By Katherine Schwartz
Demand Generation Specialist
Over the next few years, workplace optimization is going to become increasingly important. Facilities management is already a booming career path, with demand growing fast. As new trends like alternative officing and telecommuting grow to become part of the new norm, so will technologies like desk scheduling software. It all amounts to better control over how you manage facilities and how employees interact within them.
A desk scheduling system is one of the simplest ways to add checks and balances to the workplace. There are substantial benefits to exploring new desking concepts and oversight controls. Below, we’ll look at the core benefits that come with turning your facilities into an on-demand, first-come first-serve system of workspace booking.
What is desk scheduling software?
A desk scheduling system has two parts: front-facing employee functions and back-end management functions.
On the front end, scheduling software helps employees interact with the workplace. Lyle needs a workspace for the day, so he pulls up the scheduling portal and searches for available desks. When he finds one, he books it for a desired amount of time. When Frank looks for a desk, he’ll do the same. The software ensures Lyle and Frank can’t book the same desk, which means no interruptions, disagreements, or miscommunication—only a peaceful, productive work experience.
Behind the scenes, facility managers gather plentiful data from employee booking habits to learn more about needs, wants, and expectations. It facilitates opportunities for change. If bench seats get booked twice as often as cubicles, a facility manager may reduce the number of cubicle spaces and expand benches for better space utilization.
There’s broad potential on both the front- and back-ends of a desk booking platform. Utilized properly, the system can create big benefits for both employees and companies. Here’s a look at five of them.
1. More time saved
Time spent looking for the perfect place to set up shop adds up fast. Imagine every employee spends just five minutes each day looking for a desk, and you manage 20 employees. That’s 100 wasted minutes each day! Those man hours add up, too. We’re talking just over eight hours per week and more than 415 hours wasted annually.
Desk booking cuts this time out because employees know the desk they scheduled will be open when they get there. There’s no searching for an open spot when you know where yours is and how long you booked it for.
2. Better space utilization
Desk booking software encourages employees to use space they might otherwise not. The desk they want isn’t available right now… but a similar desk nearby is open. Every alternative booking adds up to efficient use of available space and better accommodation of employees. Desks don’t sit idle—a booking system gently recommends these spaces to employees who might not otherwise think to seek them out.
3. Fewer interruptions
Imagine trying to host a meeting as someone opens the door every few minutes to check if the space is available. Think of how frustrating it would be to concentrate on a project if someone comes up to you and asks how long you’ll be using the space. These types of interruptions are wholly avoidable with desk scheduling software. If a desk or space doesn’t show up at the point of booking—or shows it’s occupied—employees can move on to the next option or book a different time. No interruptions. No friction. No headaches.
4. Occupancy compliance
In the era of social distancing and COVID-19 guidelines, space occupancy is top-of-mind. Facility managers face new challenges as they rearrange rooms, revise floor plans, and plan for new occupancies. Desk scheduling software can simplify the process—and improve the results.
Program rooms to limit occupancy at the point of booking. Make some desks off limits or unavailable. Display warnings or reminders to employees as they book certain desks or spaces. Booking space prior to utilizing it gives facility managers ample opportunities to promote better compliance.
5. Space management insights
Desk booking data gives facility managers real-time insights about the workplace. Employees book X spaces more often than Y spaces. They spend an average of two hours at Z spaces. Desks on floors two and three are utilized more often than desks on one and four. Every snippet of booking data recorded and processed by scheduling software becomes aggregated data that stakeholders can use to shape the workplace. All this in the name of cost control, space utilization, and employee support.
Desk scheduling software is a cornerstone of workplace management
To take full advantage of these benefits, facility managers need to realize opportunities for flexibility within a desk scheduling system. Everyone might be subject to the same booking process and utilization guidelines—but you have the power to change the types of workspaces available based on demand. Use a scheduling system to bring order to the workplace, then glean and act on information to better-shape it around the needs of employees. The results will be evident in the above benefits.
Keep reading: Streamline Desk Booking with Office Hoteling Software