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What is Desk Sharing? How to Make It Work for Business?

Avatar of Autonomous Autonomous | May 6, 2021
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As the world is progressing towards modern technology and advanced systems, every area of life is modifying towards betterment. The changes in workplaces are also visible at a great scale. From working in an office to having a hybrid working model implemented in workplaces, many businesses are realizing the importance of new practices.

Not only these practices, such as the hybrid workforce are targeted to improve productivity, but employees' concern and care are also becoming more common. Since many studies have emphasized an improper work schedule as a major source of stress, organizations are developing flexible models that facilitate both employers and employees. The post-Covid world won't be the same as the pre-Covid world, and part of the reason is the new practices that emerged and showed better results.

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According to research, employees showed increased productivity when working from home in the past year. This has led many employers to think about providing flexibility to employees so they remain more positive and productive. There are many ways in which flexible work mode is modified; desk sharing is one such. Desk sharing and hot desking are two common ways to improve productivity. But what is hot desking? And what is Desk sharing? And how do they benefit an organization?

What is Hot Desking?

Almost 45% of the space in a workplace goes unoccupied on a common workday. This could be because of any absentees, a team working remotely or some employees working from home. This unoccupied space is counted as unproductive square footage, and it is costly for offices.

What is Hot Desking?

Hot Desking is for employees who share the same desk but during different working hours. Different people can use the shared desks during the morning shift or evening shift subsequently. Each person has their desk but for their prescribed shift timings.

Hot desking is a way to maximize space utilization and deliver better results. However, there are some hot-desking etiquettes that need to be followed, so all employees are greeted to clean and organized desk spaces.

What Is Desk Sharing?

Desk sharing is when employees do not have a specified desk, but they can occupy any free desk. Once they are done with the work, they leave the desk, clean it and go about their work. Desk sharing is often termed as a way to share a common desk between many employees when none of them can claim to sit on the same desk every day. Desk sharing is achieved through a  desk booking software where any employee could book or occupy a desk that they find empty or sufficient for their needs. 

There are many reasons why an organization would opt for a desk-sharing system. It is a swift way to increase space utilization and decrease business costs. With the implementation of this system, the number of empty desks remains zero to minimum, and employees can decide based on the availability of desks. It also allows various team members to sit and work together. Desk sharing has many pros and cons, but sharing a desk at work is a challenge too.

Pros and Cons of Desk Sharing

Pros and Cons of Desk Sharing

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  • icon checkIt saves and reduces unproductive space
  • icon checkIt lowers the desk costs
  • icon checkIt improves collaboration between employees
  • icon checkIt organizes the workplace
  • icon checkIt encourages a better social atmosphere in the workplace
  • icon checkIt saves time
  • icon checkIt automates the workplace
  • icon checkIt motivates employees to be cleaner and tidier
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  • icon timesSome employees don’t like constant change
  • icon timesIt could result in disturbance
  • icon timesSystems demand to be more advanced
  • icon timesIt requires a cloud storage system
  • icon timesNo sense of personal space
  • icon timesTough time keeping personal belongings at the office

How to Make Desk Sharing Work

Making shared desk space work is all about strategy and planning. For starters, you need to have enough desks in workspaces. If you are trying to save too much on the desk and keep less than required, this system will turn into chaos. Or if you are buying an extra desk, this would result in no benefit of applying desk sharing in your office. To make desk sharing work, here are some helpful tips:

Similarity

Sure, you are given an option to choose different workspaces each day. The aim is to promote teamwork and better collaboration between employees who need to work together for that particular day or project. Make sure you invest in the same infrastructure, and all the chairs and desks are equally comfortable.

Similarity

An employee preferring a workspace because it offers more comfort is not the goal. Purchase comfortable ergonomic chairs and comfortable desks from wholesale office furniture shops, so you get better rates and no favoritism towards a particular desk. 

Educate the Employees

Change is one of the major stressors in the workplace, according to the SCARF model, and you don't want your employees to be stressed. Rather than just implementing the change, educate your employees about the importance and benefits of this system in the workplace.

Communicate

There will be some issues when implementing changes like a hot-desking system or shared desks in the workplace. Make sure you are all ears to your employees' concerns and try to address them properly.

Communicate

Plan Ahead

Determine how many shared desks you'll need, and then prepare accordingly. Please take into account the number of workers, their shifts, and other factors that impact occupancy. Extra desks mean that everybody has one at busy hours, which can sound counterintuitive of cost-cutting.

Plan Ahead

Guidelines

Implementing shared desking is tough but keeping employees stick to it is harder. Ensure all the employees follow desk sharing etiquette and keep their workplaces tidy for the next employee to come. Highlight the importance of having cleaner workplaces. Also, make sure your organization pays close attention to sanitization and cleaning of workplaces regularly. Shared desks also increase the chances of germ transmission.

Feedback

Feedback

Learn how your employees are adapting to this change. Rather than just listening to their concern, try taking anonymous feedback about the shared desk practice. This way, employees can openly talk about how they feel about this change in the workplace.

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