Real estate is costly, so making the best use of existing office space is crucial. For many companies, this means creating agile workplaces that accommodate flexible working arrangements like hot desking and hoteling.
Getting work done is not dependent on having a dedicated desk – having access to the right kind of office setup is what counts. Hot desking and hoteling are the practice of allocating desks to employees on a rotating basis, only when they need them – there are no permanently assigned desks. The terms hoteling and hot desking are used interchangeably to refer to reservation-based unassigned seating that enables workers to schedule desks, rooms, and cubicles in advance of their arrival.
Hot desking and hoteling arrangements acknowledge that not all staff members need fixed desks because their positions may involve a lot of travel, visiting customer sites, meetings, part-time work, or remote work. Flex space is another flexible working arrangement that provides an open workspace where mobile workers can work, meet, and collaborate when they come into the office. In traditional office settings, visiting employees have to search for a spare desk, free conference room, or someone’s vacant office. Hoteling and hot desking support the scheduling of unassigned workspace in an office environment, setting aside an area where mobile workers can share rotating desks.
Flexible working arrangements like hot desking and hoteling take advantage of the fact that on any given day, a large percentage of the workforce is not even in the office. According to a 2013 study by the real estate firm CBRE, 30% of US offices remain vacant on average. To put it simply, if workers aren’t in the office all day long, they don’t need a permanent “home” in the office.
Flexible workplaces are the workplaces of the future. Today’s employees place high value on agility and in having the flexibility to work wherever it is the most effective at any given time. Hot desking and hoteling also reduce a company’s overhead costs by allocating workspace more efficiently and reducing desk vacancy. The following are other benefits of flexible working arrangements:
• Accommodate mobile and temporary workers
• Decrease energy consumption levels and costs
• Cut down on the need for IT infrastructure, furniture, and other resources
• Strengthen teams and encourage collaboration
It’s important to provide workers with appropriate workspaces but that alone is not enough. It’s also essential to manage that workspace efficiently. Workers need to have the ability to schedule desks, rooms, and other resources quickly and easily. Add-On Products offers solutions that ensure your company’s hoteling and hot desking experiences are the best they can be. Resource Central, Add-On Products’ resource scheduling software for Microsoft Outlook®, comes equipped with a hot desk booking system. Users can search for and book available workspaces and desks directly through their Outlook® calendar in advance or on demand. Users can also use the Workspace booking app from their mobile device to easily book and manage their hot desk bookings.
Planning out the configuration of workspaces for employees with fluctuating schedules is a challenge. If you allocate too much workspace, you’ll end up with a lot of unused workspaces and miss cost-saving opportunities. If you allocate too little, you’ll create hassles for employees and lead them to compete for workspace. Resource Central comes with resource utilization reports that help you evaluate occupancy data. You can monitor which desks and meeting rooms are rarely used and identify patterns. Using this information, you can reconfigure workspaces to better serve your workforce’s needs. Collecting and measuring real-time data fuels your ability to make smarter business decisions and improve space utilization.
Deploying mobile technologies is another important aspect of transitioning to a flexible working environment. With mobile resource scheduling software, like the Resource Booking Web App and the Workspace app, employees can find and reserve workspaces directly from their mobile devices when they’re on the move. Team calendar software, like Add-On Products’ Exchange Central and WebTeam Central, are also beneficial because they allow you to get an overview of your schedule and your colleagues’ schedules in real-time.