Have you heard about the term “flexible seating?” It has become quite popular in recent years, although it was mostly used in classroom-related issues. However, in the latest years and with the apparition of hybrid workforces as the main solution for many of the problems that the COVID-19 pandemic brought to the industry, it seems like flexible work seating has become an excellent way of keeping the workforce comfortable and engaged.
What is flexible seating?
Flexible seating consists of providing the workforce with multiple seating options. Thus, they can choose where to do it based on the task they have assigned at the moment. This implies offering diverse seats, such as stools, couches or ergonomic chairs. Having the freedom of choosing where to sit allows employees to feel more engaged and comfortable at their workplace.
At first, this concept was often associated with classrooms. However, this has slowly changed, and it can now be applied to workplaces, but in a different way. Unlike types of office seating arrangements exist. However, most workplaces are listening to what their employees are demanding, and now flexible work arrangements are available.
More than just offering diverse seating options, employers are also using a flexible working model to combine the possibility of choosing "when" and "where" to work from. This situation is beneficial for both the company and the employee. As the worker becomes more efficient by being comfortable with their workstation, the company receives a boost from their excellent performance.
Types of flexible seating solutions for companies
We're not going to talk about what kind of seats you should offer to your employees. This situation provides ergonomic seating and desk options for them, as it is often the most accessible option for companies.
We'll describe the different types of flexible work arrangements that include implicit flexible seating policies in this situation. Although every workplace adapts these organizational models to their needs, the base stays the same most of the time. There are two main types of flexible work seating solutions:
- Office hoteling
“Hot-desking” and “office hoteling” have been used as interchangeable terms for quite a while. However, although both concepts are hugely similar, there are crucial differences that make each one a more appropriate option for specific companies.
Other types of flexible workspaces may include reverse hoteling, and selected companies may want to implement a different, modified way of assigned desks for everyone.
Hot-desking vs Office hoteling
Both of these options are also considered organizational models that workplaces have been using for quite a while. However, there are certain differences that make each working option unique and more appropriate for certain enterprises.
Firstly, hot-desking consists of providing a workplace without assigned desks. This way, any person can come and select an available desk or workstation as they arrive at their workplace. It is quite used in large companies, and in the past, it was used along with open office layouts.
Despite the bad reputation it had, times have changed, and with the new technology we have available, it is possible to make hot-desking a valuable experience at the workplace. In addition, the existence of space management software has made these processes way easier, which means neither companies nor employees have to submit themselves to such an unpleasant experience.
2. Office Hoteling
Office hoteling has been another top option in flexible seating strategies since the quarantine started. People can check-in, work on what they need to, and then check out. It's as simple as that. At first glance, it may seem like an enhanced version of hot-desking, but the truth is that both options are completely different.
This flexible seating option allows employees to reserve workstations, meeting/conference rooms and any other collaborative spaces. As long as there is a space available at the office, the employee should be able to “book it” and use it for the intended time.
Like hot-desking, office hoteling must be managed using space management software. However, unlike hot-desking, this organizational model allows workplaces to take advantage of as much space as possible. Thus, it will be possible for them to incorporate more employees without having to invest in expanding the headquarters.
When combined with remote working opportunities, a hoteling office space can become an excellent organizational model for any company. Not only will you be taking advantage of space as much as possible, but you will also be able to hire talented freelancers to work remotely for your company.
3. Other options
Although the flexible seating options that we've mentioned above seem to be the preferred option among most employers, it is worth noting that there are some extra options that many companies take into account, such as:
Reverse hoteling, which consists of the same method as regular hoteling but involves more "collaboration." Whenever people stop working, they "release" their workstation and leave it open for the next user publicly.
We all know that assigned desks have been the number one choice in most companies, but this working model has proved to be obsolete, especially after the generational change. People are now demanding more flexible seating opportunities as times have changed, and the population does not have the same availability as the previous generation had several decades ago.
What is the best hybrid working software solution?
The demand for hybrid working software has increased considerably in recent years. Although people are still learning what they should and shouldn't do regarding this working model, it wouldn't be possible to manage them without these programs.
Options like Condeco and Robin have been preferred among the population, but selected companies have opted for using Autonomous Hybrid Work.
Autonomous Hybrid Work provides you with multiple options that will make either office hoteling or hot-desking a more pleasant experience for the managerial positions and the employees in general. In addition, you will have access to features like:
- A map of the entire office, allowing you to see who is present and where
- Self-management tools for employees
- Virtual meeting software with easy-to-use options
Overall, it is an excellent choice that will make your days easier and less stressful, especially if you're trying to implement flexible seating strategies at your workplace.
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