Hot desking is a subset of the more significant movement of activity-based working, in which employees are free of typical office arrangements. Employees can use hot desks to move into breakout spaces for phone calls or meetings, resulting in greater flexibility in individual workstations. It is a critical element of activity-based working; when combined with proper technical components, this method can significantly increase employee productivity.
Hot desks, whether you like them or not, are coming to a workplace near you. Only half of today's workforce spend their workday at a desk, driving more companies to seek a flexible working environment. Recent studies have shown that when staff can sit with and work with people from various disciplines and skill levels, 88 percent of people are more ready to comprehend, and 57 percent are more able to interact. It's simple to install, but it's pretty successful. It also allows your employees to sit with individuals they like along with, avoiding uncomfortable interactions.
Define Hot Desking
The concept of offering a pool of desks and allowing users to choose where they sit — ideally, in a different location each day – is known as hot desking. This replaces the traditional practice of sitting at your personal desk in the same location every day. As allocated seating can appear to be an expenditure and unnecessary use of valuable space in open offices where staff outnumber desks, designating certain chairs to be used by any staff member is a reasonable alternative. Most hot desks include computers, but some are touchdown locations explicitly designed for laptop use. While there may be insufficient desk space for each employee, this does not necessarily imply that the environment is crowded. Employees do not require a fixed basis in the office due to flexible working and the structure of some positions.
Because employees may instantaneously communicate to their colleagues from anywhere else globally, advancements in workplace technology have resulted in a more fluid approach to working. For many reasons, more individuals are employed from home or outside of regular office hours, which can benefit both the business and the workers. Companies aspire to achieve a positive workforce and higher productivity by allowing employees to regulate their work/life balance better.
With employees of different shapes switching and picking their workstations and technology, it is critical that you, as an employer, provide a flexible workspace. Because one is not the same at all, here is our advice for designing a hot-desking workspace.
When selecting a desk, keep the user's height in mind. We would only suggest height-adjustable standing desks, ideally motorized for ease of modification, for a flexible hot-desking setting. A height-adjustable standing desk allows the user to find the proper height every time, despite the employee's height.
If you decide to use fixed-height desks, take into account that you will need to supply footrests for some employees, so their feet don't dangle, which means you will also have to arrange space for storage for the footrests.
A decent office chair is crucial because no two are alike, much like your workforce. You must purchase an ergonomic height-adjustable office chair for reasons other than compliance with health and safety laws. Your office is full of people of all sizes and shapes. In addition to combating the impacts of sedentary office work, you may need to address pre-existing health conditions.
What you should look for:
- Check to see if your chair is covered by a warranty (which they often far surpass). Purchasing once and correctly from a reputed manufacturer ensures that you have a comfortable, secure, and cost-effective chair.
- If the office will be open 24 hours a day, ensure the fabric on your chair is suitable for continuous use; else, you may void your warranty.
- The backrest and seat must be adjustable to a significant level to meet health and safety laws.
- It's pointless to have a great chair with all the features and benefits if you don't know how to utilize it. Make sure they are not complicated to use.
When desk space is a concern, we advise using an adjustable monitor arm, which allows you to modify the height and angle of your display.
Mice, keyboards, mice, and mouse pads must be supplied for all employees, even if they have brought laptops from home. Wrists must be kept neutral, and a cushioned palm rest can help prevent soreness and repetitive stress injuries.
Nothing could be more frustrating than a person grabbing your stationery, so providing a place to store it at the end of the day is necessary.
Benefits and Drawbacks
But, before we get to the nice things, remember that, like with most things in life, there are drawbacks to everything:
- Distractions: Not all of us are born with titanium nerves, nor are we all capable of working amid background sound. Even while hot-desking signifies a tremendous surge of creativity, some people simply cannot perform with a large number of people or distractions around them. Not everyone is content with people sitting around them and chatting. Some of them require quiet to work and be creative.
- No personalization: Employees can sometimes feel disconnected from the workplace if they do not have a personalized space to put items that reveal information about their interests, hobbies, and family. The sense of belonging is shattered, as is the meaning of connection with colleagues. Individuals need to build a long-term connection to grow, which is difficult in hot desks.
- Conflict: The first-come, first-served principle of hot desking is debatable, especially when one considers that all employees who work close to the office are given an unfair advantage over those who live far away. Then those who live further away begin arriving at work earlier to get their preferred seat, which is inconvenient and time-consuming.
- Health Hazard: Social distancing could spell the end of hot desks in their proper sense. They'd have to do a lot of tweaking to keep things running. But it's not difficult, and no one would advocate against hot desks even to this day because they promote communication and collaboration. Bars or panels between individuals, fewer working at a single workstation, and plenty of cleaning supplies nearby, and they're all set.
- Stress: Uncertainty over where you will sit today may heighten your stress levels for the day.
Now, here are the advantages of incorporating hot desks into your business routine.
- Teamwork: Multiple people working at the same desk promote teamwork, allow for the expression of varied ideas, and provide employees with the necessary push and motivation to perform their jobs more effectively and successfully.
- Affordability: Hot desking is an efficient tool for businesses to utilize less office space and invest in fewer desks, saving office operating costs. This might mean decreasing expenditures for business owners who frequently have to lease office space at exorbitant rates in current tumultuous times. As a result, many co-working businesses that provide co-shared office space have grown in popularity. They have many advantages, but hot-desking is unquestionably the best.
- Socializing: Hot-desking fosters a friendly workplace culture, new collaborations, and surprising encounters. By far, an essential aspect of an office is face-to-face interaction. Hot desking causes crossovers between employees and the exchange of knowledge increases performance. It can also help people identify with the company or brand as a whole instead of just the team.
- Flexibility: Hot desks are an option for you if you decide you really have to deal with different people that day or just need a location with all the necessary devices to do your work. Or, simply arrive later to work if you really want to sleep late in the morning. Many people find this type of setup, in which they can come to the office wherever it's convenient for them, to be quite motivating. The numerous benefits that this form of co-working space brings are well worth considering. The demand for flexibility moved major businesses away from mainstream workplace arrangements and toward co-working spaces.
- Suitable for remote workers: It is the most straightforward and most cost-effective approach for an organization to accommodate workers who work part-time from home or conduct most of their work in the field. Businesses can more effectively employ vacant work locations to establish additional meeting rooms or casual breakout spaces. This not only frees up space but also provides a more relaxed working environment for employees.
With so many individuals sharing workstations in the COVID-19 period, hot desking is not a favored approach for employees, at least not in the conventional sense. Many modifications must be made to the seating arrangement, the time allotted to each worker, and the level of cleanliness, which must be of paramount importance. Hot desking undoubtedly aids organizations in improving cooperation, creativity, and efficiency—the most crucial factor in determining which job tasks will gain from a hot-desking policy.