Your Workplace Doesn’t Need a Complicated Desk Booking Solution

COVID-19 has kept employees out of the office for months. But you can help your team transition back with Get Working—more than a desk booking solution.

By Sarah Murphy

COVID-19 flipped the working world upside down. But after months of remote work from the comfort of our own homes, employees are starting to return to offices across the country. It can be a daunting task to prepare for a transition to the new office “normal.”

Thankfully, there are tools that can help ease the return and ensure everyone remains safe while sharing their work environment. But not all software is right for everyone.

The Downside to Most Desk Booking Solutions

Desk booking solutions can help with office management in these unusual times, ensuring that only a limited number of workers return to shared spaces at specific times and allowing social distancing measures to be carried out. But they can also be a complicated, jumbled mess of intricate seating plans and desk planograms that aren’t necessarily designed to meet the needs of a pandemic-stricken world. They can also take a long time to set up and integrate with existing office technology.

That’s because—until recently—desk and room booking systems were primarily used by companies with employees who frequently travelled, an abundance of part-time or contract workers, and flexible (not mandatory) work-from-home policies. But in the age of COVID-19, however, additional organization and scheduling has become imperative for all offices that want to return to work quickly and safely—and well-designed, user-friendly software can help you do just that.

Here are some of the software features and benefits you should look out for when preparing to return to work during COVID-19.

Mobile-First Design

According to the Pew Research Center, 81% of Americans own smartphones. For people in the United States aged 30 to 49, that number goes up to 92%, while a whopping 96% of those aged 18 to 29 have one. Between Gen Z-ers entering the workplace and the millennials that already dominate it, mobile-first technology is a must.

Take the example of an office building that typically books out conference rooms for meetings with a pen-and-paper sign-up sheet. Over the past few months, it would seem silly to risk one’s health to show up at the office to use a pen and a clipboard (that many people may have touched) to book a meeting room, only to then email out invitations to the upcoming meeting, probably from your phone. Even going digital and using a shared spreadsheet wouldn’t solve the problem, because if everyone has editing capabilities for the document, the information is never securely locked in.

With COVID-19 workplace management software like Get Working, employees can book meeting rooms or workspaces for the appropriate number of colleagues, right from their own mobile devices through a web-based interface (apps on iOS and Android will be available this fall). That way, employees avoid being in communal office spaces unnecessarily and don’t have to come in contact with high-touch surfaces or items. Plus, admins can make sure that no one is making unauthorized changes to the booking system.

Pre-Entry Symptom Screenings

Desk booking software should go beyond just reserving a seat at the office.

A solution like Get Working is equipped with a COVID-19 self-screening tool that sends a survey to employees when they schedule a time at work and must get completed before entering the office.

The symptom checker provides users with a questionnaire 24 hours before they are scheduled to come into the office. Based on their answers, users will be given either a green or red result; green is the all-clear to proceed with the office visit, while red means the employee should stay home and self-isolate or seek testing and medical help.

Despite the questions involved in the screening process, user privacy is protected, with no personal health data being recorded or stored anywhere outside of the employee’s mobile device.

Manage Workplace Capacity

Once workers are approved to return to the office, workspace management software can help you manage building capacity, specific floors, and work areas. A concierge function can even be used so that the assigned employee can exactly monitor who is coming and going at any given time.

Tracking the number of people in the office also allows your company to ensure that local guidelines about indoor spaces are being followed, and that there is an appropriate amount of space to accommodate social distancing measures.

Track Where People Are and When

Contact tracing is crucial to slowing the spread of COVID-19, especially in the event of a confirmed outbreak. A booking app is an easy way to keep records up-to-date, should local public health departments request them.

In addition to the names of the people who may have been exposed, an app like Get Working can track precisely what date and time users were in certain buildings or on particular floors—narrowing down exactly who needs to be contacted and told to self-isolate. Plus, it once again eliminates the sharing of communal supplies used for a manual pen-and-paper office sign-in process.

No Complicated Seating Plans

Many existing hot-desking or office hoteling services involve uploading and managing complicated seating charts and office layout planograms.

With Get Working, your team can simply book the available times they want to be in the office.

It also eliminates the IT complications usually associated with hot-desking, like setting up equipment, intranets, and phone lines every time someone wants to work in a different area of the office. You don’t have to rearrange the furniture and equipment or keep track of employees moving around to other workstations every day.

In just a few clicks, you can pick where you want to work (if there are multiple office locations), what day, and at what time (morning, afternoon, or all day). Once you’ve filled out and passed the symptom screening questionnaire, all you have to do is show up to work.

Book a demo today,
and try it out with your team.

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