The advent of hybrid working means that organisations everywhere are re-evaluating the use of their offices. They are becoming more meeting focused and less for desk-based working, which can now be done remotely. Finding a desk to work at might be a new problem, but booking meeting rooms has always been fraught with niggles. Meeting room and desk booking technology solves both.
In this article we’ll provide a concise overview of how meeting room and desk booking solutions work, and the benefits that together they bring to your organisation and your people:
Meeting room booking
In the hybrid workplace the office is frequently a destination for meetings with your team or external guests. The meeting organiser will want to book the right space with the right technology from their home office, remote workplace or on the move.
Before you get to the meeting
Calendar integrations mean that you can book a meeting room in the traditional manner from your laptop. Booking online provides a richer experience which allows you to see maps of the meeting rooms with colour coding to show what’s available and what equipment they have to suit the meeting type – you can even book catering!
Mobile apps are also available, so you can book meeting rooms whilst you are on the move.
When you arrive at the office
When you arrive at the office, meeting room availability can be displayed on a wayfinding display screen. Touchscreen displays enable booking via a map. Or you can walk the floor where externally mounted meeting panels / availability indicators are colour coded to help you identify available rooms. Simply walk up to an available meeting room and click on the panel to book that room.
Checking into your meeting room
When you arrive at your booked meeting room if it looks like a previous meeting may overrun, you can tap the panel to check in and a notification will pop up on the meeting room screen to tell the occupants to end the meeting.
In addition to tapping the touchscreen panel, touchless options are available including QR code scanning or presenting an RFID Badge.
When you are in the room
Once you are in the room it’s possible to control the AV and lighting, report malfunctions and to extend your meeting via the control panel.
See meeting room booking in action:
Booking a desk
As many organisations re-organise their office spaces to be primarily used for meeting room activity, desk space has been reduced and no longer has an owner attached to it. Some staff will only visit the office when there are meetings, others may choose to work from the office because they don’t have a suitable home office space. Either way no one wants to commute to the office and then find themselves struggling to find somewhere to work.
Fortunately, meeting room booking systems extend to desk booking.
Before you get to the office
Online portals allow staff to view floorspace maps which show available desks. Users can book a desk online so they can be sure they’ll have a space to work in. Even better they can plan to be near colleagues and can even identify the type of desk that best suits them – for example by selecting sit stand desks or adjusting the height. And users can save their preferences, so the desk is automatically adjusted for them when they log in again.
Mobile apps also allow users to book a desk before they arrive at the office.
Arriving at the office
If you haven’t already booked a desk having a touchscreen display with a map of available desks allows users to book a desk at the touch of a finger.
Desk or monitor-mounted sensors glow green if a desk is available, so users can also walk up to and check in at an available desk.
Arriving at their booked or an available desk, users can check in by swiping their office access card, placing their mobile phone over an NFT sticker or simply by sitting down at a desk fitted with an anonymous, automatic occupancy sensor. There are numerous options provided by vendors.
At your desk
Whilst working at the desk users can be found via interactive maps by colleagues. If they need to focus they can set their desk display light to do not disturb and when they check out it can be set to a colour denoting cleaning required before it becomes available for the next user.
It’s even possible for the desk to adjust to pre-programmed personal sitting or standing height.
Today people want to work in a flexible, hybrid fashion and these systems make it easy to book a desk, find their colleagues and book suitable meeting rooms for when they are in the office.
Providing your colleagues with the tools to efficiently book office workspaces that meet their specific needs means they can get on with their work and not waste time on unnecessary logistical challenges.
Having slick processes in place for office utilisation makes for happy employees but also augments the professional image that you want your organisation to project to visitors and potential new employees.
Office management benefits
Analytics to aid efficient space utilisation
Meeting and Desk Booking solutions capture usage data and provide detailed insights on which spaces are being used, how they’re being used, and by whom, so you can make sure spaces are right-sized, occupied, and fully functional. All while helping you manage occupation density and providing utilization data for better real estate planning.
Health and Safety restrictions
The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us all about social distancing. Using these solutions, it’s so much easier to make the office safer. Desk spaces can be closed and meeting room capacities reduced with meeting room panels turning red when capacity is reached. Additionally these systems can alert in-house cleaning services and only make spaces available to book once cleaned.
IT Management benefits
Centralised room and desk management
You can control multiple AV systems in different locations from a single, secure dashboard. A central administrator can check workspace and desk status from anywhere, reducing the need for IT staff to physically visit rooms, increasing efficiency and reducing the need to touch devices during any periods of health and safety restrictions.
These solutions are designed to integrate with key business platforms such as Active Directory, Office 365, Exchange, Google Workspace and FMIS.
Users are able to report faults so you are quickly notified.
There are numerous software solutions and booking hardware vendors in the marketplace. MVS is experienced in the installation of meeting room systems such as Microsoft Teams and Zooms Rooms and with the integration of booking systems and hardware from the likes of GoBright, Evoko, Condeco, Crestron, Yealink and Logitech.
Cloud or on premises
Whilst most organisations have moved, or are moving, to The Cloud, there are on premises solutions available as an alternative to a single cloud-based solution.
Make your office work better – speak with an expert
Meeting Room and Desk booking systems make life easier and more productive for your staff and help your organisation better utilise your expensive office space. If you want to know more about the available solutions and how to implement them in your organisation contact us today.