The basic principle of hot-desking in the workplace is to maximize the effectiveness and general productivity of the space and of the actual work (for example, it allows team members working together on a specific project to be seated together as needed). It's intended to improve workflow while also reducing superfluous space in the office. That's the reason or the "why" for hot-desking. But what about the how? If you're thinking of introducing hot-desking in your workplace, how do you implement it?
A Hybrid Model
Firstly, you should consider if actual hot-desking (the casual, impromptu use of an office workstation) is best for your business. Depending on the nature of your business and your number of staff, a hybrid model may be more beneficial. For example, some of your staff may have transitioned to a hybrid working style during the COVID-19 pandemic—working some days in the office, and some days at home. In this instance, a shared desking arrangement can work very well, with two (or more staff members) being assigned the same workstation on their respective in-office days. Your staff rostering can be amended to reflect this setup.
A Spontaneous Approach
Dedicated hot-desking takes on a more spontaneous approach. Generally, if a workstation is free, anyone may claim it as their workplace for the day. Again, depending on the nature of the business and your number of staff, you must consider how much flexibility you wish to offer with hot-desking. You might wish to offer a booking system, allowing staff to reserve their preferred workspace in advance. Alternatively, you may wish to assign specific hot-desks to staff members to reflect the needs of a particular project. This also permits you to rotate staff as needed, since offering a booking system could defeat the purpose of hot-desking—allowing a staff member to remain at the same workspace each day.
The downside of hot-desking is that it doesn't allow the personalization of a workspace. This could lead to some pushback from your staff, but this is easy to overcome by permitting certain personal touches, provided they're transferable. For example, a few framed photographs (of a staff member's family and friends) can be allowed, since they can easily be moved from one workspace to another. This also helps to reinforce the versatility of a hot-desk, with stipulations that the space must be returned to a neutral state at the end of the working day—an approach that also helps to reduce desktop clutter.
Hot-desking makes little sense for truly small businesses, but there can be considerable benefits for medium to large businesses. Remember that it's not just a case of declaring that your workplace now operates with hot-desking, and that the plan needs to have some structure.
For more information about how to adjust and improve your office workstations, contact a local company.