The pandemic has transformed the way we work, and hybrid schedules are here to stay. To make the most out of office floor plans, hot desk booking software has risen to the occasion. Hot desks (a.k.a. first-come-first-served desk reservations) allow employees to access unused workstations in a pinch. The distinction for desk hoteling is reservations for workspaces are submitted in advance.
Hot desk booking software describes one element of a new wave of space utilization tools. These systems also allow users to reserve other items like meeting rooms, equipment, or parking spaces. Beyond that, they provide management teams with detailed analytics, to uncover workspace trends.
In this article, I'll review the 10 best hot desking software and their related space management functions. I'll highlight their core features, as well as elements that make them unique.
Wondering what I look for when selecting the best hot desk booking software for this list? Here’s a shortlist of the selection criteria I used to determine my top picks:
- User Interface (UI): I chose software with clean, colourful, and visually attractive user interfaces that make the booking process enjoyable.
- Usability: I selected software that’s simple and straightforward to use, with clear menus and navigation for processes and preferences.
- Integrations: To maximize productivity, I picked systems that integrate with commonly used office programs like email systems and calendars, to create a seamless experience and keep information organized.
- Price: I appreciate software with transparent pricing models and the ability to scale up to add more bookable spaces easily. Since some systems have modular designs, pricing details are not always readily available as prices are customized based on the specific modules needed.
Hot desk booking software is straightforward by design, to ensure the booking process is simple. Here’s a summary of the key features you can expect from the best hot desk booking software:
- Self-service bookings: The ability for employees to make bookings themselves, rather than bottlenecking requests through administrators or managers.
- Mobile device accessibility: This is an essential feature, as it allows users to book from anywhere, anytime, while also enabling touchless check-ins via mobile devices.
- Detail-rich floor plans: Users should be able to visually locate the workspace they want to book from an accurate, and often interactive map. Some platforms even include wayfinding features that help users orient themselves within the workspace.
- Flexible booking types: Every workspace is unique with different types of work areas. The best platforms offer flexible booking types (e.g., for desks, conference rooms, parking stalls, and equipment) as well as flexible booking arrangements (e.g., hourly, all-day, multiple days, etc.).
- Team zones or neighbourhoods: This feature creates designated areas for specific teams or departments, ensuring better team collaboration while in the office. This feature can also be used to create designated quiet zones too.
- Search tools to find colleagues: To further enhance productivity and collaboration, hot desk booking systems allow users to search for other employees to find out when they’re going to be in the office, and where they’ll be sitting.
- Health & safety features: This category includes a whole host of features such as built-in health screening questionnaires, occupancy limits, social distancing parameters, data to assist with contract tracing, and automations that flag desks for sanitization in between users.
- Usage metrics: The best systems keep track of usage data to support higher-level workspace analysis processes. This helps management teams quantify the cost of unused space and understand where they can further optimize or reduce their floor space.
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Overviews of the 10 Best Hot Desk Booking Software
Here’s a brief description of each hot desk booking software that showcases each system’s best use case, plus some noteworthy features, and screenshots to give you a snapshot of their user interface.
deskbird is a flexible and easy-to-use desk booking solution that your employees can access from anywhere. In just two clicks, you can easily reserve a desk, meeting room, parking spot, or any other resource. For ease of use, you can make bookings through multiple methods, including their web platform, their mobile app, or directly through Microsoft Teams, or Slack. Their software also includes Outlook and Google calendar integrations, you can avoid scheduling conflicts and get real-time analytics.
Other key features in their desk booking tool include health policy reviews prior to checking in, check-ins via QR codes, and incognito bookings if you want your trip to the office to stay anonymous. Platform administrators also have the ability to monitor space utilization metrics, dedicate zones to particular teams, and restrict access to key areas as needed.
deskbird integrates directly with calendar programs, communication tools and active directory systems. They also have a mobile app for Android and iOS mobile devices.
Pricing for deskbird’s workspace booking tool starts at $2.25/user/month. They also offer a 14-day free trial with no credit card or other strings attached.
Deskfound is a Slack-based space management software tailored for a hybrid workforce. It allows employees to find the appropriate workspace, view floor plans, and book desk reservations from an easy-to-use, centralized platform or their existing Slack program.
The cloud-based software enables supervisors to strategically assign desks to different employees, evaluate seating arrangements, and manage available workspace for a designated number of days or even weeks. It allows employees to manage work desks across multiple locations, view workspace status, availability, and schedule reservations for dedicated and temporary desks in offices. Users can view desks by area, book permanent or hybrid seats, and update reservations by simply using the built-in drag-and-drop user interface.
In addition, the software enables users to easily track each team’s location, configure user access rights, set up the software’s contact tracing functionality, and manage other critical tasks within a unified system. Apart from Slack, the platform supports seamless integration with other third-party applications, including Google Maps. Users can use QR codes to scan desk labels and ensure the visibility of seating arrangements and locations.
Pricing starts from $1.00 per user/month. A free trial is available for the first 10 users.
Skedda’s customized booking system allows you to control the usage of all your corporate spaces including desks, meeting rooms, studios, labs, or anything else you want to make reservable. Their system is designed to remove the hassle of manually managing spaces by automating the process and enabling self-service bookings. This means you only have to set up your bookable items and automated user rules once. After that, your staff will be able to help themselves.
Their floorplan maps are interactive, making it easy to view and make bookings directly from the map interface. Included in the floor plan is a time-of-day range-slider, so users can determine exactly when their favourite spot will be available again. Users can also make reservations through their booking calendar, which allows platform admins to review bookings using day, month, grid (all listings) or list (per space or user) views. For pay-per-use venues, the platform also makes it easy to collect payments from users during their initial booking, which is saved for convenient reuse.
To ensure easy access, Skedda has full-featured native apps for Android and iOS devices that works for users, as well as owners and administrators. The system also integrates with other commonly used calendar programs such as Google Calendar, Microsoft Outlook (and Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 to generate meeting invites and video-conferencing links), iCloud, and with communication tools like Microsoft Teams, Slack, Trello, Basecamp, Mailchimp, and many others.
Pricing for Skedda starts at $7 USD per month. A 30-day free trial of their premium version is available, as well as a free demo. They also have a freemium version with limited features for up to 5 bookable spaces.
WorkInSync is a hybrid workplace scheduling solution with all the standard features you’d expect for a hot desk booking application, and more. The system helps managers stay on top of their hybrid employees by asking staff to fill out an Employee Preference Report once per week, indicating the days they would like to work from home or in the office.
When staff are ready to make a booking, they can browse the interactive booking platform to find seats near other team members, and search for workstations with special features, including cubicles with ergonomic chairs, or dual monitors. Within the same process, employees can also book parking spaces too. On the day of a booking request, the system automatically sends a health risk assessment questionnaire to ensure employees have no cold or flu symptoms before heading to the office.
The platform boasts several unique features that I haven’t seen in other systems. To improve productivity, their software has integrations with Google Assistant, Alexa and Siri so employees can reserve desk spaces during their drive to the office. Once they arrive, the platform’s Mask Detector feature asks employees to confirm they’re wearing a face mask by uploading a selfie of them wearing it. After that, the next step is a temperature check using WorkInSync’s digital thermal hand scanner, which checks and records employee temperatures to ensure no fevers are developing. QR code scans also work in tandem with their Contactless Access Management module and Digi-Pass, ensuring contactless check-in for booked desks or meeting spaces.
WorkInSync integrates with Microsoft Teams, Slack, Google Assistant, Microsoft Outlook, G-Suite Calendars, Microsoft ADFS, Okta, One Login, Honeywell EBI, and Siri.
Pricing for WorkInSync starts at $2.50 USD/user/month. A free plan is also available for organizations with less than 50 employees. A free demo can also be requested via their website.
Robin’s sophisticated desk booking system aims to empower employees, while giving management teams the tools they need to manage safety, security and space utilization effectively. Thanks to their real-time analytics, users always know how many desks are assigned, hot, hoteled or flexible at any given moment. Bookings can also be made easily through their mobile app, desktop interface, or through kiosks placed at strategic locations around your office, like meeting rooms.
Their system includes useful functions to improve employee productivity, such as wayfinding features, and platform searchability, enabling employees to find co-workers quickly, rather than wasting time walking around. For meeting room scheduling, Robin has space utilization features to ensure a meeting room intended for up to 10 people isn’t booked by groups or 2 or 3. Check-in features also remove ghost meetings, meaning a room booking will be released if no one checks-in for the meeting within a set amount of time.
Robin integrates with Microsoft Office 365, BlueJeans, Exchange, Google Calendar, Slack, and Zoom.
Pricing for Robin starts at $1,500 USD/year for their Basic service level. A free 14-day trial and free demo can also be requested via their website.
Kadence is a full suite of easy-to-use hybrid working software designed to improve the coordination of people, space and time to help your teams work smarter. Their next-generation operating system for hybrid working was designed to unleash the potential of people, powering a more positive way of working.
Kadence’s intuitive user interface and interactive floor maps (web and mobile versions) help your employees find and book available desks in seconds. Their platform also includes analytics on desk bookings, occupancy, or wasted bookings, to help you get a better understanding of your office space utilization. Their system also includes an auto-release capability that eliminates no-shows and improves availability.
Another unique team collaboration function is their “Personal Kadence” profile feature that helps office managers and teams get a clear view of employee’s personal preferences, and generates a list of who’s booked to come into the office on any given day to help with efficient meeting coordination.
Kadence integrates fully with Microsoft Teams, Outlook and Google calendars so your teams can easily find, and book available spaces all within the tools they already use.
Pricing for Kadence starts at $4/user/month. They also offer a free demo.
Envoy’s hot desk booking system makes it easy to manage the desk booking process from end-to-end. Facility managers can control which spaces are bookable, permanently assigned, or unavailable to facilitate social distancing. Interactive workspace maps and neighborhood features are also included. Employees can reserve spaces through Envoy’s mobile app or web interface, or seat assignments can roll out automatically depending on each employee’s function or project team. In addition to their desk booking features, Envoy also has separate modules for visitor management, managing office deliveries, booking meeting rooms, and protective safety measures for staff.
Analytics are built right into the system to ensure space optimization. They also have a feature called ‘unused desk protection’ which allows employees to free up their desk space if they no longer need it so space is never wasted. For employees using the hot desking feature, the system will ask them to complete a health questionnaire before allowing them to make a booking. For longer term arrangements, employees can reserve the same desk for multiple days or weeks in advance, or request a permanent desk assignment.
Envoy integrates with 85+ common software applications including access control platforms like braXos, Genetec, Honeywell and Proxy, communication platforms like Cisco Webex, CXApp, Google Chat, Microsoft Teams, Ring Central, Workplace by Facebook, Zoom and many others.
Pricing for Envoy Desks starts at $3 USD/desk/month, sold in packs of 25 desks. A freemium version with limited features is also available for up to 25 active desks.
Used in over 85 countries by 10,000+ organizations, SpaceIQ has three distinct workplace efficiency tools that address space management and space accounting:
- SiQ - a streamlined workplace management and hoteling software for companies of any size that want to get started quickly
- Archibus - an integrated workplace management system (IWMS) that organizes spaces, assets and facilities, which can be customized or run out-of-the-box
- Serraview - an enterprise-level workplace management system for desk hoteling, with detailed analytics for companies with complex structures or needs
All combined, their products offer a full range of agile workplace functions like hot desking, hoteling, desk neighbourhoods, ratio seating, space inventory and layouts, workplace occupancy and vacancy management tools, and the ability to host plans for multiple office spaces easily. Their systems also help operations teams plan for new staff and relocate equipment easily with intuitive suggestions, next steps and notifications. Accounting teams will also appreciate the platform’s ability to allocate the cost of team spaces either by square footage or personnel.
SpaceIQ also has a Wayfinder Portal that makes it easy for staff to orient themselves in the space using interactive, easy-to-read maps with color-coding and distinctive shapes. As well, photos of workspaces can be uploaded to help users visually confirm they are in the right spot. Their maps also identify the locations of useful items like printers, washrooms, cafeterias, stairs, first aid stations, sanitizing equipment, and anything else worth flagging.
SpaceIQ products integrate with Google Drive, Namely, PeopleHR, Slack, Losant, and with common calendar programs like Google Calendar, Microsoft Exchange Calendar, and Office 365 Calendar. Their system also supports single sign-on, secure file transfer protocol (SFTP) data transfers, and other customizations through their open API.
Pricing details for SpaceIQ products are not readily available, but a free demo can be requested via their website.
OfficeSpace’s software supports hot desking, desk hoteling, free addressing (sensor activated check-ins), activity-based working, and booking neighbourhoods to keep team members closer together. Their user-friendly system works from all manner of devices and supports bookings via mobile app, touchscreen kiosk, desktop computers, or even from within Slack or Microsoft Teams. To help limit surface sharing, a touchless check-in feature is also included in their mobile app too.
The platform’s data analytics also aim to help with future demand forecasting by giving administrators access to usage and adoption data in their Insights Hub. Within the data dashboard you can identify seating preferences, track trends, and see which workstations go unused. This valuable data is intended to improve the flexibility of your hybrid workspace arrangements by optimizing how your desks are configured and used.
Beyond that, OfficeSpace also includes tools for scenario planning to experiment with different layout changes. To dive even deeper into your data, their portfolio reports combine your lease information with your usage data to form real estate reports that show you where your budget is going to waste, allowing you to address those issues head on.
OfficeSpace integrates with 35+ commonly used applications including Active Directory, ADP, LDAP, OneLogin, Oracle, PeopleSoft,
Pricing details for OfficeSpace are not readily available, but a free demo can be requested via their website.
Hybrid workforces will appreciate the flexibility of Condeco’s system, which allows for different types of desk booking. Fixed workspaces are permanently assigned to an employee, but can be used and booked by others if the main assignee is away. Flexible workspaces can be assigned to one or more regular users, but reassigned if those employees don’t check in on the given day. And lastly, bookable workspaces have no regular users and can be reserved by anyone at any time.
Condeco supports self-service user bookings through their web tool, their mobile app, or through Microsoft Outlook. Users can browse their visual floor plan for the space they want, and book it immediately through the map view. Users can even reserve parking spaces - a very handy feature.
Condeco also includes some helpful teamwork and collaboration features. Users can search for other co-workers who are in the office, or set their own status as active so other colleagues can find them. For large organizations with sub-departments, Condeco can delineate zones by setting up ‘neighbourhoods’ where spaces can only be booked by members of a designated group, to keep team members together.
Condeco has integrations with 15+ software programs including Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Teams, Zoom Rooms, and others. They also have an API to support additional customized integrations.
Pricing for Condeco starts at $35/user/year. You can also request a free demo via their website.
Need expert help selecting the right Reservations & Online Bookings Software?
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Best Desk Booking Software Summary
Easy-to-use desk booking software, fully integrated with Microsoft Teams, Outlook and Google
14-day free trial
|From $2.25/user/month||Visit Website|
Free trial for the first 10 users.
|$1 per user/month.||Visit Website|
30-day free trial
|From $7/month||Visit Website|
Request a free demo
|From $2.50 USD/user/month||Visit Website|
14-day free trial
|From $1,500 USD/year for their Basic service level||Visit Website|
Free demo available
|From $4/user/month||Visit Website|
Straightforward hot desk booking tool with linked health questionnaire and modular configuration
Freemium version with limited features
|From $3 USD/desk/month||Visit Website|
Request a free demo
|Pricing upon request||Visit Website|
|Pricing upon request||Visit Website|
Free demo available
|From $35/user/year||Visit Website|
Other Hot Desk Booking Options
Here are a few more options that didn’t make the best hot desk booking software list:
Affordable, feature rich, and easy-to-use desk and room booking software for hybrid working
Multilingual hot desk booking software with built-in tool to help companies achieve net zero emissions
Intuitive desk and room booking software with a full workplace software suite
Best desk booking tool for hybrid teams that use Slack
Well-designed, intuitive, hot desk booking solution with hybrid collaboration and safety features.
Best office space management software for hybrid teams
Desk and meeting room booking software designed to help hybrid teams coordinate in-office schedules
3-in-1 hybrid workplace reservation tool for booking hot desks, parking spots, and meeting rooms
Hot desk and desk hoteling software with touchless mobile bookings and flags for desk sanitization in between users.
Scalable space management system with AI-powered automatic assignments, actionable to-do lists customized per location, and other plug-and-play features.
Just How Common Is Hybrid Working?
As the global pandemic continues its ebb and flow, hybrid working has risen as the go-to workplace model of the times. Wondering just how common it is? Here are some interesting stats from recent research published in 2022:
- 80% of survey respondents expect to work from home a minimum of 3 times per week
- 63% of high-growth businesses are already using hybrid work models
- 66% of executives report considering reorganizing their office spaces to accommodate hybrid work
With that many employees shifting between home and office work locations, it makes sense to invest in technology that organizes the process and captures useful data at the same time.
I hope this article highlighted the value of using hot desk booking software to streamline space management in your workspace. If you need something that goes beyond just desks, take a look at our list of the best office space management software systems too.
If you’re looking for more details to support your workforce planning efforts, I recommend reading our article on best practices for workforce planning.
Are you specifically interested in workforce management software? Here’s our summary of the best workforce management tools to help you tackle other common issues too.
Still craving even more workforce data? This article summarizing the best HR analytics software for actionable workforce data may just do the trick.
Lastly, before you go, I’d love it if you took a moment to subscribe to our People Managing People newsletter. By subscribing, you’ll gain access to the latest articles covering a whole range of workforce management-related topics.
Related Read: Difference Between Hoteling Vs Hot Desking
Need Expert Help Finding The Right Human Resource Software?
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It takes just a minute to submit your requirements and they will give you a call at no cost or commitment. You’ll get custom product shortlists covering the top solutions that best fit your specific needs from their team of software experts (via phone or email) and they can even connect you to your choice of the selected vendors. To get started, please submit the form below: