9-5 is dead. The office shackles are loosening. Gone are the days when employees were expected to exclusively be productive and get results within the four confining walls of “the office”. There has been a clear shift in the last few decades in how companies manage their staff and the deliverables they expect to receive.
ROWE - Results Only Work Environment is a human resource management strategy wherein employees are paid for results (output) rather than the number of hours worked. Many companies now allow employees to work from home or on the road, teleconference from wherever they may be, and report their sales numbers electronically, from Starbucks, the beach, or perhaps sitting in their pajamas at home.
Changes within the office environment have accompanied this contemporary, more flexible management style, which started with Hot Desking in the 80's and 90's and involves one desk shared between several people who use the desk at different times, and can also include the routing of voice and other messaging services to any location where the user is able to log in to their secure corporate network.
More Recently workplaces such as call centres, IT support companies, and online companies are switching to a more systematic and well controlled Hoteling Work Space environment. The system is intended for workplaces who have who have office based shift workers, traveling sales reps, telecommuters, and employees who work mostly off site. "Hoteling is a form of "alternative officing" which allows employees who travel on business or work flexible hours to reserve desk space at the employer's offices as needed, rather than maintaining a permanent work space there." This allows the employer to make more efficient use of office space and thus reduce costs.
With Hoteling, there is typically an electronic reservation system for available desk space, which can be accessed from any computer or mobile device. Visiting employees, sales employees on the road and other commuters are able to make a workstation reservation including the ergonomic accessories they require ahead of time while the office facilities personnel get the workstation set up with the accessories requested in place by the time the employee shows up to work.
David T. Wise wrote in the Los Angeles Business Journal. "Where the average ratio for office space is 250 square feet per person, hoteling space can be reduced to as little as 100 square feet per person."
Involving an ergonomic consultant is essential in creating healthy Hoteling working environments to ensure each employee is assessed for the appropriate fit of chair and set-up of computer accessories and input devices. Unlike Hot Desking where the workstation is set up for any user, these Hoteling workstations are set up for specific users, which makes better ergonomic sense when considering the health and wellness of the employees utilizing the system.
Of course as with any new trend, the online technology demands increase and as with this case, Hoteling software to manage the equipment set-up and the workstation reservations are booming. You've got to love new working concepts that demand better attention to individualizing the working experience, meaning a better fit for the employee and better results for the employer.
Marnie Courage OT, Reg. (MB)