There’s no better way to understand how effective your own product can be than by using it yourself. So, with our offices recently reopening for those who wish to use them, we’ve set ourselves up with the new Clearooms hot desk booking feature. Here's all about how we use it to give you an idea of how you can too.

The Basics

The set up for hot desk booking is really simple and is finished in 4 easy steps.

First, you need to add each of your offices where desks are going to be booked. We’ve got two offices, one in Huddersfield and a second in Brno, Czech Republic. Each has 1 floor, so we’ve set them up as two ‘Offices’ within Clearooms. If either of our offices had more than one floor, we could create another ‘Office’ and name it Huddersfield Floor 2 for example. Or, when uploading the floor plan, we could include both floors in the same image. Then, when booking a desk, all you have to do is choose which office (or floor) from the dropdown menu.

Our Floor Plan

Next is to upload the floorplan image. We’re lucky to have inhouse designers on our team who have recreated our floor plan so we can add more information to it. If you would like to make your own, there are many free online tools to easily do it yourself. One example is Click Create New Diagram, in the diagram types click Other, then choose the floorplan option.

Alternatively we offer a design service to create floorplans as part of our onboarding service, this is completely free (you do need to sign up first of course)

Within Clearooms you can allocate desks to show people booking who each desk belongs to and if you like, restrict the booking to just that person. We use a mixture of hot desks that are free for anyone to book, allocated desks that are reserved for individuals and named desks which are used by the same person on some days but are available to book by anyone if they wish too.

We allow users to upload their own profile image to their account, so when they book a desk, their image will show so others can see at a glance who's booked where.

Another tip for enhancing your floor plan is to indicate how many people should be in each area of the office at once. For example, an area in our office which used to have 4 desks is now only suitable for 3 to maintain social distancing between staff. So in our floor plan image, we have added text to each area to show how many people should be working there at once to help remind someone when choosing a desk.

After the floor plan images have been uploaded, this is when the bookable desks are now added. By clicking on top of your own floor plan, you can place a green dot representing a desk which can be booked. It's really quick to do and helps to create an accurate representation of the office by being able to place them anywhere on the image.

After saving, the final important step is to invite your users. By entering an email address in Users within Settings, each user will receive an email invitation to sign up.

Alternatively you can set up SSO (Single Sign On) so your users can login using their existing Google, Office365 or Azure account (plus many more)

Adding a Message

Once the setup process is complete, we then finished it off by adding a message to show above each floor plan. This is a great opportunity to remind staff of how Clearooms works or of your own hot desking policy.

The message we display to our staff is:
“Please book your desks at least one day in advance so other staff can see the volume of people on the day and decide if they feel comfortable.”

To do this, go to settings, click the office name, then add your message into the text box. You can add a different message per office, or simply copy the same text for each.

How Hot Desk Booking is Helping Us

We have a flexible working policy where you can work from the office or at home, whichever someone may prefer. Those who work in the office for the majority of the time tend to work from the same desk. So, using Clearooms for these workers helps to indicate to colleagues and managers who intends to be in the office on what day.

By asking all staff to book a desk at least one day in advance, it helps to monitor and/or anticipate the number of people who are going to be in the office. This helps with adhering to social distancing but is also a great reference point for some people who may only want to visit the office on less busy days. If so, they can check who’s going to be in on each day and at which desk, helping them to make an informed decision so they will be working comfortably in the office.

Hot desk booking also helps the members of our team who mainly work from home and therefore don't have an allocated desk. Now a desk can be booked in advance, it gives them peace of mind a desk will be waiting for them on arrival.

If you like the idea of implementing hot desk booking, take a look at our feature page to learn more. If you'd like some help or advice on how you could use it, feel free to get in touch with us.