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hot desking in organization
Rikke Diget FuglsangJan 14, 20224 min read

Hot desking, a definition and its purpose

In the flexible work environment where we see more and more people work from anywhere they find an internet connection, we also see many offices downscaling their office facilities and redesigning the office set up. Fixed desks are retiring to make room for activity-based working. In this office setup desks are often shared by more employees, and thus terms such as hot desking and desk hoteling has become increasingly popular.


What is hot desking?

Hot desking involves multiple workers booking and utilizing a single physical workstation or surface during different time periods. The 'desk' refers to a table or other workspace being shared by multiple workers on different shifts as opposed to every staff member having their own designated desk. A primary motivation for hot-desking is cost reduction through space savings, as the workspace sharing means that employees actually outnumber the amount of desks. Hence, hot desking is especially valuable for companies located in larger cities where real estate prices are high. 


The disadvantages of hot desking

  • It may require new technology
  • It may require more and new IT strategies
  • It may be difficult for some employees to let go of their personal seetings
  • It may cause transition problems
  • It may restrict employee access when accommodations are necessary

A hot desking system requires a larger organizational transition. There is more to it than just an announcement and putting a sign-in sheets at each desk. Going from a 1-to-1 seating arrangement to a more mobile, active, and open workspace design is a big cultural shift for employees and demands a thoughtful and well-constructed rollout.  Many employees might have been used to a designated desk, chair and screen matching their own personal settings, and might need a bit of convincing to why they need to give that up. So, as with most company-wide changes, getting your employees to buy into new ideas is essential.  In order for that to work, you will need to emphasize the benefits of hot desking.


The benefits of hot desking

  • Upgrading office technology and infrastructure
  • Greater flexibility and autonomy for employees
  • More functional workspaces
  • Improved relationships and collaboration with coworkers
  • Enhancement of the workplace experience

These hot desking benefits needs to be communicated properly, but employees also often need to feel involved, hence it is important to take in the feedback and concerns they have with the implementation. When done right, hot desking can be very convenient for employees, allowing flexibility and mobility. You can get the whole guide to hot desking right here.


How do you do hot desking?

It is not a secret that for hot desking to be successful you need the right technology. A technology that will allow for your employees to book though their Outlook Calendar or mobile app on the go, and as soon as the need arises between meetings catch up on their task list at a convenient desk close by.  To accommodate such an immediate need of a desk you will need it to be comfortable, and in a space that is dedicated to work.

The easy way to go around that is by pulling up your phone and using an app  or your Outlook Calendar ´and select 'hot desk' in the list of meeting purpose subjects. A list of available desks then appears. You click on one and boom - it is yours. When you arrive at the desk, your name is on the display screen and the screen is red - meaning booked/occupied.  That would be a hot desking process your employees could get used to. 



Why you also need desk hoteling

When implementing new seating arrangements at your office with bookable desks it is important to consider the employees wanting to plan their workday ahead of coming to the office. While hot desking is perfect for the 'I need a desk right now moments' desk hoteling is perfect for the 'I need a desk tomorrow moment'. Desk hoteling is just like a hotel booking - something you can book in advance. Thereby, ensuring that your employees are guaranteed optimal working conditions. With desk hoteling employees can set their own time intervals and search for desks in various locations including attributes such as the electronic equipment available. This ensures that employees can book their new favorite spot in advance if they already know beforehand that they will need one. 


Desk booking software

A Desk booking software is a flexible and digital tool needed to enhance the utilization of office facilities in a time where more and more organizations choose a hybrid working solution to accommodate their employees' need, so they can switch between working from home and at the office. At AskCody we have worked on a solution to make it easy for employees to book their desk on the go. Either you can book via the AskCody mobile app or via your Outlook calendar. This ensures that you can easily book your resources anywhere at any time. 

Lean more about desk booking:

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Rikke Diget Fuglsang

Content and Communications Lead, AskCody. Rikke creates content that informs organizations about the latest workplace trends and behavior.