Desk booking made easy with Microsoft Power Apps

    Returning to the office soon? Microsoft Power Apps Desk Booking can help ensure everyone stays safe and healthy while maintaining a well-organized space.

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    After more than a year of pandemic waves and a compulsory home office for most of us, many countries are slowly going back to “normal”. For the time being, however, offices are reopening at reduced capacity with only a portion of the desks being made available due to social distancing measures.

    Some organizations have taken a different approach, as they have mandated working from home - whether part-time or permanently - to reduce their office space and save costs. In both cases, it’s not always possible for all employees to have a desk while in the office.

    At Amplexor, we had the same desk booking challenge, which led us to evaluate various SaaS tools to solve our problem. However, during our research we discovered three common drawbacks in these solutions:

    • They didn’t allow us to use our own office map
    • They had a poor user experience
    • They were too expensive

    This is where Amplexor’s Power Platform gurus jumped into action. I In a matter of days, they developed a robust desk booking app which fully integrates our office map, allows us to configure maximum capacity, has phenomenal user experience on mobile, desktop and within Microsoft Teams, and – best of all – is free to use with an Office 365 license!

    How does Microsoft Power Platform work for desk booking?

    Authentication is based on your Active Directory profile and, once authenticated, the Welcome page allows you to either create a new desk booking or manage existing bookings.

    a welcome screen with two navigable buttons

    The OfficeBooking app welcome screen, based on Microsoft Power Platform

    The booking process itself is straightforward and simple:

    • You pick the date you’d like to go to the office from the calendar. In the calendar you can immediately see the dates you booked (in blue) and the dates which are already fully booked (in red).
    • Once you’ve picked a date you can confirm your timeslot; either predefined (full day, morning, or afternoon) or based on specific hours.
    • In the third step you pick your desk on the office map. This map also brings a smart experience: booked desks are in red, free desks in green and your commonly-used desk is preselected in blue. Any of the green spots on the map can be selected as your desk for that day.
    • And finally, you’ll see the overview of your booking and can either confirm or return to one of the previous steps to make changes.

    screen 1 of booking a date at the office on the app

    Using the calendar, choose your desired date. Red indicates no vacancies.

    screen 2, choosing a timeslot

    Choose your desired timeslot.

    screen 3, choosing your desk from a map of your office

    Choose an available desk (indicated in green).

    screen 4, a confirmation screen showing the time you have booked.

    Confirm your booking.

    Power Platform then sends an e-mail confirmation to the user, automatically adding it to their Outlook calendar.

    Office managers have access to an overview of bookings so that they can take appropriate safety measures in case of health concerns.

    The above is just a simple yet clear example of how Power Platform can easily bring value to process digitization. The development of the app and automation, being fully based on low-code, took a matter of days instead of weeks or months.

    An additional benefit is that you can use the app from desktop, on mobile and from within Teams. And as we’re only using SharePoint in the back-end, the app can be used for free as part of your existing Office 365 license.

    Published on    Last updated on 01/07/2021

    #Digital Workplace, #Office 365, #Digital Transformation, #Collaboration

    About the author

    Tom Laureys is Solution Director ECM at Amplexor based in Belgium. For the past 10 years, Tom has been helping clients across industries find the right technology to effectively digitize their business processes and improve collaboration and productivity. His combination of strategic thinking and expertise in a range of platforms - from Alfresco and Documentum to SharePoint and Office 365 – grant him the capacity to capture new trends on the market and turn them into solutions for our customers.

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