Social Distancing Seating Dashboard

While some companies including Twitter announced their employees to be permanently remote, other companies have inevitably started bringing their employees back onsite to work. Unfortunately, not only small companies but also large corporations are struggling to come up with an effective office seating coordination tool for their employees to work in a safe office environment. What are the business tools companies are using? I have seen companies still manually keeping track of their key business processed in Excel spreadsheets. Although I still like Excel as much as some of you do for a quick and dirty data prep work, Excel just isn’t a good business intelligence tool at all.

With offices supposed to only run at 50-75% of max occupancy capacity, seat reservations must be prioritized base on employee type (e.g. essential workers VS. regular workers) or type of projects employees are working on. Employees also need to be able to see which seats are taken so they don’t book a seat close to others. HR systems typically don’t provide such functionalities. Then how can we effectively facilitate returning to work?

We normally use Tableau as a Business Intelligence tool such as creating a KPI dashboard. However, there are many other business use cases and seating plan dashboard is one great practical example. As long as you have a sound data collection process, Tableau will handle everything else.

Above dashboard is a Tableau visualization that I put together in a few days that’s effective and scalable. This proof of concept can be customized further and implemented at any organization to stream line a return to work process. I will also share the entire steps to replicate the same tool in my future blog posting.

How to use the dashboard

  • Stakeholders: Requestors and Approvers (Managers)
  • Select a date from the “Select Onsite Work Date” to see which seats are still available or have been taken by others for that day.

  • Select one of the “View Seat Reservation By” list to view the seating schedule by different parameter object. For example, if you choose “Visit Priority”, then it will color code the reserved seats by High, Medium, and Low visit priority differently. This helps the approvers manage and coordinate the seating in case there is a conflict.

  • Optional: Click any of the color legend items to filter for a specific category (e.g. High priority)

  • Once you hover over one of the seats you would like to reserve, it will pop out a tooltip that shows who has reserved the seat for that day as well as upcoming reservations.




Hope this gave you some insights as to what can be built using Tableau. I will share the entire steps to built the same visualization in my future blog posting. If you liked my dashboard, please share this great proof of concept with others.


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