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There are so many different hot desk booking software that making a shortlist of the best can be tricky. You want to allow employees to reserve and manage workspace in an office on an as-needed basis, optimizing space utilization and flexibility—and now need the right tool for your company and team. In this post, I share from my personal experience as an HR administrator using many different hot desk booking platforms with teams of all sizes, and outline my picks for the best hot desk booking software overall.

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How to Choose Hot Desk Booking Software

Hot desk booking software can help you manage your office space more effectively, providing a smoother and better experience for your hybrid employees. To help you figure out which hot desk booking software best fits your needs, you need to pinpoint your key users and document their specific challenges first.

As you work through your own unique software selection process, keep the following points in mind:

  • What problem are you trying to solve - Start by identifying the challenges you're trying to overcome. This will help you clarify the features and functionality the hot desk booking software needs to provide.
  • Who will need to use it - To evaluate cost and requirements, consider who will be using the software and how many licenses you'll need. In the case of hot desk booking software, you'll probably want access for your entire workforce, with special access for your HR administrators and other support staff. Once that's clear, it's also useful to rank the needs of your different users to identify the key priorities for your power users, managers, and employees, to ensure they're all met.
  • What other tools it needs to work with - Clarify what tools you're replacing, what tools are staying, and the tools you'll need to integrate with, such as digital calendars, internal communication like Slack or Microsoft Teams, or your HR management system.
  • What outcomes are important - Review the capabilities you want to gain or improve, and how you will be measuring success. For example, you may want to entice your hybrid employees to return to the office more frequently, replace your current clunky desk booking system, or make better use of your floor space so you can reduce (or sublet) unused physical space. You could compare hot desk booking software systems until you’re blue in the face but if you aren’t thinking about the outcomes you want to achieve, you could waste a lot of time.
  • How it would work within your organization - Consider the software selection alongside your existing workflows and systems. Evaluate what's working well, and the areas that are causing issues that need to be addressed.

Remember every business is different — don’t assume that a hot desk booking system will work for your organization just because it's popular.

Best Hot Desk Booking Software Reviews

Below are my detailed descriptions of each hot desk booking software solution that landed a place in my top 10 shortlist. I’ve highlighted each system’s key features and explained why I included them in this list.

Any one of these systems could help you optimize the use of your office space and create a safe and productive work environment for your employees. Plus, there are 30 more desk booking systems below if you’d like additional choices to consider.

1

OfficeSpace

Best hot desking solution for advanced desk allocation usage data & analytics

This is an aggregated rating for this tool including ratings from Crozdesk users and ratings from other sites.
4.7
99 reviews

Free demo available

Pricing upon request

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.

Why I picked OfficeSpace: 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.

OfficeSpace Features and Integrations:

OfficeSpace 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.

Integrations are available 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.

2

Skedda

Best hot desk booking platform with an interactive floor plan and full mobile access

This is an aggregated rating for this tool including ratings from Crozdesk users and ratings from other sites.
4.7
53 reviews

30-day free trial

From $99/month

Skedda’s customized booking system allows you to control the allocation of all your corporate spaces including desks, meeting rooms, studios, labs, or anything else you want to make reservable.

Why I picked Skedda: 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 and permissions once. After that, your staff will be able to help themselves.

To ensure easy access, Skedda also has full-featured native apps for Android and iOS devices that work for users, as well as owners and administrators.

Skedda Features and Integrations:

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.

Integrations are available with commonly used calendar programs such as iCloud, Google Calendar, Microsoft Outlook (and Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 to generate meeting invites and video-conferencing links), and with communication tools like Microsoft Teams, Slack, Trello, Basecamp, Mailchimp, and many others. 

Pricing for Skedda starts at $7 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.

3

Clearooms

Best for QR code check-in/out

This is an aggregated rating for this tool including ratings from Crozdesk users and ratings from other sites.
4.8
2 reviews

Free trial available

From $30 /month (1-5 desks)

Clearooms is a desk booking platform designed to cater to the needs of businesses seeking flexible and efficient management of workspace resources. It stands out for its scalability, providing solutions that can adapt to both small and large organizations, which positions it as a suitable choice for companies aiming to implement scalable hybrid desk booking systems.

Why I Picked Clearooms: I selected Clearooms for this list after evaluating its advanced features and user-friendly interface, which are crucial for managing large-scale desk bookings effectively. What distinguishes Clearooms is its ability to integrate with existing office management systems and provide real-time updates on desk availability, along with customizable booking options that cater to various user preferences. Clearooms provides a room and desk booking system that enables users to reserve office spaces with a visual layout for easy selection. The platform offers a 'Schedule in a Snap' feature for quick booking, is scalable to suit various business sizes, and facilitates easy onboarding.

Clearooms Standout Features and Integrations

Clearooms stands out with its interactive floor plans feature, allowing users to visually navigate and select their desired workspace within an office layout. This visually intuitive approach not only simplifies the booking process but also helps in managing physical distancing requirements by providing a clear view of desk locations and their availability in real-time, enhancing user experience and safety.

Another unique feature is the use of QR codes for desk check-in and check-out. This enables a contactless, efficient process for users to access their reserved workspaces. By simply scanning a QR code, users can quickly check into their desk.

Integrations include Google Calendar and Microsoft Outlook.

4

Smartway2

Best hot desk solution for flexible integrations and a positive employee experience

This is an aggregated rating for this tool including ratings from Crozdesk users and ratings from other sites.
4.2
6 reviews

Free demo available

Pricing upon request

Smartway2 is an intelligent workplace scheduling tool that makes hybrid working effortless. Users can book everything from hot desks, conference rooms, parking spots, or other equipment to enhance their productivity while venturing back to the office.

Why I picked Smartway2: Their mobile “book here and now” feature supports bookings on the fly, or users can book in advance using their calendar feature on mobile or on desktop. As well, their Outlook integration allows you to book a room through your Outlook Calendar, while simultaneously checking whether your colleagues will be in the office and what their availability is for an in-person meeting.

Smartway2 Features and Integrations:

Modern hybrid work challenges are well-integrated into Smartway2’s workplace scheduling tool. Their powerful rules engine behind their hot desk booking solution can be easily configured to allow for social distancing between booked spaces, manage how many occupants can book spaces at the same time, and incorporates time for sanitation services in-between hot desk bookings if required. It also allows for localization of hybrid working policies, which is particularly useful for large muti-nationals with offices in multiple countries hosting thousands of employees.

Another useful feature is their Smart Desk Recovery tool, which scours the systems for any no-shows and releases unused bookings, increasing desk availability for employees and facilitating a better use of space in the office. Room panels can also be installed in meeting rooms or other common spaces so people can quickly make a booking, or check-in for an existing meeting using swipe cards, mobile device activation, or facial recognition.

Integrations are available with Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft Outlook, as well as Office 365.

Pricing details for Smartway2's hot desk booking solution are only available upon request. A free demo can also be requested via their website.

5

Ofisly

Best flexible booking platform for easy customer onboarding for office managers

14-day free trial

From $1.40/user/month (billed annually)

Ofisly is a hot desk booking and office management tool that offers a range of features to assist office managers in streamlining workspace operations and enhancing managerial efficiency. It provides a system for employees to book desks, parking spaces, and shared cars, as well as to organize carpools.

Why I picked Ofisly: Ofisly allows for flexible booking options, enabling users to select desks based on specific attributes and manage their reservations through a user-friendly interface. It incorporates the use of QR codes to facilitate easy tracking of desk usage and provides an overview of office occupancy, which can help in reducing operational costs. The tool also supports hybrid work models by offering a scheduler for attendance and providing data on office utilization.

One detail that sets Ofisly apart from competitors is the ease of its customer onboarding process. Ofisly eliminates the need for time-consuming sales calls, allowing companies to independently onboard and start using the platform promptly.

Ofisly Features and Integrations:

In addition to desk booking, Ofisly can also help users book parking spaces, which helps manage limited parking resources and ensures fair access for all employees, as well as company cars, which includes a logbook for tracking car usage. Ofisly also facilitates carpooling arrangements among employees, which can reduce commuting costs and environmental impact.

Ofisly also features a package register for logging deliveries and parcels, incident reports, office notices, which can be used to communicate important information to all employees quickly and efficiently, a hybrid scheduler, which allows employees to schedule their in-office and remote work, and a guestbook where guests can easily check-in and provide necessary information on a tablet, while the system automatically notifies their hosts.

Integrations include Google Calendar, Microsoft Outlook, Google, Slack, and Microsoft.

Pricing starts from $1.40/user/month (billed annually). A 14-day free trial is also available.

6

Tactic

Best hot desk and meeting room booking software for coordinating in-office schedules

14-day free trial

From $2.50/desk/month

Tactic’s workplace experience software makes the office a more valuable piece of your company's hybrid work plan. This flexible platform provides a variety of tools that help bring your team together on their own terms.

Why I picked Tactic: With on-demand desk booking and meeting room reservations, team members can plan their preferred hybrid work schedule at the beginning of each week. Using the interactive office map, employees can see which days their team members will be in the office, allowing them to easily coordinate meetings and events, and facilitate in-person collaboration.

Tactic Features and Integrations:

Tactic's features are designed to ensure a safe working environment for all. Their system includes optional health check-ins for office visitors, capacity management tools, and detailed analytics to support contract tracing as needed. On top of all that, the system can also track the vaccination status of your workers—a modern requirement for certain industries.

And the safety features don't stop there. With Tactic's visitor management tools, you can provide guests with a delightful digital check-in process, allowing you to easily collect their information, photo, and necessary signatures. Tactic puts a heavy emphasis on their user experience to eliminate common technology frustrations.

Integrations are available with many popular scheduling and communication apps, such as Slack, Google Calendar, Microsoft Outlook, and Zoom. All features are also available through their Android and iOS apps.

Pricing for Tactic starts at $2.50/desk/month. All plans include a 14-day free trial, no credit card required.

7

Othership

Best hot desk booking platform for building a sense of community

This is an aggregated rating for this tool including ratings from Crozdesk users and ratings from other sites.
4.8
6 reviews

Free trial available

From $4/user/month

Othership provides a set of solutions for hybrid and remote working that promotes collaboration and connection. It helps coworkers connect and meet up on their own terms; at the office, in coworking spaces, or anywhere in the world.

Why I picked Othership: I included Othership in this list because their Workplace Scheduler tool is really focused on providing a positive experience for the end user. By matching people's skills and interests with office events and their place of work, Othership helps create regular points of collaboration between employees. It does this by sharing smart notifications to join colleagues to co-work based on these criteria, which can help increase your user adoption rates.

Othership's software also goes one step further beyond the expected functions of desk & meeting room bookings and visitor management. Through their adjacent platform, Othership on Demand, you can also buy or sell on-demand office space, allowing you to further monetize any unused office space to external customers, or pick up additional space for your own employees, as needed.

Othership Standout Features & Integrations

Standout features for Othership include their social media-style notifications that promote employee engagement among your employees, as well as tools to highlight internal events and announcements to help employees feel more connected. You can use Othership to promote internal events, or create subgroups or teams to enhance teamwork and collaboration. The platform even includes employee feedback tools to give employees a voice and help them proactively flag any amenities that may need repair or other adjustments.

Integrations can be accessed from within the tool's settings and include all major office and HR applications, scheduling and video conference software from the likes of MS Office 365, Google apps, and BlueJeans.

Pricing:

Pricing for Othership depends on the specific solution you pick but paid plans start at $4/user/month. You can also request a free trial through their website.

8

Deskfound

Best for hot desk management via Google Workspace or a Slack integration

Free trial for the first 10 users

From $1/user/month.

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.

Why I picked Deskfound: 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.

Deskfound Features and Integrations:

Features include the ability to 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. Users can use QR codes to scan desk labels and ensure the visibility of seating arrangements and locations.

Integrations are available with Slack and other third-party applications, including Google Calendar, Google Maps, and Google SSO.

Pricing starts from $1.00/user/month. A free trial is available for the first 10 users.

9

Tribeloo

Best for creating customized spaces and managing multiple locations

This is an aggregated rating for this tool including ratings from Crozdesk users and ratings from other sites.
4.8
28 reviews

Free demo available

From $3.33/user/month

Tribeloo is a hot desk booking software that offers an array of features to help you manage your workplace and support in-person and hybrid collaboration on your team.

Why I picked Tribeloo: This is an effective desk and workspace booking software that allows you to define 'neighborhoods' and other unique workspace divisions. You can also manage multiple locations and set specific booking rules for these different locations. For example, you can add maximum capacities for shared spaces or add access permissions to certain employees or teams.

The software provides a visual floorplan for employees to book desks and rooms through. It allows you to set up policies and safety screenings for employees to read and agree to when they book spaces. Employees can also add team members to their group to see who's in and out of the office, and add conferencing to meetings they're booking with hybrid attendees.

Tribeloo Features and Integrations:

Features include visual floorplan, desk and room booking, assigned desks, multiple site management, custom areas and wings, special requests, pre-screening forms, and analytics and reporting tools.

Integrations include Google Calendar and Outlook Calendar, so your team can book desks and rooms directly from the platforms they use already.

10

Officely

Best hot desk booking tool for hybrid teams that use Slack

This is an aggregated rating for this tool including ratings from Crozdesk users and ratings from other sites.
5
10 reviews

Free plan available

From $2.50/user/month

Officely is a hot desk booking software that helps businesses manage meeting rooms, desks, and other shared spaces. Their cloud-based solution allows users to see desk availability in real time, book meeting rooms and desks, and track space usage. One feature that really sets them apart is their full integration with Slack. This means users can receive updates on who's in the office, or when they'll be in next, all within their Slack workspace.

Why I picked Officely: Their software allows employees to reserve space for specific days or times and cancel reservations if they no longer need the space. Users can make individual or group bookings, and also reserve spaces and amenities like parking spots or rooms for private luncheons. Users will receive a confirmation email with all the details about their reservation, including a floor map for easy navigation.

To assist with workforce management, Officely allows employers to limit the time each employee can spend in the office, ensuring everyone can use the space. Moreover, Officely provides employers with data on how their employees use the office, allowing them to make informed decisions about office utilization. The system's overall flexibility helps make hybrid work arrangements more manageable for employers and employees.

Officely Features and Integrations:

Officely allows system administrators to customize their built-in health surveys, such as their automated COVID-19 or vaccine check-ins, which can be incorporated into the desk booking process. Once a health survey is completed, the results are automatically logged into a secure system. This feature helps businesses monitor employee interactions for contract tracing purposes, creating a record of anyone who may have been exposed to the virus. It also helps businesses stay compliant with any local or national guidelines on reporting cases of COVID-19.

Integrations are available natively with popular calendar programs like Google Calendar and Microsoft Outlook. In addition, Officely is fully integrated with Slack.

Pricing for Officely starts at $2.50/user/month. They also offer a freemium plan with limited features for up to 10 users too.

Other Hot Desk Booking Software

Here are a few more worthwhile options that didn’t make it into my top 10 shortlist for the best hot desk booking software, but they're still worth checking out:

  1. SwipedOn

    Best for ease of use desk booking and full hybrid workplace management

  2. WorkInSync

    Best for hybrid workplace scheduling using virtual assistant software

  3. Envoy

    Best hot desk system with a modular configuration and a linked health questionnaire

  4. SpaceIQ

    Best hot desking software and space management suite with advanced wayfinding features

  5. FLYDESK

    Best hot desk booking solution with weekly schedules and leave management

  6. Zynq

    Best hot desk and office space management software for hybrid teams

  7. HotDesk+

    Best multilingual hot desk booking software with built-in tools to help companies achieve net zero emissions

  8. Ronspot

    Best 3-in-1 hybrid workplace reservation tool for booking hot desks, parking spots, and meeting rooms

  9. Cloudbooking

    Best desk and room booking software with advanced real estate planning tools

  10. Condeco

    Best hot desk booking tool for flexible desk workflows and team collaboration features

  11. Eden

    Best hot desk and room booking software with a full workplace software suite

  12. deskbird

    Best desk & room booking solution for integrating with MS Teams & Outlook

  13. Kadence

    Best hot desk booking platform for coordinating your people, projects, and spaces

  14. Robin

    Best workplace management software for employee productivity features

  15. NSpace

    Best hot desk platform for advanced workplace utilization metrics

  16. YAROOMS

    Best plug-and-play desk booking solution with digital signage & visitor management solutions

  17. Teem

    Best hot desk & desk hoteling software for touchless mobile bookings and sanitation flags in between users

  18. Meetio

    Best hot desking app for QR code check-ins and a find-a-colleague feature

  19. Fm:systems

    Best desk management platform with pan-and-zoom floorplans, touchless check-ins, and QR code readers

  20. Gaia Workspace

    Best workspace solution for advanced employee screening plus vaccine & COVID-19 test tracking

  21. Billie

    Best hot desk booking app for desk neighbourhoods to keep team members together or create designated quiet zones

  22. Fischer & Kerrn

    Best for monitoring desk usage via smart desk sensors, occupancy sensors, and ID card readers

  23. Joan Desk

    Best for an embedded health screening questionnaire

  24. StaffMap

    Best desk booking software for move management and asset management

  25. Smart Space

    Best for wayfinding features, occupancy sensors, and advanced desk utilization metrics at a granular level

  26. Pronestor

    Best for booking flexible and fixed desks in real-time, with an auto-release feature

  27. FlexO by Oomnis

    Best on-premise or cloud-based booking tool for desks, conference rooms, huddle spaces, parking spaces, and mobile equipment

  28. Agile Quest

    Best workplace booking platform for landlords, government agencies, higher education institutions & co-working spaces

  29. Roomzilla

    Best for unique admin features like an approval queue, private bookings, and tools to remove ghost reservations

  30. OfficeRnD

    Best for employee engagement features and in-app communications

If you still haven't found what you're looking for here, check out these other related tools that we've tested and evaluated:

Selection Criteria for Hot Desk Booking Software

Selecting the right hot desk booking software involves a thorough understanding of how each functionality supports common organizational needs. My approach to choosing the best hot desk booking software is grounded in thorough research and my years of experience using meeting room booking software (the ancestor of hot desk booking software) to pinpoint the features that add a lot of value for administrators and employees alike. Here are the details I evaluated to decide on my final picks:

Core Hot Desk Booking Software Functionalities (25% of total score): To be considered for inclusion in my list of the best hot desk booking software, each solution had to offer the following basic functionalities first:

  • Digital tools to manage desk reservations, plus other bookings for meeting rooms and other workspaces
  • Tools to customizable your booking policies for your business needs
  • Mobile app functionality to enable bookings via mobile devices
  • Detailed usage analytics for space optimization purposes
  • Real-time updates and notifications to gauge desk availability
  • Software integrations with digital calendars and communication tools

Additional Standout Features (25% of total score): To help me narrow in on the best hot desk booking software out of the numerous options available, I also took note of any unique features, including:

  • AI-driven suggestions for optimizing space utilization
  • Advanced health and safety monitoring and compliance tools
  • Tools to set up team zones, neighbourhoods, or other space booking restrictions to strengthen team cohesion when physically in the office
  • Interactive maps with wayfinding features for complex workspaces
  • The ability to manage multiple office spaces within one platform
  • E-commerce features that allow you to offer workspaces for rent
  • Advanced physical hardware like digital signage and scannable QR codes that allow users to check in at physical spaces

Usability (10% of total score): To evaluate the usability of each hot desk booking system, I considered the following:

  • An intuitive design that simplifies the booking process, including on mobile devices (both Android and iOS mobile devices)
  • A clean, user-friendly interface with features to make bookings using interactive office maps or through drag-and-drop functionality
  • Role-based access control that's straightforward to configure

Onboarding (10% of total score): To get a sense of each software provider's customer onboarding process, I considered the following factors:

  • Quick setup processes and clear configuration guidelines
  • The availability of training materials such as videos or interactive tutorials
  • Support for migrating employee data into the new platform

Customer Support (10% of total score): To evaluate the level of customer support each vendor offered, I considered the following:

  • The availability of multiple support channels, including email, phone, and chat
  • The existence of a self-service knowledge base or other self-help resources to speed up troubleshooting
  • The overall quality, responsiveness, and helpfulness of the support team during customer onboarding and post-purchase, as inferred from customer reviews

Value for Price (10% of final score): To gauge the value of each software, I considered the following factors:

  • The availability of free trials or demos to test the software before purchasing
  • Transparent pricing models that clearly explain which features are included at each level
  • Tiered pricing plans that cater to different business sizes, from small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) up to enterprise-level organizations
  • Competitive pricing models that offer volume-based discounts for large-scale workspaces

Customer Reviews (10% of final score): Evaluating customer reviews is the final element of my selection process, which helps me understand how well a product performs in the hands of real users. Here are the factors I considered:

  • Whether a product has consistently high ratings across multiple review platforms, indicating a broad level of user satisfaction
  • Specific praises, criticisms, or trends in customer feedback that indicate the software's strengths or areas for improvement
  • Whether customer feedback specifically mentions issues with ease of use, customer support responsiveness, or lacking features

By using this assessment framework, I was able to identify the hot desk booking software that goes beyond basic requirements to offer additional value through unique features, intuitive usability, smooth onboarding, effective support, and overall value for price.

Hot desk booking software saw a sharp rise in popularity during the pandemic, to match the needs of growing hybrid workforces. Even today, these products continue to evolve to meet the changing needs of hybrid office environments and to leverage new technological advancements, such as artificial intelligence (AI). Here's a summary of the current trends impacting the hot desk booking software space:

  • Advanced Real Estate and Workplace Utilization Analytics: To help businesses manage their physical resources more strategically, developers are embedding complex analytics for desk allocation and real estate optimization. This innovation supports data-driven decisions, helping businesses maximize space efficiency and either reduce operational costs or monetize unused spaces.
  • Package Delivery Management and Visitor Management Systems: The introduction of package tracking and sophisticated visitor management features represents a move towards comprehensive workplace solutions. This evolution is driven by the need for seamless operation within the modern office, ensuring security, efficiency, and convenience in handling visitors and deliveries.

    (To learn more about how these features work, take a look at our in-depth review of Envoy, which explains it in more detail.)
  • QR Code Check-ins and Digital Signage: To streamline office navigation and improve visitor management, QR code check-ins and digital signage are being introduced. This approach simplifies access control and enhances the visitor experience, responding to the need for efficient and secure workplace management.
  • Smart Desk Sensors and Occupancy Analytics: Leveraging technology for real-time space management, smart sensors and analytics are utilized to monitor desk usage. This trend is motivated by the desire to optimize workspace utilization, ensuring resources are effectively allocated and reducing wastage.

As the demand for flexible working arrangements remains strong, these technologies will continue to play a crucial role in supporting the dynamic needs of hybrid office environments. By leveraging hot desk booking software that offers advanced analytics, covers other office management features, and links up with sophisticated physical hardware, you'll be sure to improve the overall efficiency of your physical workplace.

What is Hot Desk Booking Software?

Hot desk booking software is a digital tool that enables employees to book and manage shared workspaces in an office, enhancing space efficiency and flexibility. Features include real-time desk availability, a reservation system, workspace management, and reporting capabilities for usage analytics.

The purpose of hot desk booking software is to streamline the reservation and management of shared office spaces, which is becoming more common in modern hybrid work environments.

Features of Hot Desk Booking Software

These are the key features I assessed when creating this list of 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.
  • Flexible Booking Options: The best platforms offer flexible workspace types (e.g., for desks, conference rooms, kiosks, parking stalls, and equipment) as well as flexible room scheduling and booking arrangements (e.g., hourly, all-day, multiple days, etc.) to accommodate a range of business needs.
  • 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.
  • Mobile Device Compatability: This is an essential feature, as it allows users to book from anywhere, anytime, while also enabling touchless check-ins via mobile devices. When considering this feature, ensure mobile device compatibility exists for both Android and iOS mobile devices.
  • Team Zones or Neighbourhoods: This feature creates designated areas for specific teams or departments, ensuring better team collaboration while in the office. This feature is also useful for creating designated quiet zones.
  • 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 covers built-in health screening questionnaires, occupancy limits, social distancing parameters, data to assist with contact 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 you quantify the cost of unused space so you can make informed decisions to further optimize your floor plan or reduce floor space altogether.
  • User Permissions: Many tools let you set custom access permissions for different team members. This helps keep specialized or authorized areas bookable only for those with designated access.
  • Software Integrations: Integrations with commonly used office programs like Outlook, Gmail, Slack, Microsoft Teams, digital calendars, and other cloud-based simplify the booking process and help your hybrid workers avoid scheduling conflicts.

Implementing hot desk booking software with these features can significantly enhance the management and reservation of desk spaces in a hybrid office environment.

Benefits of Hot Desk Booking Software

Hot desk booking software offers a sophisticated approach to modernizing your hybrid work practices and creating a smoother employee experience for staff who want the flexibility of varying their work location according to their preferences.

By implementing hot desk booking software, you can expect to gain the following benefits:

  • Increased Flexibility and Autonomy: Ultimately, by giving employees the ability to choose when and where they'll be in the office, hot desk booking software empowers team members to be more autonomous and in control of their work experience. This, in turn, can lead to improved job satisfaction and productivity.
  • Enhanced Space Utilization: By analyzing usage patterns, businesses can adjust their real estate needs accordingly, ensuring that no space goes to waste and potentially lowering expenses related to unused areas.
  • Improved Collaboration: By allowing users to book desks and meeting spaces based on team location, hot desk booking software can enhance collaboration, fostering a more cohesive and dynamic work environment.
  • Better Data-Driven Insights: Organizations can leverage workspace usage data to make informed decisions about office layout, required resources, and future workplace strategies, aligning them more closely with actual needs.
  • Health and Safety Compliance: Providing a safe environment is always a top priority for employers and hot desk booking software can simplify this process by helping teams manage social distancing, track cleaning schedules, and ensure that health protocols are followed. These features both assist with health and safety compliance tracking and provide peace of mind for both employees and management.

These benefits demonstrate the significant impact hot desk booking software can have on an organization's operational efficiency, employee satisfaction, and strategic planning. By prioritizing flexibility, insight, and safety, businesses can create a more adaptive and resilient office environment.

Costs & Pricing for Hot Desk Booking Software

Pricing for hot desk booking software varies depending on the depth of features provided. While some systems offer a monthly price per user, others base their pricing on the number of bookable desk spaces you wish to manage, including some that offer packages or sets of bookable spaces for a flat fee.

To help you understand the pricing landscape more, I've compiled the average price ranges for each plan level into a comparison table.

Plan Comparison Table for Hot Desk Booking Software

Plan TypeAverage Price per UserAverage Price per DeskCommon Features Included
Free$0$0Basic desk booking, mobile access, and real-time availability
Basic$10 - $20$5 - $10Enhanced booking capabilities, integration with calendar applications, automated reminders, and basic analytics
Professional$20 - $40$10 - $20Advanced analytics, customizable booking rules, integration with additional office management tools, and support for multiple office locations
EnterpriseCustom PricingCustom PricingPersonalized setup and support, advanced security features, comprehensive analytics and reporting, API access, and a dedicated account manager
A breakdown of plans and pricing details for hot desk booking software depending on the level of features required.

When considering which plan to choose, I recommend weighing your specific needs and the features you want to gain against the expected costs for each tier. It's important to select a plan that not only fits your current requirements but also has the flexibility to scale as your business grows.

Hot Desk Booking Software: FAQ

Do you have general questions about hot desk booking software and how it works? You’ve come to the right place! Here are some answers to commonly asked questions I’ve received on this topic:

What is hot desking?

Conceptually, hot desking is a modern-day workspace arrangement where employees no longer have a fixed desk. Unsurprisingly, it rose in popularity during the throws of the global pandemic, when workers stopped coming into the office in record numbers. This allowed some organizations to reduce their physical office spaces since the real estate was no longer being used.

The term “hot desks” refers to a first-come-first-served desk reservations system. In contrast, the term “desk hoteling” describes a system that requires reservations in advance. Thankfully, these flexible software systems can accommodate all types of workspace reservations.

What's the difference between hot desking and hoteling?

The distinction between hot desking and hoteling comes down to when the space is reserved. Generally, hot desking is booked on a first-come-first-served basis. Since the systems update in real-time, you can show up at your office unexpectedly, and quickly book yourself a workstation depending on what’s available at that time.

Desk hoteling follows the same concept, but the spaces are reserved in advance. A true hoteling system may also have a gatekeeper, such as a receptionist, ticketing, or a visitor management component. You may need to check-in or complete a health assessment prior to accessing your space.

The great thing is, as a user, it doesn’t matter if you want to book a hot desk or a hoteling space. These software systems will offer you both types of bookings, depending on your needs. So you don’t need to worry about this distinction too much.

However, if you’d like to get into the nitty gritty details, this article lays out the difference between hoteling and hot desking very clearly.

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 hybrid work stats:

  • 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

Accenture recently surveyed 9,000 workers and found that 83% of workers prefer a hybrid work model instead of working in the office 5 days per week.

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.

What are some tips for introducing hot desking?

If you’re new to the idea of hot desking, these tips will help you get started on the right foot:

  1. Create a hot desk policy: Whenever you’re introducing a new concept to your workforce, you’re bound to receive a flurry of follow-up questions from your employees. To mitigate the Q&A flood, I recommend creating a Hot Desk Policy that spells out the rules and answers all the most likely questions upfront.
  2. Make your sanitization policy clear: If you’re able to hire a cleaning service to clean in between each hot desk’s use, definitely go for it. However, if your team is smaller and has lighter needs, you could also consider supplying each workstation with their own set of disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizers, and ask your staff to sanitize at the beginning and end of each use, to ensure the space is germ-free.
  3. Set up department or team-based zones: This involves designating specific areas on your floor plan for individual departments to use. By keeping team members in the same zone or “neighborhood” when they’re working in the office, you’ll improve your team’s in-office productivity and strengthen the bond between department members, improving your company culture.
  4. Offer specialized equipment as needed: You may have some employees with different workstation needs than others. These may include special lighting, ergonomic chairs, an ergonomic keyboard or mouse, or workstations with multiple computer screens. Mark these specialty options in your hot desking solution, and ensure your employees know they are available.
  5. Offer lockers for storing personal items: Some employees may want to have personal items on their desk while they work. This could include things like personal photos, preferred stationary or office supplies, or even an ergonomic mouse. Rather than asking them to lug these items from home each time they want to work from the office, offer staff the ability to store these items in personal lockers instead.
  6. Find a hot desking solution that works with your existing tech stack: You’ll get the most out of your hot desking program if the booking process is easy for your staff to navigate. Try to find a solution that integrates with the communication tools your staff are already using, whether that’s Slack, Yammer, Microsoft Teams, an internal intranet, or otherwise.

We also have tips on how to use your office space the most effectively if you need some help with that too.

Tips for Selecting the Best Desk Booking Software for You

Feeling overwhelmed by all the options above? I'm happy to give you some tips. Finding the best hot desk booking system for you does take a little bit of research, but that's why I've created this list for you.

Here are 10 tips to help you hone in on the best desk booking software for you:

  1. Choose software with a user-friendly interface to ensure it's easy for all your users to make desk bookings.
  2. Look for a system that offers flexible booking options, such as daily, weekly, or monthly reservations, to give your organization more flexibility.
  3. Ensure the system you pick works on mobile devices, including Android, Windows, and iOS devices, for your employees' ease of use.
  4. Consider whether each system integrates seamlessly with other cloud-based applications your company is already using, such as Google Workspace or Microsoft 365. (If native integrations are not available, an API is also useful.)
  5. Review how quickly the system stores and updates data in real-time, to avoid booking frustrations by your staff.
  6. Dig into what type of usage analytics are included, if you have advanced space management or optimization needs.
  7. Find out if the system can be customized to your organization's unique needs, or if it's a one-size-fits-all software structure.
  8. Review the data security and privacy safeguards for your employee data to make sure they are compliant in your local jurisdiction.
  9. Find out whether the software is scalable if the needs of your organization grow. For example, how easy is it to add more coworking spaces to your desk booking system if you need to?
  10. Evaluate the cost of each desk booking system you're considering to make sure it aligns with your budget. Remember to factor in the number of users you may have in the future if your organization expands.

Other Workforce Management Software Reviews

While the hot desking trend certainly isn't going away, there are other types of software that can help you optimize your workforce management practices even more. To save you hours of digging around, take a look at these other specialty software lists instead:

If you’re looking for more details to support your workforce planning efforts, I recommend reading our article on best practices for workforce planning

Stay in Touch

I hope this article highlighted the value of using hot desk booking software to streamline space management in your workspace. 

Before you go, I’d love it if you'd 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: HR Software: What It Costs And How To Decide What’s Best For Your Company

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By Kim Behnke

Kim Behnke is an HR Tool Expert & Writer for People Managing People. She draws on her 9 years of human resources experience and her keen eye for systematic processes to support her analyses of the top HR tools on the market. She is passionate about maximizing efficiencies and streamlining workflows to ensure internal systems run smoothly. Kim's HR experience includes recruitment, onboarding, performance management, training and development, policy development and enforcement, and HR analytics. She also has degrees in psychology, writing, publishing, and technical communication, and recently completed a Certified Digital HR Specialist program through the Academy to Innovate HR. When away from her desk, she can usually be found outside tending to her ever-expanding garden.