Proof That Office Hoteling is the Key to Your Dynamic Workplace
There is a constant shift in the way offices are designed and managed. From the early days of closed-door, corner offices, cubicles, and assigned seating, to more open floor plans with unassigned seating and hoteling.
Many companies still use traditional assigned seating to manage their offices, meaning each employee has their own workspace.
While others are exploring the more flexible workplace with unassigned seating to promote collaboration and choice.
Tom Arends, AIA senior designer with BHDP said,
“Unassigned seating can be a more efficient use of space that provides more desirable options. It provides employees a variety of choices to work where they need to work to get the job done.”
Are you trying to create a flexible, dynamic workplace for your employees but seem to be missing a key piece?
Welcome Hoteling into the Dynamic Mix
Office Hoteling is a flexible workplace practice that allows employees to use a reservation system to find and claim a workspace or resources, on-demand and for a specified period of time, to fit their working needs.
The office will always be a part of our work life but the way it’s being used is constantly changing. Employees and companies can save money when telework is on the table at least some of the time. But employees will continue to use the office to collaborate and come together. Or when they want quiet space or a change of scenery.
And as traditional assigned seating is finding its way out and employees are becoming more mobile, many assigned seats sit empty.
It’s time to change that!
- Change the space.
- Add collaboration areas.
- Make offices, workspaces, rooms, etc. reservable.
- Let people use them when and where they want to.
Hoteling’s Newest, Unlikeliest Fan
Adopting a dynamic, flexible workplace strategy with an office hoteling program was not on many law firms’ radars. Actually, rephrase, it was OFF their radars. For the longest time, they didn’t want it. It wasn’t for them. Nope, not having it. Lawyers need their own offices!
But things have changed. As they always do. Law firms were strict in their need to have closed-offices for each lawyer/employee. Their work being sensitive and confidential. But truth is, that work is also done at home, in the courts, on the road, etc. Like many offices, no one is in there 24/7.
Firms had to consider what they could do about it. And the ones that turned to an office hoteling program saw a reduction in their office footprint by 20-30%.
So, others are following suit. According to recent Savills research, 41% of law firms are planning to implement a hoteling/teleworking strategy and 48% are considering the workstyle options they can adopt in the near future.
If they can do it, so can you! Hoteling is the next step for workplaces. Don’t fall behind. Here are a couple of other examples of companies that are doing hoteling right.
Real-World Examples of Companies Using Office Hoteling to Manage Their Dynamic Workplaces
Cherry Bekaert, an accounting firm, implemented a hoteling program in 2019. From the beginning, employees enjoyed the additional flexibility this allowed for. The firm started with only one office site, but within the year they implemented the change to 5 major offices. They created team rooms, huddle rooms to offer privacy for employees to make phone calls or work heads-down, collaboration spaces, and more.
After implementing a dynamic workplace strategy, GSA achieved a 2:1 worker-to-workspace ratio, saved $24 million in annual lease costs and reduced its carbon and energy consumption by 50%. And its employees were given the ability to choose the best place to work each day.
Chuck Hardy, GSA’s Chief Workplace Officer said,
“We transition them from having fixed, assigned spaces to having a very dynamic and flexible and movable work environment. It was really an engaging and transparent process for everyone.”
The US Customs and Border Protection agency reacted quickly to Federal mandates to reduce their footprint by implementing a hoteling program. In an ambitious pilot project CBP consolidated two Office of Administration floors into one smaller floor with fewer workspaces. Rather than each employee being assigned a specific desk, different types of workspaces — from private offices to collaborative workspaces — are available, with employees choosing what they need and when depending on the day and their style of working. Employees were also encouraged to work at home two days per week.
98%—of employees reported that communication and collaboration were improved by the use of the new technology, processes and policies, while the department reported a 102% increase in worker productivity post-transformation. Finally, each employee saved over $600 in annual commuting costs. That also translated into an accompanying reduction in greenhouse gas emissions because employees reduced the number of miles they commuted each day.
Ellie Moody, the “people and practice” lead for the project said,
“It’s really rewarding to have worked on this project, where you can just see the change in people’s attitudes in the way that they have embraced coming to work. People have said to me that the flexibility of the new approach has allowed them to be home when their kids get off the bus from school. They have the ability to manage their time in their own way, and they are really appreciative of that.”
In 2015, Accounting and Consulting Firm, Moss Adams ran into the issue of having some of its offices at full capacity with no lease renewal in sight. It needed an immediate solution to its capacity problem. So, the firm changed up its workplace strategy by adding a hoteling program to complement its traditional, 1-1 assigned seating. For the sites at capacity, the hoteling program completely took over and assigned seating was thrown out the window. For the other sites, half of its spaces were turned into flex space while the other half stayed assigned to offer a more subtle transition.
Because of this move to a hoteling strategy, Moss Adams was able to drop 67,000 square feet of unused space and see savings in occupancy cost of $35 million over the next 10 years.
Facebook’s flexible workplace provides a variety of workspaces and encourages collaboration and mobility.
The building has rooms to satisfy a group of 20 or more or two person meetings. It has the regular hustle and bustle of desks and collaboration areas while also offering small “libraries” away from it all for when employees want quiet time.
One Facebook employee said,
And well they’ve done.
Georgia-Pacific, one of the leading manufacturers of tissue, pulp, paper, and building products, realized their 2,700 employees were on the go so often their 24-floor building with its assigned seating saw empty sections each day. So, the company turned their building into a dynamic workplace with a hoteling program. Offices turned into open layouts with lots of natural light and employees had the option to claim a sit or stand desk, individual focus rooms, huddle rooms, conference rooms, etc.
HR practice leader at Gartner said,
“There is a huge expectation of flexibility that employees have. Employees now believe that they should be able to work on whatever, from wherever, in whatever format makes the most sense for that particular set of tasks. And the idea is if you really want to drive productivity, you actually need different types of workspaces.”
Unlock the Possibilities of a Dynamic Workplace with a Hoteling Program
That was only six of the thousands of companies that have a flexible workplace. When your dynamic workplace is managed properly with a hoteling program, the benefits are endless. So, what are you waiting for?