In 2022, hybrid work model was estimated to reach 53% share within all kinds of working models and with more companies enacting work-from-home policies, it’s only expected to increase in the future. In the hybrid working model, there’s a new term called “hot desking” and it can have a huge impact on how employees experience hybrid working.
Hot desking is sharing on-site workplaces without being actually assigned to a certain desk. In other words, the same workspace can be used by more than one employee on different days of the week. It’s a very widespread practice for businesses that offer a hybrid work model and an effective way of managing a workplace.
For businesses with limited workspace, hot desking is a very efficient way of implementing hybrid work. Without providing a separate desk for each employee, a company can accommodate more employees than their office allows. Especially for growing businesses, hot desking is a very viable alternative because it can allow those kinds of businesses to grow fast without being worried about the workplace.
How hot desking is managed in a company depends on the hybrid work style that company implemented. Some businesses may expect a three-day attendance from their employees and it becomes a rather impractical practice in that case. In an office environment where everyone is at the office for three days of the week, the number of employees can easily outnumber the number of workplaces allowed.
However, for companies that require one or two days on site, hot desking can be a pretty good option. In case that employees come to the office a day or two in a week, there shouldn’t be a problem with the number of desks because even a small office can afford such a model.
Most of the businesses with hot desking policies leave the management of workspace to their employees, which means that employees are free to choose at what desk they’d like to work. Hot desking rides on employees’ freedom of time management, so that the employee that arrives early can pick a desk and the rest gets chosen in that order.
Companies can decide whether each employee works on site on a specific day or it could be any day in the week. Depending on their office size, workspace conditions and utilities planning, the companies with hot desking policies should implement the most optimal strategy for them.
One thing that shines out in the hot desking model is the flexibility provided to employees. Employees can set their own rules among each other as to when and where they should work on site. Leaving employees freedom of choice for a hot desking model allows them to sustain their productivity under a hybrid work model.
Hot desking is still being widely practiced in most of the organizations, maybe unwittingly, but it’s still a mystery if the practice will survive in the long run.
Hot desking is a concept that has arisen with the pandemic, therefore most of the workplaces were not accustomed to it beforehand. This kind of discrepancy causes companies to pay for a larger workplace than needed, because before the pandemic, each employee usually had a designated specific workplace for them and offices were built accordingly.
Also, designs of most offices were not planned to go with hot desking policies. Most of the offices are designed to accommodate as many employees as possible. This kind of settlement usually caused companies to eliminate spaces that could have been used for other purposes otherwise, such as socializing. Therefore, what’s going to happen with current offices is also another question that awaits its answer.
On the employee side, getting used to hot desking can take some time as well. Most of the employees are used to having their personal places in the office and building their personalized desks. But in hot desking, that’s rarely the case and it’s uncertain whether employees would enjoy hot desking in the long run.
To sum up, hot desking is a term that gained popularity with the rise of the pandemic and it’s full of unanswered questions for now. On one hand, it’s a very practical way of managing the workplace by cutting excessive costs and helping companies to implement hybrid work models. On the other hand, it’s a very fragile model that can be disrupted by many psychological and infrastructural factors.
For companies that implemented a hybrid work model, hot desking should be discussed in detail whether it stands as a viable option or not. The evaluation should include company culture, demands of the employees, feasibility of the work site and future infrastructural strategy of the business.
And if you’re a company that’s planning to implement a hybrid work model but not sure about how it would turn out, hot desking must be one of the aspects that you should think about.