COVID-19 Desk Booking Solutions for the Research Complex at Harwell


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Scientific Research

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1 site

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The Cloudbooking system rolled out really well. We’ve seen amazing user uptake and
received nothing but positive feedback. If you need a Covid safe solution, Cloudbooking can
help you achieve this.

David Payne
David Payne, Director, Research Complex at Harwell

The Research Complex at Harwell (RCaH) provides the environment and facilities for researchers in the life and physical sciences to undertake research and collaborate.

Discover Cloudbooking’s champion workplace management systems. Let us help you create a COVID safe return-to-office plan and optimize your workspace.

The Research Complex at Hartwell Desk Booking Case Study

The following case study demonstrates how Cloudooking’s cloud-based desk reservation system facilitated a successful return to work during COVID-19 for The Research Complex at Harwell.

Desk Management Solutions for Research Labs

Cloudbooking is the Research Complex at Harwell’s (RCaH) approved supplier for desk management technologies. Early 2020 saw Harwell tender contract negotiations for the delivery of a digital workspace management solution. Then COVID-19 struck, and it became imperative for the RCaH to remain fully operational during the pandemic. The RCaH hosts researchers from the Rosalind Franklin Institute, Central Laser Facility and Diamond Light Source, who played a pivotal role in researching the virus and developing vaccines to fight against COVID-19. At this point in time, Cloudbooking was offered RCaH’s desk management solutions contract.

Thanks to the rapid two-week deployment and successful adaptation of the Cloudbooking hot desk management platform, RCaH was able to remain open during the lockdown period.

The Cloudbooking solution provides the Research Complex at Harwell with a customized desk management service enabling the safe management of research lab benches and employee wellbeing. Our software ensures their vital work into researching Coronavirus and assisting in the global search for a vaccine can continue uninterrupted.

Learn more about Cloudbooking’s desk booking solutions.


Below you will find a detailed breakdown of the challenges faced by the Research Complex at Harwell (RCAH) and how Cloudbooking helped improve its workspace technology during the return-to-work transition.

The Initial Problems at the Research Complex at Harwell

  • There was an immediate need for a solution to manage research spaces during COVID-19 and a solution to help manage the return-to-work strategy.
  • Making the building COVID-secure was required.
  • There was a need for an easier compilation of workspace utilisation data to support ongoing flexible working strategies.
  • Clearer visibility of who was using what space onsite was needed.
  • There was a need to re-arrange laboratory workspace in line with social distancing and to create separate working zones.
  • There was a need for an easy-to-use booking platform that gives users the autonomy to manage their own workspace requirements.

The Impact on the Research Complex at Harwell

  • The lack of consolidated data on surrounding workspace usage increased the challenge of providing a safe working environment for colleagues onsite.
  • There was a lack of easily accessible data on workspace transparency, specifically relating to who was using workbench space and when they were using it, for the purpose of contact tracing.
  • There was no easily available data on which to improve workplace design and strategy.
  • Productivity for administrative teams in managing the lab access was being impacted.

The Results of Our Desk Management Solutions

  • Cloudbooking software was fully deployed within two weeks.
  • Cloudbooking adapted our hot desk management platform to manage the use of research benches and control the overall number of laboratory users at any one time.
  • Our desk management solutions empowered flexible working by offering researchers the ability to pre-book their own spaces for morning, afternoon or full-day slots.
  • The RCaH were able to provide an extra addition to their COVID-secure work environment and give confidence to their users.
  • Cloudbooking provided the RCaH with a single solution for COVID-safe workspace management, which included:
    – Desk and research bench management
    – Easier contact tracing
    – Real estate utilisation data and insights.
  • The introduction of desk booking software allowed the RCaH to implement agile ways of working.

The Current Deployment

Initial Use Case

Initial Use Case

  • A COVID-19 secure research bench management system

Current Deployment

Current Deployment

  • Desk Management
  • Analytics & Data Insights
  • CBMobile


What’s Next

  • Introduction of “agile working”, enabled through one booking solution for meeting rooms and desk bookings
  • Deployment of digital signage for meeting rooms
  • Multiple booking touchpoints via RFID, desktop, mobile, or digital signage

If you think your business can benefit from state-of-the-art office management solutions, then get in touch with Cloudbooking. Our expertise and experience can help you overcome any challenges when implementing a new desk booking system and return-to-work strategy.


A return to work strategy built around you

Reopen your office with confidence when you deploy Cloudbooking systems. If you’re interested in developing a return to work strategy built around your business needs, then book your no-obligation demo with one of our Cloudbookers today. We’ll talk you through how Cloudbooking can help you safely reopen your workplace.