Hotdesking is a trend that’s been discussed a lot recently in terms of working environments. All kinds of studies have been produced showing pros and cons of the set up that frees workers from a fixed desk. The cost savings for employers remains attractive as it saves space, but is hotdesking really the way forward for employees?
What is hotdesking?
Hotdesking is the buzz name for providing employees with shared-space workspaces instead of fixed ones. Desks are set up with access to wifi and often a monitor and keyboard, allowing employees to hitch up at the nearest available desk, plugin their laptop and start working.
The trend first came to popularity in the early 2000s and was seen as an economical use of space – no fixed desks meant less need for storage and often resulted in more space. Economical bench desks were often used.
Aside from the economical use of space, the idea was seen to treat workers as more mobile, creative and less “bound”. However, recent studies have shown that this might not actually be the case.
Is hotdesking working?
A recent study discussed in Learning & Professional Development suggests that instead of making employees more flexible and creative, hotdesks could, in fact, increase distraction, mistrust and negative relationships.
Loss of identity was cited as an important factor – like it or not, we spend a significant amount of our adult lives at our work and often our desks stand in for our homes. We enjoy customising our workspace to suit our own needs, often taking a significant amount of time to get it “just right”.
Having to readjust every day to a new work station not only eats into our working time; it can also reduce our sense of individuality, a sure-fire way to reduce creativity and sense of ownership.
Can hotdesks make a difference?
Replacing an entire fixed office with hotdesks is probably going to backfire and result in reduced morale. However, hotdesks still have their place – most usefully in so-called hybrid working environments. Workers have their own stations, usually as part of a team hub of desks, but hotdesks are also supplied.
This means that mobile employees have a place to work when they come into the office but it also means that employees can get away from their own desks for a while. This can be useful if the office is noisy – having hotdesks situated in a quiet or soundproofed area allows workers to move to somewhere they can concentrate better if they’re carrying out complex or tricky project work.
Hot Desking: worth considering as a supplement to your existing office furniture
Hotdesking is likely to continue to be popular and if you follow our recommendations for a hybrid workspace, you’re likely to find the perfect balance. We have a range of office desks that are ideal for shared purposes.
Agile desks with fixed and adjustable heights and a series of add-on storage units mean you can create the perfect working environment to suit the needs of your workforce. You can browse through our full range of desks here.