6 Features to Look for When Choosing Desk Booking Software

desk booking

More organizations are embracing hybrid working as the benefits of remote working — for businesses and their employees — have become apparent during the coronavirus pandemic. Efficient desk-booking software is essential for managing workspaces and ensuring optimum utilization. In this blog, we’ll share the top six features to look for when choosing desk-booking software

The sudden shift to remote working during the pandemic led to a dramatic change in the way we work. A recent YouGov survey of over 2,000 UK and US office workers run in partnership with Cloudbooking found that 38% of US respondents want a mix of office and home working. And according to a new report by specialized recruiter Robert Half, almost nine in 10 businesses expect hybrid working to become a permanent part of working life. The global coworking space market is estimated to be worth $28,890 million in 2022, and this is forecast to rise to $50,150 million by 2028.

To successfully transition to this workplace of the future, organizations will need new solutions to:

  • Support new ways of working
  • Empower employees with the freedom to decide how they want to work
  • Help managers maintain productivity and manage resources.

Robust desk booking software is a key part of the solution you need.

How to choose desk booking software

Desk-booking software allows employees to book a desk or workspace for a particular date and time. Rather than each employee being allocated a designated work area to use permanently, a desk-booking system allows organizations to use space flexibly to ensure optimum utilization. So, how do you choose desk-booking software that does everything you need?

Look for a wide range of reservation capabilities

The best desk-booking software is flexible and offers a comprehensive range of reservation capabilities, so it can accommodate any changes in business needs.

Your organization may benefit from a system that offers both hot desking and desk hoteling, for example. A hot-desking setup allows for workspaces to be used on an ad-hoc basis, whereas desk hoteling is a more formal booking system that enables advance reservations. You might want to create zones or “neighborhoods” in the workplace and set up different booking systems for each one.  

Desk-booking software should be user-friendly and make it easy for employees to reserve all types of workspace, from individual desks to meeting and conference rooms. Cloudbooking’s intuitive software allows users to book a wide range of workspaces as well as car park management and visitor management.

Look for options to customize the software and integrate it with existing office apps, so it performs exactly as you need it to. 

Consider the end-user experience

An agile workforce relies on mobile technology. When researching desk-booking software, you will need to consider this mobile-first user experience and select a system that makes booking a workspace quick and easy to do from a mobile phone or a laptop. 

Recent research has shown that 90% of users stop using an app if it delivers a poor performance. If a website is not optimized for mobile, they are five times more likely to abandon a task. Apps that offer interactive 3D floorplans are typically the most user-friendly. 

Be sure to book a free demo of different software before making a final decision on which to go for. This will allow you to evaluate the user experience (UX) and determine if the software can be customized to meet the needs of your business. For example, if you have a lot of international clients or colleagues, can the system accommodate multiple languages? UX must be slick and easy to navigate, or it will go unused, and your return on investment will be poor. 

Prioritise strong integrations with existing systems

System integration is often overlooked when new business software is being considered. Yet without it, your organization will compromise its efficiency, productivity, and growth opportunities. Investing in a wonderful new piece of software that offers the most advanced technologies could consume considerable human and financial resources if it cannot seamlessly integrate with existing systems.

Look for desk-booking software that can integrate with your existing technologies. Common integration requirements include:

  • Calendar tools, such as Google Calendar
  • Communication tools like MS Teams or Slack
  • HR solutions, like Zoho people.

As a business grows, its technological needs tend to evolve with it. There are probably at least a few more essential systems that your organization relies on. Make a list of these and check that any desk booking software under consideration can integrate with these, either out-of-the-box or via customization. 

Seamlessly integrating all of your favorite workplace management tools will enhance workplace scheduling and create a seamless experience for employees and visitors.

Make reporting and analytics a priority

The leadership and HR functions of an organization will find desk-usage metrics invaluable when planning how to manage workspaces and allocate resources.

For example, the data might reveal that members of the marketing team typically come into the office space several times a week and prefer to sit together, whereas members of the finance team come in much less frequently and are happy to work independently. The leadership team can amend the assigned spaces or “neighborhoods” accordingly, so more bookable space is allocated to the marketing team than the finance team.

Or, it might become apparent that one particular meeting space is much more in demand than others. A little further investigation — a survey of the people who regularly book the room, for example — could reveal that this is because of specific equipment or facilities available in this room. The other meeting spaces can then be upgraded to make them more useful. 

Choose desktop booking software that presents valuable desk-usage metrics in a user-friendly way.

Look for real-time workplace/workstation capacity management

One of the many reasons why hybrid working appeals to employers and why so many are choosing to adopt this model long-term is that it allows them to scale down their office space and cut overheads. By understanding how employees use the workplace, it can be better utilized, and “wasted” space can be significantly reduced.

Desk-booking software should help the leadership team manage the number of employees in the office more efficiently. Not only will this help to control expenditure on office space, but it will also help keep employees safe by facilitating an organization’s cleaning protocols.

Hygiene and health remain high on the list of employers’ and employees’ priorities, despite the relaxation of government regulations surrounding COVID-19. With a desk-booking system, the cleaning of individual workspaces can be constantly monitored to ensure optimal standards are maintained. For example, when an employee leaves a work station after their allotted time has ended, the system can notify the cleaning staff, who will then sanitize the area before it is released for booking again.

Individual permissions and restrictions on booking can also be implemented to ensure workspaces are used in line with company policies. 

Rapid configurability for any type of workplace

Easy configuration is possibly top of the list of features to look out for when choosing desk-booking software. An off-the-shelf solution may save you a few pounds or dollars upfront, but you’ll spend considerable time and money trying — and probably failing — to make it work how you need it to. In contrast, a tool that is completely customizable will deliver a much more impressive return on investment because it can be set up to meet the specific needs of your business from day one. 

Cloudbooking software supports a wide range of workplace environments, from healthcare to corporate. The system offers hot, fixed, or flexible configurable desk types to fit all working styles. There are over one million Cloudbooking users globally, including organizations such as the NHS and major companies including EDF and Experian. We continually strive to evolve and customize our suite of workspace management software to meet the specific needs of our clients’ businesses and employees.

Choosing desk booking software: Key takeaways

  • Configurability is crucial

The ability to customize your desk-booking software to ensure it fits seamlessly with business needs will help you achieve the best return on your investment.

  • Diverse reservation capabilities

Will the software allow the leadership team to manage all areas of the workplace as required, for example, via both desk hoteling and hot desking? 

  • End-user experience

Will the UX promote optimal use of the system? If a website is not optimized for mobile or the booking process is complex and clunky, users may abandon it.

  • Integration with existing tools

If the new software is not designed to integrate with existing systems, you could spend considerable time and money manually integrating them.

  • Accessible and valuable metrics

Desktop booking software that presents valuable desk-usage metrics in a user-friendly way will help the leadership team manage workplaces efficiently.

  • Workplace capacity management

Scale down their office space and cut overheads by understanding how employees use the workplace.


Need a flexible desk-booking system for your hybrid workplace? Sign up for a free no-obligation demo of Cloudbooking today.

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