What is Hoteling and Should You be Using it?
By Nai Kanell
Vice President of Marketing
Non-traditional desking options are on the rise as companies race to maximize workplace potential. Among them is hoteling, a simple concept that’s easy to implement. But hoteling requires a little foresight to maximize its benefits.
Here’s a look at what desk hoteling is, how it maximizes office space potential, and what types of businesses benefit most from it.
What is hoteling?
Hoteling for desks is named for its similarity to booking a hotel room. An employee needs a desk, so they message the admin to book one. The admin checks desk availability and coordinates the reservation. When the employee arrives, they’ll know what desk is set aside for them and for how long.
Like an actual hotel, office hoteling solutions are subject to scale and nuances across different accommodations. For example, you can book a single-bed room or a penthouse suite at a hotel, and there’s a big difference between what you pay and what you get. Likewise, for office hoteling, desks can vary in location, size, accommodations, and occupancy lengths.
Let’s not forget about the most important factor in hoteling: the concierge. You can’t just book a hotel room, stroll in, and go right to that room. There’s a check-in process. You need to confirm the booking, get access permission, provide your personal information, and arrange any special accommodations. Again, hoteling in the office mimics this process. A central admin—usually the facilities manager—is the point of contact for check-in and check-out, ensuring a controlled and well-facilitated process.
The similarities between office hoteling and actual hotel room booking aren’t coincidental. The latter has been a proven model for centuries. Office hoteling takes the finer points of a streamlined system and puts them to work to reap the benefits of a flexible workplace.
What benefits does hoteling offer?
Workspace hoteling is becoming more common because, when done right, it affords big benefits to the company and its workers.
- Remote workers. Hoteling supports remote employees by giving them the option to conveniently work in the office. The absence of a dedicated desk may deter off-site workers from regularly coming in—there’s the fear of working in “any available space.” Hotel desks provide an adequate place to work, one that’s comfortable and unobtrusive. Read more on how to use hot desks and office hoteling for contractors and part-time workers.
- Space utilization. Hoteling reduces the number of required desks without restricting employee workflow. These flexible workspaces preserve order and organization at a fundamental level. The right balance of hotel desks, traditional workspaces, and other dynamic areas results in efficient space utilization—especially when backed by workplace metrics showing improved usage trends.
- Collaboration and teamwork. Giving employees the choice of where and how to work unlocks their full productivity potential. This affects individual work and contributions to various projects and teams. A good hoteling process ensures collaboration is easy and fluid, regardless of where people work in relation to their coworkers.
- Improve productivity and lower costs. It’s a winning combination. Accessibility and choice influence worker productivity, while more effective space utilization keeps the balance sheet in check.
Hoteling is a great intermediate option between traditional desk environments and an open office concept. For many businesses, it’s the ideal solution to maximizing workspace and offering flexibility to their workforce.
What businesses benefit from hoteling?
The benefits of office hoteling are particularly enticing for several types of businesses, regardless of industry or locale:
- Growing businesses: Businesses on the precipice of growth, but that can’t yet afford to scale their facilities, are hotel desk candidates. Hotel desks are an optimal way to increase workforce while maximizing available space.
- Consolidating businesses: For larger businesses trimming the fat and consolidating facilities, hotel desks offer a way to shrink the workplace footprint without downsizing employees.
- Businesses with remote workers: Businesses already embracing a remote workforce need to provide physical workspaces in some capacity. Hotel desks are a step down from dedicated workstations and a step up from makeshift areas.
- Coworking spaces: The coworking model relies on hoteling. Without check-in and coordination, coworking spaces quickly become chaotic and disorganized.
Any business can benefit from offering hotel desks to remote workers, visitors, or general office staff who want a change in pace. It’s up to facilities managers to determine at what scale hoteling is effective.
Keep reading: a quick guide to office hoteling best practices.
Photo by Unsplash