Streamlining day-to-day activities in an office setting can be challenging. Typically, this involves managing employee schedules and making sure everyone has the right space, equipment, and technology, all while trying to keep costs low.
When done correctly, hot desking enables businesses to make the most of of their space, save on real estate costs, and maximize productivity in an environment that supports both assigned and flexible seating. But in order to do so, each desk requires the right tech and equipment to make moving from place to place a breeze.
First, what is hot desking?
The idea behind hot desking is quite simple: book a desk based on what you’re working on and where’s most convenient to get it done. Instead of everyone having an assigned desk, people can book the best desk for the task at hand. And when they’re done, it opens back up to the rest of the office.
When done right, hot desking can benefit an organization in the following ways:
• Minimize wasted space. Having assigned desks isn’t cost-effective for companies that have people in and out of the office all the time. Hot desking helps facilities and real estate teams save money (and save office space in square feet) on space that would otherwise go unused.
• Facilitate collaboration. Hot desking facilitates collaboration and helps employees work in teams more easily.
• Promote flexibility. It’s no secret that employees value flexibility in their working arrangements. Hot desking makes it easier for people to move around the office as they please.
Essential hot desking equipment and technology
✔️ Hardware that stays on desks
Regardless of whether you’re implementing hot desking across the entire office or for a select few teams or departments, you will need a consistent monitor setup so employees can easily plug and play. People should be able to quickly set up their workspace, creating a more ergonomic working environment. Depending on the sort of work employees will be doing, you might consider specialized monitors (e.g. for design work) or a dual-monitor setup.
2. Mouse and keyboard
Equipping each hot desk with the same mouse and keyboard creates a consistent process for employees and makes it easy to fix issues with batteries or wiring. If hygiene is a concern, you might consider giving each person their own wireless keyboard and mouse they can store in the office or provide sanitary wipes for the end of the day.
3. Chargers and dongles
Instead of making everyone carry their own set of chargers and dongles to the office every day, stock each hot desk with the right set. This way, hot deskers won’t have to spend more than a few minutes setting up in the morning or filing IT help desk tickets.
4. Docking station
A docking station is another piece of essential hardware that should stay on each hot desk. It’s an easy and effective way to expand the connectivity options available with laptops and well-suited for flexible environments (especially those that encourage collaboration).
5. Power outlets
Hot deskers should be able to get their workstations up and running as quickly as possible every day which is why you need to make sure each desk has the right power solutions available. We recommend using a modular power supply so employees don’t have to crawl under desks to access power sockets.
✔️ Furnishings to support flexible seating
1. Desks with sit-stand capabilities
To promote a more ergonomically sound work environment, go for adjustable desks with sit and stand capabilities. This way, people can easily work from a standing desk and have the option to quickly switch over to a seated position if that’s more convenient, promoting flexibility in different ways.
2. Comfortable chairs
It’s always a good idea to take some time to select a comfortable chair that suits the hot desking environment you created. Again, ergonomics count when deciding on chairs so make sure you invest in furniture that encourages good posture and (ideally) comes with height adjustable arms and lumbar support.
3. Office storage cabinets, supply carts, or lockers
Since employees will sit at a different desk every day (or even switch between multiple desks in a single day), you’ll need some sort of all-day storage solution so they don’t have to bring personal belongings wherever they go. Consider setting up a central storage unit like personal lockers.
4. Closets and coat racks
When people have assigned desks in the office, they tend to store all sorts of personal items – coats, jackets, extra pair of high heels, gym bags – under their desks or on the back of their chairs. To keep things clean and organized around the office, consider dedicating closet space or setting up coat racks for hot deskers to store as soon as they get to the office.
5. Sanitary wipes
Fully embracing hot desking involves keeping workspaces clean. It’s a good idea to equip each hot desk with sanitary wipes to make it easier for employees to wipe down their desks once they’re done using it.
✔️ Software and tools to streamline hot desking activities
1. Internet access
An office without reliable WiFi is like painting with no brush: it’s tough to get anything done. Make sure each hot desk is equipped with a broadband connection, and if that isn’t possible, you’ll want to make sure each hot desk receives a strong WiFi signal prior to making them bookable.
2. Interactive seating chart
With an interactive visual to replace the traditional floor plan, employees can easily visualize the office layout and find the right desks for the day. If individuals need to work with a specific person or team, they can locate them on the map and book a desk nearby. This is especially useful in offices with multiple floors or areas and different hot desks (e.g. for individuals versus for small teams).
3. Hot desking software
Hot deskers will need a reliable, efficient, and easy way to reserve desks. With the right desk booking software, you can:
• Preemptively decide which desks are available for hot desking
• Select which teams or departments will hot desk
• Make it easy for employees to see which desks are equipped with which resources (e.g. operating system, types of dongles, monitors, and sit or stand desks)
Robin makes it easy for employees to find a suitable place to sit and find teammates. Employees can pull up the mobile app on their phone in line for coffee to reserve a hot desk by looking at an interactive map and tapping the seat they want.
In order to successfully adopt a hot desking strategy in your workplace, you need the right tech and equipment for employees so that moving around the office is simple and setting up shop for a day or even just a few hours is quick and easy. Once you establish that, you’ll need to consider the change management necessary for adoption. Get started with a hot desking policy for your office.