Workspace scheduling for a flexible future

Flexible working models simply can’t work effectively without a strong, tech-led solution to manage it. Take a closer look at the way forward

Flexible working: why booking technology is essential

Flexible working is one of the hottest topics within businesses as the post-pandemic world of work gradually emerges. How best to combine remote and office work in a way that suits both employee desires and employer demands is proving to be a tricky balancing act for many.

Increasingly, it’s becoming clear that technology can provide the answer. In particular, a workspace management platform can join together all the disparate dots to support a flexible, agile model. Through this support, employees can choose to work wherever they’re most productive, and employers can reshape their office environments so that they still contribute value to the business.

To underline how much technology can make the difference, this blog explains how this can work when a workspace scheduling solution is deployed. But first, we’ll take a look at the barriers to success without one:

Without a workspace booking software

Employees will still be able to work from home and come into the office as and when they need to, but they will still have their own desk allocated at all times. This means huge swathes of office space will sit empty for long periods of time, which is hugely inefficient and a waste of cost, utilities and resources. It also means that employees don’t get a choice of the type of workspace they want to work from. If they don’t like the workspace allocated to them, then they will be less inclined to use it at all, making the space even less efficient.

Additionally, they will be able to come into the office to hold a physical meeting, but will have no guarantee that the room they need won’t already be occupied by the time they get there. The result of this is several unnecessary trips into the office by the attendees, or the significant compromise of having to use a meeting room that is too small for everyone or doesn’t have the right audio-visual equipment installed.

Of course, it is theoretically possible for flexible working models based on shared workspaces to be managed manually. But in reality, this places a huge administrative burden on the facilities or front-of-house teams required to manage it. They will spend vast amounts of time fielding phone calls and emails, and matching employees to workspaces, on top of all the other tasks they have to complete in a normal working day. And if the person in charge is off sick, on vacation or has simply gone out to lunch, the whole system can fall apart very quickly.

With a workspace booking software

Employees get access to a wide variety of different personal workspaces and meeting spaces, bookable in just a few clicks of a mouse or taps of their phone. Wherever and whenever they happen to be working, they can use a mobile app, web browser or even a Microsoft Outlook add-in to search for and book the space that’s perfectly suited to their needs, for the exact times that they need it. They can be certain that the space will be available for their use upon arrival, and spaces that they prefer and book regularly will appear at the top of their future searches for ease of use.

From an employer’s perspective, the whole system is efficient enough to make the implementation of a flexible working model seamless. The whole booking process and management is automated, relieving any administrative burden that comes with manual activity. It can also help them cut back on their office space and make significant savings: analytics tools can help them fully understand utilisation and make data-driven decisions about how to reshape and resize the workplace to suit.

The system also provides valuable support to employees even when they aren’t in the office. All of the schedules it hosts, for every employee, workstation and meeting room, are fully viewable to all, making it far easier to coordinate collaboration. For example, when a meeting needs to be arranged, the organiser can quickly work out the right time to hold it, by checking every attendee for their availability and then securing a meeting space to suit.

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