In an age of telecommuting and managing remote/out-of-town employees, many companies are considering office hoteling as a way to reduce workspace overhead expenses while optimizing the employee’s productivity and relieving stress during the journey. It’s imperative that the solution be properly integrated awhile remaining flexible to current and future needs. A poorly run system will frustrate employees and create confusion. If your business is thinking about transitioning to office hoteling for traveling employees, here are some best practices to help you with implementation. These steps will ensure that your company’s hoteling solution meets both your employees’ and the company’s expectations.
Interactive Reservation System
Employees need a way to reserve a workspace and be assured they will have a designated place to work when they arrive at the office. This is the fundamental difference between office hoteling, which lets employees reserve a space, and hot desking, which provides desks on a first-come, first-served basis. An interactive reservation system lets employees conveniently reserve a spot with a simple touch of the screen.
Prepare for the Peak Demand
Facilities managers may be tempted to plan for the average demand, but an office hoteling solution should be designed to handle peak demands. If employees cannot reserve a place to work when there is a high demand, they will begin to make “just-in-case” reservations. These reservations strain resources and compound the scarcity problem.
Instead of preparing for the average use an office sees over a long period of time, look at fluctuations in demand and prepare for the highest peaks. Ideally, there will be enough office space to accommodate all employees during the high-demand periods. If this is impractical, you may want to consider temporarily converting a conference room to an open office configuration. Another option could be leasing additional space in the same building for the times when designated desks/cubicles are in short supply.
Include Short-Term Stations
Traveling workers occasionally need a place to work for a short while, perhaps 10 or 15 minutes. There is no reason to tie up an entire office space for an hour-long reservation if someone only needs to quickly check their email between meetings or make a phone call before heading to the airport.
Include a few short-term workstations in your office hoteling plan which employees can use when they don’t need a full office or cubicle. These short-term stations should only have the bare essentials: a small desk, notepad, pen, power supply, waste basket and phone.
A Phone System
Although most employees have their own cellphones that they will rely on while traveling, each office space should be equipped with a phone. Employees may not be able to check their office voicemail from their cellphones if cell phone signals are not adequate. All the desks should have a phone system which lets them check their voice messages and forward their calls.
Employees are expecting to have the ability and flexibility to make their own decisions about workspace configurations they desire as well as how to function with coworkers. Equally important to these traveling workers are services to accomplish their work – easy LAN/Wi-Fi setup, IT Help Desk access, Printers, Copiers, coffee/beverage bar [kitchen], ordering catered meals or the ability to access information about a list of good local restaurants and transportation services.
An office hoteling solution should provide employees with the resources they need, meet demand and make employees feel welcome and as comfortable as working from home. If your system does all of these, it will keep employees happy and highly productive while at their temporary office.
Ready for more information? Reach out and let one of our experts provide you with a free consultation or listen to this webinar about 5 Reasons to Implement an Office Hoteling Solution.
About the Author:
Paul Shwabe is a Business Consultant, Strategic Deployments for RMG Networks. He has 25 years experience in sales leadership and business consulting. Follow Paul on Twitter @paulshwabe or connect on LinkedIn.
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