Restricting the number of people in a room

Update May 31, 2020 – Booked 2.8.1 is out with some new social distancing features. Read more at https://www.bookedscheduler.com/booked-2-8-1-new-social-distancing-features/

As we all begin to resume our new normal lives, safety is taking a leading role. Limiting the number of people in the same space has become part of our routine. Booked can help with this aspect of social distancing.

Not long ago I wrote about many social distancing features already built into Booked. You can read that article here – https://nickkorbel.com/2020/03/16/social-distancing-features-in-booked/

But one thing that wasn’t covered is limiting the number of people in the same room or lab at the same time. Booked has obvious features for limiting participation on a reservation, but limiting the total number of reservations happening at the same time takes some shifting in how we set up our resources.

In this example, we’ll assume a room or lab is equivalent to a Schedule in Booked. Schedules have resources – the bookable items – and availability.  At first glance, there’s no way to set the number of concurrent reservations across all resources on a Schedule. But we can make this work with a small shift.

First, instead of our equipment being set up as a Resource, we’ll set up “slots” as resources. We’ll define a slot for each concurrent reservation we want to allow. So if only 3 people can be in a room at the same time, we’ll create 3 resources – Slot 1, Slot 2, Slot 3. This restricts the number of overlapping times and ensures we never have more than 3 people in the same room at the same time.

But what about booking the equipment? We’ll set those up as accessories. This will allow us to prevent double booking of the same resource. Just add an accessory for each piece of equipment, set the quantity to 1, and tie them to the slots that you created.

Now your team members will simply book a slot, picking the accessory to go with the booking.

While this approach does have some trade offs such as being able to control permissions at the equipment level, it’s a very workable solution.

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