In the ever-shifting landscape of the working environment, the necessity for immediate temporary office space is growing faster than ever. From simple desks with a wall outlet to fully decked-out meeting rooms, hot desk booking can meet any professional workspace need. The Accruent EMS platform provides desk booking tools to fit any office or hybrid environment

What is Hot Desk Booking Software?

Hot desk booking software is a platform that enables users to reserve a space or resource for a specific time and date to work or study. Hot desk booking ensures that users will have the space necessary for the task at hand.

Whether it's a conference room for a meeting, an overhead projector for a presentation, or a simple desk to accommodate hybrid workers when they come into the office, hot desk booking temporarily assigns the asset to the user who needs it at the time they need it.

How Does Hot Desk Booking Work?

Many organizations and institutions in today's dynamic working and education environments set aside areas or resources, earmarked for workers or students to reserve as needed. Also known as hot desking, hot desk booking is the practice of reserving these resources for students to study or staff to conduct business.

Here’s how hot desk booking works:

  1. Your organization designates which spaces are “unassigned” and open for hot desking.
  2. Your employee or student reserves a space for a specified time slot through a web browser or a mobile app such as Accruent's EMS Direct Spaces.
  3. The area's status changes to unavailable in the app for the allotted time, dedicating the space to the party that reserved it.

The Direct Spaces hot desk booking system also enables users to set neighborhoods and find colleagues. It also provides tools such as video conferencing to facilitate collaboration and big-picture analytics to optimize space management

The Benefits of Hot Desk Booking Software

Hot desking has grown in popularity in recent years because of the many advantages the practice offers to organizations, workers, and students alike. The flexibility that a hot desk booking solution provides is the number one reason for its rise in the modern work culture. These other benefits give organizations several reasons to consider a hot desk solution for their working model.

1. Facilitate Hybrid Work Environments

For those employees who follow the hybrid work model, it's an ideal way to ensure they'll have a place to set up when they commute in to do their jobs. Management can use real-time floor plans and filters to organize spaces based on space availability, necessary equipment, and cleaning schedules. Organizers can easily change workspace options or desk availability as the office evolves.

Floor plans displayed in hot desk booking software on a computer screen.

2. Leverage Analytics

Integrated data analytics help track key workspace management metrics, such as preferred seating arrangements, time of use, and collaboration habits. With comprehensive information analysis, your company or institution can make informed decisions regarding a number of issues, including space utilization, employee training schedules, and departmental structures.

3. Enable Reservations at a Moment's Notice

Streamlined scheduling harnesses the power of modern technology to aid in space and desk reservations when you need them most, whether scheduling days in advance or on the fly. Touch screens and mobile devices make it easy to reserve desks and book spaces. You can easily designate just about any area for hot desk booking, including lounges, conference rooms, and any other space you choose to add to your availability schedule.

4. Empower Employees

Whether you need to set a desk reservation for an entire day, book office space for a few hours, or switch spaces mid-day for a spontaneous team meeting, Accruent has the flexible self-service hot desk booking tool to make that happen. With EMS, it's easy to make multiple reservations, update on the fly, or assign time slots to regular team members for recurring use.

Dashboard in hot desk software for employees to communicate and collaborate efficiently.

EMS Hot Desk Software Key Features

The Accruent EMS system is a comprehensive scheduling platform that offers a full range of hot desking and meeting room scheduling. The list of comprehensive EMS features includes:

Infographic of EMS use cases including hot desking, hoteling and workspace management.

Interactive Floor Plans

Dynamic floor plans make space management simple, enabling you to easily orient yourself and find the space that works best for you and your professional needs at the time you need it.

Long-term Desk Assignment

Accruent's robust EMS desk booking system enables you to provide permanent or semi-permanent seating to those employees who plan to work exclusively on-site for the foreseeable future.

Data Analytics

Workplace data analysis can provide helpful desk usage metrics to examine your current office space utilization strategy and optimize for permanent and hybrid workplace models.

Direct Spaces Mobile App

Direct Spaces works as a hot desk booking app that allows your students and employees to update or change reservations on the go.


The EMS Flex neighborhoods feature empowers teammates to easily find each other on the booking schedule to streamline collaboration.

Reservation Updating

The Accruent EMS system makes it easy to modify or cancel reservations if an unexpected change of plans occurs

Hot Desking Software FAQ

Why has hot desking become so popular?

The flexibility of hot desking is essential in the modern workplace. Wellness and work-life balance have become a high priority for workers in every field. The current generation of jobseekers has become accustomed to advanced, mobile technology and seeks out companies that offer these tools to create a positive employee experience.

Is hot desk booking only for seating?

Hot desking generally applies to workspace sharing, but it's not exclusive to spaces. Hot desk booking also enables other sharing options such as computers, overhead projectors, and other tools. The hot desk approach can maximize tech-sharing efficiency and ensure that users have the tools they need when they need them.

How do you implement hot desking?

Hot desking requires providing the right space in your office. Employ user permissions to ensure critical spaces like conference rooms for authorized users. Schedule visibility informs everyone with appropriate authorization of each area's status. List usable tech assets and set permissions to only allow authorized users to reserve these resources.

What benefits does hot desk booking provide?

Hot desking can improve social and professional networking, enabling employees to interact with new teammates, start new conversations, and find new inspiration that can spark innovative collaborative efforts. When workers can select a workspace, they're more likely to choose a location that best meets their particular needs, improving their productivity.

What is the difference between hot desking and hotelling?

With desk hoteling, users can use a tool like EMS to reserve a space. Hot desking is generally more of a first-come, first-served arrangement. With EMS, though, users can reserve their spaces ahead of time. This increases transparency, visibility, and satisfaction for everyone involved.