January 20th, 2021


A 5-Minute Return-To-Work Plan For HR Leaders

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With an increasingly hybrid workforce, hot desking is hotter than ever. After all, what company wants to pay for space that is underutilized or not being used at all? We get it. But instead of hot desking, consider transforming your workspace into a flexible, office hoteling space.

Discover how to demonstrate the value of office hoteling to your employees and get practical tips for setting up your space.

Hot desking’s hotter alternative: office hoteling

Traditionally, hot desking is a flexible workspace strategy founded on the idea of unassigned seating. This creates anxiety for the following reasons:

  • It’s usually on a first-come, first-served basis, which means the early bird gets the best desk.
  • Needing to find a desk is one more thing employees have to worry about when they arrive in the morning. Since humans are creatures of habit, people often end up sitting at the same desk anyway.
  • People like boundaries. Having a designated workspace gives them a sense of control and territory. It’s where they keep their personal belongings and express who they are as individuals through things like photos, plants, and stress-relieving trinkets.
  • With COVID-19, employees have the added concern about spreading germs through sharing desks or sharing a workspace with too many people at once.

Meet desk hoteling. If hot desking is a horse and buggy, office hoteling is a sleek sports car.

Just like a hotel, remote, on-site, and contract workers can reserve their desks in advance. That way, the “hotel” (your office) knows when to expect them. This allows the planning necessary for a smooth check-in.

How and why office hoteling spaces works

Using desk hoteling software, employees can reserve desks and conference rooms from their mobile devices before even entering the office.

Structure and safety

Being able to book a desk in advance gives employees the boundaries and sense of individual space they crave.

An interactive office map means employees traveling from other offices can easily find their reserved space upon arrival, making them feel less like an outsider.

Facilities maintenance integration ensures the desk is clean when they arrive and sanitized after they leave. Office hoteling software also allows team leaders to limit capacity and ensure there is an appropriate distance between workstations.

Increase productivity, not cost

Real estate is one of the biggest expenses for any business. Having desks and conference rooms that are empty for any period of time is money down the drain. In an office hoteling space, you can maximize your real estate while minimizing risk.

While employees may like having a designated workspace to call their own, this can invite clutter and so much personalization that it becomes unprofessional and distracting.

Think about that person whose desk is covered in files, trinkets, stuffed animals, and numerous photos. An office hoteling space eliminates “nesting” while giving employees some of the structure they crave.

5 office hoteling best practices for setting up your space


1. A good desk booking system 

This allows employees to reserve desks anytime, anyplace from their mobile phone. They can reserve their space for just a few hours or the entire day using a desk booking app.


2. A good Wi-Fi connection 

Employees may be reserving space from their phones while they are in the office and will need access to Wi-Fi.


3. Flexible office furniture

If you don’t already have a flexible workspace, consider lighter furniture and various types of workspace dividers that enable you to transform your layout quickly and easily depending on the number of people in the office and type of activity occurring that day.


4. Lockers for personal belongings

Since employees won’t be able to store their things at a desk, consider purchasing lockers where they can keep their personal belongings.


5. Workplace analytics

Finally, the real estate decision-makers as well as team leads will need training on how to use the reservation software’s analytics to better inform those decisions.

By investing in desk booking software and dedicating some time to analyze the fluctuating space needs of your office hoteling space, you can create a safer, more productive environment for your employees while positively impacting the bottom line.

Download our free return-to-work checklist for more information about creating a safer work environment, such as implementing wellness checks, contact tracing, and more.

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