Office Hoteling: A Guide to Hoteling Office Space
Office hoteling is a way of managing office space on an impermanent but regular basis. Workers can reserve a single desk, meeting room, or shared space for a set amount of time, similar to a hotel. This can be an effective way to enhance the value and profitability of an office building, insulating against the impact of vacancy and facilitating new kinds of office workers.
Nontraditional work arrangements have seen a massive rise in adoption. This includes a marked increase in multipurpose spaces, transitional spaces, shared spaces, and more that welcome a growing cohort of hybrid office employees. Allowing workers to go remote part of the time has been a compromise in the return to the office, and one that appears to have staying power.
Read on to learn more about how office hoteling works, and how this unique space use is appealing to previously work-from-home employees who still want a professional, productive place to get things done.
Covered in this article:
- What is Office Hoteling
- Quick Q & A: Office Hoteling
- Why is Hoteling Office Space Becoming Popular?
- Use Case for Office Hoteling: Who is it for? Who is Using it Now?
- What are the Benefits of Hoteling Office Space to Companies and Employees?
- What are the Factors to Consider When Hoteling Office Space?
Quick Q & A:
Is office hoteling the same as a hot desk? No. Hot desks are often part of coworking spaces, and are offered in a free-for-all of instant bookings that don’t guarantee the space. Hoteling in the workplace supports predictability for flexible workers, providing guaranteed space that is often booked for an extended period of time.
Is office hoteling a post-pandemic trend? No. . . and yes. This work arrangement is loosely associated with coworking and shared spaces, a trend that has been around since the early 2000s. Even before that, communal desks were often used by traveling employees, such as salespeople and consultants. That said, use of this tactic by property owners and managers has risen since the 2020 increase in virtual work.
Why is Hoteling Office Space Becoming Popular?
There are numerous reasons why this work arrangement is becoming popular. These include the following:
- People favor flexibility — According to large-scale surveys, people appreciate the benefits of remote and flexible work arrangements. Stated reasons are having flexibility to choose work location, an enhanced ability to focus, and savings in both money and time. As many as 56% of working adults in the United States hold jobs that are compatible with at least partial remote work.
- People want control over their time — There is no love lost over the end of a daily commute. Employees like to have control over how they spend their time. This has led not only to an uptick in alternative work environments, but also a rise in the suburban office.
- People have plenty of tools for non-traditional work arrangements — Technology has made it not only possible but easy to work part-time from home and part-time from the office. Virtual desktops, IoT and enhanced connectivity, booking apps, video conferencing tools, remote file sharing: all of these are accessible, easy-to-use, and secure.
A Gallup study of over 140,000 U.S. employees found that “employees with the ability to work remotely are largely anticipating a hybrid office environment going forward.” This reality supports the continued popularity of hoteling office space.
Use Case for Office Hoteling: Who is it for? Who is Using it Now?
There are numerous types of companies that are able to use office hoteling. Some of the early and ongoing adopters of this tactic include start-ups, companies using a hybrid model, large organizations with satellite offices, and companies that want to attract top talent.
- Start-ups — Small businesses, including start-ups, benefit immensely from hoteling in the workplace. It gives them the ability to keep costs low while still having the option to scale up with expansion options.
- Hybrid models — Companies that have settled on a hybrid model will already have employees who work off-site or on-site. Offering that can be tricky in a traditional office lease, but hoteling makes it possible to have employees come and go on schedule without paying for all of the space all of the time.
- Satellite offices — As small and mid-sized businesses grow, it is common to establish additional offices in new locations. This expansion can be achieved with less overhead through office hoteling.
- Growing teams — Offering a hybrid work option has become an incentive for rising talent. Companies can offer this by leasing space in an office hoteling model.
Many businesses actively take advantage of the benefits of office hoteling. In San Antonio, the Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center is remodeling a 10,500 square foot building to create collaborative office spaces and a modern work environment that includes office hoteling. In sectors as varied as tech and government agencies, the model works and yields measurable advantages.
Advantages of Office Hoteling: What are the Benefits to Companies and Employees?
There are many ways in which businesses and employees reap the benefits of hoteling office space.
Benefits for Businesses
Business owners and building owners stand to gain from hoteling office space in the following ways:
- Hoteling office space enables businesses to manage, optimize, and maximize workspace usage. This can increase productivity and enhance collaboration among employees.
- Using office space on a schedule reduces the office cost per worker.
- Both established and rising talent categorically prefer flexible work arrangements, which makes this offer important to attract the best and brightest.
- It may improve morale to have an array of options, as well as flexible spaces that bring people together.
- This work arrangement may reduce the power struggle by democratizing the workplace environment.
Benefits for Employees
Employees also will see perks from this kind of arrangement, which include the following:
- It is empowering to have the right to choose how you spend your time at work, a dynamic that promotes employee mental health.
- Being able to come into the office as needed, and avail themselves of office-based resources and amenities, can give employees “the best of both worlds.”
- Compared to hot desking, office hoteling provides guaranteed space, which removes the stress of a hybrid work arrangement.
- This setup works well for individuals and teams, providing equitable and fair access to office resources.
- A smart office experience is part of the new normal, and workspace hoteling ensures that employees get full access to technology that supports productivity.
What are the Factors to Consider When Starting Hoteling Office Space?
Hoteling office space works well many types of businesses but it’s important to evaluate your needs before engaging in this type of arrangement.
What is the nature of your business?
Professional service providers and businesses with fully digital operating processes and capacity for off-site client management are the best candidates for office hoteling. Fields that are well-positioned for this setup include accounting, law, media, and consulting.
What type of space do you currently need/will you need in the future?
Assess your current resources, accurately delineating how your employees currently use their space and what their preferences are. This will help you understand just how flexible your office lease or office space use can be.
What kind of change will be required to engage in this?
Change management isn’t easy, and depending on your current workplace set-up, you may need to carefully think through how to facilitate change.
If, after analysis, you’ve decided that a hoteling arrangement is a clear winner, a key starting point is to learn the booking process. You will want to pick a centralized booking management platform that makes it easy for employees to reserve space. It’s important that you monitor this process, especially at the beginning, and are mindful of congestion and occupancy needs and provisions.