If your business is growing, you may be having trouble finding enough space for all your employees. Perhaps you need to add personnel, but you are waiting until you have sufficient desk space. You could move to a larger facility or add on to your present building, but that could be quite costly, especially in areas where real estate is at a premium. An exceedingly popular solution to this is hot desking.
If this describes your situation, you may be able to solve your dilemma by implementing hot desking. In its most simple form, hot desking simply refers to sharing desk space. There are several ways to do this. Here are four of them:
- In some cases, several employees can simultaneously share one desk. This works well when the need for a desk is secondary to the tasks being performed. For example, several call centre employees might be able to share a single desk because each employee only needs access to a phone and a computer terminal.
- Sharing desk space is also useful for companies that run more than one shift. A first-shift employee could use the same desk as a second- or third-shift employee. When each shift performs the same function, it might be possible for one employee to pass along information to another employee by simply leaving it in or on the desk.
- For companies that use temporary employees and contractors, it might be possible to share a desk because those positions do not require permanent desk storage. Additionally, contractors typically like to take their work with them.
- Some companies provide a number of desks for employees who are free to sit anywhere they want and with anyone they want. They may choose to sit by a window or closer to a door. They can change their desk on a daily basis or even multiple times during the day.
Benefits of hot desking
Hot desking has several benefits. Here are seven of them:
One of the most obvious benefits of sharing desk space is cost savings. This occurs in multiple ways: first, there are fewer desks to purchase. This means there are fewer desks to clean and maintain. Since there are fewer desks, the building size can be smaller, which reduces certain expenses like rent, utilities and taxes.
Another benefit of sharing desk space is that a new employee can share a desk with a more experienced employee. This is an excellent way to train new employees. While formal training sessions are fine, employees learn faster when they can watch an experienced employee in action. Sharing desk space also allows new employees to train with multiple seasoned employees in order to more fully understand the workflow process.
In the past, employee cubicles were popular. Typically, each cubicle contained one desk for one employee. However, desk sharing provides greater flexibility and better use of available space. For example, two to four desks can be joined together to create a large workstation that would accommodate several employees. Each employee could have access to file storage while sharing information that is common to all of the employees at that particular workstation.
Startup incubators and accelerators typically house a number of entrepreneurs who are in the early stages of starting a business. This is because venture capitalists and angel investors want entrepreneurs to be nearby in order to check on the progress being made. Incubators and accelerators also provide an ideal setting for networking. In that regard, sharing desk space becomes an integral part of the experience. Entrepreneurs can learn from each other as well as from their backers.
In an environment where everyone has their own personal desk, there is a tendency to clutter up the desk with nonessentials. This could include such things as family photos, papers that need filing or food items. Sharing desk space forces employees to be more organized. This often results in greater productivity.
The ability to choose a desk and move around from time to time tends to boost employee morale. Some employees are happier working by a window, while others prefer artificial light. Some prefer a quiet area while others want to interact with their peers. Employees also feel more empowered when they can share a desk to work on a joint project rather than having to schedule a meeting room.
The fact that an employee can sit at any desk they choose can drastically improve communications and prevent misunderstandings. Instead of having to move from one cubicle to another, call a coworker on the phone, send an email or schedule a meeting, one employee can simply visit the desk of another employee and communicate one on one.