Employees are now expecting the best of both worlds with 73 per cent wanting to work remotely, while 67 per cent also want more in-person interactions with their colleagues. The hybrid workplace fulfils both needs – providing the comfort and flexibility of remote working while at the same time enabling workers to visit the office to collaborate and connect with their colleagues. And so with hybrid working the future, how can employers effectively manage the logistics of employees occasionally attending the office? After all, hybrid working will simply fail if there is a ‘desk war’ every time staff attend the office. This is where desk booking software comes into its own, and here are the top five reasons why it’s key to supporting your hybrid workplace:
1. Ensures everyone has somewhere to sit – It’s simple but essential and every desk booking solution is created with this in mind. Not only this, when employees attend the office, they need to be able to reserve facilities and car parking spaces (if applicable). However, not all desk booking software is created equal and its simplicity is absolutely key to organisation-wide take-up. After all, there’s no point investing in a piece of software with all the ‘bells and whistles’ if it’s too complex for employees to understand and navigate.
2. Supports office health and safety – With many businesses observing social distancing, organisations will want to keep a close eye on the number of employees attending the office at any one time to avoid overcrowding. It’s also important to ensure there are always enough fire marshalls and first aid trained staff in the office. A desk booking solution that monitors occupancy levels both in real-time and into the future, provides the insights needed to ensure employee safety.
3. Informs office layout – Having a clear understanding of how many employees are attending the office and when, can inform office configuration. The insights might reveal that the hot desk area is never fully occupied, and so the leaders may choose to remove some of the desks and create a new collaborative space. Conversely, if it shows that the hot desk area is regularly full then the leaders may look at ways to reconfigure the office in order to add more desks.
4. Provides cost-cutting insights – Why heat and pay rent for a three-storey building if only half of the building is ever in use at any one time? The insights from the desk booking software can inform cost and efficiency savings.
5. Reduces employee anxiety – The emotional impact of lockdown together with people’s fear of contracting COVID-19 shouldn’t be underestimated, and so giving employees the peace of mind that they will have a clean and safe space to work when attending the office is key. It’s unlikely that people will keep returning to the office if they experience anxiety trying to find an available desk or car parking space.
As employers figure out how to manage the new area of workplace flexibility, it’s vital to have the right tools to hand to ensure hybrid working runs smoothly. Although the concept of desk booking software is nothing new, it’s now becoming key to ensuring effective office management and for supporting employee health and wellbeing.