Hoteling cuts space requirements, creats office flexibility

Hoteling cuts space requirements, creats office flexibility

The recent move of the PricewaterhouseCoopers office in Washington, D.C., demonstrates one approach toward hoteling.

Typically, law and accounting firms need to set aside an average of 200 to 350 square feet of office space per employee, says Michael Considine, project director for RTKL Associates Inc., the architectural firm that designed the offices. Through the use of hoteling, PricewaterhouseCoopers is able to maintain an average of 145 square feet per person.

The average of 145 square feet per worker is lower than PricewaterhouseCoopers’ 190-square-foot target for hoteling throughout its corporate facilities, Considine says.

In practical terms, the company’s 45,000-square-foot facility at 1900 K St. in downtown Washington can accommodate 310 employees, compared to 225 workers with a traditional office arrangement.

The situation works because nearly 30 percent of the company’s employees are considered non-territorial workers — auditors, consultants and financial advisers – who spend a lot of time on the road.

When non-territorial employees plan to work in the office, they need to check in at one of the three kiosks located on the two floors to reserve temporary office space. Once the employee enters his or her information into the system, computer, voice mail and telephone connections are transferred to the designated office space.

“The phone and data connections follow the person,” says Considine. Employees can even hotel in PricewaterhouseCoopers’ offices in other cities and maintain access to voice mail and files through the computer network.

The size and type of office space is determined by the employee’s position.

Partners and managers receive offices. Partner offices are 150 square feet and manager offices are 100 square feet. Staff members, including consultants and auditors, are placed in workstations, 6 feet by 8 feet, and administrative assistants are located in 8-by-10 workstations.

No distinction is made between the space provided for territorial or non-territorial employees, says Considine. Also, he notes that partners and administrative assistants typically don’t use hoteling. Managers and staff members use it frequently.

The entire facility is set up to accommodate hoteling, which allows flexibility if hoteling ratios van, from anticipated usage.

Copyright Trade Press Publishing Company Mar 1999

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