Matrix Booking improves Desk Booking & Flexible Working at the East London NHS Foundation Trust

The East London NHS Foundation Trust provides a range of mental and community health care services for more than a million residents, not just in East London but via specialised services in areas as far away as Luton, Bedfordshire and Richmond-upon-Thames. The Trust has 5,500 staff active at more than 100 Community and Inpatient sites, and supporting the organisation is a People and Culture team of nearly 100 people based primarily at the Trust’s main office Headquarters in central London. Due to the nature of the team’s work and the wide-reaching footprint of the trust, People and Culture staff also have established office spaces at five of the Trust sites.

In response to the increasing complexity of their role, the People and Culture team wanted to adopt agile working practises, which could provide the flexibility that the job required and make the most efficient use of the resources available. The Trust’s Agile Working Project Team was set up and quickly decided to seek out the most suitable online desk booking solution. Its key requirements were a system that would be intuitive and easy to use and one that required minimal administration but would also provide the reporting the Trust needed to identify how their resources are being used.

Having delivered multiple successful implementations for other NHS bodies, including various NHS Trusts and the Department of Health and Social Care, Matrix Booking was quickly identified as a potential solution provider. Initial discussions between the Trust and the Matrix Booking team confirmed that an easily customised system could meet all of the Trust’s requirements. The core component would allow the People and Culture team to book hot desks as and when required, regardless where they were when making a booking.

Matrix Booking implements a new desk booking solution for the Trust

The Matrix Booking implementation team worked closely with the Trust to implement Matrix Booking for 86 bookable desks across five sites – a project that was coordinated alongside the refurbishment of the floor the People and Culture team occupy at the trust’s central London headquarters, which was completed at the start of 2020. The Matrix Booking system quickly went live to staff soon after the refurbishment was completed, and the simplicity and ease of use of the system made the adoption of Matrix Booking quick and easy, as end-users needed little to no training.

Staff can access the system via a WCAG-accredited web booking interface, or via the Android or iOS mobile apps, providing maximum flexibility. To help monitor the system, powerful reporting tools instantly display clear usage patterns and utilisation data.

As the system requires minimal administration and is designed to be completely self-service, Matrix Booking fulfils the Trust’s requirement for a system with little or no administration overheads. Matrix Booking is now an established part of the People and Culture team’s agile approach to its work, which is being used by the trust as a trial for incorporating new agile working practices, with Matrix Booking firmly in place to help the Trust develop a flexible and efficient office environment in the future.

In Summary

Agile working and solutions to manage this continue to gain traction, particularly in organisations which have been forced to adopt home working and will look to maintain this for the foreseeable future. Matrix Booking not only provides staff with the flexibility that being able to book a workspace offers, it also supports organisations managing the return to the office and in adopting certain policies around their COVID-19 response, such as office capacity and distancing measures.

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