How to choose desk booking software for the hybrid workplace
While the number of people working from home has dropped, the proportion of workers operating on a hybrid work schedule has risen dramatically. In the UK alone, the number of hybrid workers has grown from 13% in February 2022 to 24% in May 2022. That’s an 11% bump in just three months! So the question is, “If hybrid working is how business is done, how do we manage our offices?” Regular readers of our blog should know the answer to this one already. For those who have just stumbled across this article, the answer is simple. Set up a desk booking software to help you manage and optimize your office space.
Of course, to do that, you need software that makes desk booking and space management simple.
What is desk booking software?
Desk booking software does just what the name suggests. It’s a platform for office managers to organize their workspaces to ensure they’re making the most of their available space.
This type of software has become extremely useful for businesses that use a hybrid work model. Rather than letting desks go empty when people are working remotely, a desk booking system allows workplace experience managers to implement hot-desking or even rent out workspaces to external parties.
For an in-depth look at how desk booking software works, see how Smartway2 makes desk booking easy for workers and workplace experience managers.
How to choose desk booking software for the hybrid workplace?
For hybrid workplace experience managers to easily and effectively manage their offices, they need an intuitive system that can improve the employee experience and increase productivity.
The idea of desk booking software is nothing new, but as offices continue to trash the assigned seating model, many wonder what to look for when choosing desk booking software.
With that in mind, let’s look at the must-have features that make desk booking software worthwhile.
A great desk booking system gets even better when it works seamlessly with all the other software and systems you use. That’s why looking for desk and room booking software that offers integrations is essential. Good integrations can help you boost productivity and keep your communications streamlined. Here are some we recommend looking out for.
So much of our work these days is based on our email inboxes. We use email to schedule meetings, get in touch with clients, ask coworkers questions, and so much more. So find a desk booking system that works with your preferred email client, like Outlook. This kind of integration helps workers stay on top of meetings and keep track of when they’re in the office and where they are sitting when they come in.
Visitor management platforms
Many businesses use powerful visitor management platforms like Proxyclick or TDS Visitor. This software can help you quickly see who comes and goes from your office each day and can help you welcome visitors and clients for meetings, presentations, or interviews.
So look for a desk booking software that integrates with your preferred visitor management platform. A good integration can help you boost the usefulness of each software.
Space management platforms
Technology that can help you manage and plan your office space is essential for hybrid work. So look for a desk booking software to communicate with your space management platform. This can help you automatically block off desks or occupied workstations, meeting rooms that need maintenance, and many other useful tasks.
Ease of use
The hybrid transformation is difficult enough to manage without workers coming to you every two seconds with issues. Desk booking software should be easy to use for even the most tech-challenged workers in your office. Think about the following when considering usability.
Remember that your employees will be using your desk booking software every day — usually multiple times a day! So, you’ll want it to have a simple, easy-to-use interface. Software that’s easy for employees to use helps drive adoption and helps make your new desk booking system second nature for everyone — even the tech-hesitant among us.
One of the best parts of implementing a desk and room booking solution is how much admin it takes over automatically. Instead of an office manager booking meetings and conference rooms for different teams, desk booking software gives workers the power to book what they need when they need it.
Your booking software should have a straightforward, easy-to-use self-service booking function. This helps speed up bookings and ensures everything goes through your central booking system — instead of sitting in a manager or administrator’s inbox.
This sounds simple, but a good search function in your desk booking system can make all the difference. Workers should be able to search for open desks, rooms, and equipment. The best desk booking software will let users search for their colleagues. This helps them determine where coworkers and teammates are working at any time, which fosters collaboration and communication.
Mobile app for booking on the go
As much as we would like it to, life never quite goes according to plan. There are bound to be times when workers need to come into the office at the last minute. For those times, it’s good to have a desk booking platform that can handle those last-minute moments.
A mobile app lets workers check which workspaces are free and grab a desk while they’re already on their way to the office. This means they won’t need to come in and waste time finding an open workspace. They can just walk in, check in through the app, and get straight to work.
The hybrid workplace is in a constant state of flux. This can make planning and optimizing workspaces challenging.
Desk booking software should keep track of worker habits and turn that data into useful analytics. These analytics give workplace experience managers real-time information that they can use to better optimize office space. Look for software that uses AI and machine learning to identify popular areas, which times are the busiest, and many more valuable insights.
You can use these analytics to help promote the best workspaces to external parties looking to rent office space. It can also help eliminate no-shows and ghost bookings by automatically releasing desks back into the pool when no one shows up to use their reserved desk.
Floor plans and digital signage
The best desk booking software platforms do more than just allow workers to choose where they sit — they also make it easy to find that seat. Look for a desk booking software that includes detailed, interactive floorplans and maps of your offices. An interactive floor plan makes it easier for workers to find and book workspaces and the resources needed to finish their work.
And look for options that offer digital signage too. Signage makes life easier for those looking for desks or meeting rooms and gives your office a modern feel that will impress your visitors. Using digital signage can help guide workers and visitors through the office to the right place and can help you display which rooms and desks are free or occupied.
One of the biggest challenges hybrid workplaces present is the amount of wasted space you could be left with. Desk booking software gives you the information you need to help maximize space utilization in your offices.
Analytics help you repurpose the office into more collaborative spaces and creates a much more inclusive space for everyone. For those less used areas, you can seek out what workers need and create new spaces like break-out spaces, “me spaces” for focus, and “we spaces” for collaboration.
Smartway2 is the answer
Guess where you can find all of the above features and more?
That’s right, Smartway2! We might be biased, but there’s no better solution for workplace managers looking to make the most out of their office space in this hybrid work era.
Request your free demo today to learn more!