One way companies are now adapting to the work preferences of their modern workforces is with office hoteling. The growing demand for telecommuting opportunities is completely reshaping how organizations manage their space, resources and workforce. In fact, according to Global Workplace Analytics, employees are already mobile 50 to 60 percent of the time, and Fortune 1000 companies around the world are completely redesigning their spaces around this trend.
The hoteling office model is a reservation-based style of office management wherein employees schedule their use of workspaces (including desks, cubicles, equipment and conference rooms) before they arrive at the office and only on an as-needed basis.
And given as much as 90 percent of the U.S. workforce says they would like to telework at least part time, according to Global Workplace Analytics, and having spaces employees can reserve when and where they need them most will help prepare your workspace for today’s trends and tomorrow’s expectations.
If organizations want to attract top talent and retain employees, they must adapt to the demands of today’s workforce. There are numerous advantages to office hoteling that benefit both employees and the organization at large.
Here are five reasons your workplace should adopt office hoteling:
For employees who already work remotely most of the time, office hoteling encourages them to visit “home base” every once in a while. It gets them in the office, mingling face to face with coworkers and management, and spending time immersed in their organization’s culture. Likewise, if employees don’t already telecommute, adopting office hoteling will make it easier for them to do so.
We’ve all experienced that one co-worker whose time is more valuable than anyone else’s, whose deadline is more pressing and who hoards shared office equipment and supplies in their workspace. Office hoteling evens the playing field and provides management with greater control over workspace, equipment and other resources to ensure all employees have fair access to what they need, when they need it. For example, if a team member has a big print job scheduled for the day, they can reserve the workstation closest to the copy room.
When space and resources aren’t being allocated based on rank and instead are available to all employees as needed, people are more inclined to collaborate with one another and the coveted “team mentality” all modern organizations are striving to develop occurs organically.
Not all employees require the same workspace to reach their peak productivity level. Some prefer quiet, independent space. Some do best in group settings or amid the bustle and energy of an active, open office. And others like a variation of the two, depending on the task at hand. Office hoteling is one way organizations can provide their employees with the option to choose.
Why assign a permanent desk to an employee who spends a majority of their time working from home or on the road? Hoteling eliminates unnecessary workspaces and enables organizations to reduce the overall square footage needed to support their workforce. By getting down to the essentials, space can be reconfigured to better support the workflow and collaboration of on-site employees while still catering to the needs of remote workers who sometimes require in-office time.
If an organization can reduce its square footage, it can also reduce its rent, energy consumption and utility costs. The less spent on rent and utility means more capital to reinvest back into the business.
The proper adoption of office hoteling will require that your organization implement space management and reservation software. Integrated Workplace Management Software (IWMS) seamlessly integrates these systems and allows you to clearly and easily observe how every person interacts with every square inch of your facility and how they interact with all resources and assets.
By collecting and analyzing this data over time, facilities managers can detect trends, including workflow bottlenecks and peak traffic times. This allows them to anticipate demands and re-configure their workspaces to better meet current and future employee needs.
Resolving space management issues is one of the greatest challenges facing facilities leaders today. Learn how successful corporations are using space in our free guide, The Great Workplace Space Race.
Elizabeth Dukes' pieces highlight the valuable role of the real estate and facility managers play in their organizations. Prior to iOFFICE, Elizabeth was in sales for large facility and office service outsourcing firm.