Desks FAQ

This FAQ helps admins set-up and launch Robin's desk management for their office.

Considering your users

Who can use desks?

Desks are helpful for everyone! The entire company can answer common questions like: “Where is my new desk?” and “Where does Sarah sit?” as well as allowing employees to choose where they want to work for the day. All in the same place they already manage their work schedule.

What are the desk reservation types?

Type Reservation Duration Can I reserve in advance? Who can reserve? (Beta)Desk check-ins supported?
Assigned Permanent Yes  Admin/Roles with delegate access No, not today. 
Hot Up to 1 day only Same day only  Member Yes
Hotel 1-5 days or more Yes  Member Yes

 

How do I decide who gets a fixed (assigned) vs. flexible (hot or hotel) desk?

Assuming an 8 hour work day, here's how to decide which types of desk strategies make sense for people in your office. Keep in mind not everyone will (or should!) have the same approach depending on their role.

  1. Fixed (Assigned)
    More than 60% of their time is spent at a desk (i.e. at least 5 hrs per day)
  2. Flexible (Hotel + Hot)
    Hoteling for between 20%-60% of time spent at a desk (i.e. 90 minutes to 5 hrs per day). Less than 20% (i.e. 90 minutes) is a good fit for hot desking instead.

"...what about executives?"

If you have executives or senior leadership that requires a desk, you can designate groups/pods for them, or create “Executive Rooms” which allows them to have assigned seats with other executives as needed. These folks typically spend their day in meetings, so you can often consolidate the room requirements.

Be careful this doesn’t create a visible point of contention among the teams — “They took our seats away, but my boss gets to keep theirs” is not a positive message for flexible work culture. Focus on what Activity-Based Work (ABW) introduces to the office, rather than treating desks as a primary status symbol.

How can I make flexible desks easier to use with equipment?

Standardize your desk setups, go for single cable set up. Modern docs with USB-C connections allow monitor + power all at once. This has the added bonus of giving people the ability to leave their power adaptors at home instead of running it back and forth with their laptops. People without laptops should generally avoid flexible desks.

 

Setting up desks

Desks

An individual workstation that belongs to a desk group/pod. This can be fixed (assigned) or flexible (hot or hotel). Each desk can include amenities (e.g. monitor, adjustable height desk, etc.).

How do I create Desks?

Once you have a map uploaded to your dashboard, you will have the ability to access the desk layout tool. This is where you’ll go to create and edit all of your desks in Robin. 

Still need a map? Take a look at our guide on converting your floor-plans

Do I need to scale the desks to fit in spaces on maps?

No, that's not necessary. Within the desk layout tool, you can add desks to maps by clicking on any of the presets available on the left and using the resizing bar below those. The resizing bar will apply to all of the desks on the map. However, it won’t be precisely to scale since our maps are not designed to be a space planning tool. Desks are great for learning more about your office and getting the most out of your space, but are not intended to be used for detailed measurements, like construction plans or blueprints.

How do I edit existing desks?

These guides should help:

 

Adding desks to your map

How do I add desks to my map?

Follow this guide to learn how to add desks to your map.

Do I need to scale the desks to fit in spaces on maps?

No, that's not necessary. You can add desks to maps by dragging a group/pod into place and re-sizing if necessary. However, it won’t be precisely to scale since our maps are not designed to be a space planning tool. Desks are great for learning more about your office and getting the most out of your space, but are not intended to be used for detailed measurements, like construction plans.

 

Assigning desks to your users

How do I assign desks to my users?

Follow this guide to learn how to assign desks in our Assignments tool. You can also assign desks from the Office search map tab. 

As an admin, can I reserve a desk on behalf of others?

Yes, admins can reserve desks for employees from the office search tab. If you are on our Premier tier, you can add this as a permission for other users who are not in the default Admin role. 

Can I turn off email notifications for desk reservations?

Yes, whether you’re  importing desks via CSV or assigning them individually, you’ll need to specifically choose to send a notification to the user. After you upload your completed CSV, you will have the opportunity to choose whether or not to push out emails to alert members of their new desk assignment or any changes that were made.

Can I assign employees to desks before they are users?

Yes, you can assign employees to desks by using their email address before they become users in Robin. You must use the same email address that they will use for their Robin account i.e. the one that you will be inviting them into the account with. If you use this method of assignment, the user will replace their email address as soon as they create an account.

 

Launching desks for your users

How can I explain or introduce flexible (hot or hotel) desks to my office?

You can simply let your office know, “we’re offering flexible seats, and nobody needs to panic!" If you want more structure, our Hot Desking Policy template has you covered.

How should I introduce my office to Robin?

You've set up your office in Robin, and now you have to let people know about it. Fortunately this is the fun part! We've put together an email template that we've found does a good job explaining the system to newcomers. Feel free to edit it to match your company's specifications.

 

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