Hot Desking: The Wave of the Future, or Just a Positive Spin on Downsizing

Hot desking essentially means creating one central office workstation for multiple employees, or in some cases an open plan office-no cubes or private closed door offices; instead a  cluster of communal workstations becomes the hub. This kind of an arrangement works well with alternating shifts and limited office space. Hot-desking also saves money by minimizing the work footprint and maximizing the output of a few workstations.

For entrepreneurs and many startups, hot-desking is the future of office work. Creating a hot desk location helps many small business owners get their businesses up and running when there are limited funds for office space and when operating costs need to stay low. If they have employees, they distribute the workload between home office, mobile technology and hot desk locations.

For any hot desk, the needs are simple:

  1. Maintain office supplies at the workstation and keep it organized.
  2. Make sure the station is comfortable for everyone who needs to use it. That means including well-being and ergonomic features that are adjustable and flexible to fit the needs of multiple computer users on a single computer.
  3.  Aside from a PC, copier, fax and printer, equip the hot desk workstation with other essential business machines including a shredder, binding machine for presentations, and a laminator.

As exciting as hot desking may seem for some, others see the trend as nothing more than an opportunity to downsize the office environment: limiting the comfort of the workplace, while expecting the same productivity.  Though there are no hard numbers on the trend, there are consistent complaints. The “odd couple” syndrome is by far the most common: a highly organized, very tidy individual sharing a desk with the complete opposite. For those situations, good management skills come in handy, matching the right workers at the same workstations.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Hot Desking

What’s Good

1. Saves money

2. Better work/life balance

3. More interactive work environment

What’s Not So Good

1. Nothing personal about your workspace

2. No sense of permanence

3. One workstation+ multiple workers=lots of germs

2 thoughts on “Hot Desking: The Wave of the Future, or Just a Positive Spin on Downsizing

  1. We’ve recently started hot-desking in our office and have found it really beneficial in creating a more social and enjoyable working environment.

    We’ve solved the problem of hygiene that many are concern about then hot-desking by giving each member of staff their own wireless keyboard and mouse. Even with hot-desking people do tend to get settled in certain seats but we’re working on a solution to that with an app that randomly selects your seat on a daily basis. We’ve found that the lack of dedicated space doesn’t make people feel more isolated but instead more social as hot-desking allows them to interact with other staff members more often who previously sat at the opposite end of the office. Here are some other articles that you may find useful; and

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