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Will Hot Desking Work for You?

by fatweb

Jane Cowan-Harris

Head of WorkSpace IQ
www.workspaceiq.co.nz

One of the most popular topics in workspace design at the moment is hot desking.

With its ability to service a variety of users and situations, the main advantages of hot desking are the savings made due to the need for less furniture and less floor space.

This concept is fine for organisations where people only require occasional computer access throughout the day (or week), such as those with sales staff or shift workers sharing spaces in call centres.

Hot desking has also been used overseas in organisations that are encouraging a more mobile workforce, moving teams around the whole office space on a regular basis to keep perspectives fresh and get people thinking outside the square.

For some people though, the idea of hot desking is all a step too far. For those who may be working with physical files – for example, accountants, lawyers, architects and engineers, the practicality of moving to another location in the office is simply not realistic. Also, there are always going to be some people (whatever their role or profession), that like to have their ‘own’ workspace, with their personal photos, images, plants, and furniture; ‘their space’.

So with the corporate demands leaning more towards people moving into open plan offices, how do we strike the right balance between personal and impersonal work places?

Unless carefully and thoughtfully implemented, businesses run the risk of appearing like ‘big brother’, making wholesale decisions with little input from staff members.

Organisations need to prepare well to hot desk successfully. Research from overseas shows that a hot desking environment only really works in a paperless office and that – as businesses work through the process of scanning documents and getting electronic document transfer and storage systems in place – can take up to three years.

Regardless of whether or not we like it, it seems that this more fluid use of space is becoming more common place; so, if hot desks are going to be a part of your office space, what can you do to make them a more welcoming place to be rather than a soul-less pit stop?

Be sure to keep in mind the functionality of your office space, and be mindful of the tasks your staff members perform in that space, so you can get the best outcome for your business, and be sure to allow some flexibility as your business and all these technology systems evolve.

Overall, do your homework; size it all up well before you start moving to get a better idea if hot desking will be a good fit for your business.

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