Should You Experiment With Hot-Desking To Save On Office Space?

Hot-desking is a massive trend right now, being trialed by companies all over the world. Bosses see it as a surefire way to save money on office rental costs and improve employee wellbeing at the same time.

The basic idea is this: you don’t have set pods or desks for each member of your team. Instead, you just provide the number of desks that you need at any given time, and people sit where they want. By avoiding having to provide a workstation for all employees 24-hours per day, bosses hope that the scheme will save them money. But does it?

The Benefits

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The direct benefits of hotdesking are abundantly clear. Many managers find that they can shrink the amount of floor space that they need by around 30 percent or more, shaving between 10 and 20 percent off their rent bills. Estimates suggest that the savings for businesses could run into the billions every year, providing a massive boost to the economy. But is it a good idea on every front? What about the effect on worker retention? Do employees like sharing their desks with others?

This issue is more contentious. It is undeniable that some workers are territorial about where they sit. They like to set up their desks just right, putting them in the mood for the rest of the day. Many want to place a picture of their spouse or family on their workstation to remind them why they work so hard.

These individuals, however, tend to be in the minority. Most workers see the office as a shared space, and they’re prepared to use it as a public resource. They don’t feel particularly territorial about where they set up their computer.

Interestingly, there’s some evidence that employees actually prefer to change where they work. It can get tedious filing into work every day, sitting in the same place, and staring out the same window. Switching things up a bit can help every day feel a little different.

The Cons

Some bosses still aren’t keen on the idea, though. There’s all the faff involved with setting up desks for a new person each morning, which can cut into productivity, erasing any gains that might come from boosting morale.

If you click here, though, you’ll discover something interesting. While hotdesking was a problem for many firms in the past because of the basic admin issues, it is something that has become a lot easier to implement. There are now firms, for instance, that specialize in helping managers set up offices that allow hotdesking but don’t involve all the usual hassles.

The debate around hotdesking is likely to continue for a while, but there is no doubt that it is a powerful tool to save companies money. The expected outcome is that most firms will eventually adopt the practice, but will do so using smart innovations that minimize the negatives. Only then will the idea go mainstream and change the business world on a macro scale.

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