As workforces continue their return to the workplace, sweeping trends in workspace usage are being seen globally - focused on the streamlining of space usage processes, and centred around workspace technology.
One of the dominant trends redefining workspaces is hot desking.
Hot desking is a workspace organisation system that removes permanently assigned seating, and enables ad hoc desk usage, based on who’s on site at the time.
Why it's a hot topic
Built on the principle of complete flexibility, hot desking has a host of immediate benefits that fit these current times:
It reduces office real estate overhead by reducing redundant desks or spaces: It also allows for effective social distancing and capacity management at any given time:
And it can enable 'zone' booking for teams, so that key groups can still work together while working within a hybrid work model.
Hot desking can nurture and enable employee innovation by encouraging more cross-disciplinary collaboration between typically physically disparate teams or departments. Furthermore, it's compatible with ‘contactless’ office policies.
Read on to find out why hot desking is on the rise, its benefits (and how to maximise them), and to discover how desk booking software can increase office productivity in a hot desking environment.
The rise in hot desking
Hot desking was on the rise even before the global response to COVID-19, and is synonymous with “zoning” and “hoteling.”
A Gallup poll found that 43% of participants in the US had already worked remotely at some point by 2016.
The lockdowns that began in 2020 forced businesses worldwide to test out various work from home schemes - from full remote work, to hybrid contactless telecommuting setups, further fuelling the demand for increased flexibility in working arrangements.
Every office space is different, and so too will be their hot desking setups and workplace management policies. The core benefits, however, are similar.
- Improved office space efficiency (and associated cost savings)
- Increased inter-departmental collaboration
- Enhanced overall productivity
- Better employee morale
- Reduced employee churn rates
Hot desking has been successfully implemented across leading innovative companies. For example, Citigroup offering employees a daily choice of desks in an open floor plan, and Deloitte seating 2,500 employees in only 1,000 desks.
The importance of desk booking software when hot desking
The concept of modern telecommuting and hot desking is built on a foundation of technology-enabled tools and platforms.
For hot desking, a key component in the tech stack is desk booking software.
Great desk management software incorporates several key features and capabilities into a streamlined, ideally cloud-based platform that goes well beyond self-service desk reservation for employees.
It can extend to taking into account floor plans and wayfinding, statistics and analytics, and integration with other existing hardware and software.
Desk booking software automates manual scheduling and reservation functions that are naturally prone to human error, and streamlines the telecommuting setup. Self-service booking software also eliminates staff having to manage the bookings.
5 ways desk booking software can increase productivity
Hot desking has been linked to various improvements in office productivity through the study of co-working spaces. Meanwhile, desk booking software can likewise increase productivity in the office:
1. Connect employees who may inspire each other
It has been reported that such working arrangements help improve collaboration through shared physical spaces, infrastructure, and even digital tools.
This helps workers find potential collaborative partners who help increase their creativity or productivity and lets them explore novel, innovative ideas they otherwise would not.
2. Create designated focus spots
Hot desking is compatible with flexible meeting room or cubicle scheduling, encouraging the designation of focus spots that help workers truly give 100% to whatever it is they’re trying to achieve.
This can happen both in an individual cubicle setup or a reserved meeting room where a team can brainstorm and maximize group creativity.
3. Help visitors and contractors immediately get to work
One of the most obvious ways desk booking software directly impacts productivity is its touch-and-go nature. Schedule work hours, reserve a desk, and simply start working when you arrive at the office. No fuss, no wasted time.
4. Create fewer disruptions
Desk booking software can help workers choose the desk they want to work at. This gives them more control of their working hours, physical locations, and who they’ll be working with.
For instance, people who like listening to music while working can assemble in one area while those who prefer quieter working environments can gather in another area. Desk booking software removes disruptions, not just physical walls, but also those caused by incompatible working arrangement preferences.
5. Less paperwork for your front office staff
Automated desk booking software reduces manual work without eliminating crucial paper trails and records. This can free up a lot of time for front office staff to perform other, more impactful or time-sensitive administrative and organizational tasks.
Remember the Pareto principle: staff can focus on the 20% of work that directly results in 80% of outcomes. Desk booking software automates many redundant but essential tasks.
Space Connect’s Desk Management module enables you to self-configure, re-configure, scale and tailor your desk booking model in minutes.