Many corporate TopBrewer clients have recently moved offices or are in the process of doing so. One thing that a lot of these businesses have in common is their rationale when it comes to moving to a hot desking or hotelling environment. As space becomes increasingly in demand and more expensive, particularly in the City, agile working practices are a great way of saving money and reducing wasted square footage.
So what is hot desking and how does it work? Hot desking means that employees no longer work from fixed desks. Some organisations operate a booking in system, known as hotelling, whereby staff literally book themselves into a desk when they arrive at work in the morning. A strict clear desk policy is often adhered to and lockers are generally allocated to staff to store their personal and work belongings.
The reception to this modern way of working from staff can be mixed and it is important for businesses to communicate with their employees about the change, why it is happening and what the benefits will be to them and the organisation as a whole. Some employees view their desk as a second home, this is understandable due to the amount of time we each spend at our workplace. A desk can harbour a sense of identity and individuality, a place to express ones self through potted plants, family pictures and stationary. However, the prospect of clearing ones belongings away into a locker each evening can be perceived as somewhat of an annoyance.
So what are the benefits to employees? The good thing about hot desking is that companies do not need to allocate a desk to every member of staff. What with holidays, external meetings and the ability to work remotely, the workplace is never full to capacity, therefore the extra space can be used much more efficiently to create communal areas, hubs, meeting spaces and generally nicer environments to work in and collaborate with colleagues. If you are working with a specific colleague from a different team on a certain project, hot desking allows you the flexibility to book a spot next to them so that you can collaborate much more effectively. Not only this, in many organisations this way of working is not limited to staff, Directors are also adopting the scheme allowing for a much more open and relaxed way of working. Breaking down barriers and obstacles in the workplace both physically and metaphorically can create a genuine culture shift.
"We have learnt from our clients that hot desking makes perfect sense in the modern workspace. It is an efficient and cost effective model that has many benefits to both the organisation adopting the principles and their staff. But it can be a long journey for some and communication at every stage is crucial to a smooth transition and positive cultural shift." Simon Bracken, Managing Director, Scanomat UK