Challenges of the hybrid workplace #3: Booking and checking in

Booking desks, calling in sick and other reasons for unused desks – how a desk booking app with check-in features can help you solve the challenges of the hybrid work model.


You have decided to convert to a hybrid office, but you are still a little worried. Will knowledge sharing between colleagues work as well as it does when everyone works from the office? Will it result in reduced productivity? And what about the unused desks of employees who are working from home?

Many of us have spent the past year and a half perfecting remote work, so you most likely already know the answer to the first two questions; employees are completely capable of knowledge sharing remotely, and productivity is rarely hurt by having employees work remotely – on the contrary, studies have shown that it can actually increase productivity. *

The only question left, then, is what to do with all those unused desks.

Even if you reduce the number of desks, because you assume that a certain percentage of your employees will be working from home each day, there’s still the issue of desks being booked, and the employee then deciding to work from home at the last minute.

The answer to this is simple. A desk booking app with a real-time overview of desk usage, will let your employees know which desks are currently in use. That way employees who suddenly need to come to the office, can book the desks that sit unused due to colleagues calling in sick or choosing to work from home at the last minute.



What challenges do employees face when booking desks in the hybrid workplace?

Desk booking is often a central challenge in the hybrid workplace, and when it comes to booking desks, employees primarily face two challenges:

  1. Time spent booking desks instead of working
  2. All the desks being booked before they book one


How to reduce the time employees spend booking desks



How much time employees spend making sure there’s a desk available when they arrive in the office really depends on how you choose to handle desk booking. If you handle it by everyone frantically emailing the facility manager or their team managers every Friday, it’s going to take up quite a lot of time, but with a good desk booking app you can eliminate the first challenge completely. With the proper tool booking desks is handled in a matter of minutes.


How to make sure desks are utilized to their full potential



When the total number of employees is higher than the number employees allowed in the office or the number of desks, some employees may be too late in booking a desk, and when that happens, they will not be able to work from the office when they need to.

By using a desk booking tool with check-in features, desks booked by employees who call in sick or decide to work from home at the last minute, is released so colleagues who wasn’t able to book one in the first place can use them.


How to solve the issue of unused desks with a desk booking app

While a desk booking app is certainly helpful, just providing your employees with the app isn’t going to make the potential problems of hybrid working go away. What will, is setting up good procedures for communication and desk booking.

Should desks be booked by a certain deadline? Is there a maximum number of times each week employees are allowed to book a desk? And how will you handle cancellations and no-shows?

Having check-in features integrated in your desk booking app will provide employees with a real-time overview of which desks are in use throughout the day. If an employee doesn’t check in at their desk, it will be released so employees who suddenly find themselves in need of going to the office can utilize that desk.

With Pronestor Workspace, the check-in procedure is as simple as using your phone to scan the QR-code located placed at each desk. This will tell the system that the desk is in use.


Use your desk booking app to optimize your hybrid workplace even further

It can be difficult to gauge how your hybrid strategy works. If you reduced your office size you may be wondering if you have too many desks, or too few. Or you are wondering if the office could be closed altogether on certain days?

Having employees check in provides your organization with data showing exactly how the desks in the office are being used, which in turn allows for further optimizing your hybrid strategy. Are 10% of your desks always empty? Then maybe it’s time to scale back the number of desks even further.


Use your desk booking app to break the chain of infection

Over the past year and a half, one of the challenges that management teams across all industries have been presented with, is combatting virus outbreaks in their offices.

If an employee infected with COVID-19 shows up in the office, everyone who has been in contact with that individual needs to be notified, so they can take the appropriate measures and break the chain of infection.

Finding out who has been in contact with the infected individual becomes a lot easier, when you can simply go back in your desk booking app and see who was in the office at the time same time as the infected individual.



Up next: Managing your employees in the hybrid workplace

We are currently doing a series of articles covering the challenges of converting your workplace to a hybrid work format and how to solve those challenges. In the next instalment we will look at how to make managing your team easier when they freely choose where to work from.



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