Configuring Desks (Distance Planning)

Supported Plans

  • Basic
  • Pro
  • Premier

User Permissions Required 

  • Admin or owner role 


Understand and manage the impact of physical distancing on your floor's capacity. Learn more about best practices while planning your return to the office.


Robin's Desk management product is one of the ways to help manage the transition back to the office. The most common use case is an easy way to plan updated seating assignments and communicate with everyone involved. All of this happens on a map that looks just like your office, so there’s zero confusion.

Desks on a map provide visual assistance & distancing projections to help admins decide which desks to make available for employees to use. This gives you the power to move your people around and experiment with layouts of safely-distanced desks using drag and drop. Run through the prerequisites outlined before getting started. 

This guide assumes that you already:

Review these navigation tips before getting started

Navigation tips:

  • To move around the map, simply click and drag
  • Zoom in to see the desk assignee names. 
  • To switch to another floor in the building, select the "Floor" button in the top right corner.
  • Select multiple desks, hold shift + cursor.
  • Adjust the size of the distance radius by hovering over the edge of green bubble to activate the resizing tool. See example below. Note, the size does not save between draft sessions.



Keyboard shortcuts menu





From the Office search page in dashboard, select > Manage drop down in the map > Configuration.  


A. If you previously had a desk floor plan configured, we recommend treating this like an office move and Starting a new plan. * This will change all desks to unavailable and clear any previous desk assignments & reservations.
B. Assigning desks for the first time? Skip to step 4.

(If you prefer to work off of the current seat arrangements--  skip to step 4.) 

Common Pitfalls

If folks are currently assigned to desks or have desk reservations, it's important to note that changing a desk to "unavailable" status or "starting a new plan" will unassign the person from that desk or terminate reservations. Don't panic if you weren't ready to cancel desk assignments or reservations-- remember this is only a draft. No changes are official until you publish the draft. However, once it's published we cannot recovery or revert back to the original plan. 

Changing desk availability & desk type 

A. Click & toggle

  • Click on a desk to select it.
  • To select multiple desks, hold shift + click desks.
  • To select a group of desks, drag the cursor across the desks. 

Once you have desks selected & highlighted in blue, a menu on the right side will appear.  Use the toggle option at the top to make the desk available/unavailable. When a desk becomes available the impact radius will appear. 

Hover over the edge of the green bubble to adjust the size of the distance radius. Note, the size does not save between draft sessions. (See an example here)


Hot tip: Hold the CMD/CTRL button while clicking desks to automatically switch the availability status.


B. Change desk type (optional)

You can also change the desk type from assigned, hot, or hotel right using the right side menu. The desk type can be changed or assigned using the Layout desk tool too. 



Understanding desk statuses

Available = The desk is empty, and you can use it.

Unavailable = The desk is empty and cannot be booked.

Active = The desk is visible and actively managed within Robin. End-users may reserve or interact with it.

Archived = The desk is archived and not active in any user-facing features. Only admins may reactivate them. Your organization is no longer billed for the desk.



Use the floor overview legend to help measure desk availability. 



Saving & publishing changes 

Draft mode:

Whether you're assigning seats for the first time, shuffling folks around, changing desk types, or available/unavailable desks, you're working in draft mode.

But let's say you're not ready to push those changes out for everyone to see?

Exit the draft mode and all the edits will automatically be saved as a draft. Seat assignments and desks operate under the same draft.

If your floor plan is made up of assigned seating then Return to seat assignment mode (top center buttons) to reassign the active desks via drag & drop. 

Publish mode:

Read before publishing! 

Publishing a draft will wipe out all current seat assignments and desk reservations. We do not store original copies of floor plans & seating arrangements. The original arrangement cannot be retrogressed on our end. We recommend triple checking the new plan before publishing a draft.  No changes are official until you publish the draft. Or you can discard the draft and all assignments/reservations will remain the same. 

When you're ready go live with the seat assignments and/or desk management plan, select Review and publish in the top right corner.  Or discard the proposed draft changes.



Review the changes outlined in the modal:


The review and publish modal summarize any changes made to seat assignments & the impact it has on flexible desk reservations. Note: The “Notify people of changes via email” flag notifies users that there's been a change to their seat or desk reservation.


Lastly, the user who is publishing the draft will receive an email receipt that displays the impact on seat assignments & desk reservations. This gives office managers a historic view of the changes and the ability to follow up with users that may need to reserve another seat.



Does your floor plan include hotel desks?

Consider reviewing your hotel desk reservation policies for additional restrictions.


For more planning tips and strategies check out our hub of resources for CORONAVIRUS WORKPLACE READINESS 

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