According to a Gallup survey released in February 2017, almost half of all employed Americans telecommuted at least part of the time. More than 30% of those occasional telecommuters worked remotely four or five days per week. Not only are remote workers more productive, they’re able to enjoy a better quality of life – which increases employee retention rates for companies that allow or encourage occasional telecommuting.
There’s another practical benefit to telecommuting – it can significantly reduce companies’ physical footprints. Obviously, if an employee works remotely all of the time, there is no need for that employee to have a dedicated in-office workspace. There’s an up-and-coming trend that allows companies with occasional remote workers to reduce their footprints, too: office hoteling
What is Office Hoteling?
Office hoteling (also referred to as office benching) brings the hotel-booking concept to the workplace. Essentially, an office is set up with workstations and equipped with all of the necessary furnishings. Instead of belonging to one employee, these workstations are reserved and booked on an as-needed basis. For example, if a copywriter at an ad agency works from home on Tuesdays and Thursdays, he can reserve a workstation on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. If a team of insurance sales reps each spends part of their time on the road making sales calls and part of their time in the office, they can book a workstation for a morning or an afternoon, leaving it available for someone else for the rest of that day.
Benefits of Office Hoteling
There are several compelling reasons to consider implementing an office hoteling arrangement. If you have employees who, essentially, are full-time telecommuters, when these employees have the ability to reserve a workstation in the office they’ll be more likely to come in to the office occasionally to stay in the loop and connect with coworkers.
Having fluid workstations also helps ensure that employees don’t get “into a rut.” The simple change of scenery that comes with sitting at different workstations over the course of a day or week helps stoke creativity and strengthen relationships with a larger number of coworkers.
And, giving employees the ability to reserve their workspace fosters a more cohesive team environment. Just as a restaurant patron may wonder why he was seated at a noisy table by the kitchen instead of the cozy corner booth, employees sometimes feel petty jealousies involving the location of their workspace compared that of a coworker’s. With an office hoteling arrangement, employees receive the message that they’re all equally valued.
Last but not least, when you embrace office hoteling you’ll need to buy less office furniture and, as a result, you’ll be able to afford to splurge on higher-quality office furniture options. When you have a finite office furniture budget and are buying six desks and chairs instead of sixteen desks and chairs, you’re able to choose the higher-priced, better options like sit-stand desks and ergonomically friendly furnishings – which will further boost employee productivity and workplace satisfaction.
If you’re an employer, office hoteling is worth at least contemplating. Today’s best and brightest workers are often attracted by employers who aren’t afraid to think outside the box and challenge the status quo. Sometimes, less really is more!
HIS Can Help with Office Hoteling
Here at Houston Installation Services (HIS) we have many years of experience in office furniture installation, including office hoteling. Give us a call if you have any questions about office benching installation. We can even give you recommendations on the best furniture to purchase for your situation!