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Manchester Primary Care Trust Makes Hot Desking Cool

As part of a major restructuring programme, Manchester Primary Care Trust moved the tenants of three principal administrative buildings whose leases were approaching expiry into a new headquarters.

In line with its strategy to reduce costs, the new space was sized to reflect the fact that not all of the staff working for the HQ would be likely to be in the office at any given time.

Approximately 50% of the work force would be permanently located at Parkway 3, and the remaining 50% comprised of highly mobile staff members who would only be in the office for a few days in every week.

Although this approach presented savings in terms of building and energy costs, it introduced new challenges in ensuring that the available space could be shared effectively to accommodate the ebb and flow of staff.

Desk Booking on Demand

A key factor in enabling desk sharing was to employ an effective desk booking system.According to Ian Scullion, Project Manager at MPCT, “Staff not permanently based at Parkway 3 had to be able to very easily book an available working space.

We chose Resource Central from authors Add-On Products to help this process as it integrated tightly with our existing Microsoft Outlook Calendaring system. Staff can simply check their working week in Outlook calendar and book their desks as needed – without having to launch a separate application.

Touch for Action

For maximum convenience we also wanted to provide a facility that enabled staff to make last minute desk bookings on arrival at Parkway 3 reception.”

Meeting Monitor from QED was used to provide a Touch Screen booking console that was also fully integrated with Outlook.
Floor plans of the building show up-to-the-minute desk availability, with an intuitive ‘red for booked, green for free’ colour scheme. Simply touching a green-coloured desk automatically books the resource and removes it from Outlook.

The combined solution was delivered by messaging and collaboration experts, Essential Computing.

Just Part of the Solution….

Introducing technology to support the booking of meeting rooms and desks was just part of the picture.

Messaging on the move, wireless networks, IP call routing, and even communal storage cupboards have been vital services to supporting our move to using hot desks. The switch to hot desking has also meant a major shift in mind-set and culture.

A Shift in Mind-Set

The days of having your own desk are over and even the members of staff that are more or less permanently based in Parkway 3 will be expected to release their desks into our free pool on the days they are out of the office. That’s why it was essential that our booking system had to be both simple and fit closely with existing work practices.

Resource Central and Meeting Monitor will help change our staff’s perception of how resources are managed within the Trust, as well as add value to other aspects of our organisation’s efficiency. In the future we will want to manage our meeting rooms and other resources using Resource Central. Our staff are very comfortable using Outlook Calendar to manage their diaries and meetings, so the fact that Resource Central is a seamless add-on to Outlook and is Microsoft certified were key factors in our decision to purchase Resource Central”, concluded Scullion.

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