Hot desking—the workplace organization method wherein there are no assigned workstations—has an assortment of pros and cons to it, but many companies are finding the more fiscal benefits to be worth the trade-offs. Let’s explore some of the pros and cons of hot desking, and go over a few tips and strategies that will help if you choose to implement it.
First, let’s try to get a better handle on what hot desking really is.
Instead of assigning each of your employees a dedicated workspace to use, a hot desking strategy consists of unassigned desks or shared work areas where team members come in and use what is available each day, or the work area they have reserved (more on this later). While hot desking isn’t practical for all departments in your organization—it isn’t as though reception can hide in a back office, for instance, and human resources will have needs that necessitate a devoted workspace—it can work quite well for many, if not most, of your team members.
This flexible workplace strategy brings about some real benefits…but it is important to also recognize some of its inherent drawbacks as well.
There are a few advantages of hot desking that should not be overlooked:
It would be insincere of us to neglect to mention some of the drawbacks of hot desking along with the benefits it presents, so:
If you’re interested in trying out hot desking in your office, we advise you to prioritize a few things (trust us, you’ll thank us later):
Obviously, this really applies to any business policy, but it is crucial that you comprehensively lay out the expectations and standards you have of employees who will be participating in a hot desking implementation. What responsibilities will these employees have? What processes will they need to follow? Setting a precedent in writing will help to reduce some of the drawbacks outlined above.
If hot desking leads to fewer places in the office itself to work, it becomes critical that your employees have a way to claim a workspace—otherwise, you could easily have days where there aren’t enough workplaces for your team to use. Requiring an employee to reserve a desk or work area ahead of time helps mitigate this issue.
You may also consider establishing different work zones for different tasks in the office. Whether someone’s work responsibilities might distract others or a group needs a shared space to collaborate, determining different areas to be used for different tasks can help cut down on friction.
We discussed that a workplace devoid of any personal expression can lead to stress, and that hot desking makes this kind of expression more difficult. If you can, give your team members some secure storage space to keep personal items that can be displayed and put away each day. In addition to this, don’t hesitate to incorporate various customizable elements into each workstation—things like standing desks, adjustable monitors and chairs, and the like—so that each person is as comfortable as possible wherever they happen to be working.
You’ll also want to enforce a clean desk policy while hot desking, just in case some employees neglect to take care of the space they’re using—after all, they might not be using it tomorrow. Provide cleaning materials, such as antibacterial wipes and hand sanitizers, and establish that your team is expected to use them.
It is also important that your team observe good data hygiene practices as well. Whether in physical or digital format, all work materials need to be properly stored at the end of the day. We recommend that the cloud is used to facilitate this, as no files are stored on the hardware used to access this data.
Today, modern IT solutions exist that make hot desking relatively seamless, so long as they are implemented properly. Making sure that all of your technology, from your networking equipment to the workstation hardware to the software your team relies on, is in proper working order is absolutely critical.
Managed IT services, like the ones we provide, are ideal for modern office needs. Regardless of whether your team members are working remotely, in-house, or a mix of the two, we can help deliver the IT support and services your business needs.
With our monitoring and management capabilities, we’ll make sure that the technology aspect of your business is covered. Give us a call at (504) 840-9800 ext. 105 to learn more about us and our services.