Today, not every workplace employs the traditional working style of assigned seating. Hot desking (when employees show up to work and grab whatever desk is available) and desk or office hoteling (when employees can book their workspace ahead of time) are two types of hybrid office options that modern employers are adopting. Workplace management software strives to keep any and all types of alternative workspaces organized and predictable. There are a lot of great options out there, and we’re going to share a few of our favorites with you.
What is Office Hoteling Software?
Office hoteling software typically comes with an assortment of features to meet all workplace management needs. For example, for hot desking, the software will update the desks that are available versus used so employees can have an easier time grabbing a place to work. For desk hoteling, the software will let workers reserve space ahead of time and even on an ongoing basis. Users can reserve other types of spaces, too, like meeting rooms, service elevators, lounges and more.
Workplace management software also gives a lot of control to supervisors. Thanks to data collection, managers can see usage trends and forecast future needs. Plus, rules exercise control over who can book workspaces in certain areas and the type of access those workspaces will have. Moreover, there are different views to choose from, including both a bird’s eye view of the floor plan and details about a specific workspace.
5 Best Office Hoteling Reservation and Booking Systems
As hybrid workplaces pick up in popularity, especially after COVID changed how companies operate, a lot of excellent software has emerged. For this article, we’ve picked our five favorites to get you started on your search.
1. EMS Software for Desk Booking
EMS Software for desk booking lets workers book, update, change and cancel reservations using the web tool or mobile app. Filter available workspaces based on seating or space type, amenities, and equipment. Book all sorts of workspaces, too, from cubicles and offices to shared tables, standing desks, and even lounge seating, like couches.
Create designated neighborhoods so that teams or departments can sit near one another. View a real-time floor plan to see the space that’s used and where everyone is working. See data about empty desks and cancellations so you can tweak your office space.
Key Features of EMS Software
- Set custom rules to manage who has access to certain workspaces.
- In-building kiosks let employees reserve a workspace at the last minute or check in when they arrive.
- The Room Sign App displays bookings on a tablet to show availability and also allows workers to book or change a reservation.
- Calendar integrations with Google and Outlook help employees keep their work schedule organized.
EMS’ workplace management software is straightforward, offering all of the features you need to control how the office is used. Kiosks, display signs, and integrations add a few niceties that other software may lack, too. Visitor management also makes it possible to keep an eye on everyone who’s coming and going beyond your regular staff.
EMS Software is for you if…
- Your company is social distancing and needs to limit room capacities.
- Visitors factor into your office’s space management.
- You want to integrate desk hoteling software with your HVAC to automate heating and cooling based on how the office space is being used.
With Envoy’s hot desk booking software, you can set which desks are available, unavailable or permanently assigned. By assigning amenities to workstations, workers can see what they’ll have access to and choose accordingly. And while the software is geared toward hot desking, it’s for office hoteling, too, as there’s an in-advance reservation system.
Teammates and neighborhoods can be designated so that workers who need to be near each other can be. Teammates can be assigned by function or project, and built-in flexibility lets them still choose their seats within a neighborhood.
Key Features of Envoy
- Access via the mobile app allows for on-the-go booking.
- Desk utilization data helps managers plan better based on past and current usage.
- Inclusion of a health questionnaire prior to letting workers book desks maintains a safer workplace.
The mobile app, workspace maps, and various reservation options make it easy for both supervisors and workers to use Envoy. The software is ideal for workplaces with various and changing hybrid needs, from hot desking and desk hoteling to social distancing and team-based projects.
Envoy is for you if…
- You have a hot desking office with some employees who want a permanent workstation.
- Social distancing is still a factor, and your workplace has to change availability based on health ordinances.
- You want to incorporate deliveries, visitors, and entire rooms in your workplace management software.
3. OfficeSpace Desk Booking Software
OfficeSpace’s desk booking software is for various types of hybrid offices, from those that use hot desking to ones that prefer desk hoteling. The desk hoteling functionality lets employees book workspaces in advance and see which workers are in the office. Plus, anything in the office can be turned into a bookable space, not just desks.
Sections and seats can be allocated to create neighborhoods so certain teams can be located together. OfficeSpace works on desktop and mobile, as well as touchscreen kiosks, and it can also be integrated with Microsoft Teams and Slack. Supervisors can see historical and real-time booking data and approve or decline requests as needed.
Key Features of OfficeSpace
- Intelligent search lets employees look for workspaces based on location or feature.
- Booking settings let managers limit advance bookings and enable multi-day and recurring bookings.
- Free Addressing uses sensors to update the status of desks in real-time.
- The Insights Hub lets you see seating trends so you can adjust how space is used and forecast demand.
Free Addressing is particularly helpful if your workplace uses hot desking. Employees don’t need to reserve a space ahead of time but you can still automatically monitor which desks are being used. Overall, OfficeSpace is ideal if your workplace uses a few different types of desk booking options.
OfficeSpace is for you if…
- There are more than desks and workspaces that need to be reserved.
- Your workplace has a few types of hybrid workspace options.
- The hot desking Free Addressing feature will be helpful.
Skedda has all the workplace management features you’d expect, like floor plan views, self-service reservations and mobile access. But where it shines is with its ability to create automated booking rules and policies, even complex ones. With permissions management, supervisors have micro-level control over what can and cannot be booked.
Also, while it may not sound major, another benefit of Skedda is that users can use their existing login information. That means that your workers won’t have to juggle yet another login and password combo just to reserve a desk. With user tags, they’ll get a customized experience once they’ve logged in, too.
Key Features of Skedda
- Custom, interactive floor plans mean easier, more organized booking for everyone.
- Mobile-friendly software that can be accessed from anywhere.
- Integration with Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 for well-rounded scheduling management.
Skedda is one of the best workplace management systems available, especially if you’re acclimating to a hybrid workplace. There are several features that make the software more pleasant for management and employees to use by simplifying and automating processes.
Skedda is for you if…
- Your company has advanced booking needs and specific requirements.
- This is your first go at trying out desk booking for your office.
- There are multiple floors in your building that need booking services across all of them.
5. Tango Reserve by AgilQuest
Tango Reserve by AgilQuest is cloud-based desk booking software with mobile access so the software can be used from anywhere. Employees can view workspace availability, filter by amenities, and immediately book a desk, and they can also use the software to see who’s in the office and locate coworkers.
Managers can control who has access to certain spaces and when they can be booked. You can also set business rules – for example, create a grace period for missed bookings and then auto-cancel after a certain duration has passed. Analytics and reporting help you understand how space is utilized and determine if the office needs more or less space.
Key Features of Tango Reserve
- Three interfaces — desktop, mobile app, or lobby kiosk — so people can reserve from home, on the go, or when they enter the building.
- Three view options to see the entire Floorplan, view a List of available workspaces, or find availability for workspaces on the Calendar.
- Set recurring reservations with no end date, and copy previous reservations when employees have preferred workstations.
- Digital desk signs display info about who has booked the desk and when it’s booked for, as well as if the workspace is in need of cleaning services.
Tango Reserve prioritizes teamwork, giving users the ability to create their own team to keep up with what those closest to them are doing. Preferred and recurring reservation options are also helpful to streamline the process for users. Plus, with the ability to book other amenities, the software can keep everything in the office running smoothly.
Tango Reserve is for you if…
- You’re still employing social distancing in the workplace.
- Some departments need to sit together and will create a neighborhood of desks.
- There are additional amenities and services to book, like room setups and breakdowns, equipment, lockers, parking, and service elevators.
Final Thoughts on the Best Workplace Management Software
While many office hoteling software options share similar features, the one you choose for your office will depend on your specific needs and personal preference. Even if each software package has the same 10 features, that stand-out 11th feature can be the one to push you to choose it. Think carefully about the extras that you need or that will make your office run smoother. And at the same time, don’t overpay for software with a bunch of features you’ll never have to use.
Since we’re on the topic, check out our article about how desk hoteling can improve your office workspace.
Featured Image via GoodStudio / shutterstock.com
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