In the evolving landscape of modern work environments, organizations are continuously seeking ways to optimize space utilization and enhance employee flexibility. One such strategy gaining traction is desk hotelling. This concept offers a dynamic approach to workspace management, catering to the needs of a flexible, mobile workforce. In this blog post, we will explore what desk hotelling is, how it works, and the benefits it brings to organizations.

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What is Desk Hotelling?

Desk hotelling is a workspace management strategy where employees do not have assigned desks but instead reserve workspaces as needed. This system is named after the practice of booking hotel rooms, where guests book a room for a temporary stay. Similarly, in desk hotelling, employees book a desk or workspace for a specific period, allowing for more efficient use of office space.

Hot Desking vs. Hotelling: Understanding the Concepts

In the modern workplace, terms like “hot desking” and “hotelling” are often used interchangeably. While they originally had distinct meanings, the lines between them have blurred over time, and today they essentially refer to the same concept of flexible workspace management.

How Does Desk Hotelling Work?

Desk hotelling typically involves the use of a desk booking system or software that enables employees to reserve workspaces in advance or on-the-fly. Here’s how it generally works:

  1. Reservation System: Employees use a software platform or mobile app to view available desks and make reservations. This system often includes features like real-time availability, interactive floor plans, and booking confirmations.
  2. Check-In Process: Upon arriving at the office, employees check in to their reserved desk, usually via the same platform or a designated check-in kiosk. This process confirms their presence and updates the system to reflect the desk’s occupancy.
  3. Workspace Utilization: Employees use the reserved desk for the duration of their booking. Once their time is up, they check out, freeing the desk for the next user.
  4. Flexibility and Mobility: Desk hotelling supports a flexible work environment, allowing employees to choose desks based on their needs, preferences, or team collaboration requirements.

Benefits of Desk Hotelling

Desk hotelling offers several advantages for both organizations and employees:

  1. Optimized Space Utilization: By eliminating permanently assigned desks, organizations can make better use of available office space. This approach is especially beneficial in companies with a high percentage of remote or hybrid workers.
  2. Cost Savings: Efficient use of space can lead to significant cost savings. Organizations can reduce the amount of office space needed, lowering real estate and maintenance costs.
  3. Enhanced Flexibility: Employees enjoy greater flexibility in choosing where they work. This flexibility can boost productivity and job satisfaction, as employees can select workspaces that best suit their tasks or collaborative needs.
  4. Improved Collaboration: Desk hotelling facilitates dynamic team interactions. Employees can easily move and sit with different teams or departments, fostering collaboration and innovation.
  5. Data-Driven Insights: Desk booking systems provide valuable data on workspace utilization. Organizations can analyze this data to understand usage patterns, identify underutilized areas, and make informed decisions about space planning.
  6. Environmental Benefits: Efficient use of office space can also contribute to environmental sustainability. Reduced space requirements mean lower energy consumption and a smaller carbon footprint.
Othership Desk Booking Software
Leading UX UI from Othership’s Desk Booking Software

Implementing Desk Hotelling: Key Considerations

Successfully implementing a desk hotelling system requires careful planning and consideration of several factors:

  1. Technology and Tools: Invest in a robust desk booking system that offers real-time availability, user-friendly interfaces, and integration with other workplace tools such as calendars and communication platforms.
  2. Change Management: Transitioning to desk hotelling can be a significant change for employees. Provide clear communication, training, and support to help them adapt to the new system.
  3. Workspace Design: Design the office layout to support flexible working. Include a variety of workspaces such as quiet zones, collaborative areas, and meeting rooms to cater to different needs.
  4. Policy and Guidelines: Establish clear policies and guidelines for desk booking and usage. Define booking rules, check-in/check-out procedures, and etiquette for shared spaces.
  5. Feedback and Adaptation: Continuously gather feedback from employees to identify any issues and areas for improvement. Be ready to adapt the system based on their input and evolving organizational needs.


Desk hotelling is a forward-thinking approach to workspace management that aligns with the needs of a modern, flexible workforce. By optimizing space utilization, reducing costs, and enhancing employee satisfaction, desk hotelling can significantly benefit organizations. Implementing this system requires thoughtful planning and ongoing adaptation, but the rewards make it a worthwhile investment for the future of work.

For more insights and tips on optimizing your workspace use the button below to get a free consultation. Alternatively, check our article on the best desk booking software currently on the market.

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