With more and more flexible office options emerging in recent years, you might be considering whether hotdesking could work for you and your team. As a collaborative way to organise your work environment, hotdesking has boomed in popularity, particularly amongst creatives and art-based organisations post-pandemic. Though it might not work for every company, with the potential for disruptions and compromised communication. Here, we’ll cover the ins and outs of hotdesking including all the advantages and disadvantages, giving you a better idea of whether hotdesking could enhance your business working pattern.
What Is Hotdesking?
Hotdesking is a flexible work arrangement whereby employees are free to choose their workstation or desk on any given day. Compared to traditional office models where every member of the team has an assigned desk, hotdesking allows individuals to work wherever is available in the space, catering to their needs and requirements. This typically operates on a first-come-first-served basis, but some organisations may include reservation systems.
Hotdesking offices may often include a variety of workstations, such as single-person desks, standing desks, and work tables in order to accommodate the needs of every employee. This can reduce space in the office, allowing the available space to be optimised to its best potential. Hotdesking may therefore work well for businesses seeking more flexibility in their structure.
Advantages Of Hotdesking
There are many benefits associated with hotdesking and other flexible working patterns as they provide an alternative to traditional methods. Below, we’ve outlined the main advantages of hotdesking to give you a better understanding of its draws to so many companies.
1. Encourages Collaboration
Hotdesking can promote and encourage collaboration due to the removal of conventional barriers. As the office is not organised into segments, it opens up the space for more interactions that otherwise might not take place. Also, with the option of workstations, colleagues can decide to sit together if their work requires it or opt for a more individual approach depending on their tasks for the day. Hotdesking can therefore improve collaboration and output.
2. Promotes Equality
Having an equitable work environment is a key aim for many business owners in the modern age. Hotdesking can help promote equality as it helps to flatten hierarchies with all employees using the same types of workstations. There might be situations where the boss, owner, or CEO has a separate office but all other employees use the communal hotdesking office space which still enforces a hierarchy in some way. But if entire teams make use of the same space, equality is more likely to prevail and boost team morale as a result.
3. Maintains Organisation
Hotdesking can also help to maintain a certain level of organisation and tidiness in the office. As an employee’s workspace is used temporarily for that specific day, there is a reduced chance for work to pile up and disorganisation to ensue. Every employee will be responsible for keeping their desk clean and tidying it at the end of the day, ready for the person tomorrow.
Disadvantages Of Hotdesking
However, as with most things, hotdesking can come with some challenges which are important to be aware of before finalising your workplace structure. Browse the disadvantages covered below to see if your company could thrive in a hotdesking environment.
1. Less Personalised
One of the main disadvantages of hotdesking is that it can de-personalise the office space, leaving employees less inclined to want to work on-site. Without personalised touches on desk areas, it could make your team less engaged with their work. Hotdesking could therefore be challenging for those used to traditional office arrangements or who enjoy workplace familiarity.
2. Communication Could Be Compromised
Another potential challenge with hotdesking is the efficiency of communication. If all employees switch seats every working day, it can become difficult to accurately relay messages and ensure a productive workflow. Depending on the size of your office space this might not cause a major issue, but it is definitely worth taking into consideration if you require substantial inter-team and interdepartmental communication.
3. Heightened Distractions
Finally, a disadvantage of hotdesking is that there is the potential for more frequent distractions. When working in a new environment or from a new perspective it is natural to be curious about your surroundings. If this occurs every day, it might then pose a problem in terms of productivity and focus. What’s more, if employees choose to sit near their friends or people closest to them in the team, there is a higher chance of non-work-related conversation and further distractions. It is therefore vital that your team can work efficiently no matter where they are situated in the office.