September 30th, 2020


Return-to-Work Starter Kit

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In today’s COVID-conscious environment, a desk booking app is considered an essential return-to-work technology.

A desk booking app solves several workplace management challenges. First, it allows employees to choose where to work so they can collaborate with their colleagues at a safe distance. Because they’re using their phone for desk booking, it’s as sanitary as any touchless technology.

A desk reservation system also makes it easier for workplace leaders to monitor space utilization, make adjustments as needed, and keep shared workspaces clean.

Here’s a closer look at why a desk booking app is more important than ever and how to find the best one.

Why does your workplace need a desk booking app?

In short, it’s what your employees will expect when they return to work.

In a recent Gensler survey, 52% of employees said they expected to see a greater distance between workspaces. Some workplaces will try to accomplish this by reconfiguring their office designs.

Others will use flexible workplace strategies like hot desk booking to allow employees to choose where they sit.

However, nearly one in five survey respondents said they wanted their employer to eliminate hot desking entirely.


Hot desking is a less formal version of desk booking, allowing employees to grab any desk on a first-come, first-served basis. With hot desking, it can be more difficult to find an available workspace. It’s also impossible to see which desks have been used and when they were last cleaned. Desk booking, or office hoteling, is hot desking’s more attractive cousin with better hygiene.

What are the benefits of desk booking?

Desk booking offers many advantages for both your employees and your leadership team. If you’re encountering resistance to the idea, here are a few quick reasons to say “yes” to desk booking.

Greater flexibility

Long before the pandemic, employees have been asking for more flexibility to choose when, where, and how they work. That’s more true today than ever before. In a recent survey by The Adecco Group, 77% of employees expressed this sentiment about returning to work. A Gallup poll conducted prior to the pandemic even found 37% of employees would be willing to leave their current job to work in a more flexible office environment.

Desk booking allows employees to reserve any space before coming into the office or upon arrival. This gives them the freedom to work remotely a few days a week and come to the office when they need to — for instance, to work on a big project with their colleagues, or find a quiet place to work where they won’t be interrupted by the chaos of their household. When they need to collaborate, they can easily find a place near their colleagues.

Cost savings

From a management perspective, one of the biggest benefits of desk booking is the ability to reduce real estate costs. Desk booking increases the ratio of employees to desks, allowing you to accommodate more people with fewer dedicated workspaces. In CBRE’s 2020 Global Occupier Sentiment Survey, 73% of senior real estate executives said flexible office space will be a part of their long-term real estate strategy.

Easier resource scheduling

Desk booking frees up office resources. When Sun Microsystems deployed desk hoteling at their office in Santa Clara, California, they learned that at least half of their employees were working off-site or at home the majority of the time. The workplace leadership soon figured out that roughly half of their dedicated desks could be made available to the rest of the staff and visiting employees.

Using desk booking software that includes a desk booking app also makes it easier for employees to find what they need without bothering someone else.

Easier cleaning

Assigned desks can become magnets for clutter. Employees tend to use them as a place to keep a pile of jackets, blankets, snacks, and other personal items, which makes it harder to keep these spaces clean.

A desk booking system democratizes your workspaces and gives employees more incentive to keep them clean because they could potentially use any desk.

Ability to plan ahead

Having real-time data on which desks are being used at any given time and the ability to see trends over time makes it easier for your executive team to plan for future real estate needs.

What should you look for in a desk booking app?

If your workplace is new to desk hoteling or you’re switching from hot desking to a more formal desk reservation system, you want to make sure you choose the right technology. The best desk booking apps are easy to use, yet robust enough to give you data that helps you plan ahead. Here are four key features to look for.

Intuitive user experience

Look for a desk booking app that allows employees to easily find available workspaces on a map of your floor plan and reserve them in seconds. The reservation should appear on the Outlook, Microsoft 365, or Google calendars they already use.

Enables conference room scheduling

The average employee has three meetings during a typical day. In addition to needing a quiet place to work, they also need access to an available room. Many workplaces use meeting room scheduling displays, but if an employee is planning out their day or their week from home, it’s easier to use the same app to book everything. That’s why your desk booking app should also enable conference room scheduling.

Integrates with sensors

A workspace may appear to be reserved in your desk reservation system, but in reality, it’s sitting empty. While enabling check-in can significantly reduce these “ghost” reservations, sensors offer the most up-to-date information on which spaces are actually being used. This also gives you the most accurate space utilization data when it’s time to clean or sanitize them.

Desk utilization data

The desk booking app you choose should be backed by a robust software system that gives you valuable insights into which spaces are booked most often, the average length of booking time, and which days of the week have the highest demand for desks.

This helps your executive team plan ahead.

Bring employees back - Teem Blog


How to use the Teem mobile app for desk booking

With the Teem mobile app, employees can easily reserve rooms or book desks in a few simple steps:

  1. Search for a room or desk by availability, proximity, or capacity.
  2. Select the length of time.
  3. Check in upon arrival.

If an employee does not check in after a certain period of time, the desk or room will become available again.

With the Teem mobile app, you can also send important announcements to keep your workforce safe — such as reminding them when the office is closed for the day.

Giving your employees an easy option for room or desk booking is an important part of facilitating a smooth transition back to the workplace.

With our new Return-to-Work Starter Kit, you can implement visitor management, room and desk booking and the Teem mobile app within a day.

Bring employees back to work safely, sooner while restoring confidence. Get the starter kit today.



Teem by iOFFICE provides enterprises with space scheduling and management, workplace analytics, building, and campus wayfinding, and visitor management to help cultivate workplaces that fuel productivity, efficiency, and creativity.

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