Hot Desking – Will it Work for You? Pros & Cons

green cobalta hot desk

What is hot desking?

It is a seating arrangement in offices where there is no fixed place for the employee. It is a kind of space sharing model. It is particularly useful when there are more number of employees than work stations. The employees will be given virtual desktops with which they can login from anywhere. The other option is to provide employees with notebooks or laptops which they can carry home or store in the allocated lockers. It is expected that 400 MNCs are planning to implement hot desking by 2020. Here we present to you advantages of hot desking and disadvantages of hot desking

Advantages of hot desking:

Hot desking allows employees to select their sitting place and the liberty to move around the office space without any restrictions. This helps in improving the environment and liveliness of the office increasing the productivity of the positive individuals

  1. Clean Desk: The personalized desk is filled with used tea cups, waste papers and other personal belongings. In hot desking employees need to clean your desk before they leave for the day. It helps in disciplining employees on cleanliness and keeping the company organized.
  2. Interaction with other teams: In traditional sitting arrangement employees will not come across different team with whom they work. Hot desking allows them to know the different teams and improve collaboration.
  3. Modernizing of Corporate Environment: The system allows employees to access the required details remotely, the services such as payroll and printing will be available on all the floors.
  4. Open work Culture: Employees can move freely and can select the place of choice, there are no restrictions on the movements of the employees. This gives space and liberty encouraging them to work efficiently.
  5. Save Costs: Providing permanent individual places requires large space which can add to cost. Hot desking helps you in saving costs and turns out to be an economical option

Disadvantageous of hot desking:

Hot desking concept may look interesting but it also has its own set of disadvantages, here we list a few

  1. Time waste: The first thing the employees have to do is to look for a place to sit. This can be irritating and frustrating and they may not like the environment of the place they finally sit down. Looking for a suitable place is a waste of time.
  2. Occupy the place available: People have to rush to the desk to get the best one. Many people may have to come early to get a desk at their desired location. In case an employee is late he or she will have to take the desk which is available.
  3. No personalization of space: The employee will be getting a new place every day. That means there is no way they can keep their personal belongings at the desk. They have to visit the locker daily to get and return personal belongings.
  4. Lack of Comfort: People may not like to shift places every day which may lead to attrition and beginning of the rehiring process. Employees develop distrust, distractions and non-cooperation.
  5. Lack of team spirit: As the team members will be sitting at different places, there is no team spirit and there will be a decrease in co-ordination which will lead to decreased productivity.

Also Read: Open Office Ideas and things to know when implementing them

Things to keep in mind while Hot desking

  • Explain to the people that the dynamic nature of their work – since they will be in and out of the office regularly – demands this kind of arrangement.
  • Summarize the hot desk policy and share it within the organization. Make sure the document is short and in simple and easy to understand language
  • Certain adjustments in terms of system, monitor or the chair (armrests, and lumbar supports) are important as it effects the health and well-being of the individuals
  • Sufficient technology and networking system such as virtual desktop solution and cloud software suites which can be accessed from any machine
  • Check for Hoteling, zoning or first-come first-serve basis for filling the desks
  • Allocate a safe place for personal belongings
  • Hot desking can help individuals improve the creativity and collaboration and prevents formation of groups.
  • Personal belongings should be carried while leaving the desk
  • Do not forget to delete the personal files before leaving
  • Any confidential information soft or hard copy should not be left at desk
  • Make sure you take people in confidence when applying the hot desk policy

How to manage hot desking?

Although hot desking seems to be a difficult task, but it is always possible to manage hot desking for comfortable stay at work

Accepting new Desk Each Day:

Unlike the traditional offices where employees have a definite place to sit and keep their personal belongings in the drawers, hot desking involves sitting at a place wherever the seat is available. They will not have a definite seat in the office and their personal belongings are to be kept in the assigned lockers. Every day they will get a new place with a new neighbor. Discuss the advantages of hot desking with employees, the way it works and how it is beneficial. Some offices also offer work from home opportunity with flexible working environment. Certain positions such as Human Resources teams and receptionists required to have definite fixed space. Hot desking gives a wide variety of working desks such as couches or booths. Make hot desking policy and give a positive outlook for employee to accept hot desking.

Stay Connected:

All the employees need computers, monitors and access to the network and systems. Certain processes may require specialized equipments or adapted chair, mark such units clearly to avoid occupancy by other individuals. In office, communication is important for a good team output. Messaging apps such as skype, yammer or similar apps can be helpful. The files can be shared with the help of G Suite and Microsoft’s Office 365. The data gets updated on real-time basis. In order to keep the team spirit alive, schedule team meetings regularly

Scheduling of Hot Desk:

Hot desking can also be differentiated with ‘Hoteling’ and Zoning’. Hoteling refers to reserving the desk which is possible with the help of tools such as Skedda and Google Calendar. You can reserve the best desk for you and decrease the rush to get the place.

Zoning refers to allocating a defined area for the team members. This can be a temporary or permanent adjustment. But make sure that people don’t occupy the same place as it can start monopolizing of the place.

Locker Room:  it is not possible for the individuals to personalize the space and carry the items from one place to the other. Try allocating locker where they can place personal belongings.

Cleanliness: People will not clean the desk before leaving as they know they will not be sitting at the same place again. To assure cleanliness provide employees with antibacterial wipes and hand sanitizers and make a policy to clean the desk before leaving.


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