The past year has transformed the way we use and occupy spaces, particularly in the office. For professionals returning to the office, they can expect a change in the physical workplace. Whether a densely populated building or a large open campus, things are going to look different. Newly implemented protocols will emphasize employee health and wellness to cater to social distancing, in addition to potentially offering the flexibility of hybrid work. As a result, office managers have had to find new ways to create a dynamic workplace with safety and flexibility in mind. These changes will require a balancing act from management, allowing colleagues to collaborate with one another while ensuring that safety measures are followed. An excellent tool to use during this transition and in the indefinite future is the use of a desk management solution.
In the past, it was traditional for offices to permanently assign office spaces, desks, and rooms to team members. Typically, individuals would remain in this given location until they leave the company or transition to a new role. While this kept office management clear and straightforward, this workplace style has grown outdated. Today, professionals desire flexibility, and this largely stems from their physical workspace. Fortunately, desk management solutions offer this flexibility and much more. Desk booking solutions, also known as hot desking, support fluid seating, workstations, and space utilization, enabling users to book their workspace on a given day. In addition, team members will have access to the application and be allowed to reserve spaces throughout the day, choosing a location that best matches their workday needs.
Because desk booking solutions are updated in real-time, the application’s information is shared with all of an organization’s users, making it possible to see how much space available, which spaces are occupied, and which are currently being cleaned or serviced. Desk booking is instrumental in maintaining a safe and distanced workplace, in addition to allowing team members the freedom to choose their own workspace, dependent on their preferences and activities for the day.
Hot desking is the future of the workplace. As a real-time and on-demand solution that can be used and accessed at any time, it is the instrument of tomorrow’s workplace. To help you prepare your organization for this development, we will walk you through the most prominent trends regarding desk management.
Inventory Management Elasticity
In today's age, workplace elasticity is a must. While some professionals are planning to return to the office full-time, others enjoy the flexibility that hybrid work has to offer and may choose to continue working that way. As a result, the number of team members in the office may change on a given day, and managers must accommodate this. With desk booking, this level of elasticity is possible. Desk management systems will provide administrators with the control to activate or deactivate stations as needed, as well as remove them from the pool of available desks. This is not only crucial to guaranteeing employee safety but also makes desk management more reliable.
In past years, high traffic office areas used to emit an ambiance of collaboration and liveliness, but today they can now impact productivity and safety. By implementing occupancy sensors into desk stations and rooms throughout the office, high traffic areas can be monitored, allowing management to understand which spaces are actively in use. Sensors will share real-time data through the use of IoT technology to support the needs of the modern workforce, including contact tracing and safety protocols.
Hand-in-hand with sensor technology is real-time monitoring. Workplace occupancy metrics such as this are only available through real-time monitoring, allowing communication between devices, sensors, and your organization’s network. With real-time monitoring, management will have access to accurate, up-to-the-minute diagnoses of who, what, when, and where spaces are available and occupied. With this capability, desk management is a breeze.
Workstation Amenity Awareness
Desk booking offers team members the flexibility to choose their workstation based upon their current preferences and needs, so let's talk more about what these needs are. On a given day, an employee may have a phone call with a client, a meeting with a group of colleagues, and a project that requires high focus. Not all of these activities can be performed in the same space to maximize productivity. To solve this, desk booking solutions detail the amenities available in a given space. This allows individuals to book a desk or room equipped with the tools necessary for them to perform best, whether it be a large conference room, a private phone booth, or a quiet and secluded desk. Additionally, employees can ensure that they are not taking up space with amenities that others may require, resolving many challenges that often come with a shared workspace.
As employees begin to return to the office, they may need to travel to company sites beyond their home base. Working in unfamiliar territory can be daunting and confusing. Individuals may not know where to sit out of fear of stepping on toes, or they may not know where to access the amenities they require in a satellite office. Fortunately, desk booking solutions also offer cross-site wayfinding. This feature allows for employees to book desks and rooms in other company locations, enabling individuals to find a workstation best suited to them – no matter where they are.
Managing the office can be a stressful balancing act, and it can be challenging to keep it updated when management has other responsibilities, but this is no longer the case. Desk booking systems are updated automatically, alleviating administrators the task of managing and canceling reservations. When a desk is no longer in use, the system will immediately update it and even take it out of commission until properly sanitized. This significantly increases the speed and efficiency of desk management and makes the lives of management a bit easier.
Health and safety in the office are now more critical than ever. Should a breakout in exposure occur, your office could face massive failures and shutdowns. Not only is this an expensive disruption, but it could be detrimental to the health of your team members. To avoid this, companies must continuously establish, enforce, and enact rules and policies regarding the use of their shared office space, but this is easier said than done. With a desk booking solution, your shared office space can be closely managed, future-proofing the workplace by following guidelines and protecting your team members. An efficient workplace is continuously managed, updated, and refined, and with a smart desk management system, this is achievable.