Everything You Need To Know About Office Hoteling

If you’re new to the idea of “hoteling office space”, you might be wondering exactly what it means and how it can benefit your company. In this article, we will cover everything you need to know.

What is Office Hoteling?

Office Hoteling is the practice of allowing your employees or outside guests to reserve workspace at your location for a set amount of time. These users (like a hotel or coworking space) can book specific desks, conference rooms and office spaces when they want. 

With the increase in hybrid work, many employers are not only implementing office hoteling but are allowing their employees the ability to reserve spaces outside of their normal offices.

Essentially, an employee can work remotely from their office HQ and on other days check into a local coworking space that has extra space available on a temporary basis. This workplace fluidity is becoming the future. It’s no longer just for long-distance travelers. It can also help employees save money by shifting from prime real estate locations like New York City to the suburbs, where rents can be less expensive.

The Difference Between Hot Desking and Hoteling

Hot desking refers to an open floor plan where desks and spaces can be used on a first-come-first-serve basis. The main difference between hot-desking and hoteling is that in a hoteling system, each desk or workstation is reserved and therefore assigned to one particular employee or group when booked. This reservation system makes it easy to prevent meeting or booking conflicts.

The Benefits Of Office Hoteling

Reduce Real-Estate Costs

Office Hoteling is usually associated with cost savings – as it allows employers to reduce office space costs by reducing the size of their footprint and offering open floor plans, which employees can book when needed.  By keeping excess space off of their balance sheets, companies can keep capital expenditures low while still freeing up cash for other uses.

Earn More From Unused Space

If you find that you have extra office space, meeting rooms or desks, you may want to consider renting out your unused space to outside companies using your same desk or reservation system. Businesses pay a flat fee every month or can book on-demand and can utilize your space without ever signing a long-term lease, thereby giving them flexibility and you some extra revenue.

Scale and Hire Globally

Rather than having the team spend hours each day commuting or looking for a place that has workspace available, Office Hoteling gives you all of the amenities and benefits of having a physical office no matter where you are. Companies like DropDesk make it easy to manage your team and allow access to a network of local workspaces for a simple membership fee, making it ideal for employees who need to work from a variety of locations. 

Managers who want their teams working virtually can also utilize virtual offices with professional amenities such as mail services, telephone answering services and conference rooms. Employees like hoteling because they don’t have to waste time looking for office space; there’s no long-term commitment or expense associated with an office that isn’t being used. 

Better Employee Wellbeing

Office hoteling, or flexible work-from-home opportunities for employees, is a growing trend in today’s workforce. The benefits of giving employees flexibility and freedom are huge, especially when it comes to employee well-being. Flexible work options help create happier and healthier employees because it gives them more control over their time—which means they have more control over their lives. It also encourages them to exercise regularly by walking from room to room and cuts down on commuting time by removing an office visit from their day. Because they aren’t forced into a long commute each day, they tend to spend less time driving. These added benefits help boost employee morale while reducing stressors that can lead to illness and poor mental health. When your employees have increased morale and productivity, your business will ultimately benefit too.


Office Hoteling allows for better collaboration between teams, as they can reserve space or rooms for a better flow of creative ideas. Open plans are also commonly linked to new networking opportunities – this model also encourages interaction between workers from different industries, which can improve collaboration across departments. If you offer the ability for outside companies to rent from your space, you increase your chances of meeting new people who might be able to contribute to your business needs. 

The Cons Of Office Hoteling

While office hoteling does give workers an alternate way of working, it also poses some potential problems. One of those problems is that it can be difficult for companies with different client bases. For example, someone who works at an accounting firm may not want to share an office space with another team because they could be sharing potentially sensitive information about their clients. Another problem is that if employees are constantly coming and going you need new tools and systems to make it easy to manage.

The History Of Office Hoteling

The history of office hoteling dates back to 1867 when Warren Delano, of Delano family fame, was appointed president of two large businesses in Hong Kong. He had a young female employee who resided with him and one day his nephew Franklin D. Roosevelt visited and said he was impressed with how comfortable it was for her. As you probably know, Franklin went on to be President of the United States of America from 1933-1945. Though it may seem like a new concept, it goes way back and has helped many businesses save money and increase productivity over the decades (and centuries).

How To Get Started With Office Hoteling

Optimize Your Workplace

If you feel that office hoteling could benefit your business and employees, your first step is figuring out how your current office is being used. Here are a few questions you should be asking your team:

  • What days do you want your team to come in/what days are most active?
  • What spaces are most used by your employees (meeting space, desks, offices)?
  • Where are you planning on hiring/where do your current employees reside?
  • How many employees are remote vs. required in the office?
  • Do employees want the choice of a hybrid model?
  • Do you have unused space or is the office mostly occupied?

Based on the above, you can determine whether your current space is suitable for your team or maybe downsizing and establishing a hub and spoke model would be more appropriate.

Reservation Systems

There are many systems out there, but generally, they can be broken down into two categories: workplace management software (desk and conference room reservation systems) and hybrid workspace platforms. Based on whether you want to use the system for your own internal use or allow your team to book third-party spaces will determine the direction you go. 

At DropDesk, our workplace management software allows you to manage your own space, as well as allow your team to book from a curated network of spaces. 

Once you have your floor plan uploaded and your team in the system you choose, you can easily automate employee check-in and outs.

Track Insights

As you use a workplace management system, you will gain invaluable data about how your team uses your space and satellite locations.  

The Future of Office Hoteling

In modern society today, companies are not only adopting and growing their office hoteling strategies, but they’re doing so at a rapidly increasing rate. This is due in part to greater flexibility within these organizations and also due to heightened demands from employees. According to McKinsey & Company, over half of respondents in a survey reported that employees are more likely than ever before to accept virtual office arrangements—and demand it as well. As our work environments continue shifting toward a more mobile culture, hoteling will be here for the foreseeable future. If you haven’t already considered the possibilities of office hoteling for your business, now you have the knowledge you need to decide if it’s right for you and your employees.