What Is Hot Desking?

If you’re looking to cut costs, you may have already examined your office space to analyze where your business might be able to save some money. With more companies offering flexible work schedules, desks can sometimes go unused, and it can feel like this underutilized space is a waste of overhead.

You may have even heard of the term hot desking. It has become a growing trend with many businesses where space is limited but is it a good idea for your business?

Here’s what you need to know about hot desking and why it may not be the best choice for your business.

What is Hot Desking?

Hot desking gets its name from the naval term ‘hot racking,’ where sailors share bunks during their alternating shifts. You might hear hot desking referred to as ‘hoteling,’ too. Both terms have a similar meaning. Hot desking utilizes a ‘first come, first served’ system where employees grab any available seat, while hoteling uses a booking system for employees to reserve workspace in advance for a specific period of time.

What does this have to do with an office? Some businesses employ this similar practice to provide desk space to staff with varying schedules. With hot desking, the desks in an office aren’t assigned to individuals. Instead, the workspace is shared among all employees, who move around daily depending on what desks are available and who they are working on a project with.

The Pros and Cons of Hotdesking

In theory, hot desking saves your business money because every desk is used every day. When employees are out sick, on vacation, or just having the day off, someone else utilizes the desk space. You don’t have empty real estate wasting money, and your employees may get to work alongside co-workers they wouldn’t typically – encouraging sharing of ideas and the collaborative process.

From a money-saving perspective, hot desking may seem like a great solution, and for some companies, it can be a great way to make the most of limited workspace. However, it isn’t always a good fit for every company. There are some concerns that need to be considered before you choose hot desking for your business.

Technology Concerns

While some employees may not mind hopping from desk to desk daily, others suffer from the lack of stability that having a designated workspace creates. Having to carry work devices around from place to place or share computers can be annoying and potentially risky when it comes to confidential information.

Sharing technology may not be feasible within your company, and the risk of an employee forgetting or losing their laptop or work tablet could prove costly. Plus, many older employees prefer to have a ‘base’ to work from, somewhere they can keep their work-related items, so they know where everything is.

Conversely, younger employees who have come to expect some level of mobility in the workspace may enjoy the freedom that hot desking provides. Being able to move around during the workweek can stave off boredom and keep employees from getting stuck in a rut.

Employee Morale

There are positives and negatives to having a shared workspace in your office. Some employees will prefer to have an assigned space that is just their own, while others may crave the freedom that hot desking offers.

Not having a designated workspace makes it harder to keep track of coworkers, delaying progress on certain collaborative efforts. It can also give off the impression that employers don’t care about employees enough to give them a designated workspace, which can demoralize staff members.

On the other hand, allowing employees the freedom to work from wherever they need to can be great for those who need to pair off with different employees to work on various projects. In this situation, hot desking can help keep employees productive and increase morale and team cohesion.

Sanitation and Cleanliness

The recent pandemic has highlighted the need for cleanliness in the office. While it may be easier to keep a smaller office space clean, it is true that it can be trickier when two or three different employees use the same desk throughout the day. But this doesn’t mean that hot desking is any less sanitary than having assigned workspaces.

While hot desking can potentially complicate things when it comes to keeping the office clean, it doesn’t have to. Areas that aren’t used won’t have to be cleaned, and the use of sensors or other methods to determine which areas need to be cleaned can cut down on the work for cleaning staff.

In the case of hoteling, simply having employees store personal belongings away from work areas makes cleaning easier. Ultimately, the amount of cleaning you’ll have to do depends on how much workspace is utilized, so you could find hot desking to require less overall cleaning than utilizing the full amount of office space.

Is Hot Desking Right for Your Business?

Before you rush to hot desking as a solution for your office, you must consider the needs of your employees and the nature of their work. Is changing workspaces daily a practical option for them? How will a shared workspace impact employee morale?

Talk to your employees to gauge how they feel about the idea of sharing workspaces. Some may be open to the idea, while others will likely prefer the stability that designated workspaces provide. And talk to T2B Interiors about the benefits and trade-offs for your business. Our experience can help you decide if it’s the right option for you and your workspaces.

Maximize Your Workspace Potential

If office space is at a premium, you don’t have to resort to hot desking to provide workspace for your employees. The right office design can ensure that all of your employees have a great space to work.

T2B Interiors’ commercial designers listen carefully to understand your organization’s workplace objectives, brand personality, and unique culture. Clients value our hands-on involvement and rapid responsiveness from start to finish.

With a broad range of knowledge and experience, our designers can help maximize the efficiency of your space, boost employee engagement, inspire creativity, improve safety, and more. Our designers work with state-of-the-art software and provide you with CET design and renderings to help you understand the design vision and provide valuable input early in the process. Big budget or small; new space or renovated space; office, school, hospital, or retail, we have designers with the right experience to meet your needs.

Whether you need new flooring, furniture, or even an entire new lobby for your hard-working employees and valued clients, contact us today to learn how our designers can meet your needs.