‘Hot’ Desking: The Next Hot Thing?
The office environment has always strived to implement a system that allows for increased productivity, creativity and strengthen the relationship between colleagues. In 2018, the system is; ‘hot’ desking.
Hot desking is an office organisation system, which involves a company’s employees using a singular work station during different time periods. The word is derived from ‘hot racking’, a naval practice that saw sailors from different shifts share the same sleeping quarters.
So what is the appeal? The core reasons for implementing hot desking is that it’s not only cost effective but can encourage collaboration and creativity in the office. Furthermore, it breaks down cliques and helps those in different departments to interact and build networks.
Having the ability to work in an agile office space is advantageous to many employees. Where hot desking is available, a touch down space is highly beneficial to both staff and employers. At times, employers are faced with the dilemma of insufficient desk allocation for the number of employees they have. By implementing a hot desking system this provides a touch down space for staff who work remotely for best part of the week.
Project Managers in particular, tend to be site based for most of the week, so the need for an allocated desk isn’t necessary, as the amount of time spent in the office can equate to a couple of hours a week.
Whilst it’s always nice to have face-to-face engagement with your colleagues, time doesn’t always permit the working day to incorporate time spent in the office. Additionally, hot desking promotes the chance to interact and collaborate with colleagues you may not see often or have not worked with before, creating opportunities to learn what fellow colleagues are working on.
Some, however, have a more negative view. In an article published on 8 January 2018, in the Metro, Rebecca Reid highlighted that the workplace sharing model decreased productivity, as well as causing frustration from employees regarding the ‘first come first serve’ atmosphere. Furthermore, a 2018 Forbes article examined the decline of the open office concept and found that the idea that ‘one size fits all’ is hard to implement in an office.
Furthermore, whilst it’s always nice to have face-to-face engagement with your colleagues, time doesn’t always permit the working day to incorporate time spent in the office. Additionally, hot desking promotes the chance to interact and collaborate with colleagues you may not see often or have not worked with before, creating opportunities to learn what fellow colleagues are working on.
So does it work?
An increasing number of businesses have the vision to offer a more flexible working environment for employees. With the ever-evolving level of technology available, this increases the ability to work from many different locations, thus meaning the days of having to return to the office to complete work are decreasing.
Our long-time clients – Chaucer Syndicates – have introduced ‘hot desking’ into their office and have found success, with 68% of the ‘hot’ desks being used. However, they have found that it has taken time for their employees to get used to the idea of sharing a desk with others.
“Staff weren’t so keen on the desk sharing but are getting used to it……. some of those against the concept have come around to the idea” Dawn Herbert, Office Services Manager
Interestingly, Chaucer have discovered that most of their millennial employees, who are said to enjoy the agile lifestyle, are the most against the initiative.