There’s an innovative new office design layout concept sweeping across the business landscape, and it’s called hot desking. Before we explore what hot desking is and why it’s beneficial, let’s start with this: no, hot desking has nothing to do with hot yoga, or having desks mysteriously disappear and pop up for sale on eBay. And it’s not where top performers (or just the best-looking people in the workplace) get to sit and sizzle.
Hot desking is when employees can sit wherever they wish, rather than at assigned seats. According to Key Interiors, a leading interior solutions firm, there are four key advantages to this layout that may appeal to businesses of all sizes, and particularly smaller firms and startups:
1. It Saves Money
Hot desking typically allows businesses to get more usage out of their available workspace, which translates into lower rental or leasing costs. It can also lead to more efficient use of shared resources, such as printers, shredders, and so on.
2. It Encourages Interaction
More by default than by designs, teams and groups tend to work in silos and on islands. Hot desking encourages cross-functional interaction; provided of course that workers do not stake out the same desks/spaces day after day.
3. It is More Democratic
Today’s firms are moving to flatter, less hierarchical structures – both because it’s good ethics, and also because it’s good strategy. Hot desking levels the office layout playing field, so that everyone can have a crack at the coveted spots near the windows, away from the lunchroom, and so on.
4. It is Great for Remote Workers
Hot Desking is great for remote workers, whether they are field reps who spend almost all of their time on-site with clients, or virtual team members who pop into headquarters once in awhile for meetings. Instead of scrambling around looking for workspace – and often coming up empty – they can simply find a seat just like anyone else, plug in their devices, and get working.
Potential Drawbacks of Hot Desking
Of course, while hot desking has some impressive benefits and is gaining in popularity, there are some potential drawbacks that should be considered, as well. For example, the lack of predictable seating can be stressful for some employees who do not cope well with constant change, and frustrating for others who need to be co-located with colleagues to work on a project, etc. It can also lead to some rivalries as colleagues vie for coveted spaces, and the lack of personalization can also be an issue — though at the same time, not having individual workspaces riddled with photos, Angry Cat posters, sticky notes and so on may actually be a good thing!