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How to Craft Effective Desk Booking Policies

office team planning
Eric Lani
Published on

In the modern workplace, resource structures and policies are crucial for optimizing space utilization. While flexibility offers employee autonomy, clear guidelines ensure efficient resource allocation and better office experiences. 

When working with our customers, we recommend a balance that sets policies on how to use scarce resources that both empower employees and provide a framework for how to use resources in the office. In this blog, we'll lay out all the information you need. But, first, here's a quick overview of what that will look like:

  • ‍Set an advanced booking window of 90 days
  • Turn on desk check-ins
  • Activate abandoned desk protection and set a threshold
  • Get stickers to help the check-in process
  • Enable local checkin only
  • Set an advanced check-in window for 2 hours
  • Add amenities to desks in robin 

Let's dig into the details.

How to Set Your Desk Booking Policies Up for Success

First off, set your advanced booking window to 90 days. This gives individuals ample time to make in-office bookings or discuss group visits, avoiding the frustration of not having resources available. 

Wider windows improve desk usage – we see that desks with a 60 day or longer advanced booking window are booked 35% more often.

Some organizations look to shorter windows to avoid “ghost” bookings, but desk check-ins and abandoned desk protection can combat potential resource problems. Check-ins help workplace administrators keep track of office usage, and abandoned desk protection automatically frees up resources not in use. 

Desks with abandoned desk protection enabled add 10% more capacity to the office on average.

Setting your abandoned desk protection threshold to 1 hour after expected check-in time gives employees time to check in if they are running late, while also freeing up desks that don’t get used. This setting is anchored off from the start time of the desk booking – in Robin, we default all desk bookings to start at 9 a.m. local time (this can be customized to the user, though!).

Desk QR code stickers are a cost-effective way to improve check-in rates. They create a seamless experience for employees as they check in – all they need to do is scan the QR code on their chosen desk. 

Desk check-in stickers improve check-in rates by 30% on average.

Some organizations choose to implement local check-in only, which only allows employees to check into desks using the physical sticker. This ensures that those checking into the office are physically present. Robin also allows for automatic check-in, helping with more accurate workplace analytics.

When considering check-in methods, customers often set the advanced check-in window to 2 hours to help reduce friction. This allows employees to book desks on their way in or once they get into the office without having to take a second step of checking in.

Our last recommendation is to add amenities to any desk you set up. Amenities give employees an understanding of what each desk offers. If someone needs a large monitor for their work day, they can pre-select a desk with that resource, rather than needing to find a new desk upon arriving at the office.

The top-5 most popular amenities for our customers are Monitor, Adjustable Height, Keyboard, Mouse and Laptop Stand.

Remember: desk booking policies should be guidelines that align with your organization's unique culture and values. Gather feedback from employees, check your desk usage and evaluate the effectiveness of policies to foster long-term office strategies that help your team thrive.

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