February 27, 2020 | Written by: Maura McGowan
What You Need to Know About Office Hoteling & The Technology Behind It
The workplace as we once knew it is changing. As we continue to see less and less cubical farms in the office, a modern workspace is beginning to take hold. What was once a colony of desks full of workers, is now touchdown spaces and open concept working areas catered to remote employees and a collaborative work environment. More and more companies are beginning to adopt work-from-home policies and providing office spaces on an as-need basis. The term for this is office hoteling, or hoteling, and it’s allowing companies to optimize their office space and ultimately reduce costs.
The sophistication in technology is a critical component to the success of office hoteling. Networks, laptops, mobile devices, and wireless capabilities are all factors that must be taken into consideration to ensure employees can smoothly transition from location to location, whether in the office or at home. Upgrading and maintaining the IT infrastructure and the necessary accessories used to connect remote employees to applications, company drives, and software will establish the foundation needed to roll out a successful hoteling program. This means taking necessary measures to update security efforts, company networks, and wireless infrastructure. Failing to do so may result in Wi-Fi connection complications, employees not being able to access the applications and files needed to perform their jobs, and security risks.
With the overall IT infrastructure optimized for a hoteling program, the next essential element is a coherent way to schedule and reserve touchdown spaces. Deploying beacon and sensing technology is the second component to office hoteling, allowing employees to reserve touchdown spaces. Through location available sensing technology and beacons with Wi-Fi, employees can easily view and reserve the office or meeting space they want. The ability to determine what desk, conference room, shared table, couch, or any meeting space is available, without having to physically go to the space, is a critical factor to making hoteling an efficient initiative.
How exactly does this technology work? Sensing technology and beacons provide thorough insights into what spaces are being utilized and what spaces are available. Beacon technology transmits identifying information from a designated app to a cloud server via Bluetooth. According to Beaconstac, the “beacon transmits signals which allows another device to determine its proximity to the broadcaster.” Through beacon technology, cost-effective and efficient hoteling is made possible.
The benefits of beacon technology go beyond the ability to simply reserve a desk for the day. The data collected will help organizations increase their productivity by providing real insight into conference room, touchdown space, and meeting area usability. For instance, when a conference room is needed, but it’s reserved, and no one actually shows up for the meeting. Or if the room holds up to 20 employees, and it gets reserved for 2. This data helps companies learn if a space is really being used, when it will be available, and when the room can be rescheduled, helping to make better use of office space.
In order to properly and effectively deploy a successful office hoteling program, several factors need to be accounted for. Companies need to evaluate their current IT infrastructure, make upgrades and improvements accordingly, and deploy beacon and sensing technology. Once this groundwork is established, companies can begin to see a more collaborative work environment among employees, an effective use of office and meeting space, and ultimately a reduction in costs, as workers won’t have a permanent residence at a cubicle.
As the office landscape continues to move away from traditional cubical farms and move towards office hoteling models, more companies are providing workspaces on an as-need basis for their employees. If your organization is looking to embrace the modern office space, reach out to Business Information Group. Our wireless experts are here to provide the proper solutions needed for your company to successfully implement an office hoteling program.