What is Hot Desking and why is it a growing trend in many workspaces worldwide?


Hot desking is a flexible workplace strategy, where employees do not have assigned seats and choose where they sit on a first-come first-serve basis.

Few years back, usually there was no formal reservation system implemented for hot desking; employees simply found a place to work each day and claimed it as their own. 


While hot desking evaluated and became a valuable way to make the most of your office resources, the key to making hot desking work is having the proper systems in place to ensure smooth booking and usage by your teams. It’s not enough to have a collection of desks available for use anymore. 


What benefits can the implementation of hot desking bring to your company?


The benefits of hot-desking vary depending on your work style and what you need from the arrangement. Where freelancers appreciate having a place to work and meet potential clients, business owners like the idea of flexible lease terms and the ability to hire or send employees to workspaces in different cities (Coworking Office case) or the idea of reducing the office space and reinvesting the money saved in different company areas: 


Hot desking benefits:

  • Space utilization
  • Reducing real estate costs
  • Greater flexibility for employees
  • Easy office cleaning
  • Less personal stuff around the office


Many workplace leaders have been moving away from assigned seats in recent years to offer employees more autonomy while improving space utilization.

The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the need for a more flexible work environment as more employees have been working at home and will likely continue to do so at least on a part-time basis. 


Hot desking increases the ratio of employees to desks, reducing the wasted space that occurs when employees assigned to those spaces aren’t in the office. It also makes desks easier to clean because they aren’t cluttered with personal belongings. Saving that much space directly impacts not only the amount of furniture you need, but also the amount of square feet your company needs to inhabit. Of course, the goal is not to create the most claustrophobic environment for your employees, but rather, to take space that’s already claustrophobic and make it much more open. 


What’s a challenge in Hot Desking?


Certainly, while the benefits of hot-desking might be multifold, the arrangement doesn’t suit all industries or all work styles. Employees dealing with highly sensitive information may prefer a more private solution, while teams that require consistent structure and ongoing collaboration throughout the workday could grow frustrated at the changing seating. 

Hot desking means eliminating personal offices very often, so this new model may require a little more time for getting used to it. 

Another issue with hot desking is the need for ongoing organization. Employers need an app/system that enables them to know exactly where to go to find an open desk. Without an established structure or set of rules, hot desking could very well result in your employees arguing over who has the right to sit where. 


Is it worth giving it a try?


When managing the needs of a modern office, flexibility strategies can be the key to unlocking your space’s potential. Flexible work, however, requires planning and technology that empowers your employees throughout their workday. From policies that consider the entire employee journey, to efficient use of resources to ensure everyone has the tools and tech required to do their jobs well, the balance between employee needs and company objectives requires creative and progressive thinking.


With its mix of opportunities and small challenges, hot desking may be worth an examination by your  company or organisation. Judging specific needs of your employees and/or your industry you may find hot desking a ‘new normal’ in the post-pandemic world quite fast.