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The Pros and Cons of a Hot Desking Model

Avatar of Autonomous Autonomous | Apr 14, 2021
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Office environments are being optimized to cater to most workers’ needs. Thanks to technological advancements, office workers are able to improve their productivity and mood over the day by implementing new working models. In this case, we’re going to talk about the pros and cons of hot desking.

There are currently several working models for people, and each business owner or manager should choose the one that fits their needs and their employees the best. Hot desking is one of the newest trends for office work, and it’s proving to be a useful addition that can help people work more efficiently.

If you want to discover if a hot desking model is a right choice for you, keep reading!

What is Hot Desking?

Hot desking is a working trend where workers are able to work at any desk that they consider appropriate for them. Most office workers have their assigned desk, cubicle, or working space, but with hot desking, you can assign a particular office area to many people.

While it may seem confusing to do at first, it’s reasonably simple. In essence, your office would work with a “Check-In” process, in which each worker goes into an office space for a particular amount of time and leaves when they’re done to give the space to someone else.

What is Hot Desking?

One of the main hot desking benefits is that it’s an excellent solution for those workplaces that have more employees than desks. In those cases, assigning a particular desk to someone may not be the most appropriate choice since everyone would feel cramped up in the same place. Instead, workers can go into a designated space to complete a task and leave to another office space when they’re done.

It’s important to note that not all working spaces would be the same with a hot desking model. In essence, you would have spaces with big desks for desktop computers, smaller spaces where you can use laptops, and even small “recreation” areas where you can enjoy your office breaks.

There are many hot desking advantages and disadvantages, and this model is not as easy to implement as it may seem. You have to adapt all your office spaces to this model so that everyone can work efficiently regardless of the area they’re in. However, if you implement it right, you may notice a significant productivity increase at work among all the employees.

Is Hot Desking the Right Working Model for You?

As mentioned before, there are many pros and cons of hot desking, and it may not be for every business. Keep in mind that not every worker enjoys having to switch places with someone else in their working space, so you must know how to adapt to those circumstances.

Hot desking involves allowing your workers to choose the area where they can spend their working day. However, if you don’t optimize all your working spaces, a hot desking model may lead to discomfort and unproductivity. 

Is Hot Desking the Right Working Model for You?

Overall, having a flexible workspace is one of the best things you can do for your business, but you must do it right. If you’re willing to go through all the optimizations your office has to go through to adapt to a hot desking model, then this is the right choice for you.

If hot desking doesn’t seem that appealing to your business model, don’t worry; there are several other working models, such as hybrid working, that may also work for you. A hybrid workforce can be the answer to several working challenges caused by the pandemic, so you may want to check it out.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Hot Desking?

While there are many hot desking benefits, you must also be aware of its disadvantages. Once you go through this list of hot desking advantages and disadvantages, you’re going to have a clearer idea of whether hot desking is the right working model for you and your workers.

Hot Desking Pros

It Benefits Mobile Workers

It Benefits Mobile Workers

Thanks to portable devices, such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops, workers are able to work anywhere they feel comfortable. The concept of working from anywhere is still relatively new, but it has proven to have several positive effects for workers worldwide.

Mobile or remote workers may not feel as comfortable having an assigned desk. Instead, they may look for vacant working spaces where they can feel more relaxed while they work. In some cases, workers may be able to book a desk before they arrive to work; that way, they can have easy access to the space they want.

If you manage a workspace where there are more mobile or remote workers than onsite ones, you may consider a hot desking working model.

It Promotes Social Interaction and Collaboration

It Promotes Social Interaction and Collaboration

In traditional offices, workers tend to be isolated from one another. Typically, working in an isolated space isn’t bad, but it may prevent workers from helping each other effectively.

Using a hot desking model can promote an productive work environment where workers can move freely and interact with other workers, which promotes sharing ideas, working together to achieve particular goals, and more. 

Communication is More Efficient

If your workers are in a designated working space, they likely communicate with other departments through email, text messages, or phone calls. These communication channels work effectively for most cases, but it’s not as good as face-to-face interactions.

Communicating your ideas in person can be much easier and less time-consuming than sending a message and waiting for the other person to read and interpret it. Having a hot desk model can allow workers to engage in much more productive conversations and boost productivity rates.

The Office Becomes Cost-Effective

cost

Costs are one of the most important aspects of pros and cons of hot desking. Thankfully, hot desking brings several cost benefits to businesses that implement it. To put it simply, any space that you’re not currently using to its fullest is lost money. 

In the case of companies with remote workers or big working spaces, they may likely have a vast number of unused working spaces. Even if you’re not using those spaces, they’re still costing you money at the end of the month. Wasted money can cause severe problems with your business’s financials, so you need to keep track of it.

One of the best hot desking benefits is that you can make the most out of all the resources your office has. As long as you adapt every space to work equally well, you’re going to save up a considerable amount of money which you can spend on other resources your company may need.

You Can Promote a Cleaner Office Environment

Having a hot desk working model requires a cleaner space policy for all your workers. Having a “Clean Policy” allows you to keep every working space in good condition for the next user. Additionally, having a cleaner environment can help you declutter many desks, protect important company information, and impress potential clients.

It’s important to note that cluttered working spaces can have an impact on how productive your team is. Typically, workers with dirty or cluttered desks don’t perform as well as those with cleaner working spaces. This is because the image of clutter can increase stress levels and cause tiredness.

Hot Desking Cons

It Requires Optimization of All Your Working Spaces

It Requires Optimization of All Your Working Spaces

When it comes to the pros and cons of hot desking, optimization of your office can be seen as both a good and a bad thing. For example, if you want to implement a hot desking model, you must ensure that you have a system to hybrid desk booking to prevent people from fighting for a working space.

On the other hand, you must ensure that each working area has all the resources needed to work efficiently, such as Wi-Fi connection, proper seating, outlets, and other equipment.

You Have to Create New Communication Channels

You Have to Create New Communication Channels

While hot desking models promote face-to-face interaction, it can become a nuisance if you don’t implement the right communication essentials and channels. If people are allowed to sit wherever they want without booking that space, it may be harder for other workers to reach out to them.

Thankfully, this problem can be solved easily by implementing a system that can show workers where others are located within the office. Additionally, you may use channels such as Skype or a PBX phone service to direct calls to a particular worker.

Hot Desking is Not for Everyone

Remember that hot desking benefits don’t apply to every business type. For example, if you’re managing a programming company, having a hot desking model may not work for you since you need designated offices for every department. 

On the other hand, some workers simply don’t like having to look for a different desk every day; these people prefer knowing where they’re going to work each day instead of having to settle for a space that they’re not comfortable with.

If you still want to implement hot desking regardless of the reasons stated above, you may try a hybrid working model. You can keep one portion of your office optimized for hot desking and leave the other portion with a traditional model.

Hot Desking Can Be Distracting for Some People

Hot Desking Can Be Distracting for Some People

Offices that rely on team collaborations can greatly benefit from a hot desking model. However, if you work with some individual departments, having a hot desking environment could promote distractions depending on the space your workers are in. 

If you want to prevent this issue, it’s recommended that you check every working space to ensure that there aren’t any potential distractors nearby.

Cleaning Problems

Cleaning Problems

Strong cleaning policies are needed with hot desking models. If your employees don’t follow a strict cleaning schedule for every working space, you may have to deal with a large number of germs on desks, which can be fatal for everyone.

Make sure that you provide enough cleaning tools for your workers, such as hand sanitizer and wipes. Additionally, you must ensure that your workers don’t eat on top of your office equipment. Instead, you may encourage them to go to a designated eating room where they can eat comfortably.

Finally, your new cleaning policy should encourage your workers to clean/wipe their desks when they finish; that way, the next worker doesn’t have to deal with dirty desks that can reduce productivity levels and pose severe health risks.

What Else Can You Do to Optimize Your Working Spaces?

Implementing a hot desking model goes beyond allowing everyone to work wherever they want. Regardless of the pros and cons of hot desking you’ve read on this page, you also need to make some additional optimizations to your office if you want to make the most out of this model.

What Else Can You Do to Optimize Your Working Spaces?

First, you may want to invest in ergonomic office equipment if you haven’t already. Ergonomic equipment has proven to promote physical health and productivity in most office settings. 

You can start with getting ergonomic standing desks for your workers. Standing desks are still a new addition to offices, but they’ve proven to be complementary to all the hot desking benefits. These desks allow workers to adjust their equipment more freely and change from a standing to a sitting position whenever they consider it appropriate.

Sitting for long periods can be hazardous to your workers’ physical health, so having standing desks around your office can be a relief for them.

On the other hand, you can complement your ergonomic standing desks with an ergonomic office chair. Older office chairs aren’t optimized for long periods of work, which can cause several cases of back, shoulder, and neck straining. Ergonomic chairs were designed to promote the correct sitting posture for workers, which can relieve most of the muscle straining they can experience over their workday.

hybrid

Bottom Line

Now that you know all the pros and cons of hot desking, you can determine whether the hot desking benefits are good or bad for your business model. Keep in mind that this business model isn’t for everyone, and if you notice that it has more disadvantages than advantages for your office, you may be better off with another model.

The key to promoting a healthy and productive working environment with supportive organizational culture is to take note of your workers’ and office needs so that you can adapt each space to those needs. Hot desking is a great way to promote creativity and collaboration between your workers, so if you have the resources to implement it, and you want to refresh your working environment, you may consider giving it a go!

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