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4 Hot Desk Etiquettes You Should Know for Productive Workspace
Hybrid Working

4 Hot Desk Etiquettes You Should Know for Productive Workspace

|Apr 16, 2021

Work environments play a crucial role in the productivity of the workforce. From organizational layout to ergonomics, workers face many challenges. If they’re not careful, they can fall into the trap of complacency. Performing the same series of tasks repeatedly is a monotonous chore. Anyone can work from anywhere, but they need to find the right balance with their desk setup and timely schedule. A dynamic approach to both can liven things up for workers.

Hot desking etiquette is a recent trend among companies, big and small. The most important factors of work productivity are health, safety, and energy. To achieve this, a change in office layout is a necessity. Workers don’t always have to perform the same job over and over again. Instead, they can switch it up with new daily routines.

Flexibility is at your fingertips with hot desking. Once you learn the true definition of hot desking, you can follow basic guidelines for acceptable hot desking etiquette. While there are many ways to promote a healthier work lifestyle, there are also pitfalls you can easily fall into. Hot desking etiquette only requires making good use of the current environment.

Short Hot Desking Definition

Short Hot Desking Definition

Hot desking allows several workers to use a single workstation at different times. When offices let their workers share desks, it can save a good amount of space and reduce expenses. For example, certain areas have high real estate value, which prompts local offices to cut their costs. Hot desking is also known as hoteling; office management uses this technique to set up dynamic schedules for their workers. It can apply to furniture such as ergonomic chairs and standing desks.

What is Hot Desking Etiquette?

What is Hot Desking Etiquette?

Hot desking etiquette refers to the customary way to manage an office workspace. Different workers have different needs, so it’s important to set up an appropriate schedule. For example, one worker can use the hot desk during peak hours, while another group of workers convenes in the conference room. It takes some time to get used to, but it allows you and the company to adapt. A flexible workspace can be achieved; everyone has to do their part and make adjustments to the new environment.

The hot desking rules are relatively simple - rely on organizational structure. No matter the office layout, every worker should maintain team responsibility. Everybody works together to create a productive work environment, which means no one should leave behind a mess. Hot desking etiquette needs to be clean, so everyone can use it under hygienic conditions.

Hot desking is valuable to employers since employees hold a higher retention rate under a dynamic setup. There is a good reason to follow etiquette. When all workers treat the workspace properly, it allows for higher productivity.

Below are the pros and cons of hot desking:

Pros and Cons of Hot Desking

  • icon checkSaves time and money in the long run
  • icon checkAllows more flexibility in desk arrangements
  • icon checkLets workers adapt to new challenges rather than a routine
  • icon timesLack of communication can be problematic
  • icon timesNot every worker wants to disrupt their daily routines
  • icon timesSetting up new workstations takes time to get used to

Hot Desking Health and Safety

Current trends suggest the future of a hybrid workforce. An entire team of remote workers has to collaborate on projects together., along with an on-site team. However, the transition from the home to the office may take some getting used to. COVID-19 requires the social distance between workers. Doing so results in a reduced workplace capacity.

There is also the matter of getting used to the current desk setup. While pandemic restrictions are not as tight as they were before, a remote worker might prefer their workspace to the office. There is an important need to accommodate them, especially with health guidelines.

A hybrid workforce allows remote workers to return safely and securely. Cleanliness is a critical factor in the hot desk approach. Workers do not want to put themselves at risk of infection, which is why the workspace needs to be clean and tidy. Health and safety are the first priorities of a hot desk setup, so consider the right schedule for everybody.

Hot Desking Health and Safety

How it works is workplace managers can decide which desks are available for certain workers. A returning worker might prefer a solo assignment. Depending on how many workers received the vaccine, managers can place non-vaccinated ones into a single desk setup. Meanwhile, vaccinated workers can work together in an enclosed setting.

Always take into consideration the following:

  • What is the office capacity?
  • How many workers are available?
  • What time of the day is most productive?
  • How can you maintain social distancing?

Do’s and Don’ts of Hot Desking

Do’s and Don’ts of Hot Desking

Hot desking is a strategic method to ensure everyone has a flexible schedule. However, incorrect usage can lead to detrimental side effects, such as a repetitive workflow and lack of organization. A shared desk route is a way to go for workers. With that in mind, everyone needs to share the same exact mindset towards hot desking. Proper etiquette is a requirement.

There are hot desking rules every office should follow. To maximize workforce etiquette, there are four main rules to abide by:

  • Setup a proper schedule for a shared desk
  • Maintain health standards with sanitation
  • Be professional in appearance and attitude
  • Leave behind a clean desk for the next person

Below are the dos and don’ts of hot desking etiquette. Along with the four main examples, there are also counter-examples of what not to do. Follow these guidelines, and you can increase the work productivity of the entire office.

1. DO Consider Hybrid Booking


Every team needs the ability to schedule where and when they work. It is one of the most important hot desking rules. To streamline this process easier, you can use the Hybrid OS from Autonomous. While it’s currently in beta form, Autonomous lets users try it for free. The Hybrid OS allows for hybrid desk booking on a specialized app. You can manage personalized desks to encourage a dynamic workflow.

Thanks to a clean visual interface, the Hybrid OS is easy to use. Hot desking etiquette requires efficiency, which the Hybrid OS provides. The admin dashboard lets you set up the workspace in only a few minutes. Try it for yourself!

2. DON’T Book the Same Desk All the Time

DON’T Book the Same Desk All the Time

In terms of hot desking practices, the best one revolve around a lack of repetition. If you book the same desk all the time, it can become a stale experience. Workers need to rotate back and forth between a shared desk. When you use hybrid booking, make sure to give everyone variety in their desk setup. Switch it up every now and then.

3. DO Sanitize the Workstation Regularly

A hot desking etiquette involves COVID-19 safety protocols. Always wipe down your standing desk with disinfectant spray. Let it stay there for 30 seconds, before cleaning the surface area with a cloth. After a worker finishes their assignments, they should clean up the station. These same principles also apply to the office ergonomic chair.

Workers should also avoid eating food at their desks. Otherwise, they risk leaving behind food crumbs all over the keyboards. There should be a trashcan nearby so they can throw away unwanted garbage. A clean workspace can determine whether or not the environment is a healthy one to work in. Keep the area clean at all times.

4. DON’T Show Up Sick to Work

DON’T Show Up Sick to Work

Hot desking health and safety begin with personal responsibility. If a worker feels unwell, they should stay at home instead of bringing their sickness to work to create safe office space. They risk contaminating their workspace, which can also infect other workers in the vicinity. One of the worst possible outcomes is eliminating a good amount of workers from finishing assignments, especially if they are too sick to do so. Sickness also significantly reduces work output.

If you feel under the weather, here are symptoms to watch out for:

  • Fever
  • Coughs
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Muscle aches
  • Sore throats

Should you feel sick, call the office and let them know immediately. They might require you to take the week off, although you can still turn in assignments online. Make sure to check with a doctor and get yourself checked out. You might need to bring a doctor’s note back to work, as evidence you took the necessary precautions. By doing so, you protect the entire workplace.

5. DO Maintain Professionalism at All Times

Hot Desking Etiquette is at Your Service

Professionalism is one of the hot desking best practices. Respect the rules with appropriate dress code and hygiene. A nice clean shower can do you wonders, not to mention look good for the entire day. Whether there is a virtual meeting etiquette or you have an assignment due, you should always behave responsibly. Workplace and hot desking etiquette also begins and ends with respect. Treat your coworkers with kindness and offer assistance if they require any. Set a good example to the rest of the team, and carry yourself with dignity and respect.

Speaking of professionalism. Make sure you only use acceptable language. Don’t potentially offend fellow workers with vulgar statements. On that topic, keep politics and religion out of the workspace. Arguments can break out, which cause rifts between workers and limit project collaboration. Be respectful to everyone you work with to achieve greater results.

6. DON’T Engage in Casual Activities

DON’T Engage in Casual Activities

It’s okay to discuss everyday activities with coworkers, but don’t bring in negativity. It is a requirement of hot desking rules. Gossiping about random scandals can bring down morale, which also negatively affects work. Hot desking etiquette requires the golden rule of treating others the way you treat yourself. Do not engage in gossip, since this can also cause friction in the workplace.

Among other things, don’t arrive to work late. It sets bad precedence among your colleagues and wastes everyone’s time. Your team needs to deliver projects on time, so do your part and act accordingly. Last but not least, don’t constantly complain to your coworkers. It can be an aggravating experience to deal with annoyances. If you have any grievances, privately discuss them with the higher-ups instead.

7. DO Respect the Surroundings

DO Respect the Surroundings

A term in hot desking best practices you should be familiar with is known as “pack your parachutes”. You want to leave your workstation stocked with supplies. By doing so, they aren’t left unprepared with a messy desk area. Organize everything neatly, so the next coworkers can use your desk. It is a way of hot desking health and safety. 

With hot desking, the best practices involve teamwork. Everyone should work together to respect each other’s boundaries. For example, turn down the volume and keep the decibel level to a bare minimum. Peace and quiet provide a good mindset for productive work. If you need to talk to another coworker, don’t make too much noise.

8. DON’T Make Too Much Noise

DON’T Make Too Much Noise

You want a comfortable work environment, but it can be hard to achieve if workers loudly argue with each other. Consider the space around you, since you share it with other people. Respect those who surround you and let them finish their tasks in relative peace.

Noise often provides distractions, which prevents workers from finishing assignments on time. Whether it’s from loud music or conversations overheard, these are unnecessary diversions. Hot desking etiquette requires you to maintain a respectable voice level.

Hot Desking Etiquette is at Your Service

Hot desking etiquette can really make a difference in work productivity. A respectful and productive work environment allows workers to finish projects without unnecessary distractions. To maintain hot desking, health and safety should also be considered with the office layout. Set up a schedule for everyone and see what works for them. It takes a while to get used to, but patience eventually pays off with this long-term approach.

With hot desking, the best practices involve regular sanitation, constant professionalism at all times, and mutual respect for your coworkers. The more productive your workspace, the faster you can complete all your projects. Consider what hot desking can do for your team!

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