Feb 2, 2021


Desk hoteling vs. Hot desking - what is the best solution for you?

People chatting in the background in front of desks where busy lughts are displayed, showing the desks availability through color indication.

When creating a new smart office, a discussion about desk management is always on the table. Should we have fixed seating, bookable desks, hot seating, desk hoteling? And what does these terms even mean? Fixed seating is the classical way of conducting your office space. Each employee has their own desk. But with the current changes in the structure of the office work, this type of desk seating will no longer be the norm. So, what do we choose then?  

What are the key benefits of a Smart office?

You have probably heard the terms desk hoteling and hot desking before, both of them have their pros and cons so its important to understand both the similarities and differences before adapting it to your system. Both desk hoteling and hot desking share the similarity that they both allow for a more flexible working environment, employees do not “own” a desk, as with fixed seating, but they can claim a desk for a period of time, either in advance or on the spot.  

Desk hoteling – like booking a hotel room, but in the office. 

You can understand the differences between the desk types by thinking of the differences between booking a hotel room or grabbing a coffee at a cafeteria. Desk hoteling is for the planner type of person. Just like when you are staying in a hotel, the desk is booked in advance, check-in via the reception or app is required, and then you enjoy the desk until your booking time is over. Desk hoteling is therefore a desk booking system that enables your employees to enjoy the flexibility of free seating, but at the same time giving them the ability to book or reserve desks in advance to make sure that they have the seat they want.  

This type of system is beneficial if you are working in teams and want to coordinate seating, if you want to make sure that covid-19 restrictions are followed or want to give employees security in that they have guaranteed office space.  

Desk hoteling can be managed with Flowscape’s Flowmap, desks can be booked in advance and will then turn red on the map, indicating that the desk is booked. Learn more about the desk hoteling solution here. Our desk presence sensor is a good compliment to this type of solution. The sensor will sense when someone is seated on the desk, which will indicate to your colleagues that you are sitting at your desk currently. This will make it easy for them to find you. Read more about our desk presence sensor here.  

Hot desking – The ad-hoc solution - like grabbing a coffee at the cafeteria

Compared to desk hoteling, hot desking, or hot seating is more like going to a cafeteria. Employees do not need to book their desk in advance, instead they can claim a desk upon arrival if a seat is empty. To manage this type of system, it is important to use the right motion sensors so that occupancy always can be indicated on a map. This prevents employees from running around and searching for a desk. For this type of solution, we recommend using a desk presence sensor or an Automatic desk Check-in Sensor. Desk presence sensor detects when someone is occupying the desk and turns it red on the map. An Automatic Desk Check-in Sensor on the other hand turns the desk red when someone connects their laptop to the workplace, this is a good solution if you have workstations with computer screens on them. Read more about our sensors here

Hot desking is especially beneficial in open office zones. Hot desking can create a feeling of flexibility and mobility in the office, where employees from different departments could meet casually and discuss important topics. It is also good if you have a sales team that work in the field most days and need space at the office for brief periods of time. You can always ask us for the best solution for you.  

Another good solution to visualize if a desk is booked or not is to use Busy Lights. A busy light is a colored light that indicates if a desk is reserved or not. If occupied or booked, the light turns red, showing the occupancy on the Flowmap, and in real life. Busy lights work well with both desk hoteling and hot seating and is a great way to integrate the desk booking system with the office.  

Flowscape in 30 seconds

Combining desk hoteling and hot desking? 

One of the best solutions for a modern office today is to combine both hot desking and desk hoteling. This gives employees the opportunity to choose between different options, and it also allows you as a company to create different areas of the office for different activities. Both of these solutions can also be easily combined with fixed seating as well. Flowscape’s system gives the opportunity to create different zones, where different rules for desk booking can apply depending on your specific needs. Read more about our desk solutions here or request a demo

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