Hot Desking Pros and Cons

hot desking

With so many remote and semi-remote employees in today’s modern workforce, the traditional office layout has been getting a major overhaul!

While it doesn’t make sense to waste space on offices that are only used once a week or once a month, employees need adequate space and equipment when they do come to work in the office. Check out the basics of hot desking, its advantages and disadvantages, and what furniture works best for this trending office layout.

What is Hot Desking?

Hot desking (or desk-sharing) is an office environment with no designated work spaces. Desks are shared by employees, including interns, consultants, teleworkers and others who don’t need a designated workspace.

Sound crazy? It’s actually a movement that more and more companies are buying into because it saves money, boosts productivity, and optimizes office space.

Advantages of Hot Desking

Office design has been trending from “institutional office” to “cool-café” workspace for a number of years now. Hot desking takes this trend to a whole new level. It allows companies to:

  • Capitalize on office space: Employees such as part-timers, interns, consultants, and teleworkers don’t always require a traditional office or cubicle. Saving space cuts down on overhead expenses.
  • Create an activity-centered environment: Employees don’t want to be stuck in a corner or chained to a desk all day. Working on laptops and other devices makes it easy to drop by a co-worker’s desk, move to a couch for a team meeting or converse with colleagues in the kitchen.
  • Encourage collaboration and creativity: Hot desking lends itself to an environment of spontaneity! Here’s the scenario: Someone in marketing sits near a salesperson who’s rarely in the office, sparking a conversation on how that new product’s going over in the field. Light bulb moment! Marketing gains new perspective, and an opportunity for future check-ins is created.
  • Offer flexible work hours: One team member juggling kids with a spouse may want a 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. shift, while another needs a late afternoon slot. Problem solved!

Disadvantages of Hot Desking

While hot desking offers lots of perks, there are some downsides.

  • Not ideal for big companies: With rotating desks, it may be more challenging for co-workers to locate one another.
  • Less connection with the brand: With limited ability to personalize their workspaces, employees may not have the same sense of belonging that other workspace layouts can create.
  • Anxious regulars: Those who do come to work regularly may experience anxiety at having to move frequently or not having access to their favorite workspace.

Solutions: Staggering office times for remote employees or assigning rotating desks to sales staff who visit the office occasionally may alleviate some of these issues.

What Kinds of Companies Benefit from Hot Desking?

Hot desking may not work for everyone, but these kinds of companies will likely benefit:

  • Start-ups: With a staff of two or three coming and going, hot desking saves office space while providing everyone with what they need, when they need it.
  • Sales companies: If a huge chunk of your staff works on the road, why let desks and offices sit empty for days or weeks at a time?
  • Any business moving towards the communal office space: With bistro chairs and tables, sleek couches paired with coffee tables, and informal conference rooms replacing the traditional office layout, hot desking provides an exciting alternative!

When Should My Company Implement Hot Desking?

Take an inventory of the number of desks and offices. If employees aren’t using them the majority of the time, hot desking may be a solution.

Remember, you don’t have to convert the entire space! If some departments are in every day and the traditional set-up works for them, use hot desking in a designated section that is only for remote or travelling team members who need desks occasionally.

**HOT TIP** A reliable hot-desking software program (yep, it’s available!) eliminates confusion and anxiety about who’s sitting where. Check out companies such as OfficeSpace, Robin, and Service Works Global.

Types of Furniture Best Suited for Hot Desking

With multiple people utilizing the same space, furniture that’s easily adjustable or portable works best. Check out these options:

  • An adjustable task chair with a mesh back allows for people of different heights to adjust to their needs; a comfortable mesh cushion provides ventilation.
  • Nesting chairs with and without arms have casters to move easily around the office; fabric seats come in sunny colors like lime and orange; ideal when someone needs to pull up a seat to a co-worker’s desk.
  • Modular sit-to stand desks meet everyone’s needs, adjust easily and come in several sizes and shapes, including L workstations.
  • Conference tables the size of Texas are out! Try a smaller table that works for meetings and group projects or for several team members who need a place to work temporarily.
  • Lightweight banquet tables provide room for 2-3 people and move easily; rectangular shape ideal to fit in a variety of spaces.

Hot desking can help save money, encourage collaboration, build relationships and mix up the office in a fun way! Nolt’s Office Furniture offers a variety of desks, chairs and other office furniture that can help you get ready for the hot desking revolution!

Stop by our showroom today for a free consultation!