What is Hot Desking
If you’re not familiar with it yet, hot desking is a prevalent workplace strategy in which employees come in and sit wherever there is an empty seat instead of being assigned a specific place to work. This helps reduce real estate costs and increase flexibility for workers and create an improved and optimized office space.
Hot desking is an excellent option for businesses looking to optimize space utilization and allow for flexibility. In the current pandemic climate, hot desks have become more common and popularized as more companies see the great benefits of hot desking.
Finding Yourself in Hot Desking Predicaments
Although hot desking has become extremely popular and has many advantages, there are also a few challenges you may find yourself in if you have already adapted this workplace strategy.
The most common problem with hot desking is the constantly occupied desks. For employees who may come in a little later or during peak hours, it can be challenging to find a spot to sit, especially one where they feel comfortable. This may be troubling for the employee, affecting productivity, time, and comfort.
This can also cause conflict between employees regarding spaces, which can cause workplace tension and a disrupted company culture and environment.
Another problem with hot desks is that it is challenging to find people. Without a way of keeping track of everyone in the office and where they’re sitting, it can be time-consuming to find an employee if needed.
Alternatives to Hot Desking
To avoid problems with the hot desk strategy, a good solution is to look for alternatives that can serve the same purpose but in a better, more organized manner. There are many different alternatives that you can try to seek and implement. Below we’ve listed a few that may help you get your flexible office set in the right direction.
A workplace’s flexible seating isn’t always designated for one person. Employees in some offices may use desk booking to reserve a specific seat or use different spots as they become available. (plug Archie)
The spaces that use flexible seating are the large, open workspaces, with smaller private offices or rooms strewn around. Employees can work in an environment that is most conducive to their productivity as a result of this. Some employees, for example, may prefer to work in silence, while others love the buzz of being around others. They can do just that with flexible seats.
Employees that use desk hoteling can reserve the workspaces they want to use for the day when they arrive. This allows your employees to work from home while you can still monitor the data on space usage. At any point, you can check how many desks are reserved and/or vacant and plan ahead, even adding more spaces in case there is a need. You can get creative with your space, and even use under-utilized spaces to make room for small meetings or calls that employees may need to take.
Desk hoteling is great as it makes contact tracking easier by looking at which employees were in the office and checked in and who sat next to them on any given day. This is a hot desking shortcoming, and desk hoteling can be the answer to this issue.
Office hoteling is similar to desk hoteling, in that it still uses a reservation-based system, however, reservations must be done beforehand instead of upon arrival. This can be a great option if you are looking for a very organized system, and are trying to limit the capacity of people in your office space.
Several significant sectors have adopted this approach to office space organizing. Companies with huge corporate campuses, such as IBM, Google, and Procter & Gamble, have been using this strategy for some years and have benefitted from many advantages such as financial savings, more office resources, increased productivity and many others.
A great way to create space and accommodate your employees is also by introducing assigned shifts. This will serve a purpose similar to a hybrid workplace, where you can assign people to come in on specific days as their in-office shifts, that way they will be able to keep their desks and offices, but also have them be used when they are not there.
This is a great way to create harmony in your office and also ease employees that may be more reluctant to change.
Must knows before introducing hot-desking alternatives
Before diving in and making a serious change to your system, it is important to analyze your situation and be sure that a change like this would be beneficial and not cause a strain in your company. Below we’ve listed a few things to consider as you’re making a decision on what you should do about your space’s hot desking arrangement.
Will the structure of your office space allow for hot desking?
Certain types of offices are better suited to hot desking and flexible seating than others. Consider whether such a design would be appropriate for your workplace. Keep technology logistics in mind, and expect new needs to arise as a result of these additional workstations.
For example, because employees will be changing workstations frequently, you’ll need more storage space for their personal things. Workstations should also be as uniform as possible, with the same seats, monitors, outlets, and cable connectors, so that anyone may sit down and plug their laptop in. It’s a good idea to give adjustable chairs and workstations to ensure that staff are comfortable wherever they go.
Make sure that you have enough space to accommodate your employees, perhaps through an open area filled with desks that can be used by everyone.
Focus on how your employees feel
This is a very important part of any change you are trying to implement, but making sure that your staff is kept happy, comfortable, and assured is a top priority. Some of your employees may embrace the change with open arms, while others may be a lot more resistant to the change. If that’s the case then you want to make sure that you are constantly reassuring them, as well as giving them a lot of options to choose from.
Nobody likes being taken out of their comfort zone, but it can be an opportunity for growth, which is how you should present it to your employees. Remember to always listen to their requests, concerns, and praises so that you know what works and what doesn’t, and what areas need improvement.
Don’t forget about privacy
Hot desking and its alternatives can be great ways of optimizing your office space and reducing costs, but you must not forget to include areas for privacy for your employees. Depending on the work they do, they may need places to be alone and have a confidential meeting.
Other things such as important documents must also be kept safe and sound and not get lost within the system. You have to come up with a system that will take care of privacy and security and keep your employees feeling safe in the space that they are working in.
Desk booking software
A fantastic way to keep track of everything and everyone in your office is to invest in a desk booking and management software. With this kind of tool, you will be able to easily keep track of all the desks and rooms in your office, and manage check-ins, and even visits.
Archie is a reliable, user-friendly desk booking and management software that can help you in your journey to hot desking and beyond. Not only will you be able to book out and manage all your desks but you will also be able to keep track of everyone in your space in real-time.
Hot desking is an incredible way of optimizing space and creating the perfect balance between your office space and staff. Although it has its shortcomings, a great way to move past those is to look into hot desk alternatives such as a desk or office hoteling, assigned shifts, or even flexible seating. Start investing in a hot desk solution and see the great changes that your company will experience.