-- Weglot --
With hybrid work being the new normal way of working, more and more employees are splitting their time between the office and home. This can be a great way to get the best of both worlds – the social interaction of working in an office with the comfort and flexibility of working from home.
For businesses, that means employees are no longer coming to the office full-time. And that's where (hot) desk booking software comes in. Through this software, businesses can offer their employees the ability to book any available workspace in the office – whether that's a traditional desk, a private office, or even just a meeting room.
Like anything, there are a few things to consider before choosing (hot) desk booking software to make sure it's the right fit for your business. Here's what to consider.
Before looking at different software options, it's important to understand the goals of desk booking software. Below are the two main ones.
Hot desk booking software aims to create a more collaborative environment for your employees through transparency. Because employees can easily see when their colleagues are in the office and where they're sitting, it's easier for them to approach one another and strike up a conversation.
Primarily, hot desking is a way to reduce office space costs. By offering employees the ability to book any available workspace rather than having an assigned desk, businesses can reduce the number of desks to employees – often down to as low as 0.7 to 1 or even 0.5 to 1.
As a result, this not only allows you to reduce office space costs but also change the office layout for an improved workplace experience that better suits the needs of your employees.
Pro Tip: To guarantee that not all employees show up on the same days and leave the office entirely empty on others, it's important to have a desk booking tool in place.
Now, let's take a look at what you need to consider when choosing a hot desk booking solution for your business. It's also worth mentioning that there are many synonyms for hot desk booking software – you might see it referred to as:
They're all essentially the same, so don't get too caught up in the terminology. Let's get into it.
The first thing you'll notice on your search for hot desk booking software is that there are a lot of choices. Solutions can range from very basic to very complex, with a wide variety of features on offer.
To narrow down your options, it's important to consider your company's specific needs and core requirements. It's no good choosing a solution that has all the bells and whistles if it's too complex for your employees to use – chances are they won't adopt it. Likewise, there's no point in choosing a very basic solution if it doesn't fulfill your core requirements.
Generally, aim for the sweet spot – a solution that's comprehensive enough to fulfill all your needs but is still easy to use. This will improve employee adoption significantly, which is the most important KPI for success. Otherwise, your hot desking initiative won't reach its full potential.
Following up on the point above, it's important to consider what exactly you need your employees to be able to book. Some solutions offer just desk booking, while others (like Tribeloo) allow you to book any type of resource. This includes meeting rooms, parking spots, and more.
Since you're already making the switch to hot desking, it might be worth considering a solution that allows you to book multiple types of resources. This way, employees only need to learn one tool rather than multiple ones. It's also more efficient and streamlined, which is always a bonus.
Another thing to consider when choosing hot desking software is integrations. Does the solution integrate with the tools your employees are already using, such as Outlook, Gmail, Teams, Slack, and the like? If it does, it's a big advantage.
This is because employees can just make a booking using the tools they're already familiar with without having to learn new ones. This increases adoption significantly, as there's no learning curve involved.
Tribeloo, for example, provides Outlook and Google Calendar integrations since these are the calendar tools employees are already using. This way, they can just make a booking from their regular calendar interface with no need to learn anything new.
Another thing to consider is hardware integration. Some office space software offer hardware integrations, such as meeting room screens showing the day's booking schedule, devices on desks that allow employees to check in and out, and more.
These are definitely nice-to-haves but not essential, especially since they come at an additional cost. So, it's important to weigh whether they're worth it for your business. At Tribeloo, we prefer keeping it simple and low-cost, which is why we only offer meeting room screens. But they're definitely not required to have a successful hot desking initiative.
What's the point of hot desking if you can't see its impact on your business? This is where data and insights come in. Ideally, you want to be able to see how your office space is being used and where there's room for improvement. This way, you can make changes accordingly to further improve efficiency.
For instance, you might see that employees are only using a certain type of desk for a certain type of work. In this case, you could remove those desks and use the space for something else, such as meeting rooms or break-out areas.
The best hot desking software solutions allow employees to easily see where their colleagues are sitting and when they'll be in the office. This way, they can choose a seat near the people they need to collaborate with and are always in the loop about who's in and who's out.
In some cases, you might find a solution that offers features beyond desk booking. Some solutions have expanded their offering to include visitor management (allowing you to register visitors and automate that), services (e.g., allowing you to choose catering for meeting rooms), and more.
As mentioned earlier, the decision on whether or not to go for a solution with extra features depends on your needs. If you feel like you need them, great. But if you feel like they would make the solution overly complex for your needs, it might be best to stick to a simpler option that focuses on being a desk booking system.
No-shows are one of the biggest pain points when it comes to desk booking. To combat this, some solutions offer check-in options that allow employees to scan a QR code on the desk or click a button on the hot desk booking app to check in to their seats.
This way, if they don't show up within a certain period of time, their seat can be released and made available for someone else.
If your team is likely to collaborate often, you might want to consider a solution that offers neighborhoods. This way, you can group workplaces in neighborhoods and employees in groups/ teams to make it easier for them to find each other. You can also set rules, such as where and when certain groups are allowed to book.
At Tribeloo, we go a step further and allow you to set priority rules. For example, you can give finance the priority to book desks/rooms in their own neighborhood and not in the sales neighborhood. But if they're booking for tomorrow's work, you can give them priority to book in the sales neighborhood as well so that no space goes unused.
With these factors in mind, you should have no trouble choosing the best hot desking software for your hybrid workplace! Remember not to get overwhelmed with the availability of countless hot desking solutions. The most important thing is to focus on what you need and find a solution that offers exactly that.
At Tribeloo, our priority is always simplicity, and we're putting it at the core of everything we do. With every update, we're working to make our solution even easier to use so that you can focus on what's important - running your business! With just a few clicks, you can have your workspace up and running in no time. Give it a try!