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?  
Assigned Permanent Yes  Admin/Roles with delegate access  
Hot Up to 1 day only Same day only  Member  
Hotel 1-5 days or more Yes  Member  


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

What is a work area?

This is a space for desks, and where your desk groups (i.e. pods, tables) live — typically the different areas of your office (or even a whole floor, if you’re ambitious). Most offices divide these up by group (e.g. Marketing, Sales, Engineering) or general location (e.g. West Wing, Northeast Corridor) or even by office theme (e.g. Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff).

What is a desk group?

A cluster or arrangement of desks (this could be a group with two rows or a single row). Commonly used to group different teams (e.g. Mobile Engineering, Product Marketing) or types of workspaces (e.g. Short-term Group/Pod, Quiet Workstations).


What is a desk?

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.).

Can I place desks on a map without drawing a work area?

You can place desks anywhere on the map, but we recommend taking the time to organize with work areas. This way, you can have your desks grouped by criteria such as department or neighborhood. 

Do I need to create a template for all of my desks?

If you plan to add more desks later that use the same configuration, creating a template will save you time — especially when adding multiple desks at once. Otherwise, you can skip it.

How many desks can be in a group/pod?

Robin works best with 12 or less desks per group/pod.

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 the various ways you can assign desks.

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

Yes, admins can reserve desks for employees from the office search & the map view.

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.

Launching desks for your users

How can I explain 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.

Understanding desk statuses 

Desk Status Terms


Available The desk is empty, and you can use it.
Unavailable The desk is empty and cannot be booked.
Enabled The desk is visible and actively managed within Robin. End-users may reserve or interact with it.
Disabled The desk is archived and not active in any user-facing features. Admins may reactivate them. Your organization is no longer billed for the desk.


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