Flexible space strategies are not new in office spaces as many businesses have been using strategies like office hoteling since the 1990s. Today, many businesses that are looking to keep costs low and make the most of their office space while keeping their employees happy are turning to hybrid workspace models.
With these models, not every employee needs a dedicated cubicle or office space. The solution to this is office hoteling. In this article, we will look at what office hoteling is if it is a good move for your business, and what you need to make it work.
What is Office Hoteling?
Office hoteling is a concept where employees use software to reserve office space or workstations for when they want to come into the office. Then, all they need to do once they come into the office is using an app to confirm their reservation so they can use the space.
Office hoteling allows employees to choose where they would like to sit and what workstations they would like to use depending on the work and task they have lined up for the day. They can choose to sit in a quiet section or cubicle in the office or sit with a coworker if they need to collaborate.
There is usually some confusion between office hoteling and hot-desking. The difference is that an employee does not have to reserve space when hot desking. This means they show up in the office and take up any unoccupied space they would like.
With hoteling, an employee can reserve a desk or workspace for as long as they like, but they cannot do this with hot-desking because the options they would have in the latter instance would be restricted to what is available at the time.
The Benefits of Office Hoteling:
Understanding the benefits of office hoteling is the best way to know whether the strategy and model are right for your office, business, and how your employees like to work.
1. It Gives Employees Flexibility
People want to be given a choice in how they work, at least according to the latest research. With office hoteling, you give employees the flexibility to come into the office whenever they wish, knowing that there will be space reserved for them when they do.
They can choose to come into the office once in a while, meet and mingle with coworkers, and complete some tasks while there. Some will opt to work from home, not reserving any office space until they need it. They will know they do not have to come to the office, but there will be space for them when they do.
2. It Ensures a Fair Allocation of Resources
Depending on what they need to get done on the day, some employees need some resources more than others. For example, a graphics designer who is creating marketing pamphlets for the business will need the copy machine on some days more than some other employees do.
Office hoteling allows the business to allocate these resources fairly so that everyone has access to what they need on the day. This allocation ensures no one “hoards” resources they do not need at the time and that other employees need.
3. It Encourages Teamwork and Collaboration
There are instances in a hybrid work arrangement where collaboration over the internet is not adequate. Employees can reserve workstations that are close to each other on the same day so they can collaborate on a project they need to be done.
This is a massive advantage over hot-desking where they would have to take up whatever space is available. Because of this, establishing open lines of communication and collaboration opportunities becomes harder because of the physical distance. Also, the effort required to ensure communication and collaboration can discourage both of them.
4. It Improves Space Utilization
In the past, a business would assign a desk, workspace, or office space to a specific employee. If they decided to work from home or travel for an extended period, this space would be wasted. With office hoteling, there is no wasted space because the available spaces can be reserved using software or an app.
This leads to a business needing fewer spaces which in turn reduces the overall square footage required. Businesses can also reduce the number of available workspaces and convert the additional space into meeting rooms and common areas. This means the business will be getting a lot more for the space it has.
5. It Makes Cleaning the Office Easier
While we are emerging from a pandemic, it is still important that we keep workspaces clean. In the past, people who had an assigned desk would leave personal belongings in these workspaces. This made it much more challenging for the janitorial staff to clear it effectively. With office hoteling, this does not happen as everyone takes what they came with home with them once they leave.
What You Need to Make Office Hoteling Work
The two main things you need to make office hoteling work are software and ensuring comfortable, flexible spaces. The software employees use to reserve workspaces should be intuitive for them to use. It should also provide them with all the details they need to know before reserving a space. For example, they may want to sit next to a specific coworker so they can collaborate. The software should enable this.
Because each space needs to accommodate anyone who reserves it, it should be comfortable and flexible. This means adding furniture that supports people of different heights, body sizes, and who have different needs.
When you are ready to buy office furniture to enable office hoteling, businesses like Branch are standing by to help. They sell all types of furniture for the office and work from home offices at affordable prices. Branch also provides shipping on all orders, further lowering the cost of furnishing your office.
While not a new concept, many businesses are starting to adopt office hoteling because of the benefits it affords them. Beyond anything, businesses should switch to it for the space and cost savings it will afford them. With all the other benefits it affords businesses, office hoteling can be a great move for your business.