Understand who’s using the hybrid office

Collaboration and socialization with coworkers are primary motivators to use the office. However, hybrid schedules make it challenging to plan around the optimal days for in-office work.

With Robin's web dashboard & mobile app users can indicate which day(s) they plan to use the office, and optionally book a desk if they need one. This increases visibility into who's actually planning to be in the office both for workplace admins and for employees. 

This represents a meaningful change in how employees engage with Robin – employees who don’t typically book their desk will have representation in Robin. This allows your team to:

  • Understand when colleagues plan to attend an upcoming meeting in person or virtually

  • Feel confident in making plans to commute into an office where others will be working

  • See who’s actually planning to be in office rather than who has booked a desk

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What’s changing 

The goal behind these changes is to provide hybrid teams with greater visibility into who’s actually planning to use the office so that people can schedule their in-office days around the people they work with.

  • Employees with assigned desks no longer show up as “in office” every day. They can now opt into the office on the day(s) they actually plan to be in. 

  • Employees who typically book a desk continue to do so directly from the “Office” tab in web and mobile, or by following the prompts from the “Join Office” workflow.

  • Employees who drop in for meetings and don’t need a desk can now opt into the office when they plan to be in. Previously, these folks weren’t represented in Robin at all.

How it works

Employees will be reflected as “not in office” until they signal their plans via Robin. This can happen in 3 ways:

  1. An employee clicks “Join office” from the mobile app, or from the Schedule > Work Week tab in the web dashboard. Employees can “join” only on days when the office is open and when they have access.

  2. An employee books a desk (prompted from this workflow or from the office map).  

  3. An employee checks into their desk.

 

Employees can now share their plans to be in office. If they don’t already have an assigned desk, they’ll be prompted to book one as part of this workflow if your Robin plan includes flexible desks.

Having a desk reservation (either assigned or flexible) is still a required step in order to receive the health checkpoint and day-of check-in reminder. We recommend continuing to encourage employees to book their desks if these policies are key for your workplace. We’ve made it easier to remember by baking it into the workflow.

 

Employee experience

For more details around the employee experience, see this guide.  

  • An employee who books a desk: Employees who typically book their desk will be able to do this as part of the workflow on the web dashboard & mobile app when they indicate their plans to be in office, or at any point up to and during their day in office. Users still have the option to book a desk from the office map too. 

  • An employee with an assigned desk: Employees with an assigned desk will show as “not in office” until they share their plans via Robin. They can do this by selecting the day(s) they’ll be in office, or checking into their desk day-of. Employees with assigned desks who need to book additional resources may do so by adding a resource from the map.

  • An Employee without a desk: Employees who don’t need a desk - or aren’t ready to pick a desk yet - will be able to click “Join office” to signal their plans to be in office. 

Admin experience

Admins can review who's in or planning to be in from the daily roster and roster export, and get a more accurate understanding of who’s using the office. Users will appear on the roster when:

  • Employee books a desk

  • Employee checks into their desk

  • Employee clicks “Join office”

FAQ

Q: How can I turn this functionality off for my organization?

Robin supports hybrid work, and we want to make hybrid work for everyone. We've seen it work best when employees are empowered to use the office on the day(s) that makes sense for the work they need to do-- whether that's joining in-person meetings, catching up with their team, or expanding their network. One of the major challenges of this hybrid office is knowing who's planning to be in, and feeling confident that your commute won't result in 8 hours of Zoom calls. 

Therefore, Robin will start rolling this out to accounts on September 14, 2022. Please reach out to your Customer Success Manager if you need to delay rollout for your organization, and we can work with you on a case-by-case basis. 

Q: I don't want this widely rolled out. Can I turn this functionality on for specific locations or specific employees?

Robin wants to make hybrid work for all members of an organization, fostering meaningful collaboration both in-person at the office and elsewhere. We've seen organizations have the most success when all employees feel empowered to choose their schedules on their own terms. 

This functionality will be applied to all users within your organization to encourage more people to share their plans. Please reach out to your Customer Success Manager if you need to delay rollout for your organization and we can work with you on a case-by-case basis. 

Q: Will employees be prompted to take the health checkpoint if they don't book a desk? 

At this time, only employees with a desk reservation (assigned, hot, hoteled) will be sent a health check via email and prompted in the web and mobile apps. Employees who click "Join Office" and don't have a desk reservation will not receive a health checkpoint.

Admins with permission to view the Daily Roster can see who has completed compliance steps like booking a desk and completing the health checkpoint. We recommend encouraging employees to follow necessary workplace policies.

Q: How do I know who's physically in the office today? Will employees be prompted to check in?

Employees can signal their intent to use the office by "joining" for a specific day or days. This adds the potential for greater visibility into who's actually going to be in the office beyond employees with desk reservations. 

At this time, only employees with a desk reservation (assigned, hot, hoteled) will be sent a check-in reminder via email, mobile push, Slack/or Microsoft Teams and prompted to confirm their desk reservation day of. We're continuing to explore additional ways to confirm who's physically in office, and have some future enhancements planned.

Q: How can I see who’s planning to be in the office?
All users can see a list of who’s planning to be in the office from the web and mobile apps, with their “favorites” highlighted at the top of the list. Jump over to the map view to see where people have desk reservations for the day.

Admins with permission to view the Daily Roster can see and export a full list of employees in office for the day, along with desk reservation and check-in information, and health checkpoint completion (desk reservations only).

Q: I have concerns about privacy. How can we support employees who don’t want to show their plans?
Employees can choose to hide their desk reservation details from other employees. Users who hide their reservation details will still show up as “in office”, but their specific location will be kept private from non-administrators. For more information on how to enable reservation privacy, see this guide.

Q: How can I get historical data around who’s used the office over the last 30 days?
At this time, data around office usage can be pulled on a daily basis by exporting the Daily Roster. However, our team is currently working to make historical data available.

In the near term, you can expect to see the Activity Export include better visibility for actual office usage for employees with assigned desks and for employees who didn’t make a desk reservation. Later, this data will be incorporated into the visualizations in the Analytics dashboard.

Q: My employees won’t update their plans in Robin if they don’t have to book a desk, and they definitely won’t want to do this every day. How can we make this easier for them?

At this time, employees will need to indicate their in-office day(s) in the web or mobile apps, and this workflow supports only one day at a time. We understand, though, that people forget to come into Robin, have “typical” weekly schedules, or already update their working location in places like Google Calendar – we are working to improve this experience.

In the near term, you can expect us to tackle many of these challenges. Planned enhancements here include:

  • Pushing a weekly digest to Slack and Microsoft Teams, with the option to one-click “join” the office from there.

  • Supporting “typical” or “routine” plans, for the folks who are in 4 days a week, or every Tuesday and Thursday.

  • Syncing working location from calendars.

Q: My organization only uses Robin to manage meeting rooms and book spaces. How is this useful for us?

Robin supports employees in finding an available meeting space that fits their needs. But in this new hybrid reality, we all have limited visibility into who’s actually planning to join the meeting in person or virtually. By encouraging more employees to use Robin’s web and mobile apps to share their in-office plans, you will be able to better understand what size space to book, whether dial-in information is needed or even how many sandwiches to order for lunch, based on the number of people who intend to be on-site.

In the near term, employees can expect to see when their upcoming meetings have high in-person attendance, and which meetings might be better handled virtually.

 

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