What is hot desking?


Hot desking is a hot trend in business today. Yet few understand what it involves much less why it is becoming popular beyond the fact that it has become routine at Silicon Valley companies. Let’s learn what hot desking is before listing the advantages and disadvantages. We’ll also share a few observations about how to make hot desking work for your team.

An Introduction to Hot Desking

Hot desking means people choose the desk they want on a daily basis instead of having an assigned desk or cubicle. Because different people may use the same desk over the course of a week or even the same day, this is why hot desking is sometimes called desk sharing. Hot desking started around the same time as the open office plan, but hot desking may or may not occur in an open office.

The Advantages of Hot Desking

Hot desking has a number of advantages. It may reduce the number of desks you need to have available, if you have a number of people who work at home or travel periodically. Desk sharing dramatically reduces overhead costs if you have people on different shifts sharing desks instead of having their own, dedicated workstations.

For creative types, the ability to choose where they work and who they sit with can be a plus. For example, they might be able to take a workstation with advanced computers for a design project one day and a basic day the next. And they may appreciate the autonomy, too.

Hot desking may result in more organic interactions with a variety of people, since your team members aren’t always sitting next to the same people. However, not everyone wants to have to worry about where they’re going to sit or set everything up at the start of the day. And hot desking isn’t practical in all cases. You may want your IT staff sitting near the server room, not a couch in the break room.

Hot desking often results in cleaner workspaces. Since staff cannot leave personal items in the cubicle, they aren’t able to pile it up with junk. This also makes it easier for custodial staff to clean it at the end of each day.

The Disadvantages of Hot Desking

Your permanent office staff may not like hot desking, since it interferes in their productivity. They shouldn’t have to find and fight for workspace. You also risk breaking up teams, since people aren’t always able to sit together. Give those assigned to an office a permanent desk, especially if they have a lot of tools and equipment in their office. Set aside hot-desks for freelancers, contractors, road-warriors and work-at-home staff that only come into the office once in a while.

Observations about Hot Desking

Not every person or job function is highly mobile. Recognize when your company can and should have dedicated offices for personnel. Serviced office providers like Halkin can provide a mixture of dedicated offices and workspaces perfect for hotdesking professionals.

If someone’s job means they can work anywhere, anytime, consider letting them work from home more often. However, you may want to talk to staff comfortable with hot desking about IT security concerns. For example, your business is at greater risk of malware infection and hacking if they’re routinely accessing the corporate network from coffee shops or personal computers.

You may need to implement a workspace booking solution to maximize the use of in-demand workstations, whether they have the best views or most advanced computers.

Hot desking can be combined with managed office space rentals. For example, you might work from home the vast majority of the time but pay to use an office when meeting with clients.


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