Hot Desking – Meaning and Benefit

The way we work is changing significantly as the remote and hybrid work cultures become more appealing – and practical – for both employees and businesses alike.

Businesses have realized that a lot of their operational ‘real estate’ isn’t being used, making it an empty revenue drain on the company. This is where the very concept of ‘hot desking’ has come to the fore as a smart economic and practical solution. 

If you’re looking to manage your office spaces better and more economically, then hot desking may be the solution you’re looking for.

What Is Hot Desking?

Hot desking is basically a desk that an employee can book for a certain amount of time. These desks should have accessible plug points and WiFi connectivity so that employees can just plug in and get to work. Alternatively, you can set up communal PCs that employees can use instead of bringing their own devices. 

The desks are ‘shared’ spaces. So, different people will use the same desks at different times on a first-come, first-serve basis.

The spaces in which the desks are located will generally have communal facilities like kitchens and bathrooms for workers to use.

You may also have conference rooms that can be booked should working individuals need to hold a group meeting or strategy session.

This is very practical if you think about it. From the individual’s point of view, they can book a desk in a work-oriented environment, surrounded by other individuals who are also working, as and when they need that desk. 

From your business’s point of view, there is no longer the need to own or rent a whole building or floor with multiple offices, some of which may stand open for extended periods of time. Rather, you can utilize a smaller space more efficiently, thereby saving money spent on unused real estate and amenities.


How Does It Work?

Hot desking is really so simple! You just need to have a booking system in place to keep the desk bookings organized. Employees will then simply book a desk when they need to come into the office and that’s that. 

This is where systems like Joan are so valuable. For companies that need a hot desk booking and flow management system that keeps everything organized, a responsive online system is key. It ensures that space availability and capacity are always being tracked and updated to ensure you don’t end up with double bookings. 

For employees booking a space through the system, the experience needs to be as fast and simple as possible. By having a hot desk booking system, employees don’t need to worry about being first in the office doors to find a spot at the communal desks. Instead, they can book their space in advance from their phones without worrying about competing with others for a desk.

The Benefits Of Hot Desking

There really are some great benefits to hot desking, in addition to the flexibility that it allows the user.

Autonomy For The Employee

One of the disruptors of productivity can be being locked into sitting at a desk in your office all day, every working day of the week. Knowing that you’ve booked a desk for a certain amount of time, with access to all the office facilities you need in that time, can be a great booster of productivity. 

Giving employees the autonomy to book a desk as and when they need it makes those working hours at the desk feel more valuable. And having the flexibility to book a hot desk when an employee needs it gives them the freedom to work when and where they need to. 

From a business perspective, this shows your employees that you trust them to manage their own schedules and get their work done. This makes employees feel more valued and appreciated, and consequently, more inspired to really maximize those hours put in at the hot desk.

Inspiration Amongst Peers

Working from home seems like a great idea…However, it can get difficult to feel productive when you’re in the space that you normally relax in at the end of the day. Having people around you who are in that ‘work mode’ has the effect of putting you in the work mode too. 

In addition to this, shared working spaces often have different mixes of employees working there. So if you’re feeling a bit stuck on something or need to break your hours-long focus on a project, you can strike up a conversation with someone while making coffee in the kitchen. Who knows, you may even get a great idea to bring into your project.


Cost Control

As a company, having to sign a long-term lease for office space, then equipping and running it while not always using it to its optimal capacity can be a heavy revenue drain. 

Hot desking gives you more direct control over your real estate costs. You can use the space you have more efficiently or utilize a smaller workspace economically and save money on rent. 

How To Manage Hot Desking Effectively

If you’re planning on implementing hot desking in your office, here are our tips for managing your shared workspaces.

Keep Everything Organized

Organization is key when managing a hot desk environment. Desks need to be clear and uncluttered to ensure anyone can sit down in their time slot and get straight to work without any distractions. 

Have A Variety Of Spaces

It’s a good idea to create ‘areas’ with different vibes if you can. For example, you can have a lounge-type setting, a corporate office setting, and a cafe-style table-and-chairs setting. This allows employees to choose the ‘feeling’ that is most conducive to their mood and what they need to get done that day. 

Have spaces for solitude and for private meetings or telephone calls, huddle rooms for one-on-one meetings, a cafe or a kitchen where they can make tea and coffee, and collaboration spaces with whiteboards for brainstorming.


Provide Access To Tech & Equipment

Having the right tech available for your hot deskers is vital. Fast internet, printing facilities, a projector, and sometimes additional screens with HDMI cables and ports will go a long way in making the working individuals feel they have all they need in that space, and keep on returning.

Create A Good Environment

Attention to small details is very important in making individuals feel comfortable and inspired in a space. Pot plants scattered throughout the spaces, air conditioners in meeting rooms, and whiteboards and markers for making team notes, all go a long way in making individuals feel at home in the office. 

Use The Right Hot Desk Management System

Having the right system or app in place, like Joan, to manage your hotdesk environment is an invaluable resource to efficiently manage bookings. It makes booking desks simple and convenient as you can do it right from your mobile phone. This will help you prevent double bookings and ensure that every hot desker has the space they need when and where they need it.

Key Takeaways

Hot desking has opened up a new way of working for employees and employers alike, bringing fantastic benefits to both. Employees get flexibility, autonomy, and the ability to work in different spaces. Employers, on the other hand, get massive cost savings, a more inspired workforce, and less operational and maintenance responsibility in terms of maintaining offices and facilities.

Companies running hot desk spaces are able to take the best from the corporate office and blend it with some of the comforts of home. 

To make managing your hot desks a breeze, check out Joan today. Our desk booking system enables employees to seamlessly reserve desks when they need to from a convenient app.   

Frequently Asked Questions

What is hot desking?

Hot desking is a flexible work arrangement in which employees do not have a designated, permanent workstation and instead use any available workstation when they arrive at the office. This can be implemented in a variety of ways, such as having employees reserve a workstation in advance, using a first-come, first-served system, or using an app to reserve and check in to a workstation, which Joan hot desking enables. The goal of hot desking is to increase efficiency and reduce the amount of real estate and resources needed for office space. It’s a popular option for companies looking for ways to reduce costs and increase collaboration among employees. It is also known as “Hoteling” and “Free-address” and “Desk booking”.

Is hot desking a good idea?

“Hot desking can have several advantages, depending on the specific implementation and the needs of the organization and its employees. The advantages that Joan hot desking brings are:

  • Cost savings: By not having to provide a dedicated workstation for each employee, companies can save on real estate and office equipment costs.
  • Increased collaboration: With employees moving around and sitting in different areas, they may be more likely to interact and collaborate with colleagues from different departments or teams.
  • Flexibility: Hot desking can allow employees to work from different locations or workstations depending on their needs or preferences.
    It’s important for companies to consider the specific needs of their employees and to implement hot desking in a way that takes those needs into account. Joan hot desking specialists can help with that.”
Why is it called hot desking?

The term “hot desking” comes from the idea that an employee is like a “hot” commodity, able to move from desk to desk as needed, rather than having a “cold” or assigned desk. The term “hot desking” was first coined in the UK in the 1990s, as more companies began to adopt flexible work arrangements and look for ways to reduce office costs. Joan hot desking establishes a flexible work arrangement that enables employees to work from any available workstation, rather than having a designated, permanent workstation. It’s also known as “hoteling” or “free-address” or “desk booking” and it’s becoming a popular option for companies looking for ways to reduce costs and increase collaboration among employees.

What are the disadvantages of hot desking?

“Hot desking can have several advantages, depending on the specific implementation and the needs of the organization and its employees. The disadvantages that hot desking may bring:

  • Lack of privacy: Without a designated workstation, employees may feel like they do not have a private space where they can focus and be productive.
    -A reduced sense of belonging: Employees may feel less connected to the company and their colleagues if they do not have a designated workstation.
  • Difficulty in maintaining personalization: Employees may find it difficult to personalize their workstations, which can lead to discomfort and reduced productivity.
  • Lack of storage and security: Without a designated workstation, employees may struggle to store their personal items and keep them secure.
    Generally, hot desking works very well for many organizations, but it’s important for companies to consider the specific needs of their employees and to implement hot desking in a way that takes those needs into account. Joan hot desking specialists can help with that.”