Hot desking is an office space strategy where employees do not have assigned seating. This office organization system involves multiple workers using the same physical work station during different time periods. Workplace dynamics as we know them are changing. Mobile technology has enabled greater flexibility in when and where employees can work, while growing real estate prices are driving the need for better space management. Hot desking capitalizes on these trends while helping accomplish your space management goals.
Traditional office layouts are becoming less common as more modern workplace management trends continue to emerge. One example is hot desking. The concept is similar to activity-based working but the latter option encourages workers to only move spaces as they switch between different types of activities. Hot desking is essentially announcing the end of desk ownership and using technology to assign seating arrangements on a rotating basis.
As one research study suggests, up to 40% of office space can be vacant at any given time. Hot desking helps to significantly reduce the cost of space while also fueling greater collaboration between company teams and departments. The new system does, however, introduce the need for additional IT resources and can potentially impact the productivity of employees who find it distracting.
While it may be tempting to jump on the hot desking bandwagon, you first need to figure out whether or not this trend is a good fit for your company. Arriving at that answer requires asking yourself a few key questions.
Do Most Of Your Employees Work In-Office During The Same Hours?
Hot desking is a more viable option for companies that offer flexible working hours or work-from-home options. This frees up more space at each of the shared workstations and increases the chances that this new office design will be a success.
Are There Certain Business Practices That Need To Be Kept Confidential?
Some companies may have business practices that cannot be shared throughout the entire office. Since shared workstations are at the heart of hot desking, confidentiality could be an issue in environments where this is the case.
Does The Office Space Itself Support Hot Desking?
Certain spaces lend themselves more to hot desking than others. Consider whether such a design would make sense for your office environment. Keep in mind technology logistics as well as needs that these new workstations create. For example, since employees will constantly be switching desks, additional storage space for their personal belongings needs to be made available.
Let’s say that you’ve decided hot desking is in fact a good fit for your company. The next step is to put together a successful implementation plan.
Organize Space Management
Like any office design revamp, the transition to hot desking requires proper planning to be a success. This involves organizing and updating space management requirements as needed. Integrated workplace management software streamlines this process.
Distribute Appropriate Guidelines for Hot Desking
Before employees begin using the new system, it’s important that they have a solid grasp on how it works and rules relevant to its use. You can clarify these details by implementing a documented policy or some other set of guidelines. These guidelines should include:
- Reasons why the company implemented hot desking
- The responsibilities of employees (ex., keep desks clean, don’t leave confidential documents in work spaces)
- The company’s responsibilities (ex., equip desks with necessary tools, make meeting rooms easily accessible)
Get Buy-In From Employees for Hot Desking
Switching over to hot desking means a big day-to-day change for employees. Many of them may have concerns, and with valid reason. Without assigned desks, employees could have difficulty finding spaces and locating colleagues, which can result in wasted time. Further, it limits their ability to personalize their workspace. Some employees may also find shared spaces to be distracting, which can have a negative impact on their overall productivity.
You should be mindful of these and other concerns while also encouraging employees not to get too attached to a single desk. This will help them adapt to the new office design and allow them to voice any feedback they may have on potential improvements.
The design of an office does more than catch the eye. It impacts the overall feel of the environment and how people function within the space. Hot desking creates an open and collaborative work environment — one that can deliver benefits to those companies who are a good fit.
For these companies, hot desking can improve the employee experience if employers are mindful of their needs and provide them with the right tools. The design of the tools should be employee-centric in nature, meaning that they make it easy for employees to be productive and collaborate with others.
Interested in adding an employee-centric layer to your IWMS system? iOFFICE Hummingbird enables you to do just that. Download a copy of this Verdantix report for details.