As many workers start coming back to their offices, organizing the work space can be quite a challenge. Due to the pandemic, one has to be mindful of social distancing measures and providing a productive working environment. One of the methods with which this can be accomplished is by introducing office hoteling.
Let Circle Hub walk you through your options.
What is Office Hoteling?
The main question to be answered in the Covid-19 era is, definitely, how to maximize space usage. This needs to be done while also following the rules and guidelines of WHO.
As we have seen, many companies have resorted to sending their employees home. This has resulted in increased flexibility when it comes to time and workload management.
Many of you have learned the hard way that you can’t sometimes focus at home in the same way as when you are working from an office, right? However, it has become apparent that many people have adapted to the new working conditions, and don’t require fixed working hours or a designated desk to be productive.
That is why many hybrid types of office space organization have emerged, office hoteling being one of them. This has contributed greatly to the new demands for organization. Many coworking companies, such as CircleHub, have been conducting this type of organization for quite some time now.
Office Hoteling 101
Office hoteling is, basically, similar to booking a room in a hotel. It means that, when an employee is in need of a workstation, they book one in advance.
As opposed to traditional office arrangements where each employee has its own designated work table, here one can choose and make a reservation for any desired workspace, as long as they are available.
Let’s give an example when it comes to coworking office spaces.
Whenever you are in need of an office space, be it a single desk, a hot desk, a private office or a conference room, all you have to do is call the person in charge of organizing the workspace and make your reservation. The community manager will soon find the space that is right for you and make all the necessary arrangements. Or you could just make a reservation through a booking system each coworking company has.
As advantageous as this system might appear, we still have to think about all the office hoteling pros and cons.
Office Hoteling Benefits
Thinking about office hoteling pros and cons really brings some different things into perspective. If we are considering all the benefits of implementing office hoteling in the coworking system, the biggest ones would be:
- Better management of coworking space
- Equal access to everyone
- Improved productivity
- Networking opportunities
Better Management of Coworking Office Space
In the time of the pandemic, it is extremely important to know what your space limits are, especially when it comes to organizing office space.
For example, you have employees that mostly do their job at home, and come to the office only a couple of times a month. In this case, it is absolutely unnecessary to provide those employees with a seat every day. It would simply be unused.
By having those employees make a reservation for the coworking space in advance a couple of times a month, you will be able to use that space far better. Other users could make a reservation and use the seating on other days.
In addition, by making reservations, you will be able to understand the patterns in occupancy. This will enable you to plan ahead in a more advanced way, knowing at any time how much of the space will be occupied.
When it comes to office hoteling pros and cons, it seems that space utilization and management is one of the greatest advantages.
And why wouldn’t it be?
Making the Most of Your Space
When you know which office space will be occupied and which won’t, you will be less restricted to rent more space to a significant number of new customers, which will definitely bring financial benefits to the company.
On the other hand, you could use that space and make a nice cafeteria or a lounge, or even a gym. A space where the users can come and enjoy while they are taking a break.
CircleHub prides itself on having one of the best amenities a coworking space can offer. Co shared office spaces need to have a designated space for rest. In the end, let’s face it, this is the thing that attracts all the customers the most.
That, and all you can drink free coffee, of course.
Equal Access For Everyone
Imagine coming to the co-shared office space, wanting that particular conference room because you have an important presentation, only to find out the conference room dearest to your heart has been snatched away by another.
However, without the option of making a reservation, you wouldn’t be in a position to hold a grudge. This is because communal office spaces usually work on the “first come, first served” policy.
That is why in the midst of debating over the office hoteling pros and cons, this pro has to be emphasized. Could you imagine how much more productive you would feel by being able to count on the specific space that helps you get in the zone and turn on your work mojo?
Additionally, equal access means the same opportunity for everyone to use the resources a coworking office space can provide. Customers can have a fair opportunity for control over equipment, different types of desks, and supplies.
It might seem silly to some that having the ability to choose an office space and make a reservation for it in advance could do wonders for improving your productivity, but it is truly so.
Imagine you are someone that needs direct sunlight in order to do a proper job. Of course, you would demand a seat next to the window. But what if all the window seats have been occupied?
Can you honestly tell us that you would be as productive sitting in an isolated dark corner as in that coveted seat under the sun? Definitely not.
On the other side, there are people that like working in remote, isolated offices with no sunlight at all. They enjoy their peace and quiet and work well in the dark, and they have every right to do so.
When it comes to office hoteling pros and cons, we can all agree that this pro saves your sanity.
People looking for secluded offices aren’t the ones looking for potential clients and employees. However, if you are a member of the latter group, you will certainly want to know when to book a work table. The more people you see around yourself working, the better networking opportunities you have. Of course, it is up to you whether you are going to use them in the right way, or not.
Again, having in mind all the office hoteling pros and cons, this one really helps one feel a part of a group. Nothing can be more stimulating than being able to talk about your fellow thinkers alike – share observations and ideas, and make advancements in your field of work.
Many coworkers from CircleHub have some interesting stories about how they met their business partners, and found amazing inspiration right then and there.
However, you have to take everything with a grain of salt. So when you are thinking about the positives and negatives of something, in this case the office hoteling pros and cons, you have to be able to clearly see the disadvantages, as well.
Office Hoteling Disadvantages
As with any other issue, there are bound to be the people who are not for the idea at all. So, out of all the office hoteling pros and cons we choose the following cons that might arise when thinking about the idea:
- Less flexibility
- Bad management of seating
Although coworking office spaces rely on the type of arrangement office hoteling provides, sometimes there can be some discrepancies between the two.
People working at coworking office spaces are used to paying their monthly fees, having flexible working hours, and the possibility of coming to the co shared office space whenever they are in the mood for working.
Office hoteling is based on scheduling the times one is supposed to come and work, and on choosing the best option of office space. However, not everybody can plan their activities so far in the future.
Urgent Work Situations
Some important problem might arise, which you have to handle. This means you will have to go to the coworking space straight away. However, if the space is fully booked, you won’t have the opportunity to work there, let alone find your perfect space.
As we said, introducing office hoteling would mean that coworking companies will have to arrange their space on the basis of the demand. But they can never know what demand is going to look like each day. Although spaces might be fully booked, there are always employees that will have some urgent matters they have to take care of.
So, if you are to introduce this booking system, and whether you should adopt it, make sure you consider all the office hoteling pros and cons and then decide if it is going to pay off.
Yes, you can predict some peak hours. However, they are just that, predictions. As in a real hotel, there are bound to be some cancelations. So, you might end up with an unoccupied space that is actively losing you money. And you cannot assign it to anyone else, because it is booked and the person coming hasn’t canceled.
Poor Seating Management
If you are relying solely on the community manager to sort out the seating arrangements, you might be in for a disappointment.
Managing office seating can be compared to managing seating at a wedding. You have to think really carefully who you are going to seat next to whom. You don’t want person A sitting next to person B. After all, you know they can’t stand each other and they are always picking at each other. They could disrupt the working group completely.
A good community manager has already noticed that. They’ll have separated Person A and Person B for good. However, your community manager is maybe still young and inexperienced. He hasn’t noticed Person A and B’s bickering.
That is why it is important to introduce a booking program that will take the responsibility from the community manager and put it solely on the user himself.
However, in such programs, you cannot see if somebody you don’t get along with will sit next to you. All you’ll see is that the seat has been taken.
In this case, Person A and B might again have a quarrel, which will certainly be displeasing.
Having to previously book a seat can certainly lead to some disagreements. Imagine wanting a space right away, because you have some important business to attend to. However, you can’t, because every seat is occupied, and those that are not are booked.
Of course, you are going to call the manager. Of course, you are going to leave a bad review.
In addition, there is no such thing as a perfect program. But there is such a thing as double–booking. What are you going to do if one spot has been booked by two people at the exact same time?
Yes, relying solely on technology could bring up quite a number of issues.
After considering all the office hoteling pros and cons, you need to think about the basic things that need to be done in order to implement it in the right way.
How to Handle The Problems
Communicate With Your Coworkers
Communication is always the key. That is why, in this case, it is best to form, for example, a chat group, where all of your coworkers will be. This way, if you have some urgent matters to attend to, you can ask somebody personally if you can use their space for a while, until you have dealt with the job at hand.
Leave Additional Space
Community managers need to be alert always. It’s important to leave some work stations “off the grid”, i.e. not in the booking system. This means that people who need to solve some urgent matter at work can come in. This is basically the solution to all the problems one might have with this.
By doing this, there will be no more office hoteling pros and cons to think about – only pros!
It is always important not to leave everything to a machine and be careful enough, especially when it comes to scheduling. That is why, before the start of every working day, you need to check if every reservation has been placed correctly. Check to see if there are any overlaps. Unfortunately, that is bound to happen at some point.
If there are some problems in the booking program itself, you need to solve the problem manually and sort out the reservations on your own.
Hopefully, this CircleHub list of office hoteling pros and cons has given you something to think about. While it may not be for some, many others are finding that this is the way forward when it comes to that perfect workspace. If you haven’t tried it yet, what are you waiting for? Get in touch with CircleHub today – we guarantee that we’ve got the perfect workspace for you!