For a hybrid workplace, what software to choose

In order to work hybridally, offices will reopen and employees will need to book a workspace on the days they are in the office. Here are some tips to help you pick the right desk hoteling software.

Several companies are hoping that their offices will reopen in the not too distant future following the beginning of vaccination programs for COVID-19. Workers are increasingly opting for hybrid work models, in which they split their time between work at the office and work at home. Even if reopenings are put on hold as cases surge in the U.S. and abroad, it’s not too early to begin making plans for a safe return.

Workers will return to an office that looks quite different as companies remodel their office space to comply with safety guidelines around social distancing, cleaning and disinfection, and capacity limitations. If an employee only works in the office two or three times per week, or if there are more workers than available workspaces, the concept of a permanent desk or office disappears. In order to manage this, companies are converting desks and cubicles into shared workspaces that anyone can book for a day.

Workspace booking software can help you with that. Traditionally, office booking software allowed employees to reserve commonly used areas such as conference rooms and smaller “huddle rooms”. There are several software vendors that have expanded their offerings to include Desk booking, visitor management tools, and other tools to provide contractors and freelancers with a desk and resources.

Juliana Beauvais, a research manager with IDC’s enterprise applications team, said the current demand for desk booking software has also allowed other enterprise software vendors into the market, such as those offering facility management software and ITSM software. Because setting up a reservation system isn’t that difficult, we’re seeing companies that do contact tracing, workplace management, or calendaring enter the area,” she said. Due to the high demand for it at the moment, it’s an opportunity for a lot of vendors.

What is the process of desk booking software? What features should be considered

Employees are assigned a specific workspace for a day or more using desk booking software. A practice known as hoteling allows workers to reserve a desk in advance. Hot-desking is when people claim an available desk at a company on a first-come, first-served basis. While vendors may use different terminology, most offer both options, so if you wish, you can have hotel desks in one area and hot desks in another.

The majority of these platforms allow companies to upload a floor plan of their office, showing individual workspaces (desks and offices) as well as meeting rooms and common areas. In a hot-desking scenario, employees check in at their desk via QR code, RFID tag, or touch-based display to become a hot desk, to reserve a workspace in advance, or to reserve a desk permanently. Employees search available workspaces for a given day and book an available desk in advance, or, in a hot-desking scenario, they check into their desk via web or mobile apps. Hoteling may be preferable for employers while the pandemic continues, since it prevents overloading the available desks.

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