Avoid the pitfalls with hot desking and hoteling strategies that work

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Hybrid working – was that even a thing before Covid? It certainly is now, though – and while it offers the best of both worlds, it can be a handful when it comes to organizing space.

Strategies need to be put in place that meet the needs of real estate leaders while fostering an environment that’s productive and responsive to the ever-changing needs of the workforce.

The conversation has moved on from only thinking about desk allocation to creating a flexible experience for the workers – it’s a driven by ease of scheduling and creating maximum occupancy.

Creating the best hot desk environment

As long as workers continue to combine working from home with occasional office time they will need to be able to grab a desk with the minimum of fuss and start working.

Make occupancy sensor and digital signage technology a pivotal part of your strategy. It creates a great digital experience for staff while ensuring you have all the data you need going forward.

With the sensor technology you can:

1) Dramatically reduce time wasted looking for a free desk. The worker can see at a glance which desks are free thanks to a digital signage screen.

2) Create an outstanding user experience. Once they have seen their desk they simply plug in their laptop and get working. Once finished, they leave. The check-in/out process cannot be simpler.

3) Make data-driven decisions. Sensors are a key weapon against wasted space. With 100% accurate occupancy data you can make data-driven decisions about reducing or increasing future desk ratios.

4) Manage meeting room occupancy. Sensors can also do this – and this data is invaluable in ensuring that social distancing measures are being maintained.

5) Offer a choice of booking apps. While digital signage is a great time saver, many workers want to pre-book, and a mobile app is the perfect solution.

Creating order out of chaos

When real estate demand exceeds supply, consider a hoteling approach to maximize available space and to ensure an orderly process.

Hoteling is based on reserving desks with a definitive check in/out time. It’s an ideal approach for companies with a smaller desk estate or who are looking to move away from a 1:1 desk ratio.

With trends towards more localised and smaller satellite offices, it makes sense to have a solution that maximizes the use of this resource while ensuring that workers get the workspace they need.

A hoteling strategy is driven by technology which:

1) Is mobile. Workers should be able to log into the app from a mobile device for the ultimate in utility and convenience.

2) Is powerful. In order to get staff buy-in the software needs to be easy to use while providing all the flexibility they need. For example, they may need to book meeting rooms and/or catering while they are in the office – the app needs to able to manage their whole working day.

3) Is intuitive. With floorplan booking it’s now easy for staff to select and book a desk. The floorplan also offers a great visual aid for locating colleagues and finding a socially distanced desk.

4) Is flexible. When space really is at a premium, anywhere can become a hot desk with reverse hoteling, which makes it easy to take fixed desks or small offices and convert them into temporary hot space.

5) Reduces no shows. With desk real estate in short supply, it can be frustrating when desks have been booked but are empty because the booker forgot to cancel. Auto-release of desks avoids this situation.

6) Offers a simple check in/out process. The check in/out process needs to be fast. With desk panels, staff can easily see when their desk is available and check in with a quick swipe of an RFID card or a QR code on their mobile device.

Conclusion

Creating the ideal working environment for hybrid workers is now a key priority for workplace leaders – and it’s as much about creating a great experience as satisfying the practicalities.

You now need to provide mobile technology solutions such as desk booking software to simplify the scheduling process. Connected with other workplace technology such as desk panels they can provide a wonderfully safe and fast touch free check in process.

Your workplace will continue to evolve, and data from the desk booking system and occupancy sensors will continue to provide the perfect platform for data driven decisions whatever the circumstances. Because as we’ve all found out in the last year, it pays to be prepared for everything…