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Everything You Need to Know About Desk Booking Software

When it comes to finding the right desk booking software, the options can be overwhelming.  It has become more complicated due to social distancing requirements. Because of this, desk booking software has become more critical than ever. How do you know which one is right for your company?

Hot Desking vs. Hoteling: Is There a Difference?

The words “hoteling” and ‘ hot desking’ are often used interchangeably, but they should not be. Hot desking is a more flexible option that offers employees the chance to sit anywhere they like, as long as they are available.

Hoteling, on the other hand, requires an RSVP before accessing certain areas or rooms. Hence, the name "hoteling."

What is a Hot Desk Booking?

Hot desking has been a popular choice for hybrid companies with open floor plans because it gives employees more flexibility where to work. The setup can be as simple as providing a table with a plug. But it can also be elaborate: Desks can be outfitted to have monitors and the appropriate cables, so anyone can come in and connect their laptops to the monitors.

In hot-desking, people can come in at any time and work with whatever desk is available. This has been a popular option pre-pandemic because there are no health and safety issues associated with employees sitting close together.

However, it can be an issue if there are no assigned areas for each department. What if you end up sitting with someone you find annoying?

The best way to use a hot-desking system is when you can count on certain staff members not being in the office every day. For example, if you have a hybrid team that works remotely 3 days a week, it’s easy to assign hot desks for those who want to come and work in the office 2 days per week.

Is Hoteling Better Than Hot-Desking?

Hoteling lets you book a specific desk in advance--much like how you would be booking a hotel room. This way, you’ll have the assurance that you can work in your own desired workspace. Ideally, you’re also sitting next to the co-worker of your choice so that you can collaborate easily.

Hoteling is perfect for any company. Essentially, there isn't an issue as long as you have the number of desks and people can book them in advance. This is a great solution to control the number of people working in a specific workspace.

There is no right or wrong option. Hoteling and hot-desking both work. It’s just a matter of choosing the right option for your company’s needs. Regardless of which choice is right for you, you need a desk reservation software.

What is Desk Reservation Software?

A desk booking software allows you to reserve a workstation for a certain time in advance. Some desk reservation systems also enable users to see who is already working at the location they want, which helps avoid overcrowding and unnecessary disruptions while working. In addition, many of these programs give employees options like reserving meeting rooms, parking, and other spaces.

Desk Booking Software Requirements: The Essential Features You Need to Have

Before committing to desk reservation software, make sure to identify your requirements first. You want to choose the ones that fit your needs and budget. Also, remember that there are many stakeholders for the desk management software.

Some questions to ask to help guide you in the right direction:

  • Who will be managing the software?
  • Who needs access? Do you need all your employees to access the software? What kind of access do they need?
  • How many offices or headquarters will you be managing?

For example, if you have a hybrid setup with several offices in different locations, look for one that can accommodate multiple office locations and timezones.

Where lets you add multiple offices, so you can easily manage everything in one place.

Other Features to Consider When Choosing the Best Desk Booking Software

  • A calendar that shows all bookings and availability in real-time
  • The ability to make changes or cancellations to reservations
  • Notification alerts when someone has reserved or canceled a workstation
  • Integration with your email or Slack

Some companies use a hot desk booking system in Excel. Here’s an example from AnalyticsIT:

This is an excellent option if you have a small team. But as the company grows, Excel sheets can get messy. Plus, it doesn’t look visually appealing!

The One Thing That That Most Desk Management Software Is Missing

You may think that desk management software is another fancy tool for tech companies. Yes, it’s an essential part of the workflow in an organization, but it also helps maintain your company culture. It does more than manage desks or workspaces!

Desk booking software, when done right, can also ensure that your employees get some in-person collaboration. That’s why a hybrid work model is a great way to balance the need for independent work and in-person collaboration.

According to a Gensler collaboration survey, 48% of professional and technical employees say that their career success relies on collaboration with co-workers. This percentage reaches 66% for senior executives, who often must collaborate in order to get work done efficiently across departments or sites where they’re based.

So, what’s the one thing that most desk booking software is missing? It’s the people-first approach. Yes, reserving desks meet the basic needs of having a safe space at work.

However, it can be something more. That’s why tools like Where is essential because:

  • It’s easy to see where everyone’s working from and encourages in-person collaboration.
  • It automates your desk booking and team coordination via the Slack app.
  • It divides your office into spaces, set capacity limits, manage desk allocation, contact tracing, analytics, and more.
You can see where everyone is all in one place right from Slack.

You can learn more of the features here or book a demo.

Beyond the Desk

When it comes to office space, the only thing more important than choosing a desk is how you choose your booking software. Make sure that this includes all of the collaborative capabilities and tools necessary for in-person meetings as well. The future of work rests in the ability of companies to manage a hybrid workplace effectively. Using the right tools is one of the first steps to help your company and employees succeed.