As many organizations transition to a hybrid workplace, scheduling software that allows employees to reserve common areas and stay apprised of when others will be in the office is more important than ever. The software can also track COVID-era data like social distancing requirements and when a conference room should be cleaned.
Companies considering purchasing scheduling software or switching to a different software that can meet their hybrid workplace needs should consider the following important features.
Integration with calendar software
Make sure the software includes the option to reserve a meeting space or other shared resources like workspaces while booking a meeting. A one-step process is more convenient for employees.
Reporting and dashboards
Facilities management and other staff should be able to view employee resources usage data and customize reports if necessary. Ideally, the software dashboard would provide real-time meeting rooms and workspaces data as well as past information.
Confirm the software allows users to control who can view, book and delete appointments. The system administrator should also be able to add and remove resources from the platform and monitor resource usage.
Searching for and booking available resources should be intuitive and easy. For example, if an employee requires a desk for the day, they should be able to quickly look up available desks and identify which one best meets their needs.
Consider integrating the scheduling software with other applications like visitor management software and video conferencing software so employees can manage everything in one place. Integrating the scheduling software with IT's user management software could make it easier for IT staff to create and remove users.
A remote access option can simplify the booking process. Remote access is usually available since scheduling software is cloud-based, but confirm just in case.
Simplify data management
Seating arrangements and the office space configuration will naturally change over time, so updating seating arrangements within the software should be an easy process.
Advanced search features
Search filters, including the number of people attending a meeting in person and required meeting resources, can simplify the meeting room search process. These filters save time for employees and ensure the best meeting room for a particular employee appears in their search results.
Confirm the software includes an option for compiling a list of meeting attendees or employees in the office on a particular day. Accessing this data is crucial when notifying other employees about an employee who contracted COVID-19.
Support for multiple resources
Some software includes tracking tools for resources like parking spaces or projectors, which certain organizations could find useful.
Most vendors include mobile access in their application, but make sure it's an option and easy to use. Some vendors require users to install an app to use the application on their phone, while others build a responsive website which formats the layout to meet the user's device dimensions.
Reminders and notifications
System administrators should be able to configure software reminders and notifications, including turning them on and off for different users. For example, meeting attendees may not require a scheduling software meeting reminder if their email already alerts them about the meeting. However, cleaning staff may require an alert once a meeting has ended so they know which rooms to clean.