Hot Desking Outlook®: Take Full Advantage of Office Space with a Shared Workspace Strategy

In the not-so-distant past, an employee’s cubicle or desk was like a home away from home decorated with family photos and other personal items. However, more and more workspaces are being depersonalized as organizations embrace a shared workspace strategy. Companies are sharing assets between employees to accommodate more people in less space.

Just a few years ago, it wasn’t uncommon to see a 1:1 ratio between employees and desks. However, the number of employees per desk or cubicle is increasing. Many organizations are adopting hot desking and hoteling to maximize existing workspace and cut real estate costs, which are the second highest corporate expense after payroll.

Companies need a way to implement and manage their hot desking and hoteling operations. Hot desking management systems provide your organization with the infrastructure and support to manage flexible workspaces as well as meeting rooms. An efficient hot desking management system is required to ensure that your resources are allocated according to your needs.

How Hoteling and Hot Desking Work

Avoid empty hot desks with hot desking / hoteling for Microsoft Outlook®

Hoteling and hot desking are both methods of supporting temporary, unassigned seating in an office environment. In other words, employees don’t have a permanent place to sit. Upon arriving at the office, employees can choose to work at any available desk in the building.

Though the terms are often used interchangeably, hoteling and hot desking aren’t and the same. Hoteling refers to reservation-based unassigned seating, while hot desking refers to reservation-less unassigned seating. With hoteling, staff members can call in advance to book a workstation. With hot desking, employees select workspaces on a first-come, first-serve basis. The term hot desking is derived from the old practice of hot bunking on navy warships, in which sailors on different shifts shared bunks to maximize space.

The workforce is becoming increasingly mobile and more employees are telecommuting. Since 2005, the number of telecommuting employees has increased by over 60%. Employees who frequently work at home or remotely have little need for a permanent cubicle or desk. Hoteling and hot desking accommodate mobile and remote employees who don’t require dedicated office space. In today’s business environment, many employees also spend a lot of time away from their desks because they are visiting clients or attending meetings and conferences.

Benefits of Hoteling and Hot Desking

The benefits of hoteling and hot desking include a reduction in real estate and equipment costs. By consolidating and sharing workspace, organizations can reduce overall office space and create a more compact and efficient work environment. Hot desking and hoteling also encourage information and knowledge sharing because they bring people from different parts of an organization together. As a result, hoteling and hot desking break down barriers and eliminate the silo mentality. Hot desking also helps reduce a company’s carbon footprint by minimizing office space, equipment, and energy usage.

Hot desking and hoteling have the potential to increase motivation and productivity among employees who desire a more flexible schedule and want to telecommute. These employees appreciate being evaluated based on outcomes and output rather than their mere presence.

Despite the myriad benefits, hoteling and hot desking aren’t right for every organization. In some companies, employees have difficulty adjusting to different workspaces and colleagues on a regular basis. What’s more, employees may feel less connected to their work if they are unable to personalize their workspaces. They may feel like they’ve earned the right to their own workspace and thus frown upon a shared workspace strategy.

Hot desking and hoteling are ideal for companies with many contract workers or consultants and sales representatives who are frequently on the road. These types of employees are accustomed to not working at their own desks and may be better able to adapt to hoteling and hot desking. The practice of sharing workspace is also favored among organizations with many part-time workers.

Easily Book Workspaces with Hot Desk Management Software

In order to make hot desking and hoteling work in your company, it’s crucial to invest in a workspace management solution that allows employees to easily plan and book shared workspaces. The hot desking systems that work best are those that merge with an organization’s existing technology, which is why hot desking tools for Outlook® are a popular choice.

A hot desking system keeps track of a company’s resources. Employees can use the software to reserve or select a workspace. In some organizations, a desk may be permanently allocated to an employee that isn’t in the office all day, every day. A workspace management solution can be used to free up that desk while the employee is gone so that other staff members can use it. This could reduce the number of desks an organization needs.

The right workspace management solution ensures that hot desking and hoteling live up to their potential within your organization. It streamlines operations and saves time while freeing up staff to focus on other critical tasks.

To maximize the benefits of a hot desk management system, choose one with a built-in reporting tool. By extracting reports on meeting room and hot desk usage, you can make the best use of office space and improve your bottom line. Based on data derived from the reports, you can determine which resources are over- or underutilized. This could help you eliminate empty hot desks or turn underutilized meeting rooms into hot desks instead.

Streamline Hot Desking in Microsoft Outlook® with Resource Central

Use our new Workspace app to book your shared desks directly on your mobile device. Walk up to a desk and scan the QR code to see if the table is free to book right on the spot or use the search function and interactive floor map to book your preferred desk in advance. Sign up for a free demo of our Workspace app.

Combine the Workspace app with Resource Central, our shared workspace and meeting room management solution that not only allows you to coordinate shared workspaces, but also gives you the ability to book meeting rooms and order associated services.

With Resource Central, users can search for and book available workspaces by category and location directly through Microsoft Outlook® in advance or on-demand. Users continue to work with Microsoft Outlook’s familiar and intuitive interface, so they need minimal training to learn how to use the system. Sign up for a free trial or online demo of Resource Central today if you’re looking for an easy-to-use tool for booking workstations within Microsoft Outlook®.


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