More than just a trendy buzzword, hot desking is a viable and powerful way for businesses to organise their office space. In this blog, we go into detail about hot desking office design and explain the benefits it brings to an organisation and its employees. If you are curious about this type of design or any other office design styles, please contact the friendly office refurbishment team at Future Fitouts.
Origins of hot desking office design
The term hot desking began being used sometime in the 1990s. The term has nautical origins and is thought to be derived from “hot racking” where sailors on separate shifts share the same bunk.
What is hot desking?
Hot desking is an office organisation system involving a variety of workers using one physical workstation during alternating times. It is a move away from staff being tethered to a personal desk and a move towards flexibility and cost-efficiency.
Hot desking, hoteling and meeting room booking
Hot desking office design may be, and frequently is, swapped with hoteling and while the two are similar they aren’t 100% synonymous. Both terms refer to using office space in order of arrival however, hoteling requires space to be reserved before it is used by an employee.
The distinction between hot desk design and meeting room booking centres on the type of space and how long it will be used. Hot desking generally means booking a work area for a day while meeting room booking reserves conference rooms for limited amounts of time.
How it comes together
Often used by organisations with flexible employee schedules, hot-desking takes advantage of gaps in the work schedule and vacancies in an office. Employees can simply rock up to work, wire up, and start the workday.
Hot desk design considerations
The flexibility inherent in this type of office coordination is one of its great strengths but it also takes some forethought to maximize the environment. Here are a few important elements to keep in mind:
- Easy access to electric outlets and phones
- Printing areas
- Storage of personal items
- Common areas such as bathrooms and kitchens
- WiFi availability
- Access to required technology such as monitors or an HDMI connection
- Private space
Benefits of hot desking office design
Advantages for the workers
Hot desking is frequently associated with a rise in staff motivation as well as an increase in collaboration amongst departments since they can all work closely together. Workstations are often cleaner and more organised since staff need to take their belongings away with them. For a self-employed person, it can offer a respite to the isolation of working from home and potentially grants them access to a larger network of like-minded experts.
Advantages for the company
Hot desking can also be particularly useful for organisations that require frequent travel from their staff. Furthermore, a business using a hot desk design will significantly reduce their office space expenses by improving efficiency and curtailing wasted floor space. It is also flexible and can conform to the changing needs of a business quickly and easily. It decentralises a company and allows them to manoeuvre across locations which increases their ability to access great staff and more business.
Not always the right fit
Hot desking is popular with employees and employers alike but not everyone is so keen on it and it has some disadvantages. An organisation’s staff will most likely have different attitudes towards not having their own desk to use and may bristle at having to share their chair or desk space. Cleanliness may also be an issue since tidiness standards can vary significantly from person to person. When dealing with highly sensitive and private information working in a secure area is preferable to the openness found in a hot-desking environment.
Covid-19 and hot desking
We need to acknowledge that Covid-19 has rightfully brought hot desking to a temporary lull. Given the current state of affairs in the world, this seems like a pragmatic and safe idea. In the future, as more people are vaccinated, and we get better at resisting Covid-19 hot desking will return as a practical solution.