Category Archives: Office Hoteling

Ways to Maximize the Benefits of Office Hoteling

A growing practice in the business world is that of office hoteling. Office hoteling involves providing work space to employees on an “as needed” or “first come first serve”  reservation basis rather than assigning permanent office space for each person to work in. It can be very effective in businesses where employees frequently work from home or otherwise spend time outside the office. Even so, it must be managed effectively if it is to work well, so here are some things you should consider before making the switch:

  • Reserve private cubicle or offices for managers before opening up the rest of the space for employees in order to ensure that managers have a private area to hold meetings and one-on-one conversations in.
  • Be sure there is ample meeting space available, as people may avoid coming into the office for meetings if there is not a private area to hold them in.
  • Develop clear policies on the use of space, to include how they should be left when workers are finished using them.
  • Provide a safe place for employees to keep their belongings in, and make sure it is readily accessible. Many companies who engage in hoteling provide a three-drawer wheeled cart known as a “puppy” for their employees.
  • Think about how work space will be prepared for workers ahead of time. Will you need a concierge to reroute phone service or make other preparations beforehand?
  • Since work space is provided on a first-come first-serve basis, think about whether or not you will require the use of hoteling software in order to keep up with reservations.
  • You could find that workers need more than one type of work space based on the tasks they are performing. Consider all the different types of space that could be needed when coming up with your floor plan.

When used effectively, office hoteling can allow you to reduce costs by creating an agile workplace resulting in your business renting a much smaller office than what would otherwise be necessary.

If you are looking into ways to make a more efficient use of your office space,  Contact us today to learn more.

5 Tips for Achieving a Smooth Office Hoteling System Set-Up

Are you interested in finding out how to create an Agile Workplace and how to set-up an office hoteling or desk sharing reservation  system ? Are you concerned about how to make it all work? If so, you may want to read our five tips for putting an office hoteling system in place:

#1: Company-wide Organization

Keep in mind that a high degree of company-wide organization is essential when it comes to implementing an office hoteling system. Otherwise, your employees will spend more time familiarizing themselves with the space and locating crucial items than actually working. Therefore, you’ll want to make sure that things like office filing systems are streamlined and centrally located.

#2: Forecasting Demand

Because running an office hoteling system is similar to overseeing a lodging property’s room division, you’ll need to become proficient at forecasting demand.  In the beginning, the best way to do that is to plan for high demand and overflow situations. Such planning may include establishing portable work stations and investing in extra wireless enabled lap tops.

#3: Reservations System

Of course it is also necessary that you set up an easy to understand reservation system. It should ideally be built with the principles of time management and fairness in mind. For example, you may want to allow employees to reserve 30 minute and one hour blocks of space at a time to allow for brief work sessions

#4: Central Contact System

Since it will be unlikely that everyone will be in the office at the same time, be sure to put a central contact system in place too. It will allow you to communicate effectively with your staff whether they are on or off site. The system may involve something as simple as a telephone number database or a computer PM service.

#5: Obtain Staff Buy In

Lastly, don’t forget to have several meetings before the office hoteling system’s implementation. It will give you a chance to ensure that all employees have bought into the concept and quickly address any concerns that some may have about the new system.

For more tips like these and help finding the right office hoteling location for your business, please Contact us. We can help get you started finding out about creating an Agile Workplace and how it might work for your company.

The Office Workplace is Changing. Don’t Get Left Behind

Changes in the work patterns that today’s workforce employs to excel are evolving at an amazing pace and leading to the creation of agile workplaces. It is an employee driven phenomenon, courtesy of the new generation of knowledge workers, that can benefit all generations in the workforce.

It seems that there is one article or another telling us how this company or that company cut the amount of office space they need by 50% and became more productive and profitable. However, many office workplaces are adjusting at a slow pace or not at all. Unless employers realize and adapt to these changes, their businesses will fall behind the curve, losing the cream of the crop employees; resulting in lower profits.

Focusing on reducing square footage in leased office space is one tactic, but should not be the primary goal of adapting to the new workforce work patterns. Increasing productivity and profit should be primary goal. With the changes in work patterns, the result is usually a reduction in office space. It is a byproduct of the improving productivity and profit and also in attracting and retaining the best and the brightest of the new generation of knowledge workers.

Changing Work Environments

Much work is performed today in places such as airports, home, coffee shops, in vehicles stopped along the way to the next meeting, and a plethora of other third-party workspaces.

Businesses are adjusting by implementing agile workplace technologies such as office hoteling to reserve office space, conference rooms, equipment and services as needed for employees, rather than maintaining a desk space for each employee. This is one step toward adapting to the changing work patterns of today, but alone, it is not enough. Flexibility is critical because today’s empowered teams form and evolve as needed, often without the outdated management direction.

Work Pattern Changes Reduce Costs

Management empowering employees in how and where they accomplish productive tasks is critical. The acceptance of mobility can lead to reduced costs, not just in office space square footage, but in reduction of reduced other occupancy costs such as furniture, communications, tenant improvements and the like.  Near-shoring, meaning choosing the least costly means to accomplish tasks, can save by adding contract employees or freelance subject matter experts to be employed as needed. This can cover work without the overhead of increased permanent staff. This doesn’t mean that you have to go offshore and reduce jobs in a specific country, you can find near-shore staff locally or across the US — or even by moving a task to a lower cost position in your own organization.

Work Pattern Adjustments Increase Productivity

In a study by TomorrowLab, four factors were identified that  can  significantly improve workforce productivity and create a more effective virtual team. These factors are:

  • Shared Vision and Process
  • Great People
  • Effective Communications
  • Appropriate Technology.

By combining these proven factors, a collaborative work environment can be achieved. This is a crucial factor to increase innovation, quality, and productivity.  Collaboration, virtual or face-to-face, bonds workforce members into putting the right heads together when needed to solve problems or accomplish goals.

Providing amenities at the office, such as snacks in the break room or fitness center membership (or if practical a large company  might offer on-site workout equipment), encourages people to share information when they are not “at work” and the spontaneous ideas resulting from this relaxed interpersonal bonding can lead to innovations above and beyond expectations.

High tech mobile equipment allows collaboration when working outside the office. A recent trend of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device e.g. computer or tablet)  is gaining popularity. Many of the younger generation use their devices for more than just business purposes.

Occasional workforce gatherings maintain contact and informs workers what progress and ideas other team members have produced, but weekly staff meetings can be seen as time-wasters. In many cases, it is best to hold these gathering less often or when there is big news to discuss or share will

Benefits of Changing with Work Pattern Changes

Organizations that are open and flexible with work pattern changes provide environments for employees to grow and prosper. Recruiting and retaining the best employees is expected to become more difficult in coming years, so creating a work environment that earns the organization the reputation of being a great place to work will pay off when recruiting and retaining the best and the brightest.

We can help. Contact us so we can get you started finding out about creating an Agile Workplace and how it might work for your company.

Current Trends in Office Space Planning

So, you are out looking for new office space rental or maybe you are renegotiating your office lease and want to make sure your space is as productive as possible. Here are a few of the current trends in office space planning:

  • High panel cubicles are out. Benches or open work areas are in.
  • Headphones have become the new office walls.
  • Areas for collaboration and huddle areas are encouraging team work.
  • Break rooms are open and central to the work space and located along windows, becoming gathering places.
  • Office hoteling is creating Agile Workplaces that allows multiple employees to share workspaces on an as needed basis.
  • The use of 3rd party outsourced office space is on the rise.
  • Home officing, in conjunction with the Agile Workplace,  is creating happier and more productive employees.
  • Management is moving out of their offices and into the open area.
  • Internal offices and conference rooms are moving off the window line to the interior walls to allow the natural light from exterior windows to permeate the work space.
  • Stand up workstations are becoming more popular for some areas to increase productivity.

The result is that office space requirements per person are dropping from over 200 square feet per person down to as low as 100 square feet per person. A major shift is occurring in the workplace The concept of work is shifting from the workplace as pieces of real estate to the office workplace as a facilitating bundle of services. Work is no longer a place, but a productive activity. Productivity is becoming the measure over the number of hours worked. Many of these office space planning trends are a result of this shift.

Blog Archive Still Available

Just a reminder that all of our 431 previous posts are available on our old Office Space Blog site.

Rethinking Productivity in the Agile Workplace

Many business owners are changing the way they think about productivity in the workplace by creating agile, non-traditional offices. Using telecommuting, third place workspaces, office hoteling, and other fresh techniques, they are creating workplaces that retain the best and brightest employees, increasing productivity, employee satisfaction and increase their profits, too.

Changing an office work style isn’t as simple as a wholesale change and a deployment meeting announcing the changes. Business Owners and managers with office space must rethink how they think about productivity in order to help employees and managers to make a smooth transition. Here are some steps to include in the process to ensure success:

Commit: Determine that you are willing to commit to wholesale change in corporate workstyle and office space. Realize that you are committing not only to changing the office space square footage and layout, but to the amount of face-time you’ll have with employees. Commit to thinking of productivity as accomplishment, not as time at a desk in the office.

Influence and Build Support:  If you are a manager, you will need to change the way you think about productivity. it will no longer be the hours worked, but what has been accomplished by those you manage. Business owners or managers must accept that a change in workplace style requires a change in management style; influence and facilitate is the change in thinking that is needed. You will need to change from thinking about office space and hours to thinking of work life and work accomplishments. After all, in an agile, streamlined office space much of the work will not happen inside the walls of the office.

Think Productivity, Not Space Reduction: Agile office spaces have smaller footprints than traditional offices. Up to 50% less space is required, but don’t fall into the trap of making the changes solely to save money on real estate office leases. In fact, the result of the change could be turning your current office space into an agile workspace and expanding staff to grow into new areas of profit. Rethinking productivity and making the changes will work only if you are motivated by a desire to improve the organization and make work life better for those who earn their livings in your company.

Avoid Analysis Paralysis: You want to research how other companies have made changes in productivity workstyles and how they have benefitted and see how those or similar changes can improve your own business. Sure, you need to do some analysis, but don’t let your organization fall into the over-analysis trap. Set a few data points to measure over a short period of time, such as desk occupancy, and use that data to plan changes.

Embrace and Celebrate Change: Business owners and managers must embrace the changes they implement and take time to recognize and celebrate the changes as employees adjust and excel in the work productivity environment. Point out how the changes being deployed can benefit employees and show, by your own actions and attitudes, how you personally embrace and celebrate the new opportunities provided.

We can help. Contact us so we can get you started finding out about creating an Agile Workplace and how it might work for your company.

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