Essential Features of Office Seat Allocation Software
By Nai Kanell
Director of Marketing
Office seat allocation software is an essential resource in planning where (and when) employees sit within the bounds of your workplace. Without the right software, seat allocation becomes an archaic system of spreadsheets and notes, at best. At worst, it’s a total free-for-all. Seat allocation software creates a system for order and optimization so every seat in your workplace is a good one.
Workplace managers rely on office seat allocation software for its features, which revolve around understanding your space as much as utilizing it. Mapping floor plans, tying those plans to processes and actions, receiving dynamic updates, and collecting data are the pillars of good seat allocation software.
Dynamic floor plans
How can you staff employees to desks and workspaces if you don’t have a top-down view of your workplace? It’s not enough to know you have X number of single desks, Y number of conference rooms, and Z number of activity-based environments. You need to see them in total to properly utilize each. More importantly, you need to see them in real-time.
Leading office seating plan software platforms bring dynamic versatility to seat allocation. Workplace managers get a top-down view delineating which seats are occupied and which are open. Not only does it paint a real-time picture of space utilization, the software provides accessible data for solving imminent seating questions. For example:
- How many workspaces are open? Occupied?
- Are there workspaces to accommodate larger groups?
- Is there an open desk on the third floor?
- Where’s the nearest open, quiet workstation?
Dynamic floor plans unlock a true understanding of the workplace and the many spaces within it. As a result, it’s the best way to effectively allocate seats—temporarily or permanently.
Room and desk bookings
Dynamic floor plans are further supported by room and desk booking features. Seat allocation software can alleviate the burden of active space oversight by a workplace manager.
Room and desk booking features are useful at any scale. In agile environments, it’s essential for smooth workplace operations. In an office with permanent seating and no hot desks, it’s critical for reserving conference rooms and other amenities. Best of all, the functions don’t change. Seat allocation software fields the requests, handles the reservation, and updates the floor plan. Few examples better illustrate the power of workplace automation.
Read more: streamline desk booking with office hoteling software.
Most workplaces use an office seating chart or a directory. In workplaces with fluid seating arrangements or flexible workstations, the directory changes as often as each individual desk occupant. It’s imperative for real-time seat allocation software to include a directory component that also updates as changes are made.
A directory feature is truly useful when it’s visual. Remote workers, gig workers, interns, consultants, and anyone else spending a fraction of their time in the office may not be recognized immediately on sight. A visual directory shows who a person is, where they’re sitting, and how to contact them.
Space and use analytics
Seat allocation isn’t only about putting people in chairs. It’s about making sure you’re doing it in a harmonious, efficient way. Packing workers in like sardines is great for efficiency, but detrimental to productivity. Giving everyone a wide berth leads to space inefficiency, despite positive responses from employees. It’s about finding a balance using data on various seating arrangements.
A data-backed desk allocation tool answers questions an eye test can’t address. Examples include:
- How often is a desk utilized on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis?
- What percentage of individual workspaces see occupants daily?
- What’s the most popular workspace?
- How much does a workspace cost based on occupancy data?
When you have the data to understand seat allocation, you can better allocate those spaces. Space utilization data fuels insightful shaping of the workplace. Every change you make to your workplace yields more utilization data. Rinse, repeat, and optimize.
There’s a lot more to devising a seating plan than figuring out where people sit. There’s the element of upkeep due to traffic to and from various spaces. Tech might not always work right. Cleanliness might be an issue. Whatever the case, a reporting system is needed. What better platform than the system used to assign the seat?
Good seat allocation software pinpoints not only what workspaces employees need, but what upkeep those areas require. After all, seat allocation software is as much about space management as it is about workforce placement.
Operation from the cloud
All these features are limited unless your seat planning software operates within the cloud. The cloud connects real-time functions and real-world actions, uses powerful computing to process data, and unlocks automation capabilities.
If you’re making the transition to data-backed workplace design or testing flexible floor plans, the first step is rolling out office seating plan software.
Keep reading: How to make desk sharing work.