A study conducted by the Adecco Group, titled ‘Resetting Normal’, found that approximately 50% of professionals perceive seating flexibility and a mix of in-person and remote work as advantageous. As a result, various office occupancy models have emerged to accommodate these preferences. Some companies assign specific sectors to groups of employees, limiting their seating options. Others utilize a hybrid approach, where they offer both sector-specific seating and open spaces for any employee to work in if their sector is occupied. Alternatively, some companies have no restrictions on location or time, allowing employees to arrive and sit anywhere without prior reservation on a first come, first served basis.
Since the widespread implementation of these models in recent years, they have provided greater freedom and flexibility to the work environment, leading to increased productivity rates. Hot desking, in particular, allows employees to work in close proximity to those with different perspectives on a project, fostering collaboration and interaction.
Hot desking is the term used for a flex-seating arrangement that allows employees to choose seating on a first-come, first-served basis. This strategy was originally pioneered by a few of the more innovative startups and quickly gained favor throughout the corporate world as a popular hybrid working model. With this, employees do not have a fixed desk in the office but can reserve a position anywhere in the company premises where they have access.
The Importance of Technology for Hot Desk
It is crucial for a company to study, comprehend, and explore new tech advancements to enhance its capabilities and adopt the best management practices. The decision to implement hot desking should not be solely based on a trend, but rather on research.
To create the best open floor environment, you should identify which employees are comfortable with changing desks daily and which are not. Seeking advice or informing employees can aid in this process. Hot desking should be implemented in a way that does not cause stress or inconvenience to employees.
One effective approach is to use employee experience software such as Deskbee, which manages workspaces, facilities, room reservations, and office lockers, among other things. This technology helps companies analyze the potential transformations that this work model can bring and incorporate them into their organization.
Advantages of Hot Desking
Companies have enjoyed several other benefits from implementing the hot desking concept, including:
Cost Reduction: The primary advantage of hot desking is cost savings on spaces and positions, as companies can provide accommodations and optimize space based on the number of employees who frequent the office each day rather than the total number of employees.
Broad Communication: Hot desking fosters broader communication as employees are not restricted to a single location. By rotating workstations, employees have the opportunity to engage with new people and expand their perspectives and collaboration skills.
Collaborative work: Hot desking decentralizes innovation processes and encourages interactions throughout the workday, leading to increased collaboration and empowerment within companies. This approach enables employees to exchange ideas and insights, improving the overall effectiveness and morale of the workplace.
What should employers do to define a proper hot desk policy?
When companies plan to implement a hot desk policy, they need to do proper research through interviews and employee surveys to understand employee habits, as well as who should be included in this policy and how many desks should be used. Obviously, this hot desk policy should remain flexible and can be changed at any time to meet the needs of the employees.
- Establish a suitable ratio of shared desks to people. Keep in mind that not all employees should be part of the hot desk policy. Designate a desk to those who use the same workstation for more than 80% of their working hours, such as finance or administrative teams. Those who use the desk for less than 50% of their working hours can be part of the hot desk policy.
- Divide the workspace into several areas to make it easy for everyone to find their team members.
- Implement a hybrid workstation management software that allows employees to easily find available desks and provides additional information about the proximity of the desk to certain tools, nearby amenities, printers, conference rooms, etc. This can help them start their day more efficiently and productively.
- Communicate regularly with your team to help them get excited about new collaboration opportunities and the hot desk experience as a whole.
- Gather regular feedback on the effectiveness of the hot desking policy and how employees are responding to the change. Use this feedback to improve the policy and make necessary adjustments to keep your team motivated and satisfied.
Hot desking software has become an essential tool for companies that have adopted hybrid work arrangements. With this software, team members can book their workstations either in the office or from home, which provides greater flexibility and control over their time. Furthermore, it encourages collaboration and enhances team spirit and relationships, which can lead to better project outcomes.
Images: Adobe Stock
Author: Hilton Oliveira
Translation: Karolina Zanusso