Posted on 5/14/2014 8:19 AM by Jeff Roof

Mobile Office WorkerAs mobile technologies continue to drive a growing “anytime, anywhere” workforce that no longer operates in a highly centralized or routine manner, many organizations recognize their workspace needs are changing as a result. A growing number of organizations worldwide are considering or implementing shared workspace strategies such as hoteling and hot desking for mobile workers, who can work mostly offsite and therefore do not need a “permanent home” in the office. 

Hoteling supports employees who use shared workspaces in lieu of having their own offices or cubicles. These employees typically work from home and only commute into the office when they need to collaborate with their peers or they are traveling employees who are not in the office full-time. In this environment, employees are more likely to schedule a desk, room, or cubicle in advance of their arrival.

Hot desking is the process of ensuring an organization’s mobile workers can quickly and efficiently find and use a workspace when they need to work in the office. In addition to a hotel cubicle, office spaces used for hot desking may include unoccupied offices, conference rooms, and touchdown areas.

These approaches are conducive to a growing number of today’s employees, who place high value on agility and having the autonomy to work wherever they can be most effective. In fact, studies have shown that many workers would be willing to sacrifice wages and big ticket job perks in favor this flexibility. 

Hoteling and hot desking strategies empower mobile workers to spend more time with customers and prospects, while providing workers with convenient access to workspace at the office on an as-needed basis so they can remain connected and maintain synergy with their co-workers and the organization.

Planning workspace areas for employees whose schedules constantly fluctuate can be a challenge. Allocate too much and you miss cost-saving opportunities and have a lot of empty space that gives the impression that mobile staff aren’t actually visiting the office. Allocate too little, and you have workers competing for space and possibly avoiding the office due to the hassle and inconvenience. 

Workspace utilization measurement technology provides accurate data on actual usage to support planning. The technology also can be used for ongoing monitoring to identify opportunities for adjustments. A workspace reservation system can help staff to easily find and reserve space when and where they need it.

Today’s progressive facility managers are identifying new workspace opportunities to not only maximize office real estate for the organization, but also provide better work-life balance for employees, supporting the organization’s retention and recruitment goals for a workforce that is increasingly mobile. With the right objectives and proper planning, organizations of all sizes can reap the benefits of effective hoteling and hot desking strategies. 

By Jeff Roof, vice president of product management at AsureSpace.