A desk booking system is a software platform that’s fundamental for any organization enabling flexible and hybrid ways of working. All desk booking systems enable users to essentially book desks before coming to the office. However, the most important elements of good desk booking software are:

  • How easy it is for employees to book desks.
  • How customizable the system is to support the agility of teams and organizations.

Hybrid work is a workplace model where employees work partly from the office and partly remotely. The foundation of the hybrid work model is flexibility for employees to work from anywhere. A few years down the line of the hybrid work experiment, we can confidently say that the most viable and economic option for creating a hybrid workplace is desk sharingdesk hoteling (sometimes called office hoteling), in combination with hot desking. Therefore, the most viable option to enable desk sharing and thus hybrid work is through a proper desk booking system.

What is a Desk Booking System?

Desk booking systems have a long, not very bright, history and likely a long, very bright future.

Most desk booking software solutions of the past used to be part of the so-called Integrated Workplace Management Systems (IWMS). These complex, cumbersome software platforms were mostly used for managing the complexity of the real estate, as well as the space and facility management needs of corporate customers. The desk booking component of a typical IWMS was usually handling only hot desk bookings via a kiosk installed in the office. This is a suboptimal user experience, for sure, and almost as bad as a hot desk booking template in excel.

The focus of the desk reservation systems of the future though is all about ease of use and employee workplace experience. Technology is so deeply ingrained in our life and so the workplace must be too. However, in order to get there, desk booking apps have to be at least as good as the apps we use on a daily basis, if not better.

Ease of use – Book from anywhere, work from anywhere

OfficeRnD Hybrid Microsoft Outlook SyncYour main focus when choosing a desk booking solution should be the ease of use and potential reach of the application. The adoption of your booking platform and your employee satisfaction relies heavily on that. You really want to enable booking on all screens.

  • Book from a Web portal; We spend our working days in the browser and it is still the #1 utilized way of booking desks.
  • Book from a Mobile app; Your desk booking system must have an extremely easy-to-use and awesome hot desk app for iOS and Android.
  • Integrate a Calendar solution – Outlook or Google Calendar; Your system must be extremely well integrated with your organization’s calendar system.
  • Book from a Collaboration system – Teams or Slack; Your booking system must be where your people are – in your messaging system, like Microsoft Teams so you have a seamless desk booking in Teams.
  • Book from Google Chrome; Most people use Google Chrome and having your booking system deeply integrated into the browser can make it like a million times easier to reserve a space. Providing your employees with an intuitive Google Workspace desk booking is a must.

We use many screens for many reasons in our daily life. Your desk scheduling software should be available anywhere in order to increase your employee adoption and satisfaction, thus your use of office space.

System Customization and Configuration

The modern desk scheduling systems are highly customizable and configurable to suit your need for agility. Some of the more important elements you should look for include:

  • officernd hybrid productConfigurable interactive floorplan management, where everyone can see who’s in the office, as well as track available desks in real-time.
  • Delegated desk bookings; Such functionality enables your team leaders and managers to place bookings for their teams.
  • Recurring desk bookings; Arguably, one of the most important features that will make the lives of your employees a lot easier is recurring bookings. This way, they can build work patterns, like coming to the office every Tuesday and Thursday.
  • Private desk bookings; In some cases, you may want to book a desk or a space with limited visibility.
  • Desk booking policies; You may want to allow employees access to book desks in only certain areas, locations, zones, or neighborhoods.
  • Easy to use, or automated check-in system; You should also measure the true occupancy by requiring employees to check in or fully automating them through integrations.
  • Configurable and white-label web, mobile and integrations experience; Your employees should easily recognize your brand.
  • Collaboration and Smart Scheduling capabilities; Coming to the office is a team play, so you should enable your teams to collaboratively reserve spaces.
  • Advanced analytics; Last but not least, you should collect, measure and analyze all data about your desk utilization. This way you can adjust your space to the needs of your employees.

What are the Benefits of Desk Booking Software?

A good desk booking solution can help you create a more productive and collaborative workplace experience for your employees. Furthermore, by implementing desk hoteling or hot desking strategy, you can optimize your workspace utilization, and get more out of your real estate, thus reducing your costs.

Related Read: Looking for Free Desk Booking Software? Try OfficeRnD Hybrid.

It sounds simple, however, the benefit exceeds many times the investment in an easy-to-use, customizable desk booking system, such as OfficeRnD Hybrid (which, in addition to desk booking, also lets team members make meeting room bookings).

How to Get Started with a Desk Booking System?

The easiest way to start is by talking to one of our workplace experts about desk booking and hybrid work software. You can book a time slot here. Or you can try it yourself by starting a free trial! It is as easy as 1,2,3!

Happy hybrid working! We hope to see you all collaborating in the offices. 🙂

Miro Miroslavov
CEO and Co-founder of OfficeRnD
Miro Miroslavov is a software engineer turned into a tech entrepreneur. In 2015 he co-founded OfficeRnD - a leading flex space and hybrid work management platform. As a CEO at OfficeRnD, he grew the company from inception to a leading software vendor that serves thousands of customers worldwide. He is a big fan of flexible working and is on a mission to "Making Flexible Working the Way of Working".