Desk sharing (AKA "Reverse hoteling")

Supported Plans

  • Basic
  • Pro
  • Premier

Sometimes called "reverse hoteling" or desk sharing, this feature allows people to temporarily let others use their assigned seat when out of office. Think "While I'm on vacation, make my desk available for hot desking".

How it works

Shared seating or "Reverse hoteling" is a desk configuration for assigned seats (only) that allow employees to open their assigned desk up for others to use while they're out of the office.  Users can manage their own desk availability and/or admins can manage it on users behalf.  

Tips to get started: 

  • Desk sharing is only available for assigned seats.
  • "Sharing" a desk or managing desk availability can only be done from the web dashboard, but you can book a desk that has been shared from the dashboard, mobile app, or interactive kiosk. 
  • Desk sharing or "Reverse hoteled" desks are shared desks that can be reserved for a day (even hourly) or multiple days. And they can be reserved in advance or for that day. 
  • In the rare occasion, you have more than one assigned seat, you can only share one of your desks at a time.  

Watch the tutorial or follow the steps outlined below

Setting up desk sharing 

Admins can manage which desk spaces in the office can "reverse hotel" by enabling the feature for an entire building or by desk groups.

  • To apply the setting to an entire building with desks navigate to Manage > Offices > Select a building > scroll down to "Desk reservation policies" section > toggle the "Desk sharing" setting. 
  • To apply the setting to a particular desk group, start on the Office search page, select the Manage button in the map > Layout desks.
    Drag your cursor over a group of desks to highlight/select and a menu panel will open on the right > Policies tab > Add Policy button > Select the Desk sharing policy to enable. (See an example here)

⭐ The more granular setting takes precedence over higher-level settings. 


Managing desk availability 

Users can manage their own desk availability from their user profile and/or admins can share desks on users behalf from the office map.

User management

1. To manage your desk availability, navigate to your user profile icon in the top right corner >  select "Manage my desk(s)".  This will take you to your user profile page. 


2. Select Share desk to open your desk calendar.  Skip down to step 3. 


Admin management

Robin admins can temporarily free up someone’s seat while they’re out of the office and reserve desks for themselves or others from the web dashboard. If an admin shares someone's desk, the user will receive an email notification letting them know the day(s) their desk was made available for others to use.


1. From the office search page (> desks) in the Robin dashboard, select a user's desk from the list or on the map. Remember, desk sharing is only available for assigned seats/desks. 

2. From the modal, select the 3 action dotsManage desk. 


Users & admins

3. Using the calendar modal,  click the day(s) the desk can be shared for others to use. This will put the desk into the flexible pool of desks for that day(s). Select save.  Or discard changes to redo the desk availability. 

Blue = Reserved for you as the assignee, not shared.  White = shared, the desk is open & available. Grey (/) = In use


We'll let folks know when they're booking a desk that is usually someone else's desk so folks are less confused by all the framed cat pictures and are mindful of the space. 


The image above is from the Robin dashboard

To confirm if you or your office admin shared ("reverse hoteled")  your assigned seat, check for a “Shared” label next to your desk name in the top right corner of the dashboard.


When your seat has been shared, you’ll receive an email letting you know the day(s) your desk might be available for others to use.



Booking a shared desk 


A shared desk is an assigned seat temporarily flipped into a flexible desk. Just like flexible desks,  shared desks are reservable for a day or for multiple days, depending on your office's desk policies & availability, and can be reserved the same day or in advance.

You can reserve a desk for yourself from the Robin dashboard, mobile app, and office kiosks. Use the guides below to learn more. 

1.  Reserving a desk using the dashboard

2. Reserving a desk using the mobile app

3. Reserving a desk using the interactive kiosk

 Here is a glance at what it looks like from the Robin dashboard as a user:




Admins can reserve a shared desk on a user's behalf from the Robin dashboard (only). 

Note, admins can reserve a shared desk for themselves, just like any user, from dashboard, mobile, or kiosk. 

Here's what it looks like as an admin reserving a shared desk for an employee:


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