Managing employees’ seating arrangement within the office space

As an employer, you know how crucial it is for companies to give their staff every possible opportunity to succeed and be productive in the workplace. That means hiring the right talent, giving them access to the right tools, and ensuring that they are able to maximize their efficiency during working hours without unnecessary hassles. Part of this involves having a proper seating allocation system. Whether it’s ensuring that teams are grouped together, that serendipitous interactions between different departments can take place, or simply that everyone has a place to sit when they arrive at the office, a carefully thought-out seating allocation systems can be a game changer for any business. 

It can also be a lot more complicated than first appears. In some organizations, statistics show a churn rate as high as 20% – 25%. This may be for a wide variety of reasons, ranging from organizational changes and office relocations to vacation and termination of employees. That can cause a headache for any seating allocation procedures, but in many cases the people responsible for sorting out this important task are lacking the right tools for the job. Many organizations don’t have the right rules and procedures in place to engage with his issue — despite management’s constant demands for greater efficiency and streamlining.

This document is our attempt to lay out some of the successful working methods we’ve been exposed to in various organizations. While it isn’t advice on which method will suit you the best, it will offer a glimpse at how some companies choose to implement these strategies, both in cases in which the HR systems interact effectively with P.O.C Seating Allocation System and those in which they don’t. Ultimately, you’ll want to pick a procedure that suits your organization’s DNA, as well as laying out a clear and orderly process. 

Reception of new employees

A surprising number of companies lack a formulated set of processes in place for seating new employees as they arrive. Instead, it typically involves passing new recruits to a member of the facilities, assets or administration team, who then interfaces with the new employee’s direct manager to find out where they should be sitting. This highly manual approach often works, but it’s not necessarily as tidy or painless as it could be.

This is where P.O.C system comes into play as an automated system which interfaces directly with the HR system. In most cases, setting up a new employee on the standard human resources software automatically alerts the P.O.C system of the new employee’s presence. They can then be easily assigned a general or specific seating location as defined by their job description, department and team affiliations. In the event that the employee’s seating is not defined according to their position, this can also be carried out manually through a contact between the HR referent and the direct manager of the new employee. In cases where there is no clear seating location during the recruitment stage, HR systems will locate the new employee on standby, defined as a “Lounge”, from which the same employee will be pulled – by the admin or person responsible for the employee seating – to the designated seating location, after having received am alert regarding the entrance of a new employee to the “Lounge”.

Removal of employees

In cases where there is no automatic seat allocation system to interface with the existing HR system, the entire process must be carried out manually. Typically, there is a release form or a task flow in which the employee is moved through a number of stations – such as the infrastructure department – that remove the employee from their systems. In organizations where the termination procedure is less strict, the admin or direct manager is responsible for sending an email to the person responsible for seating allocation. It is then their job to update the P.O.C seating allocation system.

In cases where there is an automatic system for interfacing with the HR system, the person responsible for seating allocation will be alerted of planned termination of employment. During the employee’s removal from the system, the P.O.C system will then automatically remove them and evacuate the relevant workstation where they were previously seated.

In many organizations, management prefers to receive an alert or automatic summary report regarding the removal of the employee for the purpose of control, including a changes report.

Movement of employees

This can be the most challenging stage of all, partly due to the fact that employees can sometimes move themselves without notifying the proper channels – such as when they happen to spot a nearby empty work station that they find more suitable. That’s good for the employee; not nearly as good for the person trying to keep the seating allocation system in order. But just because “seat abandonment” happens doesn’t mean you should accept it and not put in place proper guidelines. The moving and updating procedures that can contribute toward organizational discipline and orderly management are frequently:

  1. That no employee should be allowed to move their work station without first updating the person responsible for seating allocation. That’s not only to ensure that the list of available workstations is up-to-date on the seating allocation plan (which is crucial for adding new employees), but also because infrastructure and equipment department, such as IP telephones, can be tied up with them.
  2. That department admins ideally have the ability to update the system. At the very least, it’s recommended that seating is verified once a week and updates are sent accordingly.

Keeping things up to date

It should be noted that P.O.C system, which support multiple users- allow for the setting up of viewing authorizations. We recommend allowing these admin viewing authorizations, which can make it possible to have independent updates by a number of relevant people in the organization. 

You can also use the P.O.C system for carrying out an automatic survey which will be sent to all employees periodically for the purpose of verifying seating arrangements. These emails will ask people to confirm their building/floor/room/workstation, as well as requesting a verification of the employee’s seating location, or an update regarding any change. If no response is given, a reminder is sent and an email forwarded to the admin for following up.

Once every quarter, the P.O.C system lets you send an occupancy and seating allocation report to the infrastructure department manager, verifying seating arrangements and occupancy.

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