Hot Desking

Hot desking – how to make it work

The world of work is changing – and that means our working habits are changing with it.

Gone are the days when employees religiously clocked on at 9am, sat at the same desk they had always sat at, and then religiously clocked off at 5pm to return home.

The explosion in digital technology, changing lifestyles and the growth of the freelance culture mean that flexible working is now very much an everyday part of our working lives.

And with that has come the rise of hot desking.

Done wrong, hot desking can be a nightmare. Workers complain that they spend too much time searching for a desk, setting it up and then working out where everyone else they need to liaise with is. They can also feel disorientated, stressed and uncomfortable in the new environment.

But done right, hot desking can have positive benefits across the workplace – both for employer and employee alike.

If you are thinking of introducing hot desking – or already have but need to review it – the most important thing to get right is the planning.

The more time you take getting the planning in place, the better the end result is likely to be. So think through as many aspects of the change as you can: How long will it take? What resources will we need? What will be the cost and what will be the savings? How are you going to involve staff in the change and what is the reaction likely to be? How will the workplace look after the change and how will you measure whether it has been a success?

Then think about your staff. As human beings we are creatures of habit who like to have our own personal space and to feel a sense of control over it. Hot desking can take this away if not introduced sensitively. So, be open with your staff and involve them as much as possible in the planning process. This both makes them feel included and helps you combat potential issues even before they arise.

It’s also important to set hot desking in a broader workplace context. 

If you introduce it simply to cut costs, then it’s unlikely to be a success. But if it is part of a wider strategy to help your staff work more effectively and efficiently – and to fit around changing lifestyles – it has a much better chance of success.

So, consider how it fits into a home-working policy, or allows colleagues greater freedom on how and when they work so that they don’t see it as a loss of their own space, but a new policy which empowers them.

And absolutely make sure you get the best equipment for your new environment – and that every desk is similarly equipped. There’s nothing worse than having a couple of all-singing, all-dancing desks which everyone covets whilst the other workstations are all cobbled together with old and tatty kit.

You should also think about the different spaces you need and how they will fit in to the overall policy – for example break-out areas, meeting rooms, conference space and kitchens. 

Hot desking can work. But it requires good planning, clear communication and intelligent implementation. If you’d like any help making the move, just click on the button for a free consultation.


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