What is Hot Desking
Hot-desking is the practice of allocating desks to workers when they are required or on a rotation basis rather than assigning a permanent desk to each worker. In simple words, you have more workers than desks. More than one worker uses the same desks according to a schedule. They can also book hot desks using a space booking app such as Lobbytrack.
In the modern sense, hot desking involves multiple workers on different schedules sharing a single space. That could be a desk or a space dedicated to a specific activity, such as a lab or conference room.
Hot Desking Examples
Hot desking has been around for decades in workplaces like real estate agencies, hotels, and workshops. In recent years, well-known companies like Microsoft, Credit Suisse, Citigroup, Lego, and many others have added hot desks to their offices as a part of their smart working drive.
To give you a few examples, the consulting firm Deloitte uses 1,000 desks for about 2,500 workers at its futuristic Amsterdam office. Macquarie Group's Sydney headquarters, which was designed to handle 2,500 people on any given day, can accommodate 3,500 people because of its activity based hot desking environment.
Is Hot Desking Suitable for My Office?
The answer to this question depends on the nature of your work and your unique work culture. Hot desking may be a compulsion if you have a coworking office or an open floor plan. If your workforce includes field workers such as insurance agents or surveyors who need space only for a couple of hours each day, for example, they can probably work from a small field office with only a couple of hot desks. That might save traveling costs and fatigue.
On the other hand, hot desking may not be the ideal solution for workplaces that deal with highly sensitive information or where the nature of work requires seclusion and privacy.
Hot Desking Vs Desk Hoteling
The Covid-19 pandemic and the ensuing safety regulations gave rise to another flexible working trend called 'desk hoteling'. It is similar to hot desking in the sense that no permanent desks are assigned to workers, but in desk hoteling workers book a desk for a whole day before they come to work.
Desk hoteling gives your facilities team more time to clean and sanitize desks between bookings and makes it easy for workers to maintain spatial distance. Like with hot desking, workers can easily reserve desks in advance for each day using a user-friendly mobile app.