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The Modern Solution to Old Office Seating Charts

office desk with woman working
Danielle Aihini
Published on

How does your company manage seating plans for employees in the office? Depending on your role, you probably have a different answer from the next person.

For growing companies, seat assignments tend to be fluid. As offices approach capacity or expand on space it becomes ever more complex to manage. Historically, office seating plans have lived in specialty integrated workplace management software tools (IWMS) for facilities teams, inaccessible to the rest of the office.

Or they lived on a physical drawing which required manual updates. Employees saw it once or twice, if they were lucky, which meant finding a seat assignment or colleague was a cluster of guess and check. Others resorted to old reliable: Excel. Worse yet, the front desk was forced to play 'air traffic control' to point people in the right direction.

And when employees can’t find where they need to be or who they’re looking for, the workplace slows down as a result. Just take a look at the numbers:

  • Four in 10 people spend as much as 60 minutes every week searching for colleagues, according to Senion’s Office Worker Survey.
  • With 41 percent of U.S. workers in offices with 500 or more employees, that translates to 160 million days wasted every year.
  • Those unproductive hours add up to $27.5 billion each year, the equivalent of full-time salaries for an additional 616,000 office workers.

Three problems arise with ineffective office seating plan management:

1. Employees waste time navigating the office
2. New employees have a harder time onboarding
3. A floor or office move becomes increasingly complicated

The solution? An easy to manage and highly visible office seating plan, including digestible, interactive maps and multiple ways everyone can access the info.

Looking for a way to streamline office seating plans? Get a personalized demo of Robin today and see how it can improve desk reservations and provide better office visibility with maps.

Here’s how Robin seat assignments and maps provide solutions to wasted time and messy onboarding:

PROBLEM: Employees waste time navigating the office
SOLUTION: Help make collaboration possible with an easy-to-use office seating plan

Fast-growing departments might have to play office Tetris to get teams to work near each other. Other organizations take it upon themselves to shake up the layout to improve collaboration. Both situations mean employees need to keep up with constant change, and if leadership isn't proactive about updating the seating chart, people have no way of finding their coworkers.

When these changes take place, employees need an immediate way to adapt. With Robin, admins have the ability to quickly update workstations with the option to send out an email with new seat assignments. This way employees can find a teammate’s desk with a quick search from the web dashboard.  

Gone are the days of employees circling the same floor three times to find Jim or sending last minute, "Just find me at the elevator" emails to meet up.

Everyone can find colleagues and seat assignments in Robin's within seconds dashboard.
Everyone can find colleagues and seat assignments in Robin's dashboard within seconds.


PROBLEM: New employees have a harder time finding people during onboarding
SOLUTION: Improve onboarding with increased visibility into the seating chart and office schedule

The first few weeks at a new job are a barrage of newness: new teammates, new problems to solve, new tools, new office layout. With everyone moving at 110 percent, it can be a challenge to provide new hires with complete coverage as they get up-to-speed.

That first month is a pivotal time to set new hires up for success. In fact, effective onboarding can improve retention rates by 52 percent, studies show. Something as straightforward as knowing where a teammate is seated can make the transition that much easier.

With assigned seating, hot desking and office hoteling reservation software, new employees have full visibility into where their coworkers' workstations, whether that’s in an assigned seat or a hot desk reserved on the fly, with immediate and automatic updates to the office map.

Assign workstations based on amenities for employees and visualize it on a map of your floor plan.
Assign workstations based on amenities and teams and visualize it on a map of your floor plan.

PROBLEM: A floor or office move becomes increasingly complicated
SOLUTION: A seating plan management software that's simple to update and accessible by all

As your team gets bigger and you either outgrow your current floor plan and need a new office space or a shuffling of workstations in your current space is on the horizon, keeping track of seat assignments is crucial. A physical architectural drawing won’t cut it when you’re getting everyone up-to-speed on new seat assignments.

With a simple floor plan management software, the entire company can answer common questions like, “Where is my new desk?” and “Where is Rob's desk?” all within the same platform they organize their work schedule.

Find and share specific seat assignments with Robin's people finder.
Find and share specific seat assignments with Robin's people finder.

Arm your employees with the software to make navigating the office as simple as possible. Whether you’re moving seat assignments around, redesigning the office or growing your company, employees deserve to be in the know and in control of their workspace. An updated office seating plan solution saves people hours looking for colleagues, increases collaboration and enhances new employee onboarding experience.  

What does that mean for you? Less interruptions and more time to spend on the work that matters.

featured report

The Office Space Report 2023