• Elaine Burger-Pienaar


Updated: Dec 14, 2021

Hoteling – the latest from our monthly Lexinfo Practice Management Alert. One of several topics referred to in recent editions of our monthly Lexinfo Practice Management Alert is Hoteling. We briefly summarise the benefits and implementation issues of hoteling as identified by the resources in our newsletter.

What is hoteling?

The concept is defined by Wikipedia as “a method of office management in which workers dynamically schedule their use of workspaces such as desks, cubicles, and offices. It is an alternative approach to the more traditional method of permanently assigned seating. Hoteling is reservation-based unassigned seating; employees reserve a workspace before they come to work in an office.”

Benefits and implementation of hoteling

Anthony Davis refers to the experience of the Big 4 consultancies ( PwC, KPMG, Deloitte, and Ernst and Young) in his article Hoteling here to stay as law firms return to the office (Law Journal Newsletters, 1 August 2021). He argues that the “success of the decentralized law firm depends in some part on how well firms can shift 'hoteling' from the negative connotation of 'losing my desk' to the positive connotation of 'having a hotel-like experience' as is the case in the Big 4.” The article also notes the potential reduction in real estate and overhead costs.

In Office hoteling: a key component of a hybrid work strategy (World Wide Technology, 30 August 2021), Marissa Reed clearly distinguishes between ‘office hoteling’ and ‘hot desking’. The term hoteling requires reservations, whereas hot desking is based on a first-come, first-served basis. Apart from the cost reduction benefit, the article also identifies better space management, more flexibility for employees and improved productivity and collaboration as benefits. In her article, Marissa offers advice on selecting the right office hoteling solution by identifying the questions to ask.

Software / Apps

An App is arguably the best way to facilitate this process. DeskFlex’s article (16 September 2021) highlights 11 benefits and advantages of a hoteling app.

Office etiquette

The modern trends of working remotely, or ‘hybrid’ working (part from home and part in the office) calls for a fresh take on the ‘old’ rules of office etiquette. The Worksphere blog provides a useful guide for flexible desking in their article: 7 Tips for hoteling and hotdesking etiquette (2 September 2021). Several useful ideas and solutions are discussed, especially for keeping spaces hygienic. This includes having the right items in place (sanitising supplies like wipes) to make this task easier; and putting up visible reminders of updated guidelines for staff to ‘clear to neutral’ when they are finished working. It is also key to have a user-friendly booking system in place so that staff are respectful of the sharing culture, and able to reserve their workspace in advance to avoid overcrowding.

The Lexinfo Practice Management Alert is a monthly newsletter focusing on the every-day management and business challenges of law firms. Email alert@lexinfo.co.za for a free evaluation copy.

Images: Pixabay

Date posted: 22 October 2021


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