Hybrid work is here to stay: while more and more companies have embraced the benefits of remote work, it’s still valuable to have a physical office where employees can connect and collaborate. Many companies have turned to hot desking or desk hoteling models, where employees can reserve flexible workspaces instead of having an assigned desk at the office. This setup accommodates a hybrid workforce while allowing companies to save on overhead.
A recent survey of Microsoft employees found that the opportunity to enhance connections with coworkers is a major motivating factor in bringing people back to the office. But the return to office needs to be frictionless and easy for workers to navigate. That’s where hot desk booking software comes in.
A desk scheduling platform removes the administrative burden of managing flexible workspaces while helping leadership teams understand how and when the office is being used.
Selecting Hot Desk Booking Software
With so many different reservation tools available, it can be difficult to know where to start. To find the best platform for your enterprise, look for desk scheduling with the following features:
1. User-Friendly Interface
Your reservation software should be easy to navigate – otherwise, you’ll end up with frustrated employees who are less likely to come into the office. Choose a hot desk booking software that has great user experience (UX) on phones, tablets, laptops, and/or desktops. That way, it’s easy for workers to book a desk regardless of where they are or what device they use.
2. Seamless Integration
Another big sticking point is integration. Unless you’re a brand-new startup, you probably already have several platforms in place that your employees are familiar with. If you purchase desk scheduling software, you want to be confident that it integrates with your existing email, meeting, and collaboration tools, like Zoom and Slack.
3. Valuable Analytics
When you adopt a new system or platform, it’s helpful to have data about how well it’s working – and where you can make improvements. Look for reservation software that provides workplace analytics and reporting so you can better understand the behavior of your hybrid workforce.
For example, you might find that a certain group of workspaces is rarely used, while another is very popular. You can adjust your layout accordingly and better utilize your physical space to support productivity. Plus, automated data collection and reporting let you gather valuable insights without taking up staff time.
4. Conference Room Management
In addition to booking individual desks, your software should help employees reserve meeting spaces for collaborative work. A built-in conference room reservation tool lets you search available spaces and book the one that meets your needs.
This takes the guesswork out of planning meetings: when a team is gathering in person, they don’t have to waste time finding a space to accommodate them. Instead, they can book in advance and get to work as soon as they arrive at the office.
5. Branding Capabilities
Every platform you use is an opportunity to communicate your brand identity and values. Keep in mind that your desk booking software doesn’t have to be limited to employees – you can also give access to office visitors, contractors, and board members or trustees.
A desk booking software that lets you customize your interface using your brand colors, logo, or other assets will help communicate a consistent identity and make your company more memorable.
6. Adjustable Permissions
It’s helpful to have a hierarchy of permissions in your meeting room platform, especially at a big company with a distributed workforce. For example, you might want all rank-and-file employees to have the ability to search and book individual workspaces, but limit meeting room booking controls to administrators.
If you have interns or freelancers, you might want to restrict their access to specific floors or departments within your office. A customizable system lets you designate roles and permissions for each end user.
7. Digital Displays
For busy offices, digital displays can help with wayfinding. Some reservation platforms offer map and schedule display options to help vendors, contractors, and other guests quickly find the right meeting room or office. You can place digital displays in central locations, like in reception areas or at elevator banks. Or, you can place displays outside of conference rooms so people can see when they’ll be in use throughout the day.
8. Health Screening and Tracing
Understandably, some employees may be concerned about the potential health risks of returning to in-person work. Desk booking software can help you keep everyone safe and stay in compliance.
You can customize your reservation system to administer health screenings before people arrive at the office. And with built-in reporting features, you can pull data on which employees used specific workspaces or meeting rooms when needed for contact tracing.
9. Technical Support
Even with an in-house IT department, you may end up with questions about your new reservation software. Choose a partner that offers 24/7 support to make sure you’re getting the most out of your investment. Plus, your feedback can help drive improvements to the platform.
Boost Employee Experience With Hot Desk Booking Software
Whether you’re remote-first or moving to a hybrid model for the first time, you know that employee experience is critical. Provide your teams with tools to help them to their best work in office and at home.
With the right technology you can easily manage your space, book desks and meeting rooms, gather data, and welcome guests to your office. Want to learn more about supporting your workplace with Robin? Schedule a demo or start your free trial today.