What Is Hoteling and Why Does It Call for a Flexible Print Environment?

Around the world, we’re in a period of massive change. To say that the modern workforce is adapting is the understatement of the year. As employees slowly return into the office, there’s more interest in dynamic workplace models like hoteling. Those new models create new challenges for IT.

First, let’s answer an important question: What exactly is hoteling?


What is hoteling?

Hoteling is a form of desk sharing. It’s based on the idea of how hotels assign rooms to their guests. In a hoteling workspace, employees don’t have a permanent desk. Instead they reserve desks in advance based on the days they plan to be in the office.

A variant of hoteling is the “hot desk.” That’s more like a first-come-first-served model.

Understandably, the shared office desk approach is already popular with companies that have highly mobile workforces. Today, however, more and more employees are working from home part-time. Therefore, traditional organizations are eyeing the benefits of hoteling workspaces too.


What does hoteling mean for IT?

Like anything that involves roaming users, hoteling can present challenges for IT. One tricky area is printing. If you have mobile workers, getting printers to those users can be like trying to deliver a package to a moving target.

In other words, it can be hit or miss. And when you miss, that’s when the support tickets flood in.

Some IT departments try to solve things with the “throw everything at the wall” approach. That involves giving users access to every possible printer they might come across.

Unfortunately, that can backfire. For starters, it can present users with too much choice. It’s easy for them to select the wrong device and send their print job to a distant printer. Furthermore, it can lead to driver problems if there are different printer models.

But careful control of printer deployments rarely works either. What happens when a mobile worker suddenly moves to a shared office desk on a different floor? Or in a brand-new location? They probably won’t be able to access the local printer. Cue the angry call to the helpdesk.

One thing is for sure, though. Print servers simply don’t make the cut. They’re legacy technology designed for static workplace models. And with so many users moving around, GPOs and scripts are clumsy, inefficient tools.

At the same time, a legacy direct IP printing model doesn’t make sense for hoteling. Every single printer change requires time-consuming, manual intervention. That leads to a never-ending management workload.


Mobile printing is ideal for hoteling

Clearly, old school printing methods make it hard to support your mobile workers. But that doesn’t mean hoteling is out of reach. Or that you’re doomed to spend the next decade drowning in support tickets.

PrinterLogic’s serverless printing infrastructure makes it easy to handle all the moving targets in a hoteling environment. Its centrally managed direct IP printing platform is unique, secure and flexible. As a result, it avoids the pitfalls of both print servers and legacy direct IP.

Here are some of the ways PrinterLogic and its mobile printing solution support today’s changing workplace:

  • Native iOS and Android printing. End users can print right from their popular smartphones and tablets.
  • Location-based deployments. Automatically get printers to users based on IP address or advanced AD/IdP criteria. No scripts or GPOs needed.
  • Self-service portal. No printer? No problem. Users can install nearby printers by just clicking on a floor plan map.
  • The power of the cloud. Using the PrinterLogic SaaS admin console, IT can manage printers and users from anywhere. And with almost instant effect. 
  • Effortless migration. Moving to PrinterLogic’s next-gen platform is quick and seamless. An automated migration tool imports existing printer objects, queues and settings.

PrinterLogic takes the pain out of supporting or shifting to a hoteling or hot desk model. As your users return to the office, you can be sure they’re getting the printers they need based on their current location and workspace. That will make life way easier on roaming users as well as IT.