Does everything have to be so complicated? No. No, it really does not.
One of the biggest challenges facing companies today is managing a distributed workforce and setting the correct expectations for workplace reentry as it happens. With employees spread out between locations and spread thin, it can be a bit challenging to:
A. have the proper processes in place to welcome employees back safely
B. communicate those processes and expectations to your workforce.
De-densification Of the Workplace
We're seeing companies put a concentrated effort on changing the physical layout of their workplaces - moving walls, removing desks, and improving entry and exit strategies as a means of bringing employees back for in-person workdays at densely populated offices.
When you have less desks but the same amount of people - you create a desk shortage. So now, as companies finalize their hopeful return to work plans for early 2021, a process they'll need to implement to address the desk shortage is better desk and space management.
Desks will no longer be a 1:1 ratio as the default standard. Desks, rather, will be provided and available to employees on an as-need basis. Many employees will still want to or need to work from home, and for many successful digitally-enabled companies - that is just fine.
When employees waste time searching for things that should be readily accessible, it increases anxiety and decreases productivity. And often times, the workstation you do find is more out of convenience than necessity.
Desk Booking Made Simple
But in the new world of work, things are becoming easier, more streamlined. Desk scheduling software has come a long way in the last year as the need to physically distance employees became a priority. Some more traditional approaches are using sensors and touchscreens to facilitate on-demand desk reservations in the workplace, where you walk up to an available desk or office and book it right then and there.
However, the better approach for any large organization is to give employees on-demand access to a mobile app that can either automate or simplify the desk reservation system for them from anywhere. That means employees can book a desk from the convenience of their home, while they are en-route to the office, and even when they are on-site. Of course desk booking policies and procedures will be specific to each office and geographical location, but the primary touchpoint here is ease of use to secure your workstation for the day (or any time period really).
Here's the simplified smart desk management flow any successful company will need in their workplace toolkit:
David Xides is an Enterprise Account Executive based in New York with a wide range of experience delivering enterprise solutions and workplace technology with expertise in corporate indoor intelligence technology.