Desk Booking Software: Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Your Workplace

A row of desks in an office

As organizations switch to agile working models in droves, there is an increasing need to reimagine the workplace, its design, and its functions. If you are looking to optimize desk space in your workplace, this guide will help you understand what to consider, the practical steps to take, and the technology to invest in. We will explain why desk booking software should be an integral component of workspace optimization and what to look for in an effective desk booking solution.

Define Your Desk Booking Strategy

When seeking to redefine your workspace and move to an effective agile working model, the first thing you will need to do is figure out what you need. You must define a desk booking strategy that works best for your organization. There are several common options in this regard. These are employee hot-desking, manager-assigned workspaces, and employee pre-booking.

The conventional hot desk model simply involves employees turning up on the days they want to be located in-office and working at any available space. This strategy can help to optimize office space because it limits the number of workspaces required when everyone is assigned their own permanent desk or fixed workspace. However, it is often viewed in a negative light amongst workers because it can be stressful to find a suitable desk at times and often hinders collaboration amongst teams.

The second option is manager-assigned workspaces. This can be an effective strategy because managers can optimize the workspace efficiently and ensure it is being used effectively. It allows managers to provide adequate space and resources for teams to work effectively on projects that require collaboration. However, the downside to this strategy is that it limits autonomy amongst a workforce that is increasingly demanding greater control over its work and schedules.

Employee pre-booking depends on desk booking software and allows employees maximum autonomy and control over how, when, where, and with whom they work. Employees can view colleague and workspace location and availability and pre-book an appropriate desk space for the tasks or projects they are working on. This can be done quickly and easily on a mobile app, with a unified interface, interactive map, and system available to all employees. This strategy is increasingly being seen as the optimal way of managing a hybrid workplace.

Redesign Your Office Space

To optimize desk space in your workplace, you must redesign your office floor plan and layout for maximum functionality. Organizations with a focus on agile working are predominantly switching to an activity-based office environment. This involves an office design that incorporates different spaces equipped for various purposes.

For example, an activity-based office may include some of the following key features:

  • Individual workspaces
  • Phone booths
  • Huddle spaces
  • Conference rooms
  • Function rooms
  • Open lounges
  • Private lounges
  • Café areas
  • Social spaces

Each space should be well-designed, incorporating the right technology, seating, equipment, and resources required for its intended purpose. Desk booking software is an essential component of activity-based working. It allows employees to pre-book spaces designed for their individual or team needs on any given day while providing managers and facilities personnel with the data and insights they need to manage physical space and resources effectively.

When it comes to workspace models, activity-based workplaces are the height of innovation and are proving extremely popular amongst workers. This is because they give the best of both worlds between remote and in-office working and overcome many of the challenges associated with agile working, such as isolation and mental health difficulties.

Creating an activity-based workspace will not only allow you to optimize desk space in your office, but it will transform your office culture for the better and enhance employee satisfaction and wellbeing. This, of course, makes you more competitive when it comes to talent recruitment and retention – something which should not be overlooked amid The Great Resignation. This is a term that refers to the current climate in which workers are quitting their jobs in alarming numbers.

When planning your office layout to facilitate hybrid working, consider also how you can utilize smart technology to optimize workspace management. The world is moving to smart, integrated systems in the workplace because these are capable of optimizing not only physical space but many key areas of business focus. Smart, integrated systems are helping organizations to reduce their carbon footprint while also saving on operational costs via intelligent workspace management software insights that allow for optimal office capacity and space utilization.

Desk Booking Features to Invest In

Demand for desk booking solutions has risen dramatically amongst organizations due to the widespread adoption of hybrid working models in recent times. In fact, desk booking software has become a key feature, interlinking with facilities management software. Where there is a need to effectively coordinate days and times for a virtual workforce to come into the office, hoteling is an essential component of the workplace.

Desk hoteling is a term used to describe conventional hot desking practices. Hot desk models of the past were loathed by many because the hot desk booking involved employees turning up and simply accessing a workspace that was available. The available desk space at any given time may not be the ideal option, often hindering employee wellbeing and collaboration because they were not able to easily access the people and resources they needed.

Hoteling is a smarter way of managing an agile workplace. Employees can pre-book a desk space rather than leaving things to chance much as they would a hotel room. This can be done remotely using a desk booking system. Scheduling software provides insights on desk space availability and colleague location and availability on any given day and time. This allows workers to select and book desks, meeting rooms, or areas that will adequately meet their needs on any given day.

This model brings many benefits to an organization. It allows for enhanced collaboration and productivity, provides managers with the insights they need to manage their teams effectively, and allows for optimal space utilization. The latter, of course, brings benefits in terms of reduced operational costs. In addition, this model enhances the employee experience, thus improving wellbeing and, in turn, enhancing recruitment and retention of talent.

Whether your organization operates in a single location or across multiple premises, desk reservation software can help your employees at all levels use and manage your workplace effectively. This technology is, therefore, vital if you want to optimize space usage in your workplace.

Investing in the right desk booking system for the needs of your organization is crucial. There are several essential features and elements to consider in this regard. If you are not familiar with desk booking features, you may not be aware of what an effective solution looks like.

To provide a basic understanding of the fundamental components that most organizations would require, these are the key features to look for:

The system you choose should optimize office space, enabling a flexible workspace and improving employee productivity. They should be fully integrated and customized to meet your organization’s unique and specific needs so that it works for you. It is essential to source a high-quality, all-encompassing solution from a trusted provider. When choosing a system, consider functionality, security, ease of use, and accessibility.

Incorporate Tools to Connect Employees

In an agile workforce, it is essential to facilitate connectivity amongst dispersed and flexible workers. You will want to ensure that your desk booking system integrates the connectivity tools your workforce needs to function, communicate and collaborate effectively.  The success of a hybrid working model or flexible workspaces depends on connectivity, so this should never be overlooked in the planning stages.

Wherever employees choose to work, they must have easy access to the tools they need to communicate and collaborate with their teams. Commonly utilized platforms and tools that integrate well include Google Calendar, Microsoft Outlook, Slack and Microsoft Teams. These platforms should be integrated into one system, specifically, desk booking or scheduling meeting rooms for straightforward usability.

As we saw during the global pandemic, tools like these eliminate the need for physical proximity and allow workers to interact much as they would in a face-to-face setting, wherever they are individually located. Integrating these into one, easy-to-use system helps to streamline the process of communication and collaboration. By making these processes much easier for employees, you promote flexible workspaces with greater efficiency and productivity while reducing or eliminating wasted time and technology-induced stress.

When choosing the right desk booking solution for your company, you should look for a system with existing integration capabilities for the connectivity systems you know and love. Your employees will adapt quicker and easier to the new system if they have access to tools they are familiar with and, therefore, do not require training to use.

Desk Booking Software: Flexible Workplace

By reimagining your workspace to promote greater agility, flexibility, and optimal space utilization, you will be better equipped to meet the current needs of your workforce and future-proofing your business.

Not only will a desk booking system create flexible workspaces, but it will help to protect employees’ health and safety during the COVID-19 outbreak, providing workplaces with COVID -19 solutions that include contact tracing and physical distance planning.

As discussed in this guide, you should begin by designing your desk booking strategy and redesigning your office layout. This will provide the foundation for an effective hybrid working model. Once this has been done, you should then incorporate an effective desk booking software solution that integrates the tools you need for effective collaboration and connectivity amongst employees.


Looking to create a flexible or hybrid workplace? Let Cloudbooking help you to optimize your workplace with our champion desk booking services. Contact us now for a no-obligation product demo.


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