Benefits of Hot Desking for Employees: To Hot Desk or Not?

Published: July 14, 2021

The hot desk is not a new concept. It has been around for decades, precisely for 30 years. And the benefits of hot desking have been realized for years. Borrowed from the concept of “hot bunking,” hot desking practices the trend of not having a designated workspace. It frequently hinges on the idea of sharing desks with co-workers.

With flexible scheduling, reduced workweeks, and hybrid work settings, trends like hot-desking are extremely popular. In a survey, 73% of respondents wanted a flexible work arrangement stating that it allowed them to be more productive. This gives way to concepts such as hot desking that uphold the fiber of flexibility.

Furthermore, 40% of designated office desks go unused on any given day. Whether employees are working from home or busy attending meetings, empty desks prompt wastage of space. And honestly, idle desks don’t promote efficiency.

The Current Scenario

With most offices becoming activity-based centers, fewer desks are being used by the same number of employees. There are three reasons for this:

  1. Millennials or the first generation to grow up with innovative technology at their disposal do not like being tied to pre-defined seating arrangements. They like to flow from one space to another.
  2. With the hybrid work setting, a significant percentage of the employees work remotely. This means that the office is only half full at any given time.
  3. In a study, Deloitte revealed that by the end of 2021, the number of fixed desks would decrease from ten to seven.

Also Read: What is hot desking?

These have evoked most organizations to adopt hot-desking as an alternative. But is hot desking the right move for your organization? Before analyzing the pitfalls and benefits of hot desking for employees, let us understand why hot desking?

Hot Desk: Why is it so Popular?

We mentioned at the beginning of the article that increased productivity results in improved flexible work arrangements. Well, organizations believe that giving employees more autonomy on their seating decisions can impact their productivity. Also, if you are visiting the office for cross-team collaboration, it is imperative to find a seat next to them. Hot desking makes this possible.

The Benefits of Hot Desking For Employees

It Gives Autonomy

Hot desks primarily allow you and your employees’ autonomy. Well, you get to remain mobile without compromising flexibility. This means that your employees get the choice of how their work environment will look like. For instance, you like a window next to you. With hot desking, you can pick that seat whenever available. Or say someone likes working quietly. Hot desking allows them to pick a corner seat that has fewer distractions. Not only does it add to the concept of flexibility, but it also gives your employees the power of choice.

It Promotes Socializing Activities

Imagine you sit beside someone new every day. You build a rapport with each one of them, making your office a fun and interactive place. You converse more, and your interactions are not limited to your team members. You come to know a great deal about the other members from the different departments. This also opens up avenues for finding inspiration, especially in the most unexpected of places. More socialization with a wider variety of people leads to cohesion, advocating better collaboration.

It Creates Space for Productivity

If you visit the office to attend a meeting and don’t need a desk, you leave it empty for someone to utilize it. You have several calls to make and need a small conference room. Leave the desk for someone who needs it. You are collaborating with members from other teams for that big project. You want to sit close to them for that day. See, hot desks make all of these scenarios possible. Each of these requires flexibility in the office design. With hot desking, you create mobile space, further promoting productivity.

Now the Pitfalls…

Looking for Space

Not everyone works well in a flexible environment. There are several studies showing the toll hot desking can have on your employees. Be it the anxiety of finding space, especially if they are late, or the politics of sharing space with others, some employees would like to maintain their distance.

P.S. Using an app like WorkInSync that allows you to book desks even at the last minute. Hence, WorkInSync has become synonymous with hot desking.

IT Nightmare

Hot desking can very quickly become an IT nightmare. Setting up workstations with your preferred amenities or getting network drives and devices connected are massive undertakings. As an employee, settling at a new desk every day can be disruptive.

P.S. Again, WorkInSync offers an exclusive feature that allows you to book desks with particular amenities, suiting your needs even if it is last minute!

Sanitization is an Essential Factor

With the pandemic teaching us the importance of sanitization, keeping the desks clean for the next person can be a headache. If one person eats at the desk, another will resent the crumbs. Shared desks pass germs around. It becomes necessary to mandate cleaning standards and to provide hand sanitizer and antibacterial wipes in many locations to stave off some of this. Otherwise, having to clean another person’s crumbs will not make any happy.

P.S. WorkInSync has sanitization workflows that allow you to book sanitized desks only.

Bonus Tip: WHO sanitization guideline

So, Should You Hot Desk or Not?

Before making a move to hot desking, it is critical to get your team involved. The practice demands significant changes in the workplace. Some argue that hot desking along with hoteling form the crux of a hybrid work model. Springing hot desks on your employees may erode morale and disrupt social dynamics.

You need to be honest about your hot desking plans and solicit employee feedback about the new workplace structure. To see your plans through, you need your employees to support you. Moreover, conducting an open dialogue can reduce angst and create a sense of ownership amongst your employees. And above all, be flexible! You may find hot desks aren’t suitable for your business and may return to the old set-up.

Want to Try Hot Desking? Here is the Solution

The pros and cons for hot-desking balance out each other. While some may find it the first step to a flexible workplace, others might miss the scope of personalization. This prompts the need for smart technology like WorkInSync that ensures a seamless hot desking journey. In fact, with WorkInSync, the benefits of hot desking for employees outweigh the potential pitfalls.

You can book a free demo and try out the hot desking feature by yourself.

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