Workplace Services + Approvals

Following the recent scheduling upgrades to event composer, today we're following up with Workplace services and meeting approvals. These are available today, and designed for more special case events, like lunch meetings, seminars, or presentations

Workplace services now supports more configuration options to help ensure meeting organizers can connect with the right person from the services team for things like food and beverage requests, help with room set up, or other A/V and amenities needs.

Want to make sure those service requests go through an approval process? Managed spaces require explicit approval to book, so large event spaces, auditoriums, training rooms, or other formal space requests can go through the right channels.

More flexibility when configuring services

Admins can now customize the available service options for their entire organization – or for specific locations, floors, spaces, or users. This provides greater flexibility for admins to configure services, and do things like:

  • Designate which spaces support requests like catering, or help from facilities or IT
  • Designate which users are able to make service requests
  • Configure unique service addresses per location, floor, or space
  • Add specific instructions per service type and location, like menu options, contact details, or particular restrictions. For example, “Contact alice@robinplatform.com for any requests less than 24 hours in advance”; or “Facilities help to move furniture requires 30 mins of time before the meeting”.

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Users can easily add available services when creating or editing an event right from the web dashboard. Enter a description of the request and desired time of service. (e.g., Get help from facilities setting up).

Submitted requests send the details to the assigned service address. Service providers receive any updates to the schedule via email, keeping everyone in the loop.

Require approval before using a room

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Admins may flag specific spaces which require an approval before any event reservations and/or services are finalized. Users will see these spaces as options from both the extension or the web dashboard, and can initiate a request to book these spaces from either platform.

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Pending meetings will appear as “on hold” until the request is approved. Admins may approve requests from the web dashboard, or from the email notification.

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Turn on services for your workplace

Workplace services and approvals are available with Premier scheduling plans. Get started with these set up guides

Simplified scheduling for more than just rooms

Starting today, Robin finds and recommends available times not just for conference rooms, but also the people invited. This update comes with a redesigned new booking experience on the web.

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Getting the right room is only part of the process -- and in some offices, the easy part. You'll now find more helpful recommendations finding invitee availability, editing your morning meeting, or shuffling the entire day's schedule. You'll find these and other improvements to the event composer in web and calendar extension.

Connect your account for more personalized scheduling

Connecting your individual Google, Office 365, or (in coming weeks) Exchange account with Robin unlocks some extra powers while scheduling a meeting:

  • Manage all events on your schedule, not just those in a meeting room.
  • Auto-complete invitees from your contacts.
  • Confirm your planned meeting time works for your team
  • Block time for focused work
  • Schedule events on behalf of others (aka delegate).

Admins can activate personal booking via Manage > Integrations, which allows people to book events as themselves instead of the connected service account. This guide shows how to get started.

Match activities to the best space and time available

You'll find "best fit" recommendations when booking, based on factors like invitees, type of activity, and size. Adjustable filters help you control the specific building, amenities, and capacity when needed.

Delegate booking and team scheduling

Administrative assistants, office operations, and team leads now have a host of new features to help manage events faster. Create events on behalf of others (delegate booking), add multiple spaces for distributed teams, or prevent meetings in spaces during maintenance.

What this means for you

Starting today, everyone will see the option to opt-in to the upgrades from the event composer. This setting applies only to your user account, and not the rest of your organization.

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Over the next few weeks, you'll also see updates to workplace services (fmr. "meeting services), recurring events, and a new way to manage approval requests for specific rooms. Both of these features come from strong feedback, and we're excited to show you more soon.

Legacy scheduling features will remain available to all existing accounts through December 1, 2019. At that time, all accounts will be transitioned to the newer versions, legacy features will no longer be available.

Release Schedule

Dates are subject to change, and timing of release may vary by account

  • October 28: Opt into new event composer features (Web)
  • November 6: Workplace service and approval configurations available to admins (Web)
  • December 1: End of life for legacy event composer and legacy extension, all accounts transitioned to new versions automatically.

Customize your map with theme colors

Maps will now use the same color customizations set for room displays, bringing consistency to all screens running in your office. Your design team will also appreciate the power to use The Official Company Green™ in more places.

Admins can customize availability colors via Manage > Themes and Customizations in the web dashboard.

Theme Customization

Search your workplace with interactive maps

The latest map update brings a few new ways to find the people and places within your workplace, complete with a few new presentation options. Also “Dark Light Mode”.

kiosk2.png The office floorplan just got an upgrade, giving your workplace in Robin a few new things:

  • Updated design
  • New point of interest (defibrillators, fire exits),
  • 2X faster loading, with smarter room labels that show at more zoom levels.
  • All apps are now powered by the same workplace map engine previewed in the desk booking update for mobile, allowing people to easily search for spaces or coworkers and see the results on a map.

See search results on a map

You can now choose to view search results on a map of the office. This makes it easy to find nearby spaces, people, and desks. Once you’ve started a search, you can now review options with context before making the best decision where to sit or meet. dashboard-spacesearch2.png

Easy to deploy wayfinding, now with desk booking

As of today, you can book both rooms and desks from the status board’s interactive map. Run the status board on a touch-screen kiosk for interactive wayfinding throughout a floor in your office. Find where coworkers sit and reserve a nearby desk, or book space for an impromptu conversation.

We’ve designed the interactive mode for easy setup, even without a touchscreen kiosk nearby. Just share the link on your internal company wiki to help people find and book spaces or seats – no login required.

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Status Boards

Status board has new configuration options available for both display and interactive (aka “kiosk”) modes. They now support custom theming, allowing admins to set the boards into either light or dark mode. All plans can now also customize the colors used for availability (e.g., in use, booked). kiosk-setup1.png

No map yet? Let’s fix that.

Office maps are included with all desks plans, and all scheduling plans except Basic. Ready to add maps to your workplace? Send us your floorplan to get started.

Measure utilization with upgraded workplace analytics

Starting today, workplace analytics available on the web dashboard. This update comes with a smarter way of calculating space utilization, better filters, and extra context for sharing charts with the rest of the team.

With this update, you’ll have an easier time answering some of the most common questions about workplace utilization and how it impacts the average employee’s ability to get stuff done. For example:

  1. Does your office have enough spaces?

  2. When is the office busiest?

  3. Are spaces and events well-matched?

  4. How are spaces used?

  5. How much space can your office save from abandoned meetings?

Thanks to your feedback, we’ve also added a few ways to share these results with the rest of your team in presentations (complete with talking points!). What good is a chart if it can’t go into a Powerpoint presentation, after all?

A few highlights…

New! Event Duration summarizes typical meeting length, and helps you discover how duration changes between spaces.

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Event breakdowns now call out ad hoc meetings separately. In most offices, this represents at least 25% of meetings and is a strong indicator of flexibility, versus predictable routine meetings. A more flexible office will have an easier time adapting to changes.

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Refined utilization calculations to weigh factors like working hours and ad hoc meetings to get you a more accurate picture of your workplace in action.

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Navigation that scrolls with you, for fast access to filters. Overview 2019-09-13 at 9.01.57 AM.png

Clearer visualizations, with contextual tooltips that help you navigate each chart.

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Share with others via image (png) or spreadsheet (csv). Busiest 2019-09-13 at 6.21.52 PM.png

Workplace analytics are available on all accounts starting today, via the web dashboard. Looking for a more in-depth tour of your new metrics? We’ve prepared a few guides to get you started

ICYMI - Recent upgrades across Robin

Small, recent enhancements to make your Robin experience a little easier. Curious what else we're working on? Check out the upcoming features on the Roadmap.

Upgrades for finding people and managing seats

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  • See where coworkers sit by clicking their desk location. Requires office maps.
  • Apply settings to all desks within a section of the office for easier bulk configurations of things like reservation length.
  • Office maps now render faster in web and mobile, making it easier to find what you're looking for.

Upgrades for scheduling events and managing spaces

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  • The room display app now runs on the Chromebase Mini in addition to iPads, Kindle Fires, and most Android tablets.
  • Book and manage recurring meetings from the mobile app.
  • Configure spaces like call rooms just for ad hoc use or add calendars to support booking in advance.

New permissions to manage event booking

Administrators on Premier plans can now further customize permissions and roles for their users with new settings for executives, assistants, or scheduling admins.

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Bypass booking policies

People with permission may override any set scheduling policies for the designated space(s) or location(s). This setting would be most useful for office managers, executive assistants, or other folks who manage scheduling for other people.

How this works:

  • Members without this permission will have scheduling policies enforced
  • Members with this permission will be able to override any set scheduling policies
  • Admins are able to bypass booking policies by default

Manage events

Like bypassing policies, this setting is handy for people who manage scheduling for for others. People with permission may edit details or cancel events within the designated space(s) or location(s). Note that some event changes may require the user to have additional permissions within Google, Office 365, or Exchange.

How this works:

  • Members without this permission are able to manage only the events they have created
  • Members with this permission will be able to manage all events
  • Admins are able to manage all events by default

Skip Check-in

People with this permission will not have room reservations automatically unbooked if they forget to check in within the specified time. This setting is most useful for executives and other team members who's meetings should remain on the calendar.

How this works:

  • By default, all unconfirmed meetings will be automatically unbooked when the Abandoned Meeting Protection setting is enabled
  • All meetings organized by members with this permission will be confirmed automatically, and will not be canceled

Device Status: A Consolidated View

Robin Administrators will now see improved navigation and a simplified view of device reporting within the web dashboard. Starting today, the "Analytics > System Status" and "Manage > Devices" tabs will be consolidated into a single overview for device management.

Where to view device information

To see the current status of configured Room Displays as well as the details around each device, navigate to Manage > Devices > Room Displays. The System Status page has been removed from Analytics, and Administrators looking for the link there will be redirected to Manage > Devices.

Looking for a way to filter by building? You’ll have options to view displays by their assigned location in the coming weeks.

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User Groups in Analytics Exports

Want to know which teams are creating meetings or reserving desks?
Customers, with a Pro or Premier plan, who have the ability to download exports will now see User Group information in the reports. Creator's Group(s) and Host's Group(s) have been added in the event history report and Creator's Group(s) and Assignee's Group(s) have been added in the desk reservation history report. If a user is a member of more than one group, all applicable groups are listed and separated by commas.

If you are importing the downloaded report into a different system, please note that new fields have been added between the name and email address fields.

Event History Report * Screen Shot 2019-07-16 at 4.07.35 PM.png *snippet of report.

The Robin Help Center provides a guide to all the fields in the event history and desk reservation history reports.

A faster way to book your desk from mobile

A revamped desk booking experience arrives in mobile this week. It’s packed with improvements, including fully interactive maps. With results on the map, you can grab a desk in the perfect corner of the office, or find a better place to work for the afternoon before you even get to the office.

If you have desks enabled on your account, you’ll find a new option to browse results from a fully interactive map instead of the standard list of desk names in search results.

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As the workplace gets more complicated, admins will need better ways to introduce changes to their teams without retraining new workflows. We believe maps are a key foundation to building a flexible office for admins and employees alike. Today’s mobile release is the first step of many aimed at helping you manage more of the workplace — not just conference rooms.

What it does

For those familiar with workplace maps already, you'll recognize a few differences to make the whole experience a little bit better. Mobile is the first place you’ll see the brand new Workplace Map engine. The new maps are built from the ground up to support not just desks and conference rooms, but a growing collection of integrations that power modern offices. They load faster, with smarter label rendering at all zoom levels… even if you’ve named your desks something terribly long.

Scout a new desk, or manage your current assignment Explore points of interest near your new seat (e.g., elevators, or something more interesting)

Faster availability summaries w/ full context of where the rest of your team sits, so you can make the best decision for the day’s work.

Why maps matter

Unlike conference rooms, finding your desk can be harder when there are hundreds or thousands to choose from.

We've heard how important wayfinding is to navigating a sea of seating well. For admins trying to introduce their workplace to activity-based work or flexible seating arrangements, lists of desks don't onboard folks in the right way.

Going forward, you can expect maps to become the preferred way to use new features. If you haven't set up your floorplan in Robin yet, it's a great time to get started — especially if you're considering introducing outside the usual admin group.

Learn how to get started