Three Other Innovative Worker Options

Hoteling is office space provided to outbound workers as they need it. Some workers are always on the road, visiting customers, addressing problems, and so on. Why dedicate the floor space, furnishings, network connections, and other resources to a person, or group of people, who is rarely in the office. Think Green! Instead of paying for the utilities and materials for these idle work areas, consolidate the many down to the few.

Outbound workers use hoteling when they have time to stop in the office for meetings and to submit paperwork. Just as a room is reserved for an overnight stay in a hotel, office hoteling requires a reservation. Outbound workers connect to the company servers and reserve office space for as long as they need it. Some companies will route that person's telephone calls to that space during the reservation period. Hoteling provides Green benefits by only providing the office space needed. In large cities, hoteling is provided by third-party companies that rent office space by the hour.

A common variation on Hoteling is Hot Desking. Both techniques provide office space as needed (thereby contributing to a company's Green efforts by reducing idle office space). The primary difference between Hotel-ing and Hot Desking is that the former is reservation based and the latter is first come first served. This means that Hot Desking can be a bit chaotic if too many people show up at the same time and scramble for a seat. However, it imposes the minimum management requirement on the company sponsoring it.

Distributed work is a third variation on virtual working. It provides small office facilities in low-cost areas close to where the workers live. This addresses the company's concern about worker attendance, provides a co-worker support network, and still reduces pollution through reduced commutes and less congestion. These smaller offices provide the same services as larger offices, such as a receptionist, office supplies, and break areas. This approach is more common in large metropolitan areas when the central city office space (and traffic congestion) is high and the suburban office space closer to the homes of the workers.

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