Episode 1: A Hybrid Office
How to guarantee my team collaborates easily and efficiently in a hybrid work context? A real headache that is driving most office leaders away from adopting hybrid work. Not just office leaders, remote and non-remote employees have their doubts and questions, too.
- For remote workers: How to schedule a meeting with my co-workers? How to make sure I will never miss a meeting? Can I book meeting spaces or desks in advance?
- For in-office workers: Can I find my remote colleague when I need to speak to him face-to-face? Will team collaboration still run smoothly?
- For office administrators: How to maintain space utilization in my hybrid office? What to do with important guests visiting my office?
All good questions.
Clearly, we need more efficient tools to better embrace hybrid work than just pens and spreadsheets. An efficient workplace management solution is truly a game-changer. It usually contains three parts – a meeting room booking system, a desk booking system, and a visitor management system. Each plays a vital role in ensuring a well-functioning hybrid office.
Let’s now dive in and see how it resolves the questions and clears up the doubts one by one for the entire office.
For remote workers:
How to schedule a meeting with my co-workers?
The meeting room booking system is one of the vital components of a workplace management solution. Thanks to the meeting room booking system, every meeting reservation of your company will be displayed on the same platform in a grid view and updated in real-time.
To elevate your game, opt for a workplace management platform that supports integration with Outlook and Google Calendar, so the schedule will be synced two ways. This way, remote workers can book a meeting space remotely on the company’s meeting room booking system (web portal & mobile app) or their calendar of choice. So no more switching back and forth between platforms.
As the schedule is constantly syncing in real-time, they can rest assured that the space they reserved won’t be double-booked.
How to make sure I will never miss a meeting?
Prompt notifications help to keep remote workers in the loop and ensure they never miss anything vital. The meeting room booking system will automatically send meeting invitations (with date and location included) and check-in reminders (10 or 15 minutes before the meeting starts) via email. Should there be any schedule change, the meeting room booking system will also send out notifications as soon as the change is made.
The whole process is fully automated and doesn’t need any human intervention, which not only benefits remote workers but also helps increase operational efficiency.
Can I book a meeting space or desk before I come into the office?
For remote workers who only come into the office a few days a week, all they want, more than anything else, is to feel assured that today’s trip to the office will run smoothly, and they don’t have to walk around and waste time searching for available spaces (meeting rooms & desks) one by one.
Above we discussed how a meeting room booking system can help remote workers secure meeting spaces to meet co-workers and schedule meetings, and with the schedule syncing in real-time, remote workers can easily book a room in advance. But what about desks and seats? In fact, the desk booking system is another indispensable part of an efficient workplace management solution. It enables flexible seating arrangements and presents all the seating options (where to sit, whom to sit next to, etc.) in your company clearly. Employees (especially those who work off-site) can find and book a desk that suits their needs within seconds.
To conclude, meeting room booking system and desk booking system combined put employees in control of their schedules, so they can make reservations in advance and plan ahead.
For In-office Workers:
Can I find my remote colleague when I need to speak to him face-to-face?
The desk booking system has a feature called office map. For office administrators, it’s a digital version of the office floor plan, and they can refer to it to manage the office facility and monitor occupancy. As regards remote and non-remote employees, the office map acts as a seating chart, on which they can book an empty desk, and most importantly, find a colleague.
Therefore, if in-office workers want to meet their remote colleagues face to face, they can refer to the office map, locate the co-worker they want to meet, and go straight to his/her desk, or book a desk next to him and meet tomorrow. The same method applies to remote workers who want to have an in-person discussion with the team when they stop by the office.
The desk booking system enables flexible seating arrangements and makes remote and non-remote workers always reachable and accessible to each other in a hybrid work context.
Will team collaboration still run smoothly?
To clear up the doubt over team collaboration and give in-office workers confidence, go for a workplace management solution that features Microsoft Teams integration. It ensures seamless collaboration among your hybrid workforce and will bring tons of benefits to your hybrid office.
To begin with, the meeting schedule will be synced in real-time, too, which means both remote and in-office employees can book a meeting space on Teams. Next, a Teams meeting link will be generated along with every meeting reservation. Copy the link, share it through chats, and invite remote workers to join the meeting.
So, to conclude, in-office employees can refer to the meeting notification and go to the right room, while remote workers can also join easily by clicking the Teams meeting link received via chats.
For Office Administrators:
How to maintain space utilization in my hybrid office?
With most of the employees working remotely, it’s understandable that office administrators want to make sure the office resources are not sitting idle, and in order to do that, they must find a way to eliminate ghost reservations (meeting rooms & desks both).
Consider a workplace management solution that includes hardware, like smart sensors and digital signage. If a room is booked and yet no one shows up, the People Counting Sensor will free up the room automatically and then the room will be available again for the next reservation.
Since the People Counting Sensor and Room Display collaborate seamlessly with the meeting room booking system, the room status will be synced three ways, which significantly improves space utilization for your hybrid office.
Another perk of installing smart sensors in your office is that they help you better understand your workspace and determine whether or not to scale down. On a weekly/monthly basis, office managers can take a closer look at the Analytics and Reports generated by the workplace management system. With informative insights such as Meeting Density, Room Utilization Rate, etc., office managers can easily see whether the spaces are being used to the fullest and better adapt their office to hybrid work and flexible seating arrangements.
What to do with important guests visiting my office?
In a hybrid work context, how to make sure guests visiting your company will always be well-received and picked up by the right person? Consider equipping your office with a visitor management system, which is also the last (but not least) part of an efficient workplace management solution this article discusses.
Here is how it works. Invite an external guest as you reserve a meeting on the meeting room booking system. At the same time, your guest will receive an email invitation and pre-register personal information. Upon arrival, the guest checks in by scanning the QR code at the reception desk. As the host, you will receive a notification immediately letting you know the guest has arrived and you can go pick him/her up.
As you can see, the whole process is end-to-end, connecting the host (internal employees) and the guest seamless. Wow your visitors and important guests with this fast and contactless experience. Even if your receptionist is not at the office today, they will be well-received and warmly welcomed.
Empower Your Hybrid Office Today
Hybrid offices demand an efficient workplace management tool to make sure things run smoothly. If you’re just dabbling with the trend, meeting room booking systems is a good way to start. Yeastar Workplace’s Meeting Room Booking System is composed of a cloud-based platform, room displays, and smart sensors to help businesses and organizations streamline space allocation and save in-person collaboration from unnecessary scheduling conflicts.
In the coming months, a Desk Booking System and a Visitor Management System will be incorporated into Yeastar Workplace, which will transform it into a one-stop workplace management solution, ready to empower your hybrid office and make team collaboration a breeze!
Start a free trial today to experience everything for yourself.