Beta Feature: Making Permissions more intuitive for users in multiple groups

We've changed the way permissions work to create an experience that's easier to understand and configure for your users and groups. This change affects organizations that opted into the Permissions Beta only.

What’s changing?

Early Beta: Users have the access allowed by their most restrictive role.

For example: If a user belonged to two groups, one group with access to "A" and another group with access to "A" and "B", then the user would only be able to book "A".

Now: Permissions are additive, and users have access to the greatest number of permissions allowed to them. That same user from the example above now has access to book "A" and "B".


Why are we making this change?

Your feedback throughout this early Beta period was clear — the old way was super confusing, and hard to manage for larger organizations where users belonged to multiple groups. Before releasing to everyone, we’ve decided to change the way permissions are applied.

With this change, the actions that a user is allowed to do is the sum of all the things their roles and groups allow them to do. If the user belongs to any groups with a role that allows for something (e.g., booking a room) then the user will be able to do it — even if another role doesn't grant this permission.

This approach makes managing permissions more straightforward, since you now only need to determine if a user belongs to a group which has permission to do something. You can also grant power with a new role without reviewing all existing role assignments.

Today's change was key to making the feature more intuitive, and the additive permissions approach should be familiar for teams already using Role-Based Access Control across their organization.


What should administrators do?

If you have created custom roles, we recommend taking a minute to review any groups with multiple roles assigned. You may need to update them to avoid granting access to rooms you’ve explicitly blocked previously. See below for tips on how to do this.


Understanding and modifying the default roles

Does this statement apply to your organization?

“Everyone can book everything (all rooms and/or desks) in our organization.”

If so, then change nothing. Remember that all new users with automatically join with the Member role, and that this role allows booking all spaces and/or desks by default.

If this isn't the case for your organization, then you'll want to modify the permissions for the Member role by restricting them to the lowest common level of access. This may mean preventing members from booking any spaces or desks at all.


Creating custom roles

In the new permissions model launched today, permissions are now additive.

So if this statement applies to your organization:

“People in the Marketing group can book anything on the 6th floor except for two executive board rooms;”

Then you'll want to do the following:

  1. Modify the default Member role by restricting any spaces, levels or locations that aren't bookable by everyone.
  2. Create a custom role that's allowed to book anything on the 6th floor. For that same role, add two exclusions for the executive board rooms.
  3. Assign the Marketing group to the new custom role. Ensure that the group contains the appropriate members -- you can use SCIM to sync these automatically from your Identity Provider.

In this case, everyone in the marketing group starts with the default permissions allowed for the Member Role, and then gets the added permissions of new custom role.


Assigning permissions to a single user

“I only want this to apply to a single person, why do I have to make a group?”

Today, roles must be assigned to a group, and not a specific user. If you’ve created many highly specific policies meant for specific users, you’ll need to create a group and assign the policy to them that way.

Calendar extension refresh, featuring activities

Opportunities for collaboration aren't confined to traditional meetings. In most modern offices, remote teams connect through video conference, managers help their direct reports grow in weekly one-on-ones, and focused work -- either alone or with a peer -- all contribute to employee productivity.

The workday contains multiple activities, and the refreshed calendar extension highlights the best spaces for getting work done and the best times based on who needs to be included.
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The extension works alongside Google and Outlook, and updates recommended spaces and/or times based on user input.

How it works

Select an activity type from the drop down based on what you need to get done.

Adding new invitees? The extension will find times that work for everyone on the list, and call out how many spaces are available at that time.

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Need a space? Suggested spaces will populate based on the activity type and invitee count. Find spaces that have the resources needed to get work done -- whether that's a whiteboard, audio conferencing support, or space for 100 people.

If you're scheduling a call with a remote team member, add a space for them too.

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Release Timeline

Robin is available as a browser extension for Google Calendar, or add-in for Office 365 (Outlook).

May 2 - Roll out to all Robin administrator accounts.

May 15 - Roll out the browser extension (Chrome, FireFox, Safari) to all users with Google Calendar.

June 15 - Roll out the Outlook add-in to all users with Office 365.

Activities will make their way into Insights, and the web and mobile apps later this spring.

Learn More

New controls for managing your workplace

We've launched a handful of new tools which allow administrators greater control over their workplace.

Available now for all plans

Allow booking between set hours. This booking policy may be applied to all spaces within a location, or specific spaces to restrict the hours which they can be booked through Robin's mobile or web apps.

Good for: Offices which support co-working spaces and multi-use spaces

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Available now for accounts on the Roles & Permissions Beta


Interested in testing out the Roles & Permissions beta? Reach out to your account rep for more information.

Ability to modify default roles. Administrators may now override and customize the default permissions for the member, admin, and owner roles. This opens up the possibility to restrict all new users from certain navigation elements or booking within certain locations as soon as they create a Robin account.

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Hide the People Search feature from the web dashboard and mobile app. The People tab is a directory listing of all of the Robin users within your organization, and is available to all members by default. If you'd prefer to hide this tab for members or users with specific roles on web and mobile, uncheck the box.

Hide the Analytics feature from the web dashboard. The analytics tab shows office utilization information, and is available to all members within your organization by default. If you'd prefer to hide this tab for members or users with specific roles, uncheck the box.

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Hide meeting details from the web dashboard. This privacy-focused feature will mask meeting details for any meetings the user isn't participating in as an organizer or invitee. From the schedule and space overview pages, events will show as "Reserved." Administrators will still be able to see all details.

Looking to manage privacy settings for display apps like Rooms or the Status Board? Read more.

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See availability of desks on kiosks

Organizations that have added desks to their maps in Robin, can now see them on interactive kiosks. Folks in the office have more visibility on what resources are available on a floor and see who is sitting at an occupied seat.

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  • Tap on an available desk, in green, to see the desk name and its amenities.
  • Tap on an occupied desk, in gray, to see the name of the person currently sitting at the desk.

Drill into office insights to see how spaces perform over time

Facilities and real estate teams can now get more granular insights into the performance of spaces they manage.

New filters on the Insights page highlight utilization of a specific space, allowing you to compare data points:

  • Do some spaces have higher recapture rates than others?
  • Which 4-person meeting rooms are used more than others throughout the day?
  • Has utilization increased or decreased over time?

Expanded time ranges now show up to six months of historical data to help call out changes over time and seasonal trends.

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Deeper insights into office utilization

The new office insights report answers key questions about how and when people use spaces within your workplace. Identify bottlenecks throughout the week, the types of spaces used most frequently, and how your office can maximize existing space by recapturing time from ghost meetings.

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This report is now available to users from the web dashboard.Navigate to Analytics > Insights to view data for your office, and read more about the specific questions this data can help answer. This new report replaces the Overview page, and data previously found from the overview has moved into this new Insights page or within the weekly utilization email sent to Robin administrators.

Insights is still in Beta, which means we're still validating that all data is rendering correctly for all organizations. You can expect to see the number of data points and opportunities to segment your data grow over the coming months as Robin answers more questions about your workplace.

Have feedback on what you'd like to see Insights answer next? Let us know by sending an email to feedback@robinpowered.com

Desk wayfinding and making desk reservations for other people

Sometimes the labels for a pod or table of desks don't appear on a map due to things like zoom level, size of the desk group, and length of the name.This leads to users not really knowing what desk they're reserving (unless they have your floor plan memorized). While we work to address the tricky business of scale on a map, we've rolled out a small enhancement sure to make everyone's life a bit easier. The name of the desk pod or table is now included on the card that pops up when you click on a desk.

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Admins can reserve desks for other people, but until recently, they could only make assigned desk reservations on the behalf of others. Now our user interface supports admins' ability to make hot and hotel desk reservations for others.

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Organizations on Enterprise plans have the option to participate in the beta of our new desk and scheduling permissions. In addition to locking down what group of desks a role can reserve, we now support the "delegate" permission. Roles with this permission can make reservations on other people's behalf.

Desk updates: Reserve by the hour and easier people finding

Sometimes you only need a desk for a few hours, now you can easily search and reserve a desk by date and time.

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Need to find a person in the office? Accounts with maps will be able to link directly from the People search to the map.

Go to People in the navigation tab, and enter in a name or email address. To the far right of your results there's a link to help you set up a meeting, or see them on a map if they have an active desk reservation or assigned desk.

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Clicking Find Liza on map will open the map zoomed in on her desk area.

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Desk reservation data

Enterprise and Pro desk accounts can see how their desks are being used by downloading a report from the Analytics section in Dashboard.

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Select the date range, and click "Email Download Link" to have the report sent. The export includes the following information:

  • Space name: The name of the space the desk resides in
  • Zone name: The name of the group the desk resides in
  • Desk ID: The ID number of the desk in the Robin system
  • Desk name: The human readable name to of the desk that appears in search results and other parts of the user interface
  • Type: Hot, Hotel, Assigned
  • Start: When the desk reservation started in UTC time
  • End: When the desk reservation ended in UTC time
  • Creator name: Name of the person who made the reservation
  • Creator email: Email
  • Assignee name: Name of the person who the desk reservation was for
  • Assignee email: Email

Meeting notifications in Slack

You can now receive Slack notifications for upcoming meetings, including an option to confirm events in advance.

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Once your organization enables Slack in Robin, link your personal account and manage notification settings via Account > Personal Integrations

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