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How does Unicef manage its flexible offices?

If all workplaces are constantly flexible, it is nice that some workplaces can sometimes be inactive to work with our scrum team together for a day.


As the world's largest children's rights organization, UNICEF achieves more for more children and in more places than anyone else. In this way, they work worldwide towards a better future for every child.

UNICEF employee: “Many Unicef employees are part of a young family, and we try to make the combination of work and private life for employees with children as optimal as possible. Unicef wants to support this work-life balance and offers the possibility to work from home when this fits better”.

Our search for the best solution

We spoke to John van Strien, Tech & Data manager at Unicef. He told us about his search for a product for reserving workspaces, among other things.

John:I googled to see if there were apps that could support us in reserving workspaces in the office. There I found BookMyDesk and several other organizations, among others. I think it's important that it was a Dutch app and organization. I requested a free trial subscription and looked at the possibilities with my colleagues. It was very accessible, employees could be easily imported into the system, and it did what we needed. Also, the pricing appealed to us. Because we needed it quickly, it had to work easily for users and be able to be entered easily and quickly, which was possible with BookMyDesk.

Easy integration and people just accepted it

Finding a suitable tool is often not the problem, but the implementation is; it just has to be easy and quick.

John:We communicated with our employees that we were going to use BookMyDesk. They downloaded the app, after which they could log in. They didn't have to remember a password; they thought that was fantastic. I never really get to hear much about it; they think it's great that it's possible, and they use it.

“People are used to their phones. An app for this and an app for that. Now we have an app for reserving a workplace; everyone thinks it makes sense that we have this now.”

John van Strien

Having overviews in Excel are a thing of the past

We see it happening a lot; companies keep track of which employee comes to the office and when in Excel files and where this employee should sit. Employees have no idea when a particular colleague is in the office, and you can't choose your workplace.
We've asked John about his experience in reserving workspaces via BookMyDesk.

John:We have set that a maximum number of employees can book a workplace to keep the necessary distance and comply with the national measures. Convenient, because if the available places are all reserved, it is simply no longer possible to reserve a place."

“We can now see structural patterns; for example, Tuesday and Thursday are the busiest days, and Friday is not. As a result, we can choose to close one floor on that day and leave the heating off on that floor.”

John van Strien

What does the future have in store?

Will hybrid be the new way of working, or will we return to the office at full throttle when we can? And what does the future office look like? We asked John how he sees the future for his organization.

John: “All our meeting rooms have equipment with which we can work hybrid, digital equipment that makes it as if you are sitting at the table with each other. Good sound and image; we are already used to it. In addition, we have motivated employees who strive for the best, just like we did working from the office. When we can all go back to the office, we also have the option to work from home. We want to optimize the work-life combination".

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