The rigid formalities of the former office seem to be dropping away as companies embrace new ways of handling their interior workspace. For the first time, those same companies are forced to accept a world where a large percentage of their staff members are working from home; a trend that will undoubtedly continue for years to come. The Covid-19 pandemic accelerated this phenomenon, and even when things go back to normal, employees may not.
In the midst of these changes is an office trend that is quickly picking up steam – Hot Desking. The term references the use of individual desks in a workspace that are fully decked for use by multiple employees. It abandons the idea of dedicated desks for each employee that may or may not be used throughout the entire day. By reducing the amount of desks in the office and sharing them among employees, companies can reclaim free space and optimize the office.
Analyzing The Workspace
It’s no secret that a huge amount of desks in the workplace go unused for prolonged periods. Salespeople frequently go off-site or travel to different cities and countries for business, leaving their desk space vacant. This is a waste of space that could be remedied by scheduling out how, where and when certain desks may be used by other people. Identifying which areas could benefit from Hot Desking is the first step in determining if there’s flexibility within your workspace.
Hot Desking works best for those who are working on laptops and other portable devices. That means having the right connectivity options in the workplace to deal with unexpected fallout. Make sure Wi-Fi signals are strong and consistent so that dropouts don’t occur. This may necessitate the use of Wi-Fi extenders to boost signals in particular corners of the office. Also, be prepared to migrate a large (if not complete) chunk of your team to the online space. Use third party project management software and cloud storage options to minimize redundancies and problems when it comes to workflow. For those who need secondary or tertiary options at their desks, such as speakers, docking stations or wired Ethernet, make sure they are accommodated.
Mobile Is The Key
Upon first glance, Hot Desking is a concept that should drive many employees up the wall; especially those who don’t like their space treaded upon. A great deal of this apprehension usually stems from the complications that occur whenever another person shares a desk space. Their own habits and quirks can soon become troublesome. Computers are a big factor when it comes to this apprehension, as many employees have their own system worked out that has been personalized for them. However, the adoption of mobile devices like laptops has transformed the office from a place of stationery workstations to modular, portable solutions. The physical space is all that remains, and some shared guidelines that apply to all can go a long way.
Hot Desking will never be universally adopted due to particular industries and individual employee work needs. For instance, dedicated graphic designers or 3D modelers will need their spaces every minute of the day, since laptops are simply not feasible enough to complete their work. Alternatively, journalists and bloggers can pick up and migrate around the office, writing from almost any nook or cranny available. Similarly, dedicated workstations for sensitive accounting data should not be shared by multiple people, for obvious reasons. It all depends on the job that is being done.
Rules For All
Implementing Hot Desking in your workspace requires setting ground rules and sticking to them. Not everyone will be thrilled at the prospect of having to share space, but the right set of rules will help show everyone how painless it can be. Expect employees to step on each other’s toes and irritate each other for the first few weeks until a routine settles in. From there, Hot Desking will become an integral part of your workspace layout.
With a minor adjustment period and a little commitment, your employees can embrace Hot Desking to make for a smoother and more versatile workspace. For more information on how best to implement Hot Desking, give us a call. We’d be glad to help!