We live in a world where we’ve got over the need for a permanent desk, it creates a freer, more relaxed working atmosphere – what’s not to like?
In office terms, hot desking is a concept where you don’t use a set desk every day, rather sit wherever you’d like. The concept became popular among offices in places where rents are high – like London, Tokyo and Dubai, and in professions where people work different shifts – like in newspapers and call centres.
Research says as much as 40% of an office’s desks are unused on any given day. Staff might be on holiday, work flexible hours or be stuck in back-to-back meetings. So, in comes hot desking!
It became popular in the 90s, and now is a well-established practice in many places – but it’s not without its detractors.
Some say hot desking isolates people, leaving them feeling disconnected from the company and their work colleagues, however; we very much disagree!
If you are already attuned to using a coworking space – and if you’re reading this, you probably are – then the positives of hot desking are probably already clear to you.
Here are the top reasons why hot desking might be the right option for you:
By its very nature, hot desking calls for bonding with whoever’s near. As you change your desk daily, you are exposed to different people on a regular basis. This can lead to different conversations than you might engage in were you to sit at one desk next to the same people every day.
Hot desking brings the opportunity to chat to people from different backgrounds and industries. These conversations and informal networking opportunities are extremely useful for freelancers, start-ups and entrepreneurs alike!
If you’re part of a larger team, hot desking is great for project collaboration. If you’re working on a task with a team, you can sit close to one another, making idea exchange easier and without having to organise formal meetings. You might even pick up new skills thanks to this arrangement.
Hot desking creates opportunities for more interaction and stronger work relationship building – even if it is only to find out who left the custard cream crumbs on the keyboard.
Ok, so you get a different desk every day; unless you’re that guy who arrives extra early to get his favourite desk (don’t be that guy), and you’re free to choose where to sit. You might not want to carry your collection of porcelain cottages, Star Wars figurines and favourite mugs with you to and from the office every day, but you can personalise your space with a nice desktop wallpaper image, and your own mousemat, for example.
Creating an ambience that suits your mood on a day-to-day basis is useful. You can adapt your surroundings to your needs; one day if you need to buckle down and concentrate, you can sit in a quiet corner and the next you can hang with the chatty team again. You get the best of both worlds!
We don’t need to tell you the cost of renting an office space of your own, do we?
Hot desking goes hand-in-hand with money saving. You might not have your own dedicated spot to stick a plant and that picture of your pet lizard, but sharing the space means sharing the costs.
If you’re working for a company that uses hot desking, take the time to appreciate that they’re trying to save costs – and those savings might well go into staff benefits such as health, bonuses or other advantages for you. Less clutter on desks means lower cleaning and maintenance fees, too.
While you might end up at the same workstation for a while, the hot desking concept doesn’t allow for people to ‘bed-in’ at a particular spot, so creating a tidier workspace environment. You don’t have the time, or inclination, to clutter your workspace with gonks, gizmos and post-it notes.
The hot desk concept encourages people to be tidier and more organised, and dare we say more respectful of other coworkers. There’s an expectation that you’ll leave a desk how you would expect to find it, right?
So, there you have it; an abundance of reasons to get involved with hot desking. Like it or not, a recent CBI survey revealed that 95% of employers saw flexible working – including hot desking – as vital to the UK economy – so it seems like it’s here to stay.