Posted on August 26, 2015

The Pros and Cons of Hot Desking

Thanks to advances in tech, people can now work from home or on the move, meaning flexible workplaces are all the rage. But what does this mean for the traditional workplace design and office refurbishment?

Do employers need the same amount of desks as they once did, and if not, is there a need for assigned seating or should hot desking be implemented? Well, this will depend on each individual business’ circumstances. To help you make up your mind, here is a list of the pros and cons for hot desking:

Advantages of Office Hot Desking

Hot Desking Encourages Company Wide Communication – Let’s face it, in most cases a person in a senior position wouldn’t hang out with an intern, unless it’s for training purposes. But this modern, ‘sit wherever’ attitude means employees of all levels and job roles could be sat scattered amongst one another.

This boosts intercompany communications, builds working relationships and provides less experienced staff members with help, should they need it, close at hand.

It Provides Insights and Awareness – Often businesses create seating plans which block people together according to similar job roles. This can sometimes cause an ‘us’ and ‘them’ mentality, where employees are unaware of what others do on a daily basis.

Mixed seating will help employees learn what others around them are working on, understand companywide goals and how working as a team can help achieve these objectives.

Employees Can Choose Their Ideal Environment – Some people work best in a quiet environment, with no distractions. Others prefer a vibrant and bustling atmosphere. Whereas some are more productive when inspired by new surroundings.

Hot desking allows staff to pick their seat for optimum comfort and therefore, productivity.

You’ll Cut the Clutter – With no permanent desk it forces employees to become minimalistic and as a result, clutter is cut considerably. At the end of the day, each space must be cleared and tidy ready for who uses it next. And the more ‘stuff’ people have, the longer this process will take.  

Disadvantages of Office Hot Desking

No Permanent Storage – Of course, on the flip side of this, you’ll have no permanent storage, meaning you’ll have to carry essential items, such as paperwork or stationary, around with you.

A Lack of Personality – Without a dedicated desk, employees cannot put their personal stamp on a section of the office. This may result in an office lacking warmth or personality, and feeling uninviting.

The Seats Are All Empty or There’s Nowhere to Sit – Flexible working means staff can work from home or on the move, and a lot of the time office seats will go empty. As a result, you may be tempted when arranging your workplace design during an office refurbishment to reduce the number of seating places and to introduce a hot desking scheme to maximise your space.

However, what happens if one day, everyone decides to come into work? You won’t have enough seats to go around! This can have a hugely detrimental effect on morale and productivity.

So, which do you prefer? Assigned seating or hot desking? Let us know on Twitter then check out a few more of our blog posts:

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