The purpose of the office has changed over the last few years. Its initial goal was to provide workers a place to accomplish their job daily. But, since the pandemic, employers and employees have realized people can work from anywhere. However, your workplace still plays a significant part in your business. So, time to review your office setup, say goodbye to assigned desks and hi to a hot desk office! What is it? How does it work? What are the advantages for your organization? As a European leader in workspace management, we want to help you understand better hot desking and how it boosts your company’s success. Are you ready to learn more about how to optimize your workspace and answer your workforce’s needs? From reducing office costs to increasing productivity and fostering collaboration, this space management model is future-proof and has much to offer.
What is a hot desk office?
The meaning of a hot desk office
A hot desk office is a workspace where employees don’t have an assigned desk. This means they work from a different workstation every time they are onsite according to what desks are still available.
If you are not familiar with this concept, you might have a few questions already popping into your head when reading this. Some of these might be: how can you ensure your team members have a spot when coming to the office? What happens if workers don’t have any choice left and end up with a workspace that doesn’t match their needs? These issues were the reasons why hot desking didn’t convince employers or employees earlier.
A new start for hot desking
This flexible workplace design does already exist for a while. However, the pandemic helped this concept to rise. The slow start of this space management idea was mainly due to the lack of technology to coordinate the unassigned desks properly.
Since COVID-19, companies have realized the benefits of a hybrid work model and the market for flexible work technologies has quickly developed. New digital tools, such as the deskbird desk booking app, enable organizations to embrace all the perks of hot desking without the disadvantages.
Modern businesses turn their workplace into a hot desk office to meet the trends of the future of work and their employees’ expectations. This has influenced our relationship with the physical workspace which is now a place to foster collaboration, workplace connection, employee satisfaction, and well-being.
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What are the pros of a hot desk office?
Lowers real-estate costs
When switching to a more flexible work model, redesigning your office becomes fundamental. Creating an agile workspace gives you extra room. You can use it for other purposes, rent it to independent companies or relocate to a smaller workplace. Therefore, hot desking enables you to reduce your energy bills, cleaning expenses, and real estate costs.
Increases productivity and performance
A hot desking office allows your employees to work from the desk that suits them most when they come onsite. They can book a meeting room to discuss a collective project. But they can also reserve an individual desk in the quietest area of the office if they have to focus on a task. This agility in the workspace design, based on the needs of your workers, boosts their productivity and performance.
Enhances collaboration and workplace connection
Choosing where they work also encourages better collaboration and fosters workplace connection, which is crucial when you switch to hybrid work. In a hot desk office, people can book a desk next to their favorite colleagues or their favorite spot, whether at the table close to the window or near the coffee corner.
Meets the needs of a diverse workforce
Everybody has different expectations when it comes to their work environment. Bianca might get motivated and creative when surrounded by colleagues while Ashley enjoys interacting with her teammates during breaks but then wants a quiet workspace to accomplish her tasks alone. With a hot desk office, you enable all your employees to choose the workspace that makes them thrive.
Opens recruitment processes to a broader scale
Switching to hot desking makes the shift to flexible work arrangements easier. Hybrid work and flexitime are two compelling elements for job seekers. Not only is work flexibility a priority for employee satisfaction, but it also broadens your recruitment processes to a larger scope of people. You can hire talents without geographical barriers. They then come to the office and book a desk when needed.
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What are the disadvantages of hot desking?
Requires employees to adjust to a new working model
Some people can be reluctant to change and don’t understand the sense of it. Communicating, discussing, and getting your employees’ feedback is crucial. Try to determine what worries them and go through this process together. In the end, the whole purpose of hot desking is to meet your workers’ needs, improve satisfaction and increase their well-being. Designing your hot desk office to suit them and make them happy is the most important thing.
Forces employees to take all their belongings with them
When workers have their desks, leaving some personal belongings (coffee mugs, sports clothes, paper files) around is a common habit. Of course, with hot desking, you can’t do that. However, if your team members express the wish to keep some items at work, you can install some lockers. Maybe not all your employees need one. Conduct a survey ahead of time and set them up accordingly. . For paper files, you can try to become a paperless office to create a more sustainable workplace.
Implies risking sitting next to chatty colleagues
Although your workers get along and come to the office to maintain social interactions, they also come onsite to get work done. One of the downsides of hot desking is that they don’t know who will be sitting next to them. If they end up working next to a chatty colleague, it can create discontentment and tension. But deskbird has a solution. Thanks to its interactive floor plan, you can see who is working where and book a desk accordingly!
Involves acquiring desk booking software
Just imagine how irritating it can be if when you arrive at the office all desks are occupied and you can’t find a spot where to work. Add to this the stress of commuting and maybe some personal issues and within a week, you end up with a team overwhelmed and unsatisfied. With hot desking software, you and your workers no longer have to worry about this problem. They book a desk in advance and go to the office knowing their favorite workspace awaits them!
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How to switch step-by-step to a hot desk office?
1. Collect data and discuss it with your workers
The first step is to understand your workforce expectations. How can the office design make them thrive? What do they require to be more efficient and productive? How often do they come onsite? Conduct surveys and explore your workplace analytics to create a hot desk office that matches your employees’ needs.
2. Invest in hot desking software
Setting up a hot desk office without investing in desk booking software is challenging. Therefore, the second step is to find a hot desking tool that answers your requirements. We’ve created the deskbird app to offer a tailored-made and user-friendly space management platform to hybrid companies. Request a free demo to learn more about it.
3. Redesign your workspace according to your needs
Once you know your employees’ needs and you are equipped with hot desking software to help you manage the workspace, it’s time to reinvent your office! Remove a few individual desks if your workplace analytics and surveys show that your workers value communal areas more s, for example. Each workforce is unique. Your office design should be too.
4. Share a hot desk office guideline with your teams
We recommend creating a guideline for your hot desk office to avoid confusion. . It is essential that your employees understand the concept of hot desking, how they can benefit from it and how to make the most of it. They can always refer to it when in doubt, making things clear and straightforward for everyone.
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5. Keep an eye on your workplace analytics
Regularly observing your workplace analytics ensures your workspace design meets your team members’ expectations. . Over time, as your business and your workforce grow, your needs may change. These data help you determine where you can improve and are a major resource to keep your workforce happy and productive.
6. Stay flexible!
The future of work is all about flexibility, which is also true for how you manage your office space. You need to be able to adjust and be ready to make some revisions as the world of work and your workforce evolve. Keeping track of workplace trends and your employees’ needs is essential to enhance your workspace constantly.
You now know everything about a hot desk office and its benefits. From cost saving to employee productivity and global recruitment opportunities, this working concept got it all! Are you interested in putting it into place in your business? Start a free trial of the deskbird app to discover how our hot desking software supports you and your team members in embracing flexible work.