Hoteling in office space, a concept EY’s credited for pioneering, is popular among several corporates today. It is more relevant today as offices reopen and shift to a hybrid work model. It’s similar to how you book a hotel room, hence the name.
Employees book a desk of their choice using space booking software, like the one made by WorkinSync. It is different from hot desking, where desks are allocated on a first-come-first-serve basis. The advance booking feature in hoteling eliminates the uncertainty of not finding a desk of your choice to a fair extent.
While the business benefits through better space management and cost-saving on square footage, employees are benefitted as well.
Here is a list of seven such employee benefits of hoteling.
How does an Employee Benefit from Hoteling in Office Space?
Hoteling is often confused with hot desking. However, they are as different as chalk and cheese. Hoteling is a reservation and check-in system that delivers a seamless experience to employees. It also significantly reduces real estate costs. Hot desking also helps, but it works differently.
Following are seven well-acknowledged benefits:
As employees return to the office, most surveys indicate that flexibility at work is a critical requirement. Hoteling allows employees to choose a space that works best for them – a busy aisle or a quiet corner.
As most offices have shrunk their office space and have fewer desks, a visit to the office can be marred with the anxiety of not finding a desk. Trivial as it may sound now, it will emerge as a concern as more people start returning to the office. With hoteling, employees would be assured of a desk. If not, they would be able to reschedule their visit.
3. Ensures Better Engagement
With a sense of control over your environment, you feel more comfortable. An employee in control of her surroundings is more comfortable and better engaged. Office hoteling fulfills this need by letting people choose a place of their comfort.
4. Improves Collaboration
As opposed to hot desking, hoteling prevents the team from getting scattered. In work involving different teams, employees can book seats close to each other for the project duration. It saves the time spent on meetings. People can get into a huddle just by turning their chairs around. Getting into a huddle becomes much easier and reduces the need for formal meetings.
5. Helps You Network Better
Knowing who is seated where helps employees network better. It could prove beneficial for newer employees and help them settle in faster. It can also help leaders to get to know their teams better by working closely with them.
6. Ensures Health Safety
A hoteling software is a credible source of data on the occupancy levels of an office. To ensure social distancing, it can block reservations when a floor has hit its upper limit. Also, the housekeeping staff can use the time between booking to clean and sanitize desks.
7. Improves Productivity
When an employee gets to choose a desk of her choice, it has a positive influence on productivity. Also, as hoteling makes collaboration easier, the work gets done faster. Thus, enabling teams to choose where and how they work makes them more productive. It also helps businesses utilize space more effectively and bring down costs.
If you are moving to a hybrid workplace, hoteling is the first step towards it. Choosing the right solution makes for a win-win situation for both employers and employees. Opt for either, but a solution should be:
Easy to use – It must be easily accessible on both desktops and mobile devices, also offering seamless integration with other popular tools (Outlook, Google Calendar, Slack/Teams)
Easy to implement – If you pick a complex or unfinished solution, its implementation will take time. Also, you may end up wasting a lot of time and money with sub-optimal results. So, pick a finished product with a proven track record.
Equipped with advanced analytics – It must provide admins insights about multiple aspects of running a workplace – from tracking office usage to managing housekeeping to monitoring productivity.
WorkinSyncprovides complete solutions for space scheduling and booking. Our desk and conference room booking solutions work with team planners, collaboration tools, and notification consoles to provide the most seamless hoteling experience.
While COVID-19 has forced businesses to rethink expenses, the most visible impact has been on real-estate utilization. Remote work, social distancing, and health regulations have led to companies revisiting their physical office requirements. The shift to hybrid workspace has resulted in the adoption of workplace technology and concepts like Flexi-desk.
Flexi-desk is a term used to describe a workspace or desk that is not assigned to anyone. It involves a desk space or seating area which is shared among a group of users, with no limitation on usage.
While Flexi-desk is popular in UAE, it is known by other names such as shared workspace or desk in other parts of the world. In a Flexi-desking system, users can reserve a desk using a workplace technology solution. Later, it is released back into the pool of open seats or desks.
How is it Different from Hoteling?
Flexi-desking provides on-demand access to seats. It requires the user to be present on-site to book, utilize, and release the seat post-usage. Desk hoteling is a slightly more sophisticated system that lets users book a seat for a specified duration, much like a hotel room.
Although these are used interchangeably, both can co-exist in a hybrid workspace model. Hence, it pays to remember that flexi-desking is on-demand and hoteling is in-advance booking.
What are the Advantages of Flexi-desking?
1. Cost optimization is the primary advantage of Flexi-desking. It allows businesses to have fewer desks, which allows them to cut costs for the unused ones.
2. It also helps employers adhere to social distancing guidelines by spreading the desks and limiting the number of people on-premise. The occupancy-related data provides insights for better space utilization, scaling, and responding to shifting demand.
How to use Flexi-desk for an optimized workspace?
To fully realize the benefits of flexi-desk, you need proper planning and execution. Let’s divide the whole process into three parts:
In the planning stage, it is imperative to chart out current and future needs. A proper framework incorporates business objectives, user needs, existing tools (and required integrations) and defines work scenarios needing different workspaces including shared areas. . You also need to define the key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure success. The KPIs would include space utilization, operating costs, desk usage, and so on.
The planning stage also includes zeroing in on the right technology to serve your specific business needs. Forward planning would require you to collect data and track the usage of your facilities. So, the technology must facilitate the collection of data and should be capable of providing actionable insights.
Implementation of a flexi-desk workplace involves two parts – technology and people. The technology part would include ensuring that your flexi-desk booking system has necessary features like scheduling, team planning, and centralized notification. If you already have these tools in place, the new solution should seamlessly integrate with them.
The people part would include creating and communicating policies around the flexi-desking system. Without know-how and buy-in from the users, even the best solution is likely to fail. Therefore, you need to communicate clearly and encourage people to try out the features before a company-wide rollout.
Operationalization of a flexi-desk office is more about driving a cultural and behavioral shift. And the larger the workforce, the longer the transition period.
You will have to develop support systems specifically for the transition period. It could be as simple as cabinets for storing belongings people tend to leave on their desks – as they do on pre-assigned or fixed desks.
You must also be prepared to handle several other scenarios related to technology and people. For instance, you need to have an alternative ready for situations like tech failure, ambiguity in SOP, and so on.
During operationalization, pay close attention to the KPIs of the shared workspace model. You must ensure that the system built matches the plan and delivers on the key metrics. At all times, be transparent and communicate the progress to the relevant stakeholders.
How do you Decide if Your Flexi-desk Solution is Working?
Even as you track your KPIs, look for the impact on a business level. The first test is the cost-effectiveness of the solution. Without a healthy ROI, it is hard to justify investment in the solution. After the teething period, check if it has improved the overall efficiency of the workplace. Assessing its impact on productivity at the business, function, location, and individual level could uncover valuable insights for improvement.
WorkInSync’s flexi-desking solutions offer not just insights but a complete package with all related tools. It saves crucial time in implementation and operationalization. Most importantly, our solutions are cost-effective and deliver a good ROI.
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Hoteling was first introduced into conventional workspaces in the 1990s. It was first adopted by companies with large numbers of traveling salesforce and/or telecommuters. In a post-pandemic workplace, hoteling is more relevant than ever. But what is hoteling in the workplace? And why is it so significant in the present workplace landscape? To understand this concept, keep scrolling.
What is Hoteling?
According to Wikipedia, hoteling is “a method of office management in which workers dynamically schedule their use of workspaces such as desks, cubicles, and offices.” It is the elimination of the concept of assigned seating.
Similarities between an actual hotel and workplace hoteling are not coincidental. The former has been in place for centuries. The latter picks up the finer points of this streamlined process and puts them to work, ultimately reaping the benefits of a flexible workplace.
Promotes social distancing norms: Hoteling supports social distancing norms. When the desks are assigned to on-site employees, it is done keeping such protocols in mind. Sanitizing the workstations after use also becomes easier.
Helps effective space utilization: Hoteling reduces the number of desks required without restricting employee workflow. These flexible workspaces help preserve order and organization at a fundamental level. The right balance of desks and traditional workspaces results in efficient space utilization. Booz Allen Hamilton, an early adopter of hoteling, achieved a 1:1 worker-to-workspace ratio to successfully reduce its annual facilities cost by 11%. Deloitte has also been extremely successful in maximizing office space using hoteling concepts. They target to reduce rented space to 115 square feet per employee.
Promotes better collaboration and teamwork: Employees can better collaborate with teams and other employees when they know who is sitting where. Hoteling is all about promoting better collaboration across teams.
Improves productivity: Accessibility to a particular desk ensures that employees don’t have to go desk hunting every morning, which can take up a considerable amount of time. This ensures that their productivity remains high.
Saves cost: A survey revealed that 89% of millennials want flexibility when and where they work. Keeping this in mind, instead of offering a permanent desk to an employee who spends a significant amount of time working from home, hoteling allows facility managers to reduce organizational real estate required to support their workforce. Reduced use of desks can equate to less spending on rent and utilities, eventually leading to more capital leftover.
The Hoteling Process
This process can vary in complexity depending on the number of employees, desks assigned, the requirement of additional assets, etc.
Implementing a Smooth Transition
Transition to the hybrid workplace and adopting a new implementation strategy can feel disruptive for both employees and management. Therefore, it is imperative to have a plan in place. Here’s how you can make a smooth transition and implement hoteling at work:
Communicate the Changes; Quickly and Clearly
It is no surprise that hoteling and hybrid workplaces at large are different from our traditional workplaces. Implementing the hoteling concept will require you to highlight the benefits to the employees. And you need to it quick. An ongoing communication effort like success stories and highlighting best practices will help employees embrace the system comfortably.
Create a Consistent Hoteling Experience, But Offer Choices
When employees are returning to office, they should be quickly able to book their desks. Thus, making them familiar with the system will ensure that implementation is seamless. They should know exactly how to use the booking system, no matter the interface they’re using. They should be able to choose from several seating options to meet their different work styles and claim those spaces from one system.
Support your Hoteling process with Technology
Effective hoteling programs should depend on a reliable office space hoteling software that provides features employees can rely on. The office software should be easy to use and implement. It should also provide the option of working with a variety of interfaces. And to further create a seamless hybrid workplace experience for your employees, ensure that your hoteling software can be integrated.
As the hybrid workplace model takes over, it is pertinent that a concept like hoteling will gain traction. Hoteling is the perfect reflection of society’s shifting view of what work is. Adoption of this model has been driven by a need for a digitized workplace, cost savings, and the opportunities that come with new technology.
WorkInSyncincludes features like workspace management, allowing organizations to integrate the hoteling model seamlessly.