Office hoteling is a workplace strategy of using office space as needed by using a reservation system rather than assigning desks, cubicles or individual offices that see only a part-time occupancy by workers. On average, most offices will have only a 50% to 75% occupancy at any given time. By fine tuning the amount of office space based upon usage, will lead you to significant savings. While it sounds like a very informal arrangement, it’s actually not the case. There are many technology options in the marketplace to help ease the transition and ensure success . In fact, many office managers have embraced reservation-based hoteling, which requires some planning but affords the worker the flexibility of working where and when they can be most productive. It also leads to happier and more engaged employees.
There are five ways to make the practice of Office Hoteling work for your office.
- Group workers by task. The Alamo PC Organization suggests that many office spaces are only fully occupied as little as 30 percent of the time. If the spot remains vacant for the other 70 percent, this is a waste for which you pay! When you group your workforce by task, you get a better idea of how much space you need to allocate for a set schedule of work hours.
- Decentralize your workforce. Major corporations have already discovered that placing customer service representatives (CSRs) into dedicated call centers frees up space at the main office. Frequently, the management team chooses less expensive rental markets to place these call centers. This step has the potential of cutting down on the overall rent that your entire operation has to pay.
- Review hardware and software needs. Interacting with clients, vendors, customers and management is now largely a task that can be done via the Internet. You have the option of designing predefined work spaces that allow every worker to log on with a personalized password, which would then take the employee to an individualized desktop. Other companies have chosen to purchase personal laptops for the management and supervisor teams, which lets these professionals set up a workstation anywhere with wireless Internet access. Printing is done via wireless technology as well.
- Redesign the office space. Cubicles have fallen out of favor. An open office space design is the new trend that makes more efficient use of the available square footage. If your business is national or multinational in nature, it is not uncommon to have workers from other locations visiting your organization. Giving them an opportunity to sit down and start work should be as simple as pointing them to an open seat and letting them unpack the laptop computer.
- Keep track. Office hoteling only works when you know where your workers are, where they are supposed to be and if there are any discrepancies in the scheduled hours and the hours that are actually worked. Check-in terminals are one option. Logging into a phone – for call center CSRs – and checking in via an Intranet are additional options.
When you follow these steps, you are in a good position to reduce the overall size of your office, provide more flexibility to your work force and improve your bottom line!
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By: James Osgood