Hoteling vs hot desking | What’s the difference?

Over the last years, our ways of working have changed. Companies needed to adapt their work space management as hybrid models have expanded leading to a decrease in office use. One of the most wide-spread solutions is the desk sharing concept. Still, how do you know which workplace management strategy is best for your company? Let’s analyse hoteling vs hot desking to give you all the information you need before deciding which system suits you the most.

Definition of desk hoteling: what you need to know

Hoteling is an organizational workspace system helping companies as much as employees.

To give you a simple metaphor in order to understand how hoteling works, think about a hotel. You book a specific desk for a set time slot like you would book a particular hotel room for the duration you want.

This is a solution to reduce the loss of space resulting from the hybrid concept model. Therefore, this method leads to a better organisation and a decrease in costs (real estate, electricity and water, furniture, etc.). It is also a great answer to match the employees’ needs and help them to embrace the flexible work concept.

Advantages of office hoteling

Office hoteling is an excellent solution for numerous reasons from the employees’ point of view as from a company’s standpoint.

A book and check-in system

Hoteling desk check in-system

As an employee, you can plan ahead and proceed to a desk reservation for the day and the time slot you want. When arriving at the working place, you only have to check in to have access to your space. This process can be either done with a person or through a digital tool like deskbird.

A desk that matches your needs

This is the main difference between hoteling and hot desking. Hoteling allows you to choose an assigned desk in your working space. Actually, according to your job position, you might need different criteria in terms of working environment. Leila from the sales department is always on the phone, therefore, it might not be the best idea for Mark, who is an accountant, to choose a desk next to her.

A controlled and optimised space capacity

From a company point of view, adopting a hybrid model concept can result in some changes in the use of the working space. Thanks to a check-in system, you will be able to know how much room in your office is actually used everyday. According to the results, you will then be able to adapt to those changes. You can either reduce vacant desk numbers and therefore, your real estate costs, or remodel the whole area in order to optimise its usage.

A lower stress level thanks to a well designed and organised setup

A well designed and organised workspace

Thanks to hoteling, employees don’t need to worry anymore about finding a free desk or not working in an ideal environment. Some companies go a step forward by implementing Activity Based Workplaces (ABW). ABW consists of dividing a room according to the different activities the employees are working on.

Hot desking definition

Hot desk booking is a hybrid workplace setup and works a bit differently from hoteling. We are now talking about an unassigned desk concept, based on a “first come, first served” structure. With this model, there is no reservation required before coming to the workspace. Nevertheless, some companies may implement a check-in system in order to monitor the on-site capacity. However, this is not mandatory.

Yet, this organisation seems to fit better for small companies or start-ups without capacity concerns. Actually, employees might feel frustrated by not knowing where they will be sitting or if they would actually find a free working spot.

Benefits of a hot desk workplace model

A flexible working system ideal to find international collaborators

One of the advantages of implementing a hot desk model is to find talents from all around the world without geographical limitations. Companies are then able to provide hot desking spaces for those employees, if they wish to come to the workspace.

A perfect way to be able to widen your scope in terms of recruitment and find the best fits for your teams and your business.

A perfect match for your hybrid workplace strategy

Similarly to hoteling, this method of office management works perfectly for companies with a hybrid model. The basis of a flexible work system results in some employees working from home and others coming to the office. Thus, the workplace is not always full.

For this reason, reshuffling or decreasing this vacant space can be a smart move. Some companies have already reduced or reused these areas. In that case, hot desking provides a great solution. Yet, in order to control room capacity, it is recommended to add a check-in option to your on-site management strategy.

A framework to increase staff interactions

Advantage of hot desking : increase staff interactions

Hot desking is a great way to grow interactions between your collaborators and enhance team spirit. Not having an assigned desk increases the chance to talk with different colleagues and get to know new people around you.

Working in silos has been more and more observed in companies. Team members work towards the same goals but don’t share information or knowledge. Therefore, a hot desk framework enables a better circulation of knowledge thanks to more interactions.

Hoteling vs hot desking: why choosing ? deskbird’s solution

Now that you know what is hoteling vs hot desking, you might wonder what would be the best for your company. The difference between those two workplace management strategies is slim. However, you might be interested in some aspects of each of them.

deskbird, as a desk booking software, helps you in an easy way to set up a space organisation model meeting your needs. Indeed, it is key that the solution you are using as a company is tailored-made according to your expectations.

Also, from the employees’ point of view, this new way of working should be an advantage and not a source of stress. This is the reason why we wish to support you and provide you with the best options.

No matter the difference between hoteling vs hot desking, desk booking will become a key management tool for more and more companies switching to a hybrid work model. Therefore, we invite you to discover the online desk booking software solution created by deskbird.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store



deskbird is the most intuitive workplace solution — one that your employees will love! Available as mobile, web, Slack, and MS Teams app.