Terminology for Today’s Work Solutions

Terminology for Today’s Work Solutions

By: Tia Walle – Little

Many organizations are finding that their real estate is not being fully utilized. It is a challenge to understand the requirements of today’s knowledge worker and anticipate what their needs will be in the future. Most would agree one size fits none and solutions must be flexible.  Naturally the question that arises is how do I know what the best solution is for my organization? There is a need to better understand the goals of the organization, the work being done, how it is getting done, and why people are coming to the office.  This is why many organizations are investing in workplace strategy programs.


It is important to build the right business case for a workplace strategy program for your organization. Key driving factors are optimizing the real estate you have and reducing future demand. Also, important are aligning work patterns with the work environment to reduce processing time, improving time to market, and enabling business agility.  Addressing and supporting the way individuals work today increases employee stratification, their overall work experience, and increases productivity and effectives.

There are many solutions and terms being used today to describe different approaches to flexibility, mobility, and workplace arrangements. Here are some key terms to know:

– a style of work that involves a shared working environment, often an office, and independent activity. Unlike in a typical office environment, those co-working are usually not employed by the same organization.

Desk sharing – is work arrangement in which two or more employees share the same workstation in a typically pre-arranged manner that allows each of the employees to have sole access to the specified workstation on given days while the others are involved in working elsewhere.

Distributed work – a combination of heads down ‘focused’ work, formal and informal collaboration, and social interaction that occurs in a wide variety of setting within the building, campus or virtually.

Free address – the company does not assign work space to specific people, but instead provides a range of office and desk types and lets the team and/or individuals coordinate on a daily or weekly basis.

Hot desking – employees use non-dedicated, non-permanent workspaces assigned on a first come first served basis.

Hoteling – employees use non-dedicated, non-permanent workspaces assigned for by reservation on an as-need basis.

Satellite office – smaller remote office location placed within a large concentration of employee residences, away from main office.

Team-based environments – area assigned to a team, but not at an individual level. Mix of workstations, tables and chairs, huddle rooms, lounge seating, etc.

Telework – performing all or portion of work functions at an alternative site to reduce or eliminate commute.

Telework center – facility that provides workstations and other office services for a fee