Employees have high expectations for their workplace. They want an office that supports flexibility, engages them with fun on-site experiences, and most importantly, allows them to do their best work. That’s why a lot of businesses are looking at how they can improve their work spaces with flexible desk options.
Enter: office hoteling. Office hoteling has become one solution for space management that’s improved workspace usage and the overall employee experience.
Office hoteling was born because hybrid employees don’t necessarily need permanent desks. Instead, employees need a way to reserve a desk, check-in, and check out for the time period of their day or week that they need the desk for.
But managing office hoteling can be as stressful and difficult as managing a real hotel. With employees going in and out of the office at different days and times, and desks being frequently booked and unbooked, workplace managers need a high-quality solution that can manage this process for them. That’s where office hoteling software comes in.
In this blog post, we’ll go over:
- What office hoteling software is
- 5 features to look for in your office hoteling software
- Tips on how to roll out new software to employees.
What is office hoteling software?
Office hoteling software is a digital tool that allows employees to book desks for the days they come into the office. The software should work for two major parties: your employees and your workplace management team.
Employees should have an easy time searching for desks that work for them. They might choose a desk based on its location or amenities. Or they might choose a desk based on where their teammates are sitting. Once they’ve selected a desk, it should be intuitive for them to schedule and unschedule their desk. Your tool should make all of this easy and quick.
In addition, your workplace managers should be able to use the same software to track in real-time which desks are reserved and which are available. You should be able to monitor and record usage to keep a pulse on occupancy trends. Plus, you should get visibility into who is in the office and where they are sitting.
When looking for a great office hoteling app, be sure to look for one that can integrate with your other workplace tools and offers features that support the employee experience. Here are 5 features to look for in your office hoteling software.
5 office hoteling features that support the employee experience
1. Workplace map
With an office hoteling app that shows a map of all available desks, your employees can easily find and reserve the desk that suits their needs. Having an interactive workplace map provides a real-time view of the layout and use of your workplace and where people are sitting. This is helpful for new hires who are still figuring out how to navigate the office. It’s also great for hybrid teams to find where coworkers are sitting onsite.
2. Desk amenities
A desk is just the beginning of a great workspace. What about monitors, chairs, standing desk capabilities, and location? Giving employees the chance to choose their perfect desk no matter what it looks like creates a more personalized experience when office hoteling.
Your office hoteling software should show details about each desk on the workplace map. Aside from physical features like standing desks, dual-monitors or ergonomic chairs, it should also provide information about its location. Is the desk in a quiet area? Is the desk near natural lighting? These amenities are what improve the employee experience at work.
3. Advanced booking
An advanced scheduling feature allows employees to book desks not just for the coming day, but for days and weeks in advance. Advanced booking can be a blessing for employees who like to plan their workdays ahead of time.
Pro-tip: Look for an office hoteling app with an algorithm that saves your employees’ desk preferences. For example, if your employee always reserves the desk by the window, then your scheduling tool should consistently schedule them to that desk unless they change it.
4. Workplace groups
One of the biggest challenges in hybrid work is making sure the people you need to work with are on-site the same days you are. An office hoteling app with a grouping functionality can help solve this problem. An employee can make a workplace group with anyone – their team, their work besties, or even key stakeholders across teams. Then, they can invite that group onsite the same day as them, book desks near each other, and find them easily on the map.
5. Seamless integrations with other tools
While workplace tools can help improve the workplace experience, too many tools can be frustrating. Your office hoteling software is no exception. You want to make sure your office hoteling program is a benefit to employees and not just another process to annoy them. Ensure your office hoteling software integrates with your other workplace tools such as Slack, Google Calendar, Microsoft Teams, and more. This will allow your office hoteling tool to easily mesh with your employees’ existing workflows. Ideally your office hoteling app should be compatible with a suite of workplace apps.
How to roll out office hoteling software
Once you’ve established which office hoteling tool you want to invest in, you’ll have to get your employees to start using them. How you roll out new technology can make or break whether those tools actually stick and improve their workplace experience.
Create a roll-out plan
Instead of just bringing on a new office hoteling tool and then letting your employees figure it out themselves, map out a multi-step roll out plan and attach realistic dates to each step. Here’s how you might do this:
- Once you’ve acquired and installed your new office hoteling software, schedule trainings. You’ll want to spread these out throughout the week, with different times available for folks in different time zones.
- A few days later, schedule a Q&A session. These sessions open up space for employees to comfortably ask questions.
- After two weeks, get feedback on the new tool and see if there are any lingering questions. If your employees have feedback on specific functionality they want, you may also be able to upgrade your tool and get new features added.
Invest in training
Make sure you train your employees on how to book desks with their new tool as soon as they start with your organization or whenever you introduce the new tool. While onboarding employees, give them a demo of the office hoteling process and have them book their next desk in front of you so you can address any issues. If there are ever any system upgrades, make sure you train your employees on how to use the new functionality.
Office hoteling software can improve the workplace experience by making it easy and intuitive for your employees to book a workspace. It also allows them to book the space that suits their needs best, whether it be a standing desk or desk by a window. Collaboration drives a great day at the office and office hoteling software allows employees to book a desk nearby their team. Office hoteling can be a great solution for workplaces looking to create a workplace that empowers employees to be their best selves at work.
To get started with office hoteling software that improves your workplace, try a free trial of Envoy Desks.