In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, employers everywhere are weighing the merits of the traditional work environment against the benefits of working from home. There are many competing philosophies in play, and no one-size-fits-all approach.
With that said, many businesses are coming around to a hybrid model, allowing employees to strike a balance between remote work and coming into the centralized office location. One of the most popular approaches to the hybrid workplace is known as office hoteling. This approach works well for companies adopting a hybrid work model or companies whose employees travel frequently.
The hoteling concept originated in the consulting industry in the 1990s and remains popular in that industry, but ultimately, it can work in a wide variety of business settings. Indeed, in the wake of COVID, more and more employers are considering office hoteling as a viable way forward. But is hoteling right for your business?
What is Hoteling and is it right for your hybrid work model?
Let’s start by more carefully defining the term. With office hoteling, workers no longer occupy a permanent, dedicated workspace. Instead, they rely on an office management system, whereby workers dynamically schedule use of workspaces. These workspaces might include cubicles, private offices, or desks in a large bullpen area. (Related: check out 3 Trends in Modern Office Design )
Hoteling requires a shared reservation platform to manage seating and workspaces. When employees arrive at work (or log in remotely), they access the hoteling reservation software to claim the space they need.
Office Hoteling vs. Hot Desking
It’s important to note that office hoteling shares some similarities with the concept of hot desking. Though the two concepts are alike in many ways, they are not synonymous.
What they have in common is that both processes eliminate the dedicated workspace. The core distinction is that hoteling allows for reservations, while hot desking is based on a first come first serve approach, with no reservations used.
What are the Benefits of Office Hoteling?
There are a number of reasons why employers have gravitated toward hoteling… and ultimately why hoteling may be right for your hybrid work model?. Some of the benefits include:
- Reduced square footage, translating to savings on real estate costs.
- Reduced energy consumption and costs.
- Employees enjoy greater flexibility in when and where to work.
- Provides alternative and improved worker engagement compared to the pure work-from-home approach.
- Compared to hot desking, the use of a reservation system provides greater visibility and less scheduling chaos.
What About the Disadvantages of Hoteling?
As you seek to determine whether office hoteling is right for your business, it’s important to weigh the benefits against a few notable drawbacks. Disadvantages include:
- Lack of personalization, which is important to some workers (e.g., no way to decorate your workspace with knick knacks or family photos).
- Sanitation concerns.
- With a poor office management system, hoteling can create confusion among workers.
Are you ready to explore hoteling options, including the required space planning?
A trusted workplace change partner can help you create the hoteling spaces you need to support your hybrid work environment.
Choose the Right Approach for Your Workspace
Today’s employers must be flexible, adaptive, and open to new approaches to the physical workplace. In some cases, that might mean shifting toward an office hoteling approach; in other instances, it’s best to choose something more traditional.
With any questions about how best to use your workspace, or with concerns about reconfiguring your office area, we invite you to contact the team at Corovan at any time. Find more about Corovan on LinkedIn.