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What is Workplace Experience and How You Can Improve It

Although the global pandemic is receding in most parts of the world, the big ‘how are we going work now?‘ question is still as hard as it was a year ago. The future of work is difficult, unclear and unfortunately, there’s no silver bullet. Having many options is usually great, but it can easily be a big issue too. Do you go fully remote, hybrid with its thousand shades, or do you go full-time in the office? If you pick, any of the hybrid work models, then, probably office hoteling (or desk hoteling) is one of the tools that can bring a lot of value and streamline the hybrid work process. Usually, in order to implement it properly, you will need good hoteling software. Office hoteling software allows employees to easily book offices, desks, and rooms and streamline the complexities associated with hybrid work scheduling.

In this article, we’re going to go over everything you need to know about hoteling software. Specifically, here’s what you’ll learn:

Let’s dive in.

How does hoteling work?

Let’s start by clarifying that there’s no difference between “office hoteling” and “desk hoteling” and it all falls under just hoteling. In short, it is an alternative approach to the more traditional method of permanently assigned seating. Hoteling is reservation-based unassigned seating. Employees reserve a workspace before they come to work in an office. Desk hoteling usually refers to booking desks. Office hoteling may refer to either booking offices or could also be used for desk reservations.

Typically, office hoteling is used in a flexible work environment with various types of seating strategies like activity-based working, based on office neighborhoods.

Think of it the same way that you’d book a room at a hotel. Employees can book an available workspace, either a desk or an office, or even a cubicle, in advance. Once they’re over and the workspace is vacant, other employees can reserve it.

You can read more about the benefits of hoteling and how it can improve your workplace engagement and collaboration here or read more about hoteling vs. hot desking here.

The big question though is how do you implement it? The simple and easiest way is to use office hoteling software.

What is office hoteling software?

The most important element of the office hoteling software is the desk booking system. In most cases though, it is part of a larger hybrid workplace management platform. Let’s decompose these two.

Desk booking systems allow employees to easily book workspaces for a day, a week, or maybe make it recurring following a pattern. The most important part of the process is to make the booking experience fully integrated into the technology stack of your organization. For example, if you’re using Microsoft, then your office hoteling software should be available in Teams, Microsoft 365, as well as Outlook. If you’re using Google, then the desk booking platform should be fully integrated with Google Calendar, Google Workspace, and Google Chrome. Of course, giving your employees access to an easy-to-use web portal and mobile app is a must too. The more choices there are, the better the adoption will be, therefore, the more benefits you can gain from utilizing office hoteling.

What is a workspace hoteling app?

An easy-to-use desk hoteling app is an essential part of the modern hybrid work software. In general, the app should allow employees to reserve a workspace in any company office and enable employees to collaborate in person. Some of the key features of such mobile apps are:

  1. Easily find a workspace – allow teammates to determine which desks are available to book, permanently assigned, or unavailable at the moment.
  2. Book the right desk – employees can book a desk for the day, in advance or recurring right from their mobile app. They have the flexibility to choose where to sit, depending on what they need to get done that day.
  3. Smart team scheduling – using a more advanced office hoteling app will allow you to pre-configure neighborhoods so employees can work near each other. Furthermore, some workplace systems will help people book based on function, activity, or historical data while still giving them the full flexibility they need.

Workplace hoteling apps are key to improving the overall employee workplace experience by simplifying the process of finding and booking workspaces in a very collaborative way.

Hoteling system as a module of workplace platform

As mentioned, the office hoteling software (also desk hoteling software), which in essence is a desk booking system, oftentimes is part of a larger workplace platform. Some of the other important elements you can expect from such a solution are:

  • Space booking system; Usually, when the office hoteling software is integrated with your meeting room scheduling system, you can significantly improve the employee experience. This way, people can book a desk, conference room, or parking space within the same platform.
  • Visitor management and reception app; Integrating your office hoteling solution with a nice reception app can also improve the workplace experience for all. Furthermore, you can save a lot of time for your employees and keep your workplace safe.
  • Health and safety management; Office hoteling is all about sharing workspaces, so some people might feel uncomfortable in terms of health and safety. A good hybrid work software platform will let you track the physical presence of employees. Also, it can let you enforce limits on the number of people in the office.
  • Space and floorplans management; One of the core modules of every workplace platform is managing your office assets, desks, rooms, parking spots, and any other resource available.
  • Integrations & 3rd party apps; Connect all the platforms you need to ensure a seamless hybrid work experience for your employees.
  • Extensibility and APIs; Have access to a well-documented and public API so that you can extend the platform the way you need.
  • Workplace analytics; Last but not least, you should collect, measure and analyze all data about your space utilization. This way you can adjust your space to the needs of your employees.

What are the benefits of using desk hoteling software?

Well-integrated office hoteling solution can significantly enhance the workplace experience for your teams. The adoption of hybrid work increases the scheduling complexity. Using a proper system will streamline the internal operations, by bringing everything office-related into one solution. Furthermore, by using the desk reservation and conference room scheduling modules, you can build and rely on data to optimize your workspace utilization, and get more out of your real estate. In a nutshell, the four most important benefits of using hoteling are:

  • Increase space optimization and cut costs – with flexible workspaces on the rise, does it really make sense to designate a desk per employee if the employees won’t be in the office 40 hours per week? That’s a lot of poorly utilized real estate.
  • Reduce overhead – having fewer people in the office at any given time reduces energy consumption and utility costs.
  • Employee flexibility – aside from freeing up real estate, office hoteling offers employees a sense of freedom and flexibility. According to Forbes, 92 percent of millennials see flexibility as a top priority when looking for new job opportunities. In fact, some studies show that more than 50 percent of employees are considering leaving their jobs post-pandemic in favor of flexible workspaces.
  • Increased collaboration – office hoteling gives teams the flexibility to book desks together in clusters or just sit next to other teams. Having this flexibility can create interactions that can be key to speed up projects and making sure teams are on the same page.

As a result, you will save time, increase your employees’ engagement and reduce your real estate costs.

How to get started with hoteling software?

The easiest way to start is by talking to one of our workplace experts about OfficeRnD HybridYou can book a time slot here. Or you can try it yourself by starting a free trial!

Happy office hoteling! We hope to see you all collaborating in the real life. 🙂

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