Personal Space

Personal space – the final frontier

You know the feeling.

You’re running late for work and your company has a hot desking policy.

Minute by minute, the mounting dread that you’ll have nowhere to sit when you get in starts to rise.

It might sound trivial to those of us not employed at a company which uses hot desks, but for those who are it’s a very real – and stressful – situation.

In fact, according to research by management consultancy Brickendon earlier this year, a staggering 92 per cent of us have experienced issues with hot desking.

More than half of the employers questioned for the survey said they would consider hot desking as a response to the growing number of freelancers in the jobs market place and the rise of the gig economy.

But unless the policy is introduced properly, it can cause real headaches for those caught up in it.

As human being we like to have our own space and to feel in control of our surroundings. Take these things away without thinking through the best way of doing it and the impact on our mental wellbeing can be serious.

In that Brickendon survey, 58 per cent of the 1,001 office workers questioned said the prospect of not knowing where they would be sitting every day was a significant cause of stress – an issue 61 per cent said could be resolved by having the ability to pre-book their seat in advance.

Many said they wasted a considerable amount of time every day looking for a desk, setting up a new computer and organising their space, whilst feeling that team bonding was being adversely affected at the same time. All added to stress levels and reduced productivity.

It is all too easy to overlook the importance that the working environment has on the way we work and our sense of personal satisfaction and commitment at work.

A second survey, this time of 11,000 office workers across Europe by Savills, showed workforce productivity is being harmed by open plan offices, hot-desking and excessive noise, with one-third (32 per cent) saying the design or layout of their workplace led to a drop in productivity, a figure which rose to 45 per cent among those whose employer had a hot desking policy.

So if you are struggling in a hot desk workplace, don’t feel the problem is more about you than the policy. Talk to your line manager and see if there are things which can be done to improve the experience – such as booking desks, improving equipment and even working from home more.

And if that doesn’t help then get in touch with us for as free consultation. Just click on the button and we’ll do our best to help get the problem sorted.


If you would like to discuss these issues, or other HR concerns then please

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