Hot desking: hot or not?

May 9, 2019

Hot desking has become a top office trend in recent years, supporting
a more flexible and agile approach to working.

The system involves multiple employees using a single workstation,
during different time periods. As points out, hot desking is said to
bring benefits like improved collaboration, as well as the breaking down of
cross-departmental silos.

Some bosses also view hot-desking as a space- and cost-saving measure.
A study from Jones Lang Le Salle found that during any one time, up to 40% of a
company’s team aren’t in the building. So, hot desking can be an effective way
to maximise office space – and save money on desks.

But, what do employees think? shared a study of over
1,000 UK workers carried out by consulting firm Brickendon, which revealed that
employees aren’t as keen on hot desking as their managers.

When asked about issues they’ve experienced when hot desking, top of
the list was the time spent setting up computers, cited as a problem by 44% of
respondents. Just over a third (35%) said that they’d miss their personal
space, while 31% cited the time wasted looking for a desk when starting work.

Just over one in five (22%) employees said that hot desking meant it
was difficult to bond as a team, as employees were always moving around, while
19% felt alienation from colleagues. Other issues included IT concerns (18%),
feeling less settled (18%), disagreements between employees about who sits
where (17%), and storage problems (17%).

Commenting on the study, Christopher Burke, CEO of Brickendon, said:
“It’s clear that measures need to be put in place which monitor and combat hot
desking issues and that the full benefits and opportunities are not currently
reaped by businesses.”

desking: not all doom and gloom

Like any workplace trend or system, effectively managing hot desking
is key to success – and will help to make sure it doesn’t end up being a burden
on your team. Here are some tips:

  • Use your team to shape your policy. Giving
    employees a chance to have their say allows you to address their concerns, and
    sends a positive message that you take their opinions, as well as their wellbeing,
  • Consider ‘hoteling,’ which allows employees to
    reserve desks in advance and will stop your team from wasting time looking for
    a space to work.
  • Make sure there are secure storage solutions
    in place for hot-desking employees, such as lockers.
  • Provide other personal spaces for your team,
    such a breakout zones and designated meeting areas, where employees can bond
    and collaborate.
  • Make sure the equipment and technology is
    up-to-date and supports hot desking – it shouldn’t take longer than a couple of
    minutes for an employee to set up and start working on a workstation!
  • Schedule in plenty of team building exercises
    to ensure communication and collaboration remain strong between employees.

The experts at Kerr have helped many companies to introduce hot
desking in a positive way within their workspaces, including Dyson. If you need
help making hot desking a success in your office, get in touch with our experts

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