Hot desking, or desk sharing, is a flexible workspace model where employees are not assigned fixed desks. Instead, they have the freedom to choose their workstation on a day-to-day basis, allowing for greater flexibility in the workplace.
Hot desking has gained significant popularity in recent years as an alternative to the traditional office arrangement. Companies recognize its benefits as the nature of work changes and as workers demand greater flexibility in the workplace.
Benefits of Hot Desking
Increased collaboration and communication
Hot desking can improve collaboration by uniting different teams and departments under one roof. Employees are more likely to interact with colleagues they wouldn’t normally engage with, including those working from home and those in the office.
Additionally, hot desking makes face-to-face interactions easier, increasing knowledge sharing and more effective communication. This can all result in improved decision-making, problem-solving, and overall team performance for the entire company.
Promoting an equitable work environment
Hot desking promotes an equitable work environment by leveling the playing field and removing traditional hierarchical structures. In a hot-desking setup, all employees have equal access to workspace opportunities regardless of their position or seniority, creating a sense of fairness and inclusivity within the organization.
Furthermore, hot desking can bridge the gap between onsite and remote workers. As more employees embrace remote work, hot desking allows them to come to the office space when needed.
Boosting employee engagement and work-life balance
Hot desking empowers employees by giving them control over their work. For example, individuals can coordinate between work and personal commitments more effectively. Allowing individuals to have autonomy creates a feeling of owning and controlling their work and provides a better work-life balance. These factors can lead to higher job satisfaction and lower turnover rates.
Improving office cleanliness and tidiness
With employees not having assigned desks, they are less likely to leave personal belongings on their workspace overnight. This encourages a tidy and clutter-free office environment, improving focus and productivity. Employees are more mindful of clearing their desks for the next person using them. This promotes a sense of shared responsibility and respect for the workspace.
Drawbacks of Hot Desking
Challenges in certain environments or professions
While hot desking offers numerous benefits, it may only suit some professions. Jobs that require fixed workstations, such as laboratories or specialized equipment-based roles, may not be compatible with a hot desking setup. These roles often require customized workstations to carry out their tasks efficiently and safely.
Specific departments or roles within an organization may face limitations with hot desking. For example, teams requiring high confidentiality or privacy, such as HR or legal departments, may find working in a shared workspace challenging. Hot desking may not provide the privacy and confidentiality required for sensitive discussions or handling confidential information, and these types of jobs would require private office spaces.
Potential distractions and conflicts
With employees from different teams and departments working in close proximity, the opportunity for conflict increases.
To mitigate conflicts, companies can create a reservation system that allows employees to book their workstations in advance so that everyone has equal opportunities to use their workspaces. Clear guidelines and communication about workspace usage can maintain a peaceful work environment.
Depersonalization of the work environment
When employees don’t have permanent desks, it can be challenging to create a personalized workspace. The lack of personalization may affect an employee’s sense of connection to the organization.
To address this issue, companies can explore a few ways to create a sense of belonging. This can include creating designated areas for personal belongings or allowing employees to personalize their workspace to some extent, such as using portable desk accessories or personalizing their digital devices. Promoting a solid company culture and organizing team-building activities can also help employees feel connected and engaged.
Hygiene and cleanliness concerns
With multiple employees using the same spaces, there is an increased risk of spreading illnesses and germs. Organizations should have documented policies and hygiene protocols to minimize the chances of employees getting sick, including regular handwashing, sanitizing work surfaces, and providing readily available cleaning supplies, such as hand sanitizers and disinfectant wipes.
Different types of workspaces for various tasks
Companies should make various workstations available to accommodate multiple tasks and work styles. This includes dedicated spaces for focused work, such as quiet areas or individual cubicles, where employees can concentrate without distractions. Open areas can be used for teamwork-focused work. Conference spaces and communal areas equipped with video conferencing, whiteboards, and other essential tools should be readily available for meetings.
As the workplace continues to evolve, the concept of hot desking is likely to remain relevant. With advancements in technology enabling remote work and a growing emphasis on workplace flexibility, hot desking offers a dynamic and easily accessible solution.
Workplace flexibility, including hot desking, can help companies to attract top talent, become more innovative, and maximize their use of space. By leveraging the benefits of hot desking while addressing its challenges, organizations can create a productive and flexible work environment that supports the needs of company employees in multiple ways.
Hot Desking at Onboard Coworking in El Monte, CA
Are you ready to take your work environment to the next level? Transform your team’s productivity, communication, and work-life balance with Onboard Coworking’s flexible Hot Desking services. Book your hot desk today for only $250 per month, or choose our dedicated desk spaces for just $400 per month. Your optimal shared office space is only a click away!