Office Hoteling: A Money-Saving Opportunity Or A Logistical Nightmare?
Offices are increasingly moving towards a flexible work environment, and that means adapting the office layout to accommodate this evolution. In Canada are increasing being converted to a hoteling setup, in which employees do not have permanent workspaces and sign in daily to lock in a desk for the day.
Companies promote this type of work environment as an opportunity to collaborate, because they tend to offer more group spaces for meetings. From an organizational perspective, it’s also a cost-cutting measure as individual office space is eliminated and employees are encouraged to work from home on a regular basis. Overall, a hoteling environment can both help and hinder productivity over time.
One of the positive aspects of the hoteling structure is that it offers flexibility to the employee. That means flexibility in terms of where, when and how they work. Offices with this type of setup tend to encourage mobility, and that means employees can choose when they want to come into the office. It’s just one step in the evolution towards a completely mobile workplace.
Another advantage, as mentioned, is the opportunity for networking and collaboration. Workstations tend to be more compact in this type of environment, thereby encouraging employees to take advantage of shared spaces and network with their colleagues. This is in contrast to the permanent office or workspace, in which employees are completely set up to come in for the day and not budge for eight hours.
The set up isn’t for everyone. Many employees enjoy coming into an office and having their own, personalized space – in other words, a home away from home. Hoteling offices often have lockers in which employees can store their belongings, which give it a transient feel.
You won’t always get a desk. Hoteling offices are set up with the assumption that employees will work from home throughout the week. On certain days when the majority of employees decide to come into the office, a shortage of space results and employees are forced to find alternative workspaces, which might not be optimal for productivity. For instance, employees might need to work in a lounge or other group workspace.
As a prospective employee, it’s important to get a feel for the work environment during the recruitment process to ensure it’s the right fit for you. If you’re the type of employee who thrives in routine and solitude, a hoteling environment is probably not right for you. If you’re the type of employee who appreciates flexibility and can work just about anywhere, it might be perfect for you. During the interview stage, be sure to ask your prospective employer specific questions about the office environment.
The hoteling office is here to stay, and can be a positive way to work for many employees. If you think it would be the right fit for you, be sure to seek out companies that utilize this work structure and enjoy the benefits for years to come.