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Understand Seat Usage Types

Usage Type describes the way a seat is used. You can create different seating arrangements for your employees by combining different seat usage types. This article dives into how different seat usage types can create fixed and flexible seating to suit your business needs.

Fixed vs. Flexible Seating

You can provide fixed seating or flexible seating for your employees. 

  • Fixed seating is created when an employee has an assigned seat on the Floor Map. When you have fixed seating, then one seat is assigned to one employee.
  • Flexible seating is created when employees are given a group of desks to be shared. When you have flexible seating, then the seating is fluid -- no seats are assigned to employees. Rather, the desks are allocated to the department or the workplace group, and the desks are shared by the employees.

SpaceIQ gives you seating options to create different seating styles for your employees. These are examples of how you can seat a team of employees using different seating styles:

  • A fixed team is a team that uses fixed seats - one seat to one employee.
  • A flexible team is a team that uses Activity Based Working (ABW) or a flexible working style. 

For more details on setting up Fixed Desks or Flexible Desks, see 5# - Set up Seating Charts.

Usage Types Matrix

This matrix gives you an overview of different Seat Usage Types and how you can use each to seat employees.

Usage Type Primary Seat Hoteling Desk Neighbor-hood Reserved Desk Secondary Desk Shared Desk Hot Desk
Can the employee be assigned a seat? x x x x
Can multiple employees be assigned to the seat? x x x x x x
Can employees book the seat? x x x x x x
Can the seat be used for flexible seating? x x x
Who can sit at the flexible seat if the seat is not assigned? Department / Workplace Groups Department / Workplace Groups Department / Employee x - - All
Can an Employee to Seat Ratio be set? x x x x x x
Can the seat be reserved? x x x Reserved for All / Department / Workplace Group x x x

Primary-Seat-Color.pngPrimary Seats

A Primary Seat is the default seat usage, and they can be used to assign an employee to a seat when you have Fixed Teams or can be allocated to a department or workplace group when you have Flexible Teams.

For more details on using primary seats to create fixed seating areas, see: 5# - Set up Seating Charts.


A Neighborhood seat can be used by multiple employees. A group of Neighborhood seats makes up a Neighborhood.

Neighborhoods have the following characteristics:

  • Neighborhoods can have either employees or departments associated with them.
  • Neighborhoods are located in one building and on one floor; they cannot span multiple buildings and floors.

Neighborhood seats are used to create flexible seating scenarios. For example, you can allow multiple teams to share the same neighborhood space.

Neighborhoods are characterized by a fluid employee-to-seat ratio. You can define the employee-to-seat ratio when you set up a neighborhood seating plan.

For more details on setting up a neighborhood, see 5# - Set up Seating Charts.

Hoteling-Desk-Color.pngHoteling Desks

Hoteling Seats are desks that can be reserved by employees. 

Instead of assigning employees to primary seats or a neighborhood, you can set up Hoteling Desks for employees to book.

For more details on setting up hotel desks, see #6 - Set up Hoteling Desks.

Before you change existing primary or neighborhood seats into desks, it's important to understand what happens when primary and neighborhood seats are changed to hotel desk seats:

Change From Assignment To Results In
Primary Seat Assigned Employee (Department) Hoteling Desk Any assigned employees will be removed.
Primary Seat Assigned Employee (Workplace Group) Hoteling Desk Any assigned employees will be removed.
Neighborhood - Hoteling Desk The neighborhood is removed.

For more details, see:

Reserved-Desk-Color.pngReserved Desk

A Reserved Desk allows you to prevent a seat from being used temporarily. When a seat is designated as reserved rather than vacant, it can preserve your summary data by ensuring that vacant seats are not included in your calculations.

See Change Seat to Reserved Desk.

Secondary-Seat-Color.pngSecondary Desk

Secondary Desks are used to designate an additional space to an employee even when assigned to another Primary or Shared Desk. So, an employee can have both a primary desk and a secondary desk at the same time.

See Change Seat to Secondary Desk.

Shared-Desk-Color.pngShared Desk

Multiple employees can be assigned to a Shared Desk. For example, if you have two tech support shifts in your department, you can assign employees 1 (who works the first shift) and employee 2 (who works the second shift) to the same shared desk.

See Change Seat to a Shared Desk.

Hot-Desk-Color.pngHot Desk

A Hot Desk is an open seat that anyone can use; no employee can be assigned to a hot desk. Hot desks are used in unstructured seating plans.

See Change Seat to a Hot Desk.

View Seat Usage in your Portfolio Dashboard

After setting up seat usage on your floor plans, you can view a space usage summary on the Portfolio dashboard.

For more details, see View Seat Usage.