Hoteling refers to the practice of providing employees with a workspace on an as-needed basis. How does it work? Essentially, companies that utilize hoteling are looking for ways to reduce operating costs by leasing out a smaller office and maintaining fewer ‘resident’ employees. Workers will reserve desk space when they need it rather than having a permanent station at which to work. This can be an especially effective method to implement in offices where employees frequently work from home or are out in the field such as with outside sales staff. If you’re thinking of incorporating a hoteling program within your business, be sure to make a game plan ahead of time and take the following into consideration.

Reserve Private Offices First

Don’t let hoteling space overrun your entire floor. Be sure to block off space for permanent employees and managers first, and then use the remaining space for temporary workers and telecommuters. Although hoteling in an open area can be an effective solution, it’s always going to be important to maintain private offices for holding meetings and one-on-one conversations as well. Often times, employees who normally telecommute will come to the office specifically for meetings. Ensure that there is a designated space or room where conferences can be held without distractions.


Create Clear and Concrete Hoteling Policies

Laying out the rules and defining them clearly in the beginning will alleviate any confusion between hoteling employees and permanent residence employees in the future. In your policy manual, include information as to how the employee should book the office space, how the space should be used and how the space should look when left at the end of the day.


Provide Hoteling Employees with a Place to Keep Their Belongings

Permanent employees typically keep their coats, purses and wallets safe and sound at their desk, but hoteling employees don’t have the luxury of a space to call their own. Be sure to provide every visiting worker with a safe place to keep these belongings so that they can feel comfortable leaving the items behind while they attend meetings. The easiest way to accomplish this is to equip each hoteling desk with a mobile filing cabinet that has locking capabilities. You can further increase the functionality of the office by purchasing files that have padded cushions on the top. This way, managers and other employees can use the file as a seat during impromptu conversations at the person’s desk.


Take Hoteling Work Habits into Consideration

Not all employees have the same working styles, and not every job entails the same type of work. For example, a team of graphic designers working on the same project may require a large shared workspace, while an accountant working on a solo project may just need one quiet cubical to get the job done.


Implementing hoteling in your corporate office can be an effective way to save money and to provide telecommuters with an open invitation to stop by any time.


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