No, there is no other way to do so. As far as workflow is a concern, you can reduce your frequency of restarts up to some extent by using Activiti community instance to design and test your workflow. You can export process file (xml) and use it once you're done.
There is an alternative to this hot-reloading. You can upload your bpmn20.xml (workflow process file) at the following path in the Alfresco repository in order to deploy it without restarting the server.
Repository>Data dictionary>Workflow Definitions>
Once you upload your process file, edit its properties and select 'Workflow Deployed' checkbox.
So if you want to test micro changes without restart then this is how you can do it.