Hotelling (office)

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Hoteling (or hotelling) is a method of supporting unassigned seating in an office environment. It is similar to hot desking, and is sometimes confused with it, since both methods support unassigned seating. Hotelling is reservation-based unassigned seating, whereas, hot desking is reservation-less unassigned seating. Hotelling, in which an employee reserves a desk ahead of time, is a concept that companies started implementing in the early 1990s.[1]


Term coined by BOSTI Associates in Buffalo, NY in 1990.

How it works[edit]

Hotelling systems can vary in complexity, from a basic process for reserving office space to highly sophisticated systems that are integrated with a company’s IT system and offer the user multiple features to enhance the office experience.[2] Hotelling generally functions more smoothly when its technology is integrated with the company’s main IT system. Basically, the company uses a piece of software which keeps track of all of its resources. When employees arrive at work in the morning (or log in from home via the company intranet), they access the hotelling reservation software and log in using their unique user ID and password. They can then either reserve spaces by their name/number or, in some systems, by looking at a blueprint of the office and visually selecting a workspace.[3] Once the reservation process is complete, a number of functions may be performed by the system including the routing of phone service to the workspace, the notification of an office "concierge" who prepares the workspace, etc. With many systems, workers are required to "check-in" through a terminal connected to the reservations database as they arrive at the office location.


Hotelling was first utilized by consulting firms and customer representative companies, and these types of companies continue to be the highest users of such systems. This is because most of these companies' employees spend the majority of their time away from the office; thus, reducing the amount of office resources they need to occupy on a regular basis. This allows large firms to utilize the concept of hotelling. Although hotelling started in consulting companies this does not mean that it is limited to these companies.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Stephens, Chris (March 11, 2011). "Office hoteling provides desk only as needed". Anchorage Dispatch News. 
  2. ^ Censer, Marjorie (February 14, 2011). "Now Booz Allen workers have to call to reserve their desks". Washington Post. 
  3. ^ a b Soule, Alexander (January 14, 2015). "In "hoteling" concept, Deloitte says it has sufficient space for huge workforce". Stamford Advocate.