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What Is Hot Desking? Everything You Need to Know

Hybrid team working in the office
The Robin Team
Published on

Going to the office looks different than it did two years ago. Companies are embracing flexibility, and teams are going in for collaboration, rather than every day work. Since everyone isn’t in the same desk or office at the same time, companies have an opportunity to shift how their space is used.

Shared spaces are an effective way for businesses to save money while ensuring their employees have a physical space to work from. With hot desking, people use desks at different times on an ad hoc basis. It’s one alternative to permanent desks in a conventional office setup, and can help you optimize your workplace and eliminate friction for your teams.

Make it easy for employees to find their desk booking.

How Does Hot Desk Booking Work?

In a typical office, while there are shared resources, such as conference rooms, each employee is assigned to a specific desk. Hot desking treats each desk as a flexible workspace people can book day to day. 

This setup encourages people to work in different locations throughout the office, improving collaboration while circulating valuable knowledge and skills. Hot desk and room booking software empowers staff by giving them more control over where and how they work.

If done incorrectly, hot desking can lead to a lot of frustration. People won’t want to come in, if they don’t know where they can sit. That’s why it’s important to utilize a hot desk booking software or system. 

An employee may use a mobile app or the reservation system to book an on-demand, same-day hot desk. And at the end of the day, they check out of the space, allowing someone else to use it the next day.

Create a seamless workplace experience with the right tools and technology.

Hot desks enable employees to work in areas of the offices that best suit them.

7 Advantages of a Hot Desking Model

Deploying hot desking provides a modern infrastructure for maximizing the efficiency of space. Hot desking software allows an enterprise to run lean, while still offering convenient workspaces for employees whenever they are in the office. 

Like desk hoteling, setting up hot desking within the work environment offers greater autonomy to each individual. The advantages of hot desking include:

1. Increased Collaboration

One of the primary advantages of a hot desking model is that it can lead to increased collaboration between employees. When employees are not assigned to a specific desk for the day, they are more likely to interact with a wider range of colleagues, which can lead to the sharing of new ideas and perspectives.

Additionally, hot desking can also lead to impromptu meetings and brainstorming sessions, as employees are more likely to bump into each other and strike up a conversation.

2. Better Space Utilization = Reduced Overhead Costs

Another advantage of hot desking is that it can help to reduce overhead costs for businesses. When employees are not assigned to a specific desk, businesses do not need to provide as much office space, which can lead to significant cost savings.

Additionally, hot desking can also reduce the need for office furniture, as employees can use shared desks and chairs. Paying for the physical office space for every employee to have a dedicated desk doesn’t make sense for companies that permit remote work. Hot desking allows you to reduce your square footage, which may significantly decrease your overhead costs.

The right workplace analytics help you better identify future resource needs.

3. Increased Flexibility

A hot desking model can also offer increased flexibility for employees. When employees are not tied to a specific fixed desk anywhere, they have the ability to work from anywhere in the office, which can be beneficial for those who need to take breaks or step away from their workstation throughout the day.

Additionally, hot desking can also allow employees to work remotely on occasion, as they are not required to be in the office in order to do their job.

With hot desking, employees work where they want, when they want. Hybrid employees may reserve an in-office workspace on short notice, making it easier for them to collaborate with colleagues. 

4. Improved Morale

A hot desking model can also lead to improved morale among employees. When employees feel like they have more control over their work environment and where they work, they often feel happier and more satisfied with their job.

Additionally, a hot desking system can also promote a sense of community in the workplace, as employees are more likely to interact with each other when they are not assigned to a specific desk.

5. Enhanced Productivity

Finally, a hot desking model has been shown to enhance productivity among employees. When workers are given the opportunity to choose where they want to work within an office, they feel more engaged with their work and are less likely to experience burnout.

Employees are more productive when they can choose their workstations.

6.Lower Administrative Burden

Because each employee can book the space they need, your managers and admin staff will spend less time coordinating employee schedules, meeting rooms and assigning desks, freeing them up to focus on other priorities.

7. Improved Guest Experience

Reservation management software can also notify your staff when guests arrive at the office and assist them with wayfinding.

Employee productivity within private offices or a co-working environment relies on strict rules for allocating available space. Hot desking is the best option for businesses looking to streamline processes and reduce overhead.

Challenges of Hot Desking

While there are a lot of positives with a more flexible seating setup, hot desking arrangements also come with their share of challenges.

Inconsistent utilization: No one wants their office space to be a sea of empty desks. Conversely, no one wants to fight to find a desk. Hot desking means there is a level of variability to seating that can cause inconsistent usage compared to a traditional office seating setup. This can be frustrating for both employees and workplace managers.

Limited privacy: Sharing workspaces in an open-place office space means when employees are at their desks, there is little privacy. This can be challenging for employees who require concentration or deal with sensitive information.

Disruptions with technology: When using shared workstations, employees may encounter difficulties with technology and connectivity. Connecting to different computers, monitors, or other office equipment each day may cause delays and inconvenience if the desk setup is not user-friendly.

To make hot desking work, you need to be aware of these potential pitfalls and have plans in place to address them.

Desk booking software helps address some of the common challenges of hot desking.

Implementing Hot Desking at Your Workplace

Embracing hot desking is a powerful solution that businesses of all sizes can take advantage of. Implementing hot desking at your workplace, however, isn’t so straightforward. Different workplace cultures and environments will need to make adjustments according to their needs. 

With hot desking, businesses can effectively mitigate many of the pains associated with hybrid workspace allocation. Of course, the hot desking setup that works for another company may not work for yours. Here’s how you can help make the switch to hot desking a success.

Identify the goals and benefits of hot desks

Before implementing hot desking, leaders should identify the specific goals and benefits that they hope to achieve. This may include increased flexibility, improved collaboration, and more efficient use of space.

Prepare for Change

Hot desking creates a fundamentally different work environment from what most employees will be used to. It is essential to properly prepare before deploying hot desking within your business, so your teams can prepare for the change. 

Make sure to communicate the benefits of hot desking to employees, as well as any potential challenges. This will help to gain buy-in from employees and ensure a smooth transition.

Make sure everyone is in the loop about when you’ll switch to a hot desking model, and how you’ll roll out your new system. Teams should receive a thorough and straightforward orientation to the reservation process, no matter how simple it is.

Make it simple to check-in to the office via a booked hot desk.

Develop a hot desking policy

Leaders should develop a policy that outlines the rules and expectations for hot desking, such as how to reserve and book hot desks, how to handle personal belongings, and how office administrators should manage hot desking in their respective offices.

It may be helpful to pilot hot desking with a small group of employees before implementing it across the entire organization. This will allow leaders to test the policy and make any necessary refinements before a full-scale rollout.

Invest in the Right Hot Desk Booking Software

Hot desking requires resources such as additional technology, such as laptops or tablets, and a desk booking system. Leaders should ensure that these resources are provided and that employees are trained on how to use them.

Provide Core Support

Employees may have problems dealing with hot desking when implemented in the real world. Businesses should make sure to have the necessary systems in place to provide support to those who need it.

Additionally, make sure all employees know who they should contact with questions or feedback, especially if hot desking is part of a broader cultural shift at your organization. With a little proactive planning, you’ll be able to make sure the new arrangement is beneficial for everyone. 

Evaluate and adjust

Leaders should regularly evaluate the effectiveness of their hot desk booking software and make any necessary adjustments to the policy or resources to ensure that it is meeting the goals and needs of the organization.

Teams can set up neighborhoods to encourage collaboration.

Hybrid Work Solutions Start with Robin

Managing a hybrid workplace is simple when you have the right tools and technology in place. The benefits of hot desking are far-reaching and with the right workplace management software you can better coordinate desk bookings, meeting room scheduling and beyond.

Workplace experience platforms, like Robin, can help you empower your teams to utilize the office as a resource for collaboration and minimize wasted space. When paired with a strategic hybrid work strategy, you can reduce real estate costs, improve space usage and bolster employee engagement.

Interested in learning more about how Robin can help enable a seamless workplace experience? Get started today.

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