Opening Your Office to Hot Desking Do's and Dont's

Hot desking has changed the way that offices operate. It provides an opportunity to improve professional relationships and gives employees more autonomy. For facility managers, it's a chance to save space and increase office occupancy rates.

If you’d like to take the leap and implement hot desking in your office, we recommend taking note of these important do’s and don’ts.

Do: Use desk booking software

Your number one priority after choosing to adopt hot desking is to set up a system that is clear and simple for employee use. With a comprehensive desk booking tool, you can offer employees real-time access to shared desks across the facility, thereby diminishing the chances of confusion, disruption and, ultimately, productivity loss. Consider investing in a desk sharing solution that not only offers easy adoption for employees, but that also provides insights into the success of your flexible working strategies. This software should also allow you to identify trends around seating preferences and collaboration habits among teams.

Don't: Forget to communicate the basics

For some staff, hot desking may be an unfamiliar process. Establishing clear and open lines of communication is important, especially in the early stages of roll out. Ensure you’ve prepared straightforward procedures for staff to follow if issues arise, and set up an initial training session to go through the basics. This preparation could also include developing a hot desking manual or policy document that staff can review for clarification.

Do: Account for multiple staff using the same space

Staff participating in desk sharing will have to leave all of their decorative succulents, personalized stationery and family photos at home. More importantly though, companies employing hot desking will need to consider work-related items that need to stay at the office, so it might be a good idea to invest in lockers for staff to store their work necessities.

Since multiple employees may cross each workspace on a daily basis, cleanliness is an important factor to consider when deploying hot desking. On top of providing staff with cleaning supplies and encouraging quick wipe downs after each use, remind them to refrain from eating at their desks and to stay home when they’re feeling under the weather.

Don't: Overlook quiet meeting spaces

While some people often confuse remote work with “individual work”, the two are not always the same. Just because someone works remotely, it doesn’t mean they don’t require a soundproofed meeting space to work collaboratively with other team members. In today’s world, meetings often happen in a virtual space, meaning your hot deskers need a noise-free zone to connect with their coworkers abroad.

Do: Implement a request management tool

Your hot desking strategy should account for access to a request management tool. Since employees don’t spend each day at the same desk, communication tools are important—after all, no employee wants to start their day by discovering broken equipment or a desk space that’s out of order. With an easy to use request system, staff can report issues immediately, find another spot to stay productive and ensure that the issue is on the mend for their incoming co-worker. Scheduling preventive maintenance around the office will also help avoid breakdowns and keep the hot desking process running smoothly.

Don't: Buy cheap furniture

The purpose of hot desking is to ensure that every workspace is used to its maximum potential. This means you’ll need to assess the quality of the components available at each workspace. If furniture and equipment are well-used and on their way out the door, consider investing in new, durable items that can handle the non-conventional work hours and extended periods of wear and tear. At the same time, ensure each space is equipped with appropriate IT systems—you’ll need to anticipate the different types of work that will be done at each space and the many unique setups individual workers will use.

Flexible working arrangements and results-based work can improve employee engagement, morale, and productivity. Offering staff the freedom to collaborate and interact with different teams can help pave the way for idea sharing and innovation, so it makes sense for any office space that wants to remain relevant to adopt hot desking today.

Article by David Spence, OfficeSpace