Workspace Booking System
Trust adopts hybrid working with a workspace booking system to reduce carbon footprint & reinvest
The Canal & River Trust is a charity organisation that cares for 2,000 miles of waterways across the UK. Together with volunteers and communities, they create safe and healthy outdoor spaces for land- and water-based recreation, directly contributing to the wellness of millions of people.
As a charity, effective use of finances has always been essential for the Trust.
Over the years, however, its physical footprint had expanded significantly to include many properties, some of which were proving to be surplus to requirements.
Plans were already underway to consolidate operations into fewer, select locations when the first COVID-19 wave hit.
Lockdown proved our ability to work outside of the traditional office environment
According to Claire Skeels, National Facilities Manager for the Canal & River Trust, “Lockdown proved to us that we have the ability to work effectively outside the traditional office environment.”
Claire and team quickly realised that maintaining a work-from-home element moving forward would tie in perfectly with their plans to cut back on the Trust’s physical footprint.
For the Trust, this meant combining flexible workspaces with modern desk and room booking technology to help embrace new ways of working and introduce some new great places in which to work. It would also help the Trust lower its carbon footprint with less travel and more efficient buildings.
To achieve this, they would not only need to design and fit-out the new hubs, they would also need to help employees transition to the new hybrid workplace model and use the available space as efficiently as possible.
Entering the world of workspace booking
“Making it easy for staff to book a workspace for their planned office visit was vital. Equally, keeping everyone safe and knowing who was where and when is important to the facilities team,” says Skeels.
Claire and her associates embarked on a journey to find a workspace booking solution that would suit their needs. After meeting with a number of companies who didn’t quite fit the bill, they sat down with the Essential team to create a solution.
“Making it easy for staff to book a space for their planned office visit was vital. Equally, keeping everyone safe and knowing who was where and when is important to the facilities team,” says Skeels.
A key component of what was delivered by Essential was a series of stylised interactive desk booking floor plans that matched the slick design of the new hubs, clearly signposted new facilities such as lockers and wellbeing rooms, and that reflected the Trust’s brand identity.
“We have people that have been working for the Trust for 40 years, so it’s a huge culture change and mindset change”, explained Skeels. “All these details have helped people acclimatise.”
Included as part of its launch communications Essential also created bespoke training videos demonstrating how to use the system, whether booking a workspace using Microsoft Outlook, a browser or their mobile phones.
Concluded Skeels, “I am proud of what we’ve achieved. As well as creating some great new office spaces, by embracing a hybrid working model that embraces home working, and releasing under-used properties, we get to lower our carbon footprint and help direct more funds towards maintaining the UK’s waterways.”
“As well as creating some great new office spaces, by embracing a hybrid working model that embraces home working, and releasing under-used properties, we get to lower our carbon footprint and help direct more funds towards maintaining the UK’s waterways.”
About the Workspace Booking Platform
The system delivered by Essential was Smartway2, a multi-platform service that enables individuals and teams to select and book their preferred office space via an easy-to-use and attractive interactive floor plan.
Hybrid workspace management
Read more about services to help your enterprise book, provision & manage your workplace for new ways of working.