The Pros & Cons of Hot Desking | Modis US

The Pros & Cons of 'Hot Desking'

Modis Posted 15 August 2019

The Pros and Cons of Hot Desking

Hot desking is the latest office trend to sweep the business world. Rather than having one designated desk each, there's one desk space per employee and team members jump from one desk to the next weekly or daily. It may sound chaotic, but hot desking has numerous benefits.

Why Hot Desking Is Hot

Hot desking may or may not be here to stay, but either way, there are a few major benefits to the office rendition of musical chairs.

  1. First-hand experience: explaining how others work is useful, but there's no substitute for spending a day working alongside team members in another department. A vacant desk allows an employee from one department to work alongside members in another department for a short span of time.
  2. Project ease: communication tools like Skype and Slack are useful when exchanging files, but spending the duration of a team project working next to other team members is much better.
  3. Bond-building: switching workspaces builds bonds and opens up communication channels. Just because you don't work in the same department as other employees doesn't mean you can't socialize with them.
  4. Skill-building: sending someone from one team to learn a skill from another team is much easier when there's an open desk.

office space hot desking
Hot desking can work in various office environments, but there is a right and a wrong way to do it.

Some Drawbacks

Even though hot desking has some benefits, there are definite drawbacks to this office setup.

1. Added stress: some employees may feel anxious or nervous about not having a designated work space and may feel uncomfortable moving regularly.

2.Undue competition: without a regular seating chart, employees may fight for the best available desk.

3.Work delays: employees may spend extra time setting up computers and workspaces if hot desks are not ready to go at the start of each day.

Most of these drawbacks are directly related to organization, so it makes sense to think through hot desking tactics before deciding on this new work strategy.

How to Make Hot Desking Work

Hot desking can be a good way to engage employees and provide insight into how various teams work, but be sure to follow these ground rules.

  1. Give employees a workspace or area they can call their own. Most team members will want a designated space to stash personal items and store files. If you plan to hot desk on a large scale, provide other areas where employees can keep personal items (such as break room lockers).
  2. Make sure employees clean up the desk at the end of the day. Any designated hot desk should be clear of paperwork and other items so that other team members can use it the next day.
  3. Create a monthly plan: in order to avoid confusion, set up a chart designating hot desking days along with who sits where and on which days.

Companies that have implemented hot desking see higher productivity and communication rates. The trend has some merit, but it's essential to plan and organize in advance.

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