Desk Sharing: Combine Home Office and Office Work
With desk sharing, employees freely choose their workstation in the office. Some companies even have fewer workstations than employees. This leads to a hybrid form of work, where some employees are in the home office or on the road, while others work in the office.
The pioneers of desk sharing are Silicon Valley giants like Google and Facebook. But in this country, too, more and more companies are converting their operations. Since 2016, Lufthansa has been relying on desk sharing to make more efficient use of work space. Desk sharing has now also found its way into the Munich offices of Siemens and ADAC.
Advantages and disadvantages of desk sharing
Desk sharing has gained enormous importance, especially as a result of the pandemic. Many companies now have to find a solution to organize mixed digital-physical collaboration in their team. In doing so, a number of advantages and disadvantages become apparent:
- Cost savings through more efficient use of workspace.
- More flexibility for employees to choose their workspace.
- Progressive image for your own company in the labor market.
- Search for a suitable workplace as a stress factor.
- Lack of possibilities to design one’s own working environment.
- Loss of productivity if technology or material is missing.
Typical challenges in desk sharing
Desk sharing comes in different levels of sophistication. The following models are common:
- Office first: Employees work primarily in the office; home office tends to be the exception.
- Partially flexible: Employees are free to work in the home office on a certain number of days.
- Fully flexible: All employees are free to choose where they work.
- Remote first: Employees are primarily in the home office, meeting in the office only in exceptional cases.
Regardless of the extent to which your employees work in the office or home office, in any case your employees must coordinate with each other and with their superiors in order to coordinate the joint work. A number of typical questions arise in the process:
- Which workstation can I use today?
- Where can I park when I come into the office tomorrow?
- Which colleagues are currently in the home office?
- Which colleagues will be in the office next week?
Even with just a few employees, it is no longer advisable to make verbal arrangements, as this costs a lot of time and is prone to errors. Suitable desk sharing software, on the other hand, is able to answer typical questions quickly and easily via a web application.
Workplace planning and desk sharing with projectfacts
With version 2022.2 a completely new tool finds its way into the projectfacts enterprise software – workplace planning. With it, companies create a platform to effectively organize the flexible collaboration of tomorrow. It fulfills two application purposes in particular:
Plan your work for the next week or month. Enter your home office days and when you will be in the office. Book a parking space and a desk to work at in advance. Or need a conference room for a meeting? No problem.
See where your employees are at any time: in the office, in the home office, sick or on vacation. You can also view your colleagues’ schedules: Who’s coming into the office next week? Is there a parking space available tomorrow? These and similar questions can be answered quickly via the online platform.
Create workstations and parking spaces
By workstations we mean desks in your office. They can be closed rooms or individual seats in an open-plan office. You can individually define which workstations are available to your employees for booking. For example, do you want to share all desks in the office or rooms with special technical equipment?
You can also make any distinctions you like when it comes to parking spaces, e.g. between those for e-cars, covered parking spaces or parking spaces for bicycles. There are almost no limits to your possibilities, the system adapts to your requirements.
A number of optional settings help you when creating work and parking spaces:
- Capacity: With this you specify, for example, how many people an office can hold. Only this many people can then make a booking for this space.
- Availability: Is the workstation always available or, for example, only in the afternoon?
- Equipment: Does the workstation have special equipment, e.g. a measuring device or a whiteboard?
- User group: Can a particular parking space only be reserved by a specific user group, for example, board members or the sales team?
Book free spaces online
Your employees access their personal workplace planning via a separate menu tile, which you can place in any module. They are taken directly to a calendar view, which employees can use to plan their schedules for the next few days or weeks. Clicking on a calendar day opens the booking menu. This allows employees to reserve both a workstation and a parking space – either for the entire day or only for half of the day.
Create a standard schedule
If desired, you can also create a standard schedule for your employees. For example, if Friday is traditionally a home office day, you can enter that directly. Standard scheduling is also suitable if work or parking spaces are regularly used by the same people. In this way, you already specify the standard occupancy and employees only have to rebook if necessary. If standard planning is stored, your employees will see the respective reservations directly when booking and can make changes if necessary.
Colleague planning overview
To view free resources, your employees access the workstation overview. This calendar overview lists all work and parking spaces and the respective bookings over time. This allows you to quickly see when which resource is available.
If you are interested in when a certain colleague is in the office, it is best to use the employee overview. It is structured in the same way as the workstation overview, with the only difference that your colleagues are listed per line. You can quickly see who is currently in the home office and when your team members will be in the office next.
Use our desk-sharing tool now
Are you interested in using workplace planning in your company? Then feel free to contact our consulting team. We will help you to set up the desk sharing tool. If you would like to get to know projectfacts better first, sign up for a free test account today.
Header image: © ArthurHidden – freepik.com (2022)