Desk booking software is a space scheduling tool that can help employees and students easily book spaces that are most appropriate for their needs, thereby helping to:
- Eliminate wasted space
- Provide self-service capabilities
- Gain insight into which spaces are booked, length of booking and other key metrics
- Create a flexible workplace
- Easily manage office hoteling and seat allocation
A desk booking software works in a similar fashion. It is essentially a sophisticated software crafted using a system of codes that allows employees to book a “desk” or “cubicle” for a day or more depending on need. Workers can also claim a desk through a desk booking software depending on proximity to colleagues or amenities required, such as notepads or desktops.
All the bookings are made using an app integrated with the desk booking software that demonstrates a visual map of the entire facility, including individual workspaces, offices, common rooms, conference rooms, etc. And each booking request is either approved automatically or by a company manager/supervisor (or a management team) responsible for overseeing the reservations.
How Does a Desk Booking Software Work?
A desk booking software allows employees to reserve a workstation at the physical office using any interface.
Whether they prefer using a desk booking software for on-the-go desk reservations or a browser to book a desk beforehand, they can access any software-enabled platform to:
- Identify and reserve workstations on demand
- Check out details, pictures, resources, floor maps, and other related information for a particular space
- Filter choices depending on availability, location, and type
Now, there are primarily two ways desk booking management works: Hot Desking and Hoteling. This is also the reason why such booking software is occasionally called desk hoteling or hot desking software.
While each term defines a set of more or less similar processes, there are specific particularities you should know about.
Advantages of a Desk Booking Software
There are numerous reasons why giants like Google, IBM, Procter & Gamble, and more have relied on desk booking software for hot desking and hoteling. Some of those are discussed below.
1. Reduced Real Estate Footprint
An efficient office desk booking software will help keep tabs on the utilization capacity of a particular facility. With such data insights at your fingertips, you will better manage a flexible workforce while leaving guesswork behind.
So, even as your employee count goes up, you don’t necessarily need to invest in newer office spaces. Instead, you can put caps on the occupancy numbers and rotate employees based on the necessity for optimal space usage. This can bring down your real estate footprint significantly without a loss.
Take HSBC, for example. The finance giant’s CEO and other senior managers recently relinquished their work desk in favor of hot desking through a desk booking software. A move that will help the company reduce its real estate footprint by 40%. This will also translate to enhanced savings on leasing office spaces, all thanks to the company’s effective desk booking software.
2. Increased Cost Savings
Besides the real estate costs, implementing desk booking software allows for the easy management of a hybrid workforce. With regular tracking of occupancy rates, you can bring down incidental charges, like stationery and printer paper, along with maintenance costs. Fewer employees working in the office also means you’re saving a considerable amount on utility bills while allowing equitable access to office resources.
Case in point: EY’s Chicago offices first started the office hoteling trend some two decades ago. Since then, the company’s annual savings were earmarked at $47 million or more due to reduced square footage.
3. Supports a Flexible Workforce
If you’ve implemented a desk booking system, your employees will have greater flexibility. Whenever they have to work on-site, they can easily reserve a station, even a cafeteria slot, days in advance using the desk booking software. And when they arrive at the facility, they’ll know exactly where they need to sit without any nasty surprises in tow.
On top of that, they get complete autonomy to choose where and how they work. This fosters a resilient and empowered workforce that is also immensely productive. Thus, a desk booking software is crucial for supporting a flexible workforce. Such a robust system will also help improve the employee experience and appeal to new talent.
So does the upsides of desk booking sound like a sweet deal for your company? Then don’t think twice about deploying desk booking software. But once you’ve decided on a suitable vendor, next comes implementation. This is where things can get a bit tricky.