26 Nov 2022

4 different ways of working in an office

More work flexibility is indeed a good thing. Employees benefit from a greater work-life balance, living healthier lifestyles with less stress from juggling the many elements of their days. Still, working in the office has benefits too, and they aren’t just for employers.

Working on-site fosters relationships and connections among employees. These relationships enable employees to work in tandem, synchronizing throughout the production and release process. These connections foster innovation, helping teams generate ideas that one mind alone would have missed.

Benefits of working in an office

Ultimately, in-office work nurtures values that virtual employees miss out on. Here are a few:

A culture of community

An organization’s culture gives people a sense of belonging and a common goal to work for. As a result, employees believe in and support each other, building an internal community. Next, if the executives succeed in building a desirable culture, the same employees may believe in and support the company.

A united purpose

The desire to be a part of something bigger gives employees a sense of purpose. Everyone within the office environment is working toward a common mission. Each person is fitting in with their unique skill set and talents. When people feel connected within an organization, they feel satisfaction for every mile passed and goal reached.

Support through collaboration

Combining community and purpose unites toward a common goal. They unanimously want to succeed. They help, support, and encourage each other while working together. This level of collaboration improves overall satisfaction with every achievement. Teammates feel proud of themselves and their fellows.

4 ways to work in an office

While every company has its own system, there are four prominent office work models. Each model has pros and cons, which is why many companies use a mixture of these models to bridge any gaps and fill any shortcomings. Have a look:

1. Traditional

The best collaboration happens face-to-face. Traditional office models support this angle, keeping employees working on-site every workday rather than allowing them to work remotely. These offices usually have a designated office or desk per employee, keeping to a rigid structure. Compared to a hybrid or flexible workplace, teammates are usually in the office at the same time. This model supports culture and teamwork. Meeting rooms are shared, typically on a reservation basis. A robust booking solution, like Joan room booking, helps get the most out of these environments.


  • Great collaboration. Traditional offices offer the best environment for collaboration. They provide physical spaces for people to meet and swap ideas.
  • Common environment. Companies can control the workplace environment, ensuring all employees have the resources and spaces they need to work well and productively.
  • Personalized spaces. Employees can customize their space, accommodating individual wants or needs and helping employees feel at home with familiar surroundings.
  • Professional image. Tangible workspaces and meeting rooms support the company image when clients, stakeholders, partners, and other important personnel enter the space.


  • Poor work-life balance. A lack of flexibility hinders employee work-life balance. Employees are often stressed and don’t perform to their full potential.
  • Real estate costs. Companies invest in a set amount of square footage per employee, if not more, and tie themselves to long-term leases that may not accommodate company growth.
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2. Hybrid

There’s an entire spectrum of hybrid work models. For example, some companies have their employees in the office two days per week while others bring them in four days a week. Some use desk sharing with multiple employees sharing one desk and some forgo designated desks altogether.

No matter the model, employees are demanding hybrid work conditions. According to Business Insider, 64% of employees would look for a new job if pressed to return to work full-time. Why? Because hybrid models offer greater work-life balance. 


  • Super work-life balance. Allows employees to work from home on days they have appointments, their child is sick, or the commute is hectic. This flexibility greatly reduces stress.
  • Emphasis on productivity. More flexible work habits transfer the focus to the quality of work instead of the quantity of working hours.
  • Real estate costs. Companies can cut back on real estate and only accommodate the maximum number of employees that will be on site any given day.


  • Less culture. Fewer opportunities for building culture, resulting in a lack of purpose and therefore lack of effectiveness.
  • Employee burnout. Due to remote working days, managers don’t have full visibility into whether their team members are overworked or not.
  • Heightened cyber risk. Companies have to ramp up their security to support employees logging into company accounts and servers off-site.

3. Desk hoteling

Desk hoteling is the saving grace of flexible workplaces. The setup turns chaos into order, helping employees be as productive as they were in a traditional work model.

Many companies are transitioning to desk sharing. With desk hoteling, employees don’t have designated workstations. Instead, they reserve desks, much like a traveler books a room at a hotel. Most desk hoteling setups rely on a virtual desk booking system, helping employees arrive at the office with confidence.


  • Flexible work habits. Desk sharing allows employees to reserve workstations where and when they’ll be the most productive. For desk hoteling, it’s best to invest in a solution that covers the entire office. Joan offers an all-in-one office management solution that covers desks, meeting rooms, and company assets.
  • Greater collaboration. Employees can make sure they’re working beside teammates whenever they need to collaborate in the office.
  • Real estate costs. Companies can either reduce or increase their real estate per employee as needed based on their office model.
  • Visitor management. Some hoteling solutions create a seamless visitor experience, helping users check in, check out, and navigate the office. The Joan visitor platform offers all these resources and more.


  • Loss of personalization. Employees can’t personalize their workspace. Meaning, no more pictures of kids, silly mouse pads, or customized hardware.
  • Poor wayfinding. Even with wayfinding solutions, finding anyone within the office setting can take longer.

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4. Hot desking

Hot desking is desk sharing on steroids. Workstations are run on a first-come-first-serve basis, costing employees time and confusion as they try to find an available desk each day. The employee experience is like trying to find a seat on a school bus: you may sit by someone you know or by a stranger. On the plus side, sitting by a stranger opens a door to meeting someone new. You never know how you’ll grow from the experience!


  • By-chance meetups. Supports serendipitous meetings that grow unexpected relationships, ideas, and innovations.
  • Equality. Managers and employees are on level footing. This equality encourages camaraderie among all employees.
  • Real estate costs. Allows companies to reduce or increase their real estate based on their hot desking model.


  • Increased confusion. Expect wasted time and energy as employees search for their workstations or teammates each day.
  • Loss of personalization. Employees are restricted to a limited amount of personal items each day, making for a generic workplace experience
  • Poor wayfinding. Locating teammates or individual employees is near impossible.
  • More distractions. Distractions of an uncoordinated work environment.

Create a more productive office experience with Joan

No matter the model, there’s one solution that makes the office experience more productive. Joan offers a complete office management system that covers every asset from conference rooms to parking stalls. The Joan 6 and Joan 6 Pro wireless displays smooth out the meeting room experience, letting employees get the most out of their on-site days.

The Joan desk booking system supports all your desk hoteling needs. The app’s wayfinding tool updates in real-time, helping everyone locate and reserve the workstation they need to be productive. The Joan 13 e-ink device can be mounted anywhere in the office and configured to display office wayfinding resources.

A true all-in-one solution, Joan Visitor provides a seamless visitor experience. The platform manages the check-in, check-out, and wayfinding experiences, along with the signing of company policies.

Learn how Joan can fit into your workplace model, whatever it may be. Contact our team today!