The BBC found that at least 43 of the UK's largest firms plan to introduce a hybrid work model that involves some combination of in-office and remote work. This would allow their employees to work from their homes at least two or three times every week.
If your business is looking to introduce a similar system, then there are some things you should consider, including shifting from the traditional office space. Welcome to hot desking.
Ready to learn more? Read on to find out how hot desking works and its benefits.
How Does Hot Desking Work?
Hot desking, also known as hoteling, was first introduced in the 90s. It allows businesses to utilize their work area in a non-traditional way. With hot desking, office space and desks are not assigned. Instead, the office is designed to accommodate different sets of employees on different days.
Using this model, the utilization of the space works somewhat like a shift system. Every day, employees come into work and select an available desk or station that they would like to work from for the day. The following day -- or whenever they are at the office again -- they may be at a different station.
There are many benefits to the hot desking model:
- It provides a more effective way of managing employees, particularly those working on a hybrid schedule
- It's a more efficient way of running a business, as it can decrease wasted space and space utilization overhead costs.
- It allows for the use of a smaller space with fewer desks
Interested in implementing hot desking at your organization? Or maybe you'd like to use the concept to provide a workable solution for freelancers?
Either way, you should ensure each transition is seamless. This starts with having the right software and infrastructure in place.
Getting Hot Desking Right
Shared services in an office space are common. But it may be hard to wrap your head around finding the best way to share spaces for teams and coworkers. This can be effectively managed with the right hot desk booking software.
Manage Your Space
Hot desk booking software will help you manage your space with comprehensive space scheduling capabilities. With meeting & conference room scheduling software, users can:
- Use real-time calendar information to align schedules and find a free space
- Reserve rooms based on location, capacity, available resources and other key criteria
- Schedule via mobile device
- Keep everyone up-to-date with email alerts
- Incorporate video conferencing, and more.
Create the Best Experience for Users
The use of a hot desk booking app can create a personalized, hassle-free experience for users by allowing users to easily create, view, modify, and check in to spaces. You can even send reminders if they miss checking in.
Your hot desk booking system can also provide you with important data so you can get a big-picture overview of:
- How your space is being utilized
- Cleaning schedules
- How long spaces are in use, etc.
Allow Access Across Platforms
The right tool will also allow simple integrations for seamless experiences. For example, with EMS you can connect to:
- Microsoft Exchange/Outlook
- Video conferencing systems like Skype for Business, Polycom and Cisco TMS
- Student information systems
- Facilities management systems
- Building automated control systems
Going Beyond the Basics
There are software options that help you streamline your hotdesking infrastructure. For example, Accruent’s EMS desk booking software allows you to:
- Improve contact tracing by providing visibility into individual activity
- Access and update meeting information at various points of access
- Increase productivity and proximity using floor plans
- Book appropriate spaces based on the activity that will be taking place
You also have access to comprehensive reports and analytics. This can help you increase revenue. It also assists with reinforcing company culture. You can do all this while still meeting your key performance indicators (KPIs).
Benefits of Hot Desking
There are some obvious benefits to implementing hot desking in your organization. They include reduced costs, better use of space, greater facilitation of a hybrid work system. Hot desking also allows you to:
Adapt to the Changing Environment
Hot desking is becoming an even more popular choice in the wake of COVID-19. With concerns about sanitation capacity and hygiene on the rise, employers must be able to provide transparency into occupation, cleaning schedules and other metrics. The right tool can help.
Increase the Benefits That Come with Greater Flexibility
When workers have greater flexibility, they'll be more productive. There are a few reasons here:
- When employees can book their spaces, they can make sure it has the tech, tools and capacity they need to maximize productivity
- Remaining agile and mobile in the work environment can improve cross-functional collaboration and drive inspiration
- Today’s digitally native employees want more flexibility in the workplace, and getting the choice will improve employee satisfaction
Facilitate Greater Collaboration and Teamwork
Employees that need to work on a project together can book spaces on the same day. They can also book a group meeting space or room to work together.
Hot desking also lets employees interact with people they may not usually see. This can help to eliminate departmental silos
The cost-saving benefits of hot desking go beyond the initial reduction of overhead and real estate costs. You can also eliminate future costs by:
- Planning more effectively
- Looking at patterns of usage to utilize the space more efficiently
- Providing insight into the amount of future real estate you may or may not need.
What are the Disadvantages of Hot Desking?
Reduced Privacy: Hot desking can reduce privacy as employees share desks and workspaces, which can make it harder to concentrate and focus on work.
Lack of Personalization: Hot desking can lack personalization as employees don't have a dedicated desk or workspace, which can make it harder to create a sense of ownership and belonging.
Increased Noise Levels: Hot desking can lead to increased noise levels as employees work in close proximity, which can be distracting and make it harder to concentrate.
Potential for Conflict: Hot desking can lead to conflicts over desk or workspace availability, particularly if there are more employees than desks available.
Adapting Your Workspace While Saving Costs
In the wake of the COVID pandemic, organizations have had to reconsider the way they work. This means implementing hybrid work systems, robust sanitation protocols, new budgets and more.
Hot desking not only cuts costs, but it also provides the perfect solution to many modern space management woes. It also facilitates better utilization of office space and makes employees more productive.
Hot Desking Infrastructure
Hot desking can be effective and efficient. But there is also some basic infrastructure that you'll need to have to ensure that your team is productive, including:
- Phones and power outlets
- Secure storage space
- Internet access and other technological requirements
- Common areas including bathrooms and kitchens
- Private meeting rooms
You can manage these using hot desking software.