings" or stations that appear to be reserved but are empty.
The automation and smart scheduling create truly flexible desks or spaces that are ready at a moment's notice or taken offline to reduce hazards and productivity issues.
#5 A Connected Desks Solution Improves Cleaning Protocols
Traditional cleaning processes and programs aren't that smart, in terms of technology. However, an underlying benefit of hoteling and desk booking tools is the option to sync up cleaning operations.
Connected workplace communication tools will send information between systems to synchronize operations. A workstation or desk that's been released, for example, might simultaneously ping the custodial staff, letting them know it needs to be cleaned. That space can be taken offline or deactivated until the staff has the opportunity to sanitize it.
It allows teams to keep a pulse on what's available and what's out of commission for a given period.
#6 A Comprehensive Desk Management Solution Reduces Overhead
Highly configurable seating arrangements — by departments, neighborhoods, or even individuals — helps optimize how space is being used. Beyond that, it provides valuable insight into how to manipulate spaces, and which kinds of setups are in demand. If everyone needs an individual desk or workstation, as opposed to a meeting room, underutilized spaces can be converted for maximum productivity.
Overall, it helps to reduce real estate costs and boosts operational efficiencies.
Desks Are One Step Towards A Connected Workplace
The inevitable return to work is about proper and safe workplace re-entry above all. Even so, there are many other facets of running an organization that need to be accounted for, which is further augmented across a hybrid workplace.
Desk scheduling software adapts the workplace to allow for dynamic stations, experiences, and scenarios. A large office that would otherwise stay empty, can be quickly converted into a small meeting space. An open workstation could be the new, temporary home for a partner or on-site employee. Exclusive stations can be merged to create shared desks and vice versa.
As more companies turn to mobile tools, IoT, and integrated technology solutions, there will be a greater and more reliable opportunity to synchronize these systems. More importantly, the combined database can bring a multitude of new insights, strategies, and classifications.
To put it even more into perspective. More devices, wearables, and sensors will continue to come online, as people look to smart technology to improve their lives, whether at work or home. This free-flowing data goes nowhere if those devices are not plugged into a proper repository or command center. The data needs to be absorbed and collected, and then properly analyzed to generate actionable intel in the workplace.