Making the Transition to Hoteling Report


The job aid was designed to help a growing company transition its field employees to a hoteling system. This change became necessary because the business has been growing rapidly in recent times, but they are not certain that their growth will be stable. They also face an obstacle, which is that their L.A. Basin office began hoteling already, but did so in a manner that left the employees feeling unvalued, and the impending transition is therefore unwelcome in the San Diego office. Two of the Audit Supervisors, who would be overseeing the transition, asked for help in finding a way to make it acceptable.

Sources and Analysis

Two of the Audit Supervisors who will be implementing the transition to hoteling in San Diego were the primary sources for the initial information and review of the final product. Audit Managers in other cities whose offices are already using hoteling provided additional information. Articles about companies that are using hoteling were used as well.

In analysis, it was first important to discover why hoteling became so unwelcome in the L.A. Basin. It was found that when the L.A. office transitioned to hoteling, they did so with little consideration for the employees. Research was also done to discover what happened when other companies began hoteling. This analysis showed that comfort, equipment, security, and communication were all vital to successful hoteling.

The goal of the job aid is to assist the Audit Supervisors in planning a successful transition to the hoteling of their field employees. In this case, success would be defined in terms of employee satisfaction and money saved. A satisfied employee tends to be more productive. A successful transition will also meet the legal issues facing the company, which include issues such as health, safety, and union requirements.

The objectives of the job aid are:

  • For the Audit Supervisors to be able to communicate the need the company has for hoteling and the advantages to the employees.
  • The company will provide the necessary equipment to make hoteling comfortable for the employees. This includes office equipment and layout.
  • The Audit Supervisors will involve the employees in the process.
  • The Audit Supervisors will research the legal issues facing their office and communicate the necessary information to employees and supervisors.
  • They will avoid the more common pitfalls companies have encountered when hoteling their employees. These pitfalls include areas such as poor communication, lack of support, and poor setup.
  • The Audit Supervisors will be reminded to plan an evaluation of hoteling, considering the costs and benefits of hoteling, both in terms of money and employee morale.

Pilot Testing and Revisions

The job aid was developed in a printed checklist format. This was chosen as the simplest and most accessible form for the Audit Supervisors. Pilot testing was somewhat difficult, as the company decided for a time to not go to employee hoteling, then recently decided once again that they would be transitioning to hoteling. This made it difficult to determine with certainty how well the job aid would be supporting their performance. Fortunately, throughout the uncertainty, the Audit Supervisors were willing to continue advising me on the project. The process of hoteling would take too long for a full pilot test, so much of it was simply a review of the job aid presented. The Audit Supervisors were given several questions and areas to consider while reviewing the job aid.

The result of the pilot test was a list of suggestions for improvement. The area that generated the most concern was communication. That section was much expanded after their review so that it included not only the reasons for the change but the advantages and need for staff commitment as well. The amount of detail in this area was increased.

Another suggestion was to change the order of the sections. This was one of the more difficult areas, as the Audit Supervisors were uncertain as to whether presenting the train section first and then the provide section, which was the original order, was better or if they should be the other way around. It was finally decided that it is difficult to train someone unless you have already provided them with the equipment and the work area, so the order was reversed.

Most of the remaining suggested changes were simple changes in phrasing or additions to given areas, such as the tax implications under legal standards. In general, the format was acceptable.

Job Aid and Solution System

It is important that the company make the transition to hoteling very carefully. The effects of poor planning have already been demonstrated to them in L.A., so they are likely to be somewhat cautious during the process. Fortunately, the poor example already set is being heeded. In fact, the example by itself almost caused hoteling to be canceled in the San Diego office, rather than place morale at such risk. However, it proved to be impossible to find a better solution to their problem. The manager whose decision it would be to go to hoteling has since seen an example of good hoteling and is willing to work at it.

Motivating the Audit Supervisors who will be overseeing the transition is not a problem, as they have long since concluded that hoteling is the only viable option for their office at this time. They have done much of their own research on the options they have and did not find any more promising solutions to their problem.

Employee motivation, mentioned in the job aid under communication and motivation, will be vital. Resentment on the part of employees could ruin even the most carefully planned setup. Given the past history of hoteling in this company, which is known to the employees, careful consideration must be taken to ensure that they know that they will still be treated as valued employees.

Setting up hoteling is only the first step, and there are several parts to be considered at this time. Planning an efficient setup will take time. Employees will need to be trained, which may require a job aid as well. The job aid presented here included the need for evaluation of hoteling, but a plan for that must be developed, including an acceptable time frame for evaluation, and a method of tracking.