Office Hoteling System Explained

Learn about the benefits of an Office Hoteling System, how it differs from traditional offices and hot desking, and how to implement and manage it effectively.

11 min read

An Office Hoteling System is a flexible way to manage office space, allowing employees to book desks and rooms as needed, rather than having fixed assignments. Here’s a quick overview:

  • Desk Booking: Employees reserve workspaces ahead of time, ensuring they have a spot when needed.
  • Space Efficiency: Maximizes the use of office space and can lead to cost savings.
  • Flexibility: Supports hybrid work models, offering employees choice and flexibility.
  • Technology-Driven: Requires desk booking software for reservations and management.

This approach contrasts with traditional office setups and hot desking by offering more planning and utilization tracking, and it’s increasingly relevant in today’s hybrid work environment. Here’s how it stacks up:

Feature Traditional Office Office Hoteling Hot Desking
Reservation System N/A Required First come, first served
Workspace Flexibility Fixed High Moderate
Supports Remote Employees No Yes Partially

Implementing an office hoteling system involves conducting a workspace audit, choosing the right management software, and rolling out the system carefully to ensure adoption. It’s not just about the logistics of booking; it’s about creating a more dynamic, flexible, and efficient work environment.

Understanding Office Hoteling Systems

What is an Office Hoteling System?

An office hoteling system is a smart way to share office space. Instead of having one desk for each person, employees can book a desk for the days they need to be in the office, just like booking a hotel room. This means:

  • You can pick a desk ahead of time for the days you’ll work in the office
  • Choose where you want to sit and what kind of desk you need
  • Let someone else use the desk when you’re done

This system makes it easier for everyone to find a place to work and helps use office space better.

Optimize office workspace

Origins and Evolution of Office Hoteling

Office hoteling started in the late 1980s with businesses that shared workspaces, like consulting firms. They used a booking system to manage who used desks and rooms, making sure space was used well.

Now, with more people working from home and better booking software, more companies are trying office hoteling. A recent survey found that 31% of companies are thinking about using this system for their hybrid teams.

Office Hoteling vs Traditional Office Setup

Feature Traditional Office Office Hoteling
Employee Workspaces Everyone has their own desk Desks are shared and booked as needed
Workspace Flexibility Not much A lot
Space Utilization Not great Much better
Cost Efficiency More expensive Saves money
Supports Remote Employees No Yes

Office Hoteling vs Hot Desking

Feature Hot Desking Office Hoteling
Reservation System First come, first served You need to book in advance
Getting a Desk Show up and hope for the best You have a desk waiting for you
Planning Can’t really plan You know when you’ll be in the office
Utilization Tracking Hard to keep track Booking software helps manage and understand usage

Core Components of an Office Hoteling System

An effective office hoteling system needs three main parts to work well together:

Desk Booking and Reservation Platform

  • This is a special program that lets employees see which desks and spaces are available and book them before coming to the office.
  • It shows a calendar with all the bookings, how many people can fit in a space, and rules for canceling.
  • Employees can choose where they want to sit, if they want to be near certain coworkers, and what tools they need at their desk.
  • The program automatically gives out desks based on who booked them and the office rules.

Workspace Analytics and Utilization

  • A dashboard shows data over time to help plan the office layout better.
  • It points out spaces that aren’t used much and busy areas that might need more room.
  • This data helps show that the flexible office space is worth the cost.

Integration With Work Tools

  • The system can connect with other office programs like email, and calendars.
  • It brings all the important tools and rules together in one place.
  • This keeps work flowing smoothly, even with the new desk booking system.

With these key parts, companies can make the most of shared work areas and give employees the flexible spaces they need. The technology makes booking desks easy, and the data helps make smart plans for the office.

desk booking software

Benefits of an Office Hoteling System

For Employers

Office hoteling is great for bosses because:

It Saves Money on Office Space

When everyone shares desks, you don’t need as much room. This means you can save a lot of money because you’re not paying for space you don’t use.

You Use Your Office Better

Office analytics tells you how much your workplace is being used. This info helps you arrange your office so that every bit of space is used well.

It Works Well With Hybrid Work

Employees can book a desk when they need to come in, making it easier for people to work from home some days and the office on other days.

Benefit Traditional Office Office Hoteling
Real Estate Costs Higher Lower
Space Usage Insights Minimal Rich analytics
Hybrid Worker Support Limited Excellent

For Employees

Office hoteling is also great for workers because:

You Get More Choices

You can decide when to work from the office or home, and you always have a spot when you choose to come in.

You Can Work Closer to Teammates

You can pick a desk near the people you’re working with, making it easier to work together.

You Can Change Up Your Workspace

You’re not stuck at the same desk every day. You can choose different spots based on what you need that day.

Benefit Traditional Office Office Hoteling
Flexibility Minimal High
Collaboration Static Configurable
Workspace Options Limited Diverse

Environmental Benefits

Choosing office hoteling is also better for the planet because:

It Uses Less Energy

With fewer desks to light and heat, you use less energy. Desk sensors can even turn off power in areas that aren’t being used.

It Cuts Down on Travel

When people work from home more, they don’t have to commute as much. This means less pollution.

It Reduces Waste

You need fewer desks and stuff, which means you’re not wasting materials.

Benefit Traditional Office Office Hoteling
Energy Use Higher Lower
Commuting Impact Higher Lower
Materials Waste More Less

Implementing an Office Hoteling System

Conducting a Workspace Audit

Before you start with an office hoteling system, it’s a good idea to take a close look at your current office setup to see if hoteling will work for you. Here’s what to check:

  • Employee workstyles – Figure out how many of your employees usually work in the office or from home. What kind of work do they do when they’re in the office? This helps you understand what kinds of spaces you need.
  • Space utilization – Look at how much your meeting rooms, desks, and other spaces are being used right now. Find spots that aren’t being used much.
  • Future growth – Think about if your team is going to get bigger or if you’re planning to change the office layout. This helps you plan how much space you’ll need.
  • Employee satisfaction – Ask your employees what they think about moving to a hoteling system and what kind of spaces they’d prefer. Listen to their concerns about changing things up.

After you’ve looked at all this, you can figure out the best mix of assigned seats, shared desks, and spaces people can book.

Choosing Hotel Management Software

Picking the right office hoteling software is crucial. Here’s what to look for:

  • Intuitive interface – It should be easy for everyone to find and book spaces.
  • Real-time availability – The software must show which desks and rooms are available right now to avoid double-booking.
  • Configurable rules – You should be able to set up rules about when and how people can book or cancel.
  • Analytics – You’ll want detailed reports on how much the spaces are being used to help you plan better.
  • Integration – The system should work well with other tools you use, like calendars.
  • Accessibility – Make sure there’s a website and a mobile app so employees can book spaces easily, even when they’re not in the office.

Rolling Out the Office Hoteling System

Switching to a hoteling system needs careful planning:

  • Pilot program – Try out the software and rules with a small group before everyone starts using it.
  • Training – Teach your employees how to use the new system. Provide simple guides they can refer to.
  • Gather feedback – Ask the people who tried it first what they think and make any necessary changes.
  • Encourage adoption – Have some employees share their good experiences to get others interested.

Remember, it’s okay if things don’t go perfectly right away! Keep talking to your team and fixing any problems that come up.

Managing an Established Office Hoteling Setup

Daily System Administration

Running an office hoteling system smoothly every day means having clear rules for booking, canceling, cleaning, and other daily tasks. Here are some tips:

  • Set cancellation policies: Make sure employees know they need to cancel their desk booking by a certain time so someone else can use it.
  • Manage reservation disputes: If two employees book the same desk, the system should automatically give it to the person who booked first. Have a way for employees to report any booking problems.
  • Coordinate cleaning staff: Make sure the cleaning team knows which desks need cleaning after they’ve been used. Add cleaning schedules to the system.
  • Assign room captains: Pick some employees to take care of meeting rooms and shared areas. They can help with bookings, set up equipment for meetings, and fix any tech issues.
  • Regular system checks: Check the software data every week to spot trends, or desks that no one uses. This helps you use your space better.

Keeping to these rules helps everyone know what to do and helps the people managing the space keep everything running well.

Optimizing Utilization

To make the best use of desks and spaces over time:

  • Study analytics reports: Look at the data to see how often desks are booked, when the office is busiest, and which equipment is used the most. Think about changing or removing spaces that aren’t used much.
  • Gather user feedback: Ask employees how they feel about using the office hoteling system. Find out which spaces or equipment they like and what could make their work easier.
  • Reconfigure work zones: Based on the data and feedback, change how the office is set up. Create areas for team work, quiet work, or private calls. Change the types of desks and add new equipment if needed.
  • Refine system rules: Change the rules in the software about how far in advance you can book, etc., to match how people use the space. Set up automatic reminders if they help.
  • Consider feature upgrades: If your needs change, think about adding new features like better self-service, connecting more equipment, or showing custom floor plans. Updating the technology can make everything easier to manage.

Keeping an eye on how the space is used and making changes when needed is important for getting the most out of your office hoteling system. It keeps the workplace flexible and focused on what employees need.

The Future of Office Hoteling Systems

The technology behind office hoteling is getting smarter and more interesting. Here are some cool new features:

  • Augmented reality previews: Before you even get to the office, you can use special glasses to see which desks are free and pick the one you like best.
  • Smart sensors and beacons: Tiny gadgets in the office keep track of which desks are being used, make sure desks are cleaned after use, help you find your way around, and let you check into your desk without touching anything.
  • Digital twin technology: A super realistic 3D model of the office lets people working from home see and choose desks as if they were there in person.
  • Workspace customization: You can change your desk area to suit you, with things like voice commands to adjust the light, or moving parts to make your desk fit you better.

As these technologies get better, they make the office more flexible and a nicer place for everyone, especially those who move around a lot for work.

People working with desk booking software

Post-Pandemic Workplace Role

The COVID-19 pandemic made many of us work from home, and office hoteling systems have become really important for the new way we work. Here’s why they’re so useful:

  • They help keep us safe by making sure we’re not too close to each other and letting us check into desks without touching anything.
  • They make it easier to slowly start using the office again by keeping track of how many people are there.
  • They let us book desks for the days we choose to work in the office, which is great for people who split their time between home and the office.
  • They show us which desks nobody is using, so we can share more and save money.
  • They give us information to make good decisions about working from home or the office.

With all these smart features focusing on keeping us healthy and making the best use of office space, office hoteling systems are key to making hybrid work successful. They’re great at using office space well and are becoming more important as companies get used to employees working from different places.

How does office hoteling work?

Office hoteling, also known as desk hoteling, is like booking a hotel but for desks. You pick a desk online for the days you need it, instead of having one desk all the time. Here’s how it works:

  • You use a website or app to book a desk for certain days and times.
  • You can see which desks are free and choose the one you like.
  • When you get to the office, you check in to your desk. When you leave, you check out so someone else can book it.
  • The system keeps track of which desks get used the most, helping the office plan better.

This way, you get to choose when and where you work in the office, and the company uses its space more wisely.

What is the difference between hot desking and office hoteling?

Here’s how hot desking and office hoteling are different:

Reservation Requirements:

  • Hot desking is like a race; you grab any desk that’s free when you arrive.
  • Office hoteling means you book your desk before you come in, so you know you have a spot.

Desk Availability:

  • With hot desking, you might not find a free desk.
  • With office hoteling, you have a desk waiting for you because you booked it.

Utilization Tracking & Planning:

  • It’s tough to keep track of desk use with hot desking.
  • With office hoteling, it’s easy to see which desks are used and plan the office layout.

In short, hoteling is more organized because you book ahead, while hot desking is more go-with-the-flow but less predictable.

What is desk hoteling software?

Desk hoteling software is a computer program that helps manage booking desks in an office. It lets you:

  • See a map of the office with free desks.
  • Pick a desk and book it for when you need it.
  • Choose what kind of desk or tools you need.
  • Check in and out of your desk.
  • Look at reports on how desks are used.
  • Manage the desk booking rules and setup.

This software makes it easy to choose and book desks, helping everyone use the office better.

What is hoteling policy?

A hoteling policy is a set of rules about using shared desks in the office. It usually covers:

  • How and when you can book a desk.
  • How to cancel a booking if you change your mind.
  • How to check in and out of a desk.
  • Who gets priority for certain desks.
  • Different types of desks and their rules.
  • How to handle your tech at the desk.
  • When and how desks get cleaned.

Having clear rules makes sure everyone gets a fair chance to book the desks they need.

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