Cancer Research staff book desks online

Cancer research UK is piloting a new online hotdesk booking scheme at its head office on London to cut the number of empty desks.

It is part of a flexible working arrangement at the charity’s Information Systems department, where many staff take advantage of flexible working arrangements to work from home or off site. Now, when employees want to come into the office to work, they can book a desk online for a week, a day, or even just a few hours.

Jane Swindle, IS business change manager at Cancer Research UK, said the flexible office was born out of necessity as staff numbers swelled and has proved to be a bonus.

She said: “It gives people the ability to come in and sit next to someone more appropriate each day, depending on what work they are doing. It encourages a lot more collaboration.”

The desk booking system was introduced to help cope with a growing flexible and nomadic workforce.
Staff numbers within the department were, at times, flexing up to 200 to cope with large projects.

There were 140 desks available and allocated to staff but as a good percentage of these staff were regularly working off-site, the IS department was finding that its office space was vastly under-utilised.

The online booking system was bought in by RNM Systems using the desk booking module of its Condeco software suite. Rather than each worker having their own desk, they are able to choose a place to sit online.

It means no new extra desks are necessary as the workforce grows as desks are not left empty if someone is out of the office.

Paul Statham, managing director at RNM Systems, said: “Cancer Research UK is the largest and one of most well-known charities in the country. It is an organisation that is constantly seeking to reduce costs and, as a result, needs to ensure it is making full use of the office space it has available.”