Alternative office plans have become increasingly popular among organizations of all sizes as a result of changes in how and where people work. Companies have been breaking down walls and tearing up assigned seating plans for decades.
Now, empowered by mobility and objective workspace utilization data, many organizations are transforming their office spaces into “hospitality hubs” and offering a hotel-like experience for their employees. A choice of quiet or collaborative workstations, generous amenities, and even concierge service are available—all you need is a reservation.
Why Companies Prefer Hoteling
For the company, the advantages of moving to a flexible, shared workspace are obvious: the per-employee cost of office space is typically lower and the workforce is inherently more flexible. Workplace hospitality and amenities offer a way to draw employees into the office and encourage collaboration while enabling workers themselves to determine the time and place they will be most effective.
The value of hoteling, as opposed to hot-desking or plain unassigned seating, is that employees can feel comfortable knowing they have access to the space they need. If workers are worried about searching for an open desk and possibly not being able to find one, it means they have to waste time and energy before they can even sit down to work. On a busy day, an employee might end up in a noisy open space when they’re trying to focus on an individual project.
An organized hoteling system helps prevent these frustrating situations and ensure employees have reliable access to the right types of workstations.
How to Provide the Best Hoteling Experience for Employees
For employees, the impact of hoteling depends on how easy it is to reserve and access desired areas. Instead of feeling squeezed by a lack of dedicated personal space, you want your people to be empowered and supported by your office hoteling system, so they can focus on generating revenue or serving clients.
An individual employee might be able to do their best work in several different spaces over the course of a day. Imagine:
- You start your day standing at the coffee bar, answering email and planning your schedule while saying good morning to coworkers and getting energized
- You reserve a quiet, isolated workspace where you can focus on putting the finishing touches on a presentation for an upcoming meeting
- After lunch, you take your laptop to a relaxing common area and think about how to handle a difficult client issue or start preparing for your next project
- Later in the afternoon, you head to a reserved collaboration space for a status meeting with your project team
- Before you head home, you spend 15 minutes at a standing desk, getting organized for the next day
The goal of hoteling is to make these types of transitions as easy as possible, so everyone can stay focused throughout the day and make optimal use of the available space.
For a successful hoteling experience, companies should deploy technology that puts employees in control and enables them to manage their workspace in the same manner that they are used to managing the rest of their lives. This includes making it easy to reserve an office or meeting room from an application on any device. Hotel-style offices can also use simple, intuitive signals such as a red or green light outside of a room that shows whether or not it is available.
By providing employees intuitive self-service tools for reserving workspace, your organization can find the perfect balance of flexibility and efficiency to enable optimal workforce performance.