5 Office hoteling best practices you can’t ignore

Flexible office hoteling solutions are all the rage right now as we look to make the most of our office space in this era of hybrid working.

A Future Forum survey found in early 2022 that 78% of workers wanted flexibility in their work location, while another report found that workers in the UK, Canada, and Australia would prefer to work remotely rather than be subject to a traditional assigned seating office model. With this in mind, businesses need to consider and quickly implement hybrid work models or risk losing their employees.

Many businesses operating hybrid work schedules are choosing to use desk hoteling to make the most out of the extra space they have. This allows them to offer their employees the benefits of remote working while still using the office space they have.

Desk hoteling is similar to hot-desking, which allows workers to sit wherever they want. The key difference is that workers need to book their workspace in advance with desk hoteling. Employers and office managers can also reduce real estate costs and reduce their carbon footprint by implementing a hot-desking model.

5 office hoteling best practices you can’t ignore


There’s no denying that introducing a desk hoteling model will take time and effort. By following these best practices, you can help roll out the new way of working with minimal disruption.

1. Invest in a robust and easy to use desk booking software

The hybrid workplace is constantly in flux: employees often switch between working in and out of the office. So at any one point, half of your team may be on-site, and the other is working from home.

This is why workspace scheduling is so valuable. A workspace scheduling platform, like Smartway2, acts as the central hub for your office interactions, allowing your employees to book desks, create visitor passes, secure meeting spaces, grab a parking space, and even order their on-site lunch!

Office managers need to also consider that some employees may be uncomfortable with the new arrangement. This is one of the big advantages that desk hoteling can have over hot-desking. Those nervous about moving around the office can simply book their preferred workstation for extended periods, ensuring that they know what they’re getting themselves into when they come into the office.

A good workplace scheduling platform should offer:

  • An easy way for workers to book desks and conference rooms.
  • The ability to mark yourself as working remotely (if required).
  • Interactive floor plans that allow the user to clearly see where they will be sitting.
  • Plenty of integrations with other scheduling software, such as Smartway2’s Microsoft Outlook integration.
  • Simple visitor management.
  • Mobile-friendly interface.

2. Implement a booking process

There’s little use in rolling out desk booking software if your employees don’t understand how to use it, and there’s no way of tracking if everything is working as it should be.

To make sure desk hoteling is working for your business, you need someone to oversee the transformation and a couple of behavioral changes. Small changes to how workers enter and leave the building can be enough to help desk hoteling work as intended.

By building a standardized process, you can ensure that your new workplace model is working as it should.

3. Make sure to prepare your employees

Trying to change to a desk hoteling model can cause chaos in the office if implemented too quickly. You should make sure that all employees know the new way of working within the office hoteling, including desk booking policies and how to use the desk booking software.

4. Implement a clean desk policy

A recent study found that the average desk has 400 times more bacteria than the average toilet seat. Yikes! A headline like that is a sure-fire way to get you busting out the antibacterial spray and scrubbing your desk. So it comes as no surprise that one of the biggest concerns regarding hot-desking and desk-hotelling is hygiene, especially in a post-COVID world.

The best advice: leave your desk a little bit better than you found it.

If everyone in the office has this mindset, you can ensure that any desk you choose will be sanitized and ready to use.

While it can be tempting at the end of a tough day to just leave the mess for someone else to deal with, it can send the message to coworkers that you feel your time is more valuable than theirs. This can ultimately lead to conflict, especially if your employees use a desk booking system. It just takes a couple of clicks, and everyone can see who left the mess.

So having a clear clean desk policy is essential. You could even configure your desk booking system to send a notification near the end of each desk booking reminding employees to tidy up and clean the workstation they’ve been using.

5. Make sure every desk is fitted with the right technology

While less chaotic than hot-desking, desk hoteling can still be like musical chairs. Everyone shifts around the office from day to day, and they won’t always sit in the same places. This means that every workspace should have the same setup, ensuring no one is left with a dud.

Inconsistency between workspaces can cause frustration and create conflict between workers fighting for the best equipment. And frustrated workers are more likely to reject the hot-desking system and return to the traditional, poorly optimized assigned desk system.

Every workstation needs to have the right equipment for your desk hoteling rollout to be successful, including:

  • Furniture
  • Wipes/sanitary sprays/gels
  • Monitors, mouse, and keyboards
  • Ways to connect to the network
  • Power outlets
  • Software

Make sure how the desk is equipped is visible in your desk booking system so that employees know what they are getting as the booking, reducing frustration when they turn up at the office.

Make your desk – office hoteling rollout run smoothly

Look for software vendors that offer all the features of an enterprise-level workplace scheduling platform, like scalability and data security, while still being simple to use! This will help drive employee experience and adoption, so you can offer flexibility, but also get your people back together again to do their best work.

Smartway2 Logo 2021

Contact us today for a free demonstration and let our experts show you just how easy it can be!


Jackie Towers

Last updated May 24, 2022