Why successful desk hoteling needs office workers to check in

As we eagerly anticipate a post-Covid world, businesses find themselves under pressure to adapt to a new workplace culture. Employees expect a safe and sanitized office environment, and many will want to continue working remotely for at least some of the time. Cutting real estate is a likely step to protect the bottom line and adapt to a more remote or hybrid workforce. This means workplace leaders and space planners need to make the most of the space they have. Desk hoteling seems to provide the perfect solution – but is it, if you don’t know who checked in and when? This leads us nicely to occupancy data.

Occupancy data: the secret ingredient for successful desk hoteling

We’ve identified that a key ingredient in getting the most out of desk hoteling is to secure accurate occupancy data. If you can build a digital desk booking process that makes it easy to check in to a reservation every time, you’ll gain hugely valuable insights that you can use to drive efficiencies, match resources with demand, and boost productivity.

The value of securing a check-in to a desk reservation

Occupancy data reveals how your employees interact with your office space. This is particularly important now that many businesses have reduced real estate and resources, and irregular demand from employees who want to use the office to collaborate could come at any time.

The hyperlocal data that desk scheduling systems such as Kadence deliver mean you gain a detailed breakdown of how and when your space is being used. Crucially, it also tells you whether a booking has been used at all. If you can secure the check-in every time, you’ll know exactly when a desk is used, who has used it and for how long.

But how does this help you manage your workplace?

Efficient space planning

As occupancy data shows you how intensively a space is used over time, if you see underused areas, it’s an obvious opportunity for cost savings.

The data helps when planning office configuration too. Perhaps a cluster of desks near a window is always full, while there are no bookings for a gloomier part of the office. You’ll be able to identify this pattern in your occupancy data and take steps to fix it.

To move this approach to the next level, feed your office occupancy data into Building Information Modelling (BIM) systems to contribute to new space planning and building design.

A safe and sanitized workspace with data-informed cleaning schedules

In a desk hoteling environment, a digital check-in process and the resulting data informs cleaning schedules, to make sure desks are sanitized between users. A desk isn’t released for use until it’s been cleaned and prepared for the next person. Desk turnover data will help you manage cleaning schedules and plan resources.

In the event of an infection, contact tracing is easy. Your data will show you the exact desks individuals used, and when they used them.

Analytics that optimize the workplace for business cadence and productivity

Data helps you understand how different teams interact in your office space and how people use different office neighborhoods. You can then plan your facilities to support productivity and find the best business cadence.

If you know certain teams need certain equipment or like to sit together at a regular time each week, you can plan your space and equipment availability so they’ve got it when and where they need it.

Data-driven energy use: better for people, planet and profit

Optimizing the energy efficiency of your office environment helps the planet, boosts employee comfort and improves your bottom line. Occupancy data will help you manage your heating, air conditioning and lighting by showing you when and where your highest energy demands are.

Ways to collect occupancy data

You can collect occupancy data in a variety of ways but two main ones are by installing occupancy sensors or as part of a desk booking software process.

Occupancy sensors

Occupancy sensors count how many people are in a space or how often a desk is used, thanks to technologies such as ultrasound and infrared, which detect movement. However, they don’t tell you who is using the space, or if it was by the person who made the booking. And your employees don’t interact with the sensors or get any value from them – the sensors just count in the background.

Desk booking software for occupancy data

Desk booking software, on the other hand, lets you record desk check-ins and discover which desks are used, for how long and by whom. This is the most valuable data to capture – that an identified person has checked in to a reservation.

You get a much deeper level of insight than simply how many people are in a space. You’ll begin to understand the cadence of office usage and be able to plan spaces that maximize productivity, efficiency, and comfort. What’s more, you can give something back to your people when they check in, as you’ll discover below.

Defining a desk hoteling check-in process that really works

So, to get hyperlocal occupancy data and insights into desk usage, we know you need a watertight desk check-in process. But how does that work in practice?

First up, put user experience at the heart of the process. If the desk booking software is overcomplicated, clunky or glitchy, people won’t want to use it. The result? You’ll never get the check-in and other data you need.

But go further. Don’t just make the software easy for people to use, include features that improve their working lives. This might include the option to book space close to colleagues, or wayfinding to help them locate their booked desk. It then becomes a natural part of their working routine.

Let’s take a look at the steps that make up this process.

1. Desk booking and arrival

It begins with an employee reserving a desk space. Ideally, they’ll do this through an easy-to-use app, such as the Kadence workplace mobile app. They can check availability and book through a smartphone while on the move, or on their desktop if they’re organizing their schedule from their desk.

When they arrive in the office, the app should detect their presence. It will then alert them to the booked desk location via their smartphone, and give them simple directions to the correct floor, office and desk.

Check-in prompts will remind them to check in to their desk. If they don’t, the central system will be alerted, making it easy to identify no-shows and remotely re-assign a desk space as available. This benefits other people who want to work in the office as they will have more available desks to choose from.

2. Making desk availability visible

It’s reassuring and helpful for employees to see at a glance which desks are available.

When it comes to social distancing and providing adequate space between employees, a best practice booking system will remotely mark desks as unavailable on a floor plan in the app. When somebody finishes using a desk, it can be marked as unavailable until it’s been cleaned. A smart system will use occupancy data to alert cleaning staff automatically, so they can prepare the desk for the next person as quickly as possible.

3. Safe and easy touchless check-in

Being able to check in via the mobile app without touching equipment gives employees control and the reassurance that they’re keeping themselves and others safe.

A data layer that gives a holistic view to future proof your workplace

When you operate desk hoteling through a cloud-based desk booking and scheduling system, the accurate occupancy data layer you get allows you to respond in real time to changing conditions, future proofing your workspace by making it both agile and dynamic.

You’ll be able to make smart, insight-driven planning decisions that get the most out of your desks and spaces, drive productivity, and meet the needs of a hybrid workforce with a seamless and safe transition between remote and office working.

If you’d like a chat or a demo with one of our team to see how Kadence’s desk booking software could help you meet the challenges of the new era of work, why not pick a time in our calendar to suit you?

Dynamic desk scheduling for an era of flexible working

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As the world transitions to a new way of working, one with social distancing, reduced real estate, and flexible working, it can be overwhelming when trying to decide what space management solution to use.

Challenges with existing space management systems

Static, clunky, legacy systems with limited flexibility and customization

Many of the existing workplace management systems were set up to manage offices operating in regular 9 to 5 hours. As Covid-related policies and government regulation keep evolving, workplace leaders and facilities managers are suddenly having to create new processes for flexible working, while at the same time ensuring the safety of employees and cleanliness of workspaces.

Employers need highly customizable controls and tools to manage their real estate and allocation of spaces, especially as most of their expensive real estate is sitting empty right now.

Difficulty finding and booking spaces with poor UX

Change is hard. With the new flexible, hybrid ways of working, it can be frustrating and confusing to employees without clear communications.

Employees need simple, intuitive ways to find and reserve working spaces that meet their needs (and assurance that these spaces are clean and safe), from hot desking to collaboration spaces to working from home. If you have desk booking, there is no physical representation of the digital state of the desk whether it is available or booked, therefore it is static and not dynamic.

Space inefficiency

Many buildings have remained empty for over 9 months, and employers are having a headache trying to figure out how much space they need to enable flexible working. Businesses need to manage their spaces in a smarter, more effective way.

Kadence Wx: built for dynamic spaces and people

Kadence Wx desk scheduling software has been built from the ground up to help you get your business back on track in a post Covid-19 world. We have focused on delivering the best solution for a return to the workplace and can help you every step of the way.

Customize how you want your spaces with WxCloud

We have built a highly dynamic, flexible solution to fit with your Covid-19 policies and your vision for returning to work. Just a few of our features include:

Kadence space management dashboard display

  • Integrate with your existing active directory systems for easy employee onboarding and management. Manage and group employees with teams, and track users’ experiences working in the office.
  • Control building, spaces and Covid-related settings with ease. Limit building and office capacity, ensure social distancing of desks, visualize high traffic areas and adjust your plans accordingly.
  • Easily manage your office spaces, rooms, desks, and neighborhoods to fit your needs.
  • Adjust and create user permissions with different access levels, defined by you, to help you collaborate with and manage your spaces and people.
  • Apply and adjust booking permissions for your employees to help control traffic and office capacity as well as restricting access in the event of a Covid-19 outbreak.


Enter Kadence WxApp: a people-first app

Visual of the Kadence WxApp

We built the Kadence WxApp with the goal of giving employees a simple, seamless experience when booking spaces. Simplicity, with no training, or guidance, required from the employer.

  • A clean, polished, friendly user experience was at the forefront of our minds when producing the app. No headaches, no fuss, just simplicity in booking on any device.
  • Employees can book a space from anywhere, at any time, in seconds, and on any device (app, iPad, desktop)
  • Helpful alerts, reminders, and notifications on bookings and company updates.
  • Easily share spaces and collaborate with team members.
  • We ensure that employees understand and feel comfortable with installing the application on their personal devices, describing the use of every permission we request, ensuring they know we don’t store or share their data, and allowing them to use an incognito mode, should they choose not to disclose any of their personal information.


Analyze and improve space efficiency with accurate data

The true power of an effective space management solution lies in being able to inform better space planning decisions by using different types of spaces efficiently, maximizing its full utilization and usefulness.

  • Hyperlocal location data for occupancy data, perfect for tracking activity, capacity, and employee traffic.
  • Our solution learns about how your spaces are being used overtime and makes informed decisions to protect employees, reduce real estate costs, and allow effective flexible working and collaboration.

If you’d like a chat or a demo with one of our team to see how our desk scheduling software can help you meet the challenges of the new workplace, why not pick a time in our calendar to suit you?

Why Kadence’s desk management should be a part of your return-to-work plan

The Covid-19 pandemic has fundamentally changed the way we view working. During the pandemic, many companies have been forced to implement strategies for flexible working. Companies that previously hadn’t thought this to be possible, are starting to see the benefits of flexible working. It is now of increased importance to make the most of real estate and support social distancing with smarter and more efficient desk management. In this article we’ll be building upon those themes, and explain how we can support your organization to make flexible working seamless.

What makes Kadence’s desk management solution unique?

Many desk and booking management solutions claim to enable the safe return to the workplace for employees. So what makes Kadence unique?

Kadence allows you to gather metrics and data on your employees, their behaviors and their actions to help better understand usage, movements and trends over time in a non-intrusive way. These sorts of metrics are normally gathered by investing in expensive sensors to track data that often has to be paired with a desk management solution.  These data can help you optimize your spaces to reduce traffic, identify peak activity, ensure social distancing, and allow for easier management of your employees.

How it works

At Kadence we understand that safety is vital and are fully focused on delivering a seamless return to safe in-person collaboration. There are a number of considerations workplace leaders must make to ensure the safe return of their employees. Here are just a few of the key areas we can help you with:

  • Touchless check-in and reservation
  • Desk hoteling management
  • Office and people capacity
  • Social distancing measures
  • Space usage analytics

Touchless desk check-in & reservation

To enable a safe, effective flexible working environment, employees should be able to find and reserve a space to work ahead of time, or when they arrive for the day. With a desk booking mobile app, they can automatically and seamlessly book and check in to that space, with data and insights being gathered on employee behavior and movement.

Social distancing measures for the workplace

With the need for social distancing in mind, many businesses will have to rethink their real estate strategies. Kadence’s real-time floor plan view shows how spaces are being used with regard to social distancing and office capacity. Knowing where people have been sitting in your spaces indicates which areas need more cleaning and have the highest density of traffic.

Employees can have peace of mind knowing they are able to book socially distanced desks, along with a clear, concise way to identify their reserved desk, and how to find their desk in a large building or office. They can also be assured that they will have a safe working environment with no concerns about hygiene.

Image of office floor plan with employee headshots

Space management & analytics

Real-time space usage and management will add another level of accuracy to your desk occupancy data to optimize your workspaces to reduce traffic, identify peak activity and allow for easier management of your employees.

At Kadence we’re working hard to deliver a safe, seamless return for your employees, with our easy desk management solution to ensure your workspace is as efficient as it can be. Stay tuned for upcoming announcements on what we’ve been working on behind the scenes.

How to enable desk hoteling in a Covid-safe workplace

At the end of 2019, over 75% of workplaces globally were rolling out flexible hot desk management strategies to enable more efficient use of real estate. Now, with Covid-19 accelerating the trend of remote working, good desk hoteling is fast becoming a necessity to safely return to the workplace. In fact, as the result of Covid-19’s impact on real estate, 30% of all office space will be consumed flexibly by 2030, according to a JLL survey.

What is desk hoteling?

Desk hoteling, which allows employees to reserve in advance the desk they want to use for the day but still gives your employees the freedom to choose the space they want to work in. One of the main advantages of desk hoteling is the valuable usage and occupancy data the facilities team can capture for planning purposes.

In theory, desk hoteling sounds like a better alternative to hot desking. But in the new normal, this approach can still pose a safety and hygiene issue to organizations with hundreds, or even thousands of desks in multiple office locations that now need to be managed, thoroughly cleaned and sanitized.

According to a recent Gensler survey, 68% of employees would like to see a reduced number of shared workspaces because of safety concerns when there is no process or technology in place to track whether facilities are being used and then cleaned effectively before being made available for use again.

Why should you consider desk hoteling?

A flexible desk policy integrated with the right desk hoteling reservation system can increase the ratio of employees to desks. This can potentially reduce the real estate footprint significantly, while still encouraging a more collaborative working environment. According to a PwC survey, 30% of employers anticipate reducing their real estate footprint in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, which means a higher demand for a smaller amount of spaces. So it seems flex desking is on the rise and essential to ensure employees have the spaces they need when they need them.

Maximum flexibility will be the guiding principle for the workspace in the new normal and employees will decide which space suits their needs. To reinvigorate collaboration you need a flexible workspace where your teams feel safe and comfortable and effective desk hoteling is a good step in this direction.

Making desk hoteling work

When it comes to making desk hoteling work for your organization, success is all about the implementation and investing in the right technology makes all the difference. Companies need to have proper technology in place to support the transition to flexible working.

Questions to answer include:

  • How can we make flex desking work in the new normal?
  • How can we make sure desks are thoroughly cleaned after use?
  • How can we support employees to work safely and productively?

How to create a Covid-safe flexible desk experience

Employees need to feel safe when they return to the workplace and seeing clear measures in place to promote social distancing and additional hygiene procedures. Reducing touchpoints and clear visual communication are key components in any back to work strategy. There should be no doubt as to which desks are clean and available for them to use.

Touchless desk booking and check-in

Many organizations are already investigating how to reduce touch points in their offices, but some are looking at different touchless technology that does not require physical touch.

Employees can check in and claim a desk via their mobile app, without having to speak with anyone or touching any shared screens. Going contactless will also help manage clean desk policy more effectively by keeping desks free of cables and easier to clean.

Using data to optimize desk availability

With a lower office capacity in the new normal workplace, there is a greater need to use data to understand how desks are being used, and make better data-driven office space planning decisions moving forward with space management software. As employees make booking requests, facilities teams can access data on how different spaces and assets are being used.

For example, Wifi APs or sensors can give you data on how many people are in an area and Kadence can offer hyperlocal desk occupancy data. Analyzing this data helps pinpoint which desks and spaces employees use most – extremely valuable knowledge to ensure the reconfigured offices meet employees’ needs.

Supporting social distancing at work

With social distancing policy in mind, many organizations will need to rethink their office layout and desk planning. By integrating your IWMS systems with Kadence, facilities teams can set social distancing and density rules to manage which desks are made available for employees to use.

Kadence’s hyperlocal occupancy data and floor plan view offers real-time desk hoteling reservation and occupancy data to help monitor and enforce social distancing. Touchless check-in with the workplace app also supports contact tracing through user authentication, which records who was using a given desk and who was sitting next to them.

By integrating Kadence’s desk scheduling software with your workplace management system, desks can be freed up for maximum availability. Workflows can also be customized to notify relevant teams and service providers such as cleaners, HR or facilities so that organizations can efficiently manage their workspaces with peace of mind.

Providing clean and safe desks is now a critical requirement for every organization that wants to welcome its employees back to the workplace. The right technology for desk hoteling that reduces touchpoints and is visually intuitive can make a big difference.

Whatever strategy you adopt, if you’d like a chat with one of our team about how desk hoteling software helps you get your workplace ready for the new era of work, why not pick a time in our calendar to suit you?

Touchless traffic light solution for desks gives employees confidence to get back to work safely

Kadence for Desks is the new touchless desk management solution, with traffic light style indicator, that gives employees visual confidence to use flexible unassigned desks post-covid.

San Francisco and London, September 17, 2020 Kadence, the leading provider of cloud-connected smart wireless charging technology, has launched Kadence for Desks. It includes a wireless charging LightRing visual indicator that shows employees which desks are clean and available for use. The traffic light visual, combined with touchless check-in and convenient wireless power provides an improved safe and frictionless desk experience, with space utilization data insights to help optimize flexible working strategies.

At the end of 2019, over 73% of workplaces globally were rolling out flexible working strategies to enable more efficient use of real estate. Now, in the midst of COVID-19 when employees are predicted to visit the workplace less regularly, there is even more pressure on the real estate footprint. Flexible working is becoming even more of a necessity for a safe return to the workplace. However assigning, managing and cleaning hundreds, if not thousands, of desks across multiple office locations is a challenge for even the most agile organisations.

“It is now clear that hybrid working is here to stay and Covid has rapidly accelerated how organizations best utilize their real estate. Kadence for Desks means organizations are empowered to overcome the challenges around reducing touchpoints, clear communication to employees and optimizing space utilization. As more mobile and flexible ways of working become the norm, Kadence provides organizations with a crucial tool for a safe, confident and efficient return to the workplace.”

Dan Bladen, Co-founder and CEO at Kadence.

Kadence for Desks means that flexible desk policies such as hoteling and hot-desking can be implemented with confidence. The Kadence wireless charging LightRing uses the internationally known traffic light colours to clearly and intuitively show when a desk is safe to use. An employee knows green means clean and places their smartphone on the LightRing to enable a safe, touchless desk reservation or check-in. When a reservation ends the LightRing turns red, making it clear that the desk should not be used. Janitorial staff are instantly notified and when cleaning is complete they use the Kadence RFID keyfob to change the desk status to green, making the desk available for use again.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise who include Kadence for Desks in their portfolio of solutions to help customers with a safe return to the workplace stated:

“Kadence for Desks enables workplace leaders to provide a safe return to the office by setting social distancing policies and density rules, whilst providing clear visual communication on when desks are safe to use. This combined with a safe, touchless interaction with shared resources, and useful occupancy data insights, is a winning combination for a post-Covid workplace strategy.”

Christopher Riddles, Global IoT Workplace and Building Services Lead, HPE Pointnext Services at Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Kadence for Desks
is available now, with the Kadence LightRing becoming available in Q4 2020. Kadence for Desks completes a full end to end desk management solution when integrated with your favourite desk scheduling software. Get in touch with our team to find out more.