Office Hoteling vs. Hot Desking: Are they the same thing?

As companies look to convert their office spaces into a hybrid work environment, many employers choose to forego dedicated workstations and have employees share the space and individual computers.  Many employees now have schedules where they work from home or go to the office depending on the days of the week or the functions they need to perform.

Employers can set up shared office space and hybrid schedules in many ways.  While office hoteling and hot desking serve the same function, these methods have essential differences.

Office Hoteling for Reservations and Schedules

Office hoteling has a more sophisticated approach than hot desking.  An office hoteling system allows employees to book their workstations through a reservation system and know that the computer will be available when they arrive.  The system will show them who they plan to sit and where to find colleagues more easily.  Office hoteling is essential for companies that plan to have employees on a rotational schedule that requires them to come into the office a certain number of days each week.

Hot Desking for Maximum Flexibility

Hot desking is a more ad hoc system than office hoteling.  With a hot desking system, the workstations cannot be reserved, and nobody knows where they will be sitting when they enter the office.  This system works great for companies without worrying about whether too many employees will come to the office looking for workstations.  It also works better when employees don’t need to collaborate with colleagues sitting nearby to finish their work or use a specific workstation to complete a task.

Companies might want to consider hot desking if:

  • They want to encourage organic collaboration between different employees.
  • They just want a quick system that’s less organized but takes less time to set up.
  • They want desks to be available without giving notice through a booking system

Employers might want to consider office hoteling if:

  • They want to maximize utilization of the space, including being able to dedicate certain spaces for employees working on specific functions.
  • They want to reduce uncertainty for their staff and allow them to choose the environment that serves them best through an office hoteling reservation platform.
  • They want to record who used the desks and monitor how the staff is using the desks. Employers can then utilize that data to best organize the office and increase employee satisfaction.

Office Hoteling will Help Your Office Run Most Smoothly

Although both hot desking and office hoteling are valid methods of sharing workstations, most companies will find that office hoteling produces better results for the mindful use of the office space.  Hot desking might be easier to set up but runs into problems with employee accountability.  Employers will also have difficulty monitoring COVID-19 exposures and ensuring sanitization if employees are hopping desks.

Office hoteling is sophisticated enough to ensure everyone gets a workstation in the best environment for their own productivity.  Office hoteling systems are easy to set up with the right workstation booking program, and then it’s simply a matter of having employees book online.

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