Hot desking is one of the biggest trends to hit the post-COVID-19 workplace. But even though this workplace system can be beneficial to many organizations, hot desking can create more problems than it solves if it’s not properly implemented.
Let’s discuss how to successfully introduce hot desking in your organization and how to avoid the most common pitfalls of improper implementation.
What is Hot Desking?
Hot desking is a type of work arrangement where workspaces are allocated on a first-come, first-serve basis. In a hot desking system, no one “owns” a space, whether that space is a desk, an office, a chair, etc. Nothing is permanent. Instead, employees can come into the office and work at whatever station is unoccupied.Why are more and more organizations adopting the hot desking system? Here are three of the biggest benefits of hot desking: Click To Tweet
What are the Benefits of Hot Desking?
Why are more and more organizations adopting the hot desking system? Here are three of the biggest benefits of hot desking:
1. Smaller offices, larger savings – It seems like so long ago when offices were fully populated with everyone on the team. Thanks to the pandemic, the way we work has shifted. Nowadays, many organizations operate on a hybrid basis with only a few of their employees opting to work from the office and only doing so for a few days each week. Because offices no longer reach maximum occupancy, there’s no need to maintain large office spaces. Instead, many organizations can downsize their offices and invest the savings elsewhere. And downsized office also means spending less on operational costs and utilities.
2. Increased collaboration – Organizations have the opportunity to go fully remote, but many organizations keep the hybrid option to encourage face-to-face collaboration. When given the opportunity, many remote employees will come to the office to work alongside their colleagues—at least a few days a week. With hot desking, an organization gets the best of both worlds. It can downsize office space without discouraging in-person collaboration. Hot desking actually encourages your remote-first team members to come into the office more regularly.
3. Change of pace – Hot desking gives your remote-first employees a chance to switch up their work environments from their home office or neighborhood coffee house. They can come into their actual workplace and be amongst other employees. A coffee house is great, but it doesn’t quite match the synergy of a collaborative space with two or more colleagues working side by side towards a shared goal. And this is what you’ll gain by implementing a hot desking system in your organization.
Even with all of the above benefits we just discussed, haphazardly implementing a hot desking system in your organization can lead to major problems. This may include low adoption because your employees don’t understand the benefits of hot desking and, on the other extreme, workspace shortage due to over-booking. Here’s how to properly execute a hot desking system in your office:
Promote Your Hot Desking Program
The first step is to actively promote your hot desking program to your employees. Encourage employees to use it by educating them about the benefits of hot desking, and ensure that everyone in your organization knows how to do it properly (even if they choose not to).
Before starting your hot desking program, ask your employees to share what they need, want, and expect from the program. Then use their feedback to create achievable goals for your hot desking program.
Appoint a Manager
The hot desking system cannot run itself. Appoint someone on your team to manage desk reservations, handle disputes, troubleshoot with IT, and do other hot desking-related tasks.
Hot desking and hoteling are often used interchangeably, but the two are different. Hot desking involves sharing a common workspace on a first-come, first-serve basis. Hoteling allows your employee to reserve the space ahead of time.
Learn more about the difference between hot desking and hoteling here.
Hoteling provides more structure to your flexible workspace because you can accept reservations instead of making your workplace a free-for-all. Many employees simply won’t come to the office if they don’t know whether or not they’ll have a desk waiting for them. By implementing a reservation system, you will reduce employee uncertainty and frustration.
In this post, we covered six hot desking apps you can use to manage reservations.
Automate the Check-in Process
In addition to a booking app, also consider implementing an automated check-in system. This is where we step in. The Receptionist for iPad is a visitor management tool that will enable you to provide seamless hot desking check-ins. Here’s an overview of how your hot desking process can work:
- An employee uses your hot desking booking system to reserve a workspace
- The employee arrives at your office at the time of their reservation
- The employee locates the iPad Receptionist kiosk and checks in
- The kiosk provides further instructions to the employee upon check-in
- The kiosk can also issue temporary ID badges to ensure the utmost security in restricted areas of your workplace
Using an automated visitor management system like The Receptionist for iPad can offer a ton of benefits for both your employee and your organization. By checking in with a digital receptionist, instead of a human one, your employee won’t have to wait around in a long line. Our visitor management system even offers contactless check-in. All the employee needs to do is scan the QR code by using their smartphone. Then they can complete the check-in process entirely on their phone without waiting at the kiosk or touching a public surface.
A visitor management system also increases the security in your office. First, you’ll have an up-to-date record of who’s in your office and where they are. This ensures that you’ll have an accurate headcount in case of emergency evacuations.
You can also use this information for analytic purposes, too. Know who’s in your office, when, for how long, and for how often. This can help you improve your future planning. If you’re hot desking, implementing a check-in process is a must.
Click here to learn how the Receptionist for iPad can help you manage your hot desking system.
Implement a BYOD Program
To reduce the wear and tear that happens when multiple employees use the same equipment, implement a bring your own device (BYOD) program. You can still issue each employee a dedicated work device, such as a laptop or tablet, but only one employee is responsible for the upkeep of each device.
A BYOD program removes the need for hot desking managers to upkeep shared devices. It also eliminates the occurrence of out-of-order workstations.
Establish a Hot Desking Policy
What is one of the best practices you can follow with implementing a hot desking system in your office? Set up a standard hot desking policy and endure that your employees understand the guidelines.
Offer Different Seating Options
In addition to standing desks, consider offering different seating options to accommodate the various needs of your team members. This can include balance balls, cycle chairs, ergonomic chairs, kneeling chairs, and more.
Offering multiple types of seating options that make the work environment comfortable can entice your employees to take part in your hot desking program.
In a hot desking environment, no one owns a workstation. This means that the desk should be cleared after each use. But toting all of their personal items back and forth from home can become cumbersome for your employees. Make it easy on your employees by assigning each person their own locker. This gives them an option to store personal items in a central place on the premises.
It’s absolutely essential to track usage when operating a hot desking program in your workplace. Analytics can help you identify the health of your hot desking program including overall utilization, busiest days of the week, busiest times of the desk, the most popular types of work stations at use, and much more. You can use this information to continuously tweak your hot desking program.
In addition to the data analytics, also ask your employees for their feedback on your program. What do they like about the program as is? What would they like to change? The answers to these two questions can make a difference between your program’s ultimate success or failure. Be sure to ask for and act on feedback regularly.
Hot desking will breathe new life into your workplace and give your employees more flexibility in how they choose to work. Use the above tips to improve your hot desking process for everyone who chooses to participate.
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