Choosing the right desk booking solution is no small feat. Successful software purchases are preceded by hours of research, and the first step to a wise buying decision is knowing what exactly you need from the purchase.
Induced by the emergence of social distancing, the demand for desk booking technology is rapidly growing, and so is the supply of different hot desking, hoteling, and reservation engines. Most likely, having to choose one was not listed in your plans for 2020. Yet here you are, researching the office tech for safe space management. What is the best pick for your workplace?
To help navigate the sea of options, we are sharing a checklist with key elements of an efficient desk booking solution. Use it to make a well-informed investment.
Deployment is one of the first aspects to think through - not only it helps understand your foundational needs better, but also narrows down the list of potential providers. Today, most of the booking solutions on the market are delivered as software as a service (SaaS), normally in the Cloud. It offers out-of-the-box features, fast appliance, and relatively low cost, as compared to the in-house implementation. However, if your business prioritizes customized systems, seeks for a higher level of control, or has to comply with exceptionally strict security standards, on-premise deployment might be considered.
YAROOMS value: as a “hot” and on-demand tool, YAROOMS desk booking is a part of our Cloud offering, ensuring fast and easy implementation. However, contrary to some other providers, the YAROOMS Workspace solution is not limited to Cloud-only service and has a self-hosted version.
Ease of use
Any new tool will be successfully adopted in the organization only if it simplifies the current processes instead of making them more complicated. No matter how complex your desk booking rules are, the end-user experience should be a breeze. Therefore, opt for a product with a friendly interface, allowing to view, search, and reserve spaces and workstations without any (or minimal) prior training.
YAROOMS value: both YAROOMS web and mobile applications have an intuitive user interface which eliminates guessing, experimenting, and getting lost from the booking process. An optional feature of an interactive floor map enhances the experience with a real-time space overview. Moreover, large organizations are offered immediate access to Microsoft Teams add-in to reserve desks within an already familiar interface.
We live in the age of digital transformation, where organizations increasingly (and purposefully) rely on tech to manage daily operations. Virtual calendars, scheduling and telecommuting systems, accounting, marketing and other task automation software make up the cobweb of workplace IT infrastructure. Given its intricacy, any new gadget or tool, such as a desk booking solution, should smoothly blend into the existing set-up and be compatible with the most important tools used by the business.
YAROOMS value: Most common integrations are available out-of-the-box (Teams, Outlook, iOS, Android, SAML, iCal), and the list is growing constantly.
Making sure that each employee has access to what they need and is provided with proper working conditions sometimes may imply setting up restrictions, especially when it comes to workplace safety. As businesses are trying to return to their office routines, the need of roles, permissions, and other limiting features in space management tools is booming. When choosing a desk booking solution, look beyond reservation capabilities and verify if the system can “comprehend” the following: which users are allowed to make bookings, what is the overall capacity of the area, what needs to be approved manually, and what is the impact in desired office state (maximum capacity, social distance, etc.)
YAROOMS value: multi-level control for a safe workplace: limit occupancy in the building, floor, or floor areas, disable the offering of specific desks, or grant granular access rights for a group of employees.
A desk booking solution with strong reporting capabilities might become an invaluable element of your decision making process. Information is power: awareness about the meeting rooms or desks usage, booking patterns, and time stats can support many cost-saving and space optimization-related decisions. Depending on your priorities, look for a solution providing insights on relevant data points.
YAROOMS value: a comprehensive reports section provides all room booking information, including more than 30 data points on each meeting. In the light of social distancing, we are also developing a timeline of user interactions (desk and room bookings), for an effective contact tracing.
Let’s move from features to scalability - a lot more abstract, but just as important to keep in mind. Some businesses fail to prioritize it as they don’t see any immediate utility, yet it’s all about the long-term benefits. Scalable software can accommodate change and growth without impeding existing workflows and does not need to be redesigned or changed with another one. Aim at adopting solutions that will go hand-in-hand with any business transformation and grow accordingly.
YAROOMS value: our agile approach to spaces allows the desk reservation engine to have many different space types and transform desk booking practices, for example, shift from assigned to unassigned seating.
Finally, it’s the question of money. The golden rule here is not the price, but the value received in exchange for the amount you pay: simply put, a desk booking solution satisfying all your business requirements. Many providers are capable of offering features and aspects discussed above, as well as customizations, yet oftenly it is done by up-selling or cross-selling. Therefore, the last thing to take into consideration is whether you are willing to make a one-time investment, or pay-as-you-go.
YAROOMS value: YAROOMS is dedicated to offer the best-suited workplace management solutions for the most appropriate price, depending on your organization’s size and needs. Take a moment to fill in this short questionnaire, and we will determine how we can help.