Booking and scheduling systems bring newfound business opportunities for integrators working with corporate enterprise and small office clients
The workplace is no longer defined as a place where workers arrive and sit at a desk five days a week. The office is now primarily a place for collaboration, and schedules often align to bring specific people and teams together on the same days to inspire production through collaborative activities.
As most employers have adopted hybrid schedules that split the workweek between the office and the home, workers now often face the uncertainty of where they work and meet during their in-office days. Even prior to the pandemic, meeting spaces were at a premium with collaborative activities on the rise. Throughout the pandemic, businesses evaluated and re-imagined their commercial real estate space for an uncertain future. Some reduced their square footage, others relocated to smaller offices or consolidated operations to single floors, and some straight up opted out of lease renewals.
Many companies carved out space for more meeting rooms with the foresight that worker schedules would remain fluid, and the recollection that their existing spaces were in demand before lockdown. As workers returned to offices, they may have noticed more spaces to collaborate – a welcome adjustment that better supports the hybrid work culture – and fewer desks for personal work. In many offices, there was no longer a guarantee for a personal workspace.
Humly’s core mission has always been to create solutions that establish harmony in the workplace
Anders Karlsson, CEO Humly
Evolving Technology Ecosystem
The technology infrastructure is undergoing a transformation to support these changes. We see more interactive whiteboards and UC platforms that strengthen collaboration between workers both on and off the physical premises. On the physical premises, the hybrid lifestyle has increased the demand to book meeting and gathering spaces. That higher demand can increase frustration amongst workers limited by meeting room availability.
Humly’s core mission has always been to create solutions that establish harmony in the workplace, from accommodating visitors with check-in and wayfinding systems to helping workers schedule meetings with networked solutions. That mission now places a stronger emphasis on reducing friction points created by the new dynamics of hybrid work schedules. The traditional five-day work schedule required minimal coordination between colleagues. Everyone was at the office, and workers were generally aware of meeting schedules and room availability.
That tradition has faded with hybrid schedules. Often, businesses staff heavily mid-week, and finding a space to gather on short notice is difficult. The most well-planned hybrid schedules won’t guarantee all colleagues will be on premises for a meeting. There are the newfound challenges of moving between desks due to shifting schedules. These changes require innovative hardware and software solutions that help people book spaces well in advance, notify remote workers of meeting room locations, notify workers of available desks, and ultimately bring harmony to the modern workplace.
Opportunities for Integrators
As we race toward InfoComm, we see a proliferation of scheduling and booking systems coming to market. Humly has been developing technology specifically for the workplace for more than 10 years, and works closely with systems integrators to provide hardware solutions that are easy to install, energy-efficient, visually attractive with legible screen content, and interoperable with backend calendar solutions.
Our new Humly Booking Device, a primary emphasis at our booth (3988) checks all these boxes for the integrator. An adaptable PoE-powered hardware device for the hybrid workplaces, the HBD includes a high-resolution display that shows availability of all desks and bookable spaces, with touchscreen capability for immediate bookings. Its stylish design, which includes control for adjustable desks and flexible mounting options, breaks new barriers as a slimmer, smaller, and cost-efficient platform.
Integrators can mount the device horizontally or vertically on any material, including glass, textile, metal, and wood, and with simple IT skills easily connect to our Humly Reservations software, Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft Office 365, and Google Workspace to expand booking options and functionality. Most importantly, they have new opportunities to scale scheduling and booking technologies with enterprise customers as their workplace requirements evolve over time, and even manage and maintain systems for their end customers remotely in the cloud.
We talk to businesses every day that have more people than desks, especially those that opened more space for new meeting rooms. It’s no longer an option for activity-based offices to lack a desk booking system, let alone meeting room signs that signal which spaces are open and which are booked at specific periods of the workday. We look forward to sharing our message of workspace harmony and simple integration of modern booking technologies at InfoComm.