Hybrid desk booking has taken the working world by a storm as everyone is trying to latch onto the new phenomena of hoteling and hot-desking. As a manager, you want what is best for your organization and employees. Implementing a hybrid work model to cater to both remote staff members and those that are still based in the office.
As employees can work from anywhere, is a permanent desk or workstation necessary for each person? Gone are days where offices must have rows of cubicles and desks for employees. Business owners are moving towards the trend of open layouts and other workspace styles that best suit their organization, team dynamic, and hybrid workforce. Evaluating each advantage and disadvantage of office hoteling takes some thought, but considering it is worth your time.
Are you planning on implementing the office hoteling concept at your organization? Are you wondering about office hoteling pros and cons, and if this might be the best move for you? The nature of your organization plays an important factor in the success of office hoteling or any other hybrid work schedule method. While most organizations cannot afford to have everyone working remotely, others are unable to have individual workspaces to facilitate all employees. In such cases, the flexible workspace model is an affordable option to explore.
What Is Office Hoteling?
You may be wondering how different office hoteling is from hot desking? What are office hoteling pros and cons? Well, the concepts are the same. However, office hoteling is the elimination of assigned desks and seating in an office, but it allows employees to reserve office spaces for whatever work they require it for. Office hoteling includes pre-booking and checking into a concierge for an office as you would at a hotel for a room.
Even if there is a room filled with unoccupied desks and empty workstations, an employee cannot just sit there or take up space. The person must check in with the software or whoever oversees booking before doing so.
What is important here is that the process remains the same for everyone and that there is a consistent record of the appointment or assignment of desks and workstations. This kind of open office design offers employees freedom and flexibility to work wherever they want. Though desks/stations are assigned to specific persons, there is still some level of choice involved.
Organizations can choose how they manage check-ins, how far in advance someone can book or reserve a workstation or workspace, and how long a person can keep the reservation for. Office hoteling is ideal as employees can move around the office to accommodate the needs of different workdays. They can choose to sit near their respective teams while in the best office ergonomic chair and collaborate with other colleagues at the standing desk area of the office. Now, let’s get to know more about office hoteling pros and cons!
Pros of Office Hoteling
This approach works because of the benefits of order and freedom. As you are free to select whichever room you want at a hotel, the same principle applies here. Both employees and employers can benefit from this initiative once they understand how it works and how innovative they can get with it. Now brace for the advantages and benefits of office hoteling.
Saving on Office Space
This is considered one of the main benefits of office hoteling since business owners can save a tremendous amount of money as far as real estate is concerned. Providing the space for everyone employed at the organization can be expensive for large companies and small ones alike. However, office hoteling can cut back on the cost of unused office spaces.
With office space being one of the greatest expenses an organization must bear, implementing this initiative can be a cost-effective action, especially with a hybrid workforce where most of the employees work from home.
It is the best advantage among office hoteling pros and cons. Office hoteling allows employees to work in different locations and brings an air of freedom for them to collaborate with others naturally. Having this kind of flexibility sees employees moving from assigned space to a free space that is welcoming and can bring people together. Getting rid of the traditional structures and cubicles gives employees the area they need to work seamlessly and they can choose a different approach daily.
You never need to assign another seat as members have the freedom of choice. Depending on the office hoteling software installed, a smart office experience may be available with cloud storage and messaging services, so even the remote workers can stay informed and plan accordingly.
More Resources to Go Around
It is another benefit of office hoteling. In making the switch from assigned desk to office hoteling, office resources are now freed up. Instead of having a full office, the concurrent employee roster is trimmed, so there are more resources to go around for the rest of the staff and even visiting employees. The general resource expenses decrease too as the administration does not have to spend as much on things such as office equipment, stationery, and printer paper.
Increases Collaboration and Productivity
For employees who prefer solitude and seclusion to concentrate more on their tasks, duties, and projects, office hoteling can facilitate this need. The opportunity to create a space for team collaboration is another benefit employees can enjoy. It enables the employees to interact with others. They may not have been able to easily sit and join forces with each other before. Once they can, it may lead to fresh, new innovative ideas, and the creative juices begin to flow.
Productivity is one of the most obvious benefits of office hoteling. Employees are more productive and efficient using office hoteling, as co-working spaces make them more likely to interact with each other, boosting their motivation, performance, and productivity. It mitigates the feeling of being rooted at a desk.
Increase Office Flexibility, Employee Engagement, and Empowerment
Allowing employees to have a choice and a level of control over where they can work helps to foster a culture of trust are one of the benefits of office hoteling. Doing so also significantly improves job satisfaction and employee wellbeing. Apart from the spatial and financial benefits above, employees benefit from this kind of flexible work environment in other ways.
Providing workspaces without the demand of daily attendance and heavy travel expenses in the same cubicle or office facilitates employee empowerment. Simultaneously, integrating office hoteling spaces into an office where employees previously had assigned desks or workstations creates greater agility and resilience in the workplace.
Depending on the technology that the organization uses to manage office hoteling, a flawless experience can be created for visiting employees, consultants, guests, and clients. Using a real-time location system can help visitors feel confident to easily navigate offices they are unfamiliar with. Wayfinding technology in the form of an app can make it easy to find the bathroom, cafeterias, and other points of interest.
Create a Productive Workforce
Your workforce can become more productive and effective as they can make the selection or reservation that best suits the duties and responsibilities that must be taken care of throughout the workday. With this benefit of office hoteling, the employees cannot say spatial provisions were holding them back from completing their respective tasks and projects.
Cons of Office Hoteling
While there are amazing benefits associated with this flexible workspace, there are some drawbacks. These are:
Disruption and Confusion
Having a new experience every day might not be such a good thing for everyone. Some employees can have a hard time finding a groove when they must be changing desks or workstations daily. Unless you have memorized where everyone is seated, it might be a bit confusing and difficult to find someone.
If you are a new employee, it is best to query about the productive work environment during the hiring process. Should you be the type that works better with a routine, stability, and solitude then this might be a challenge to overcome. As hoteling requires flexibility and employees who can adjust well, it can be a nightmare for someone who does not possess such qualities.
Reserving a desk when hybrid desk booking or workstation daily or whenever you require it means the area is not yours per se. So, at the end of the day, you must pack up your pictures, pencil container, mug, calendar, and other items because there is no guarantee that the same space is going to be available tomorrow if no reservation were or could be made. There is no personalization or making the space yours either since it is a shared area.
Additionally, it is easy to lose your stuff as you are always lugging things around and going through the motions of packing and unpacking. Unless your organization has lockers where you can keep most of your stuff, you must travel with everything each day.
You Can Get Lost
In an unfamiliar office where there is difficulty following the instructions on the app, you could end up spending 30 minutes or more searching for your desk, the workstation of your boss, or the restroom. Such an occurrence makes for an awful experience and a waste of time.
The desks and workstations may not be the cleanest when you arrive there, especially depending on the time you reserved the desk or if someone had it a few hours before you.
There might be food droplets or crumbs all over the desk or area or all over the keyboard. Of course, there is also the matter of cleanliness standards that differ among people sharing the space.
How to Manage Office Hoteling
After knowing about the advantages and disadvantages of office hoteling, let’s get more information on how to manage it. This model requires some degree of effort to be successful. Try these tips, tricks, and practices to support your organization's office hoteling journey.
Reserve the Area Before
Employees must reserve a desk or workstation in advance for their hybrid work schedule. People can set reminders for the days or weeks that they plan to attend work and reserve the area before the date or time. If there is a special area you like or prefer, whether it is by the window with the view or close to the lunchroom or exit, doing this can have you calling dibs or reserving it for the day you arrive.
Clean Up After Use
You can have a clean desk policy to ensure employees are keeping the workstations clean, free from greasy and sticky substances, decluttered, and always ready for the next occupant of the day. To fight against the sanitation problems managers can have wet wipes, trash bins, and other cleaning supplies on deck for employees to clean up after themselves before leaving the station. Having signs and reminders to keep the area clean and empty the bins can prompt users.
Be Polite and Courteous
If you are seated at someone’s station or they are in yours, instead of being rude and disrespectful, remember to address others how you would want them to address you. It is a way to build a positive work culture. Be gracious in working out whatever booking issues or mistakes that may be happening. Being loud and boisterous does not fix anything but makes it worse.
Install Reservation Software or an Autonomous Hybrid App
Having a meeting room and desk reservation software system can ensure the process of reserving the area is smooth, efficient, and simple. Not having software of the kind can result in office hoteling being quite messy and causing the opposite effect of implementing it in the first place.
Using Cloud Filing and Storage
You can try making it easy for everyone to have access to documents, records, and files so even your remote workers working from any location can get to the important files needed for the job without being in a filing room. Collaborating from anywhere is easy when everything is stored using online means.
Keep in Touch with Your Coworkers
If you are having difficulty connecting with your other coworkers, reach out to them. Ask them to share their seating location on the calendar or start messaging each other in the group chat to find out where they are going to be seated. This saves time and energy.
Provide Efficient, Attractive Workstations
Once you have the spaces available, make it welcoming! Arrange each space to be aesthetically pleasing and ergonomic with standing desks, office ergonomic chairs, whiteboards, desktops monitors, comfortable pillows, etc. You can even add a dash of color throughout the space to boost creativity.
With the list above, you can get more ideas about office hoteling pros and cons. Although it has some drawbacks, office hoteling benefits seem to outweigh the downsides. Applying this new model to your office and experiencing its fantasy.
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