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NIH Hoteling Program
What is Hoteling?
The General Services Administration defines hoteling as an alternative work arrangement in which:
- Employees work in one facility (facility A) part of the time and at one or more alternative worksites the rest of the time and
- When working in facility A, these employees use non-dedicated, non-permanent workspaces assigned for use by reservation on an as-needed basis.
- An office dedicates a hoteling room with 6 desks (each outfitted with a corresponding laptop docking station) with access to a shared copy machine, printer, and phone line.
- A shared calendar is associated with each desk so that employees can reserve a desk when they need to use a space in this hoteling room.
- Adjacent to this hoteling room is a conference room which can also be reserved.
What are the benefits of hoteling?
- Minimizes space and real estate costs. The lower the square footage, the lower the cost to build or lease the space.
- Allows for more flexible staffing and scheduling options.
- Allows employees to be more mobile, moving among various work locations for meetings, different servicing areas, etc.
- Enhances quality of work life for employees.
Best Practices and Lessons Learned from the NIH Community
- Information technology capabilities must be same whether on-site or off-site.
- Calendar to manage space usage/reservations.
- Docking stations at hoteling space for employee-issued laptops instead of desktops.
- Phone capability (employee-issued mobile phone, landline access in space/desk, unified communications and collaboration system).
- Effective tools for supervisors to manage hoteling employees
- Shared calendars be informed on employees/colleagues’ schedules.
- Communication tools (phone, Skype instant messaging and video chat).
- Dedicated hoteling space (removes uncertainty of finding workspace as employee moves among locations).
- Hoteling space allows mobility and continuity of work across different locations.
- Proximity of hoteling space to amenities, e.g., copy machine/printer, conference rooms, offices for travel, etc.
- Standardized furniture/equipment for flexibility in space modifications.
- Parking situation/availability at work location.
- A toll-free conference number may save calling costs in the long term for hoteling participants.
- Online meeting/video conferencing technology for desktop sharing/presentations to larger audiences, e.g., WebEx, Skype.
- IT support knowledgeable with common technology issues faced by hoteling participants or teleworkers, e.g., VPN/remote access, mapping printers, etc.
Implementation of Hoteling Program
- Communicate openly with employees to ensure buy-in and employee concerns, e.g., workgroup, community outreach, surveys.
- Pilot with smaller group before launching organization-wide program.
- Establish and enforce hoteling space etiquette/usage guidelines.
- Consider storage space and office supply needs for participants as they move among locations.
- Reinforce performance metrics and communications expectations between supervisors and employees.
- Incorporate closed office space (or conference rooms) as needed for phone calls/meetings that may be of sensitive/confidential nature.
- Create training for hoteling participants.
- Continue to evaluate (surveys, feedback sessions, recordkeeping) hoteling program to assess benefits, challenges, improvement areas.
Hoteling programs (if available) are managed at the IC-level. Contact officials in your IC for more information. Email NIHTelework@od.nih.gov for any general hoteling questions.