Organising Your Office Space for Hot-Desking
More and more businesses are opening their office spaces once again. However, Covid-19 has drastically changed how people approach the way their work is done. Of the millions of UK citizens who have been forced to work at home due to the pandemic, 85% have said that they want to be able to work at home or in the office.
To address the growing popularity of hybrid work, businesses have to consider solutions that account for the asynchronous schedules of their workforce. Budgeting is also still top of mind for business owners, coming from the financial precarity that Covid-19 wrought upon the economy.
Hot-desking is one such solution. The concept is to do away with fixed workstations for employees. Employees can choose wherever to work within an office, as long as the space is available.
Allowing workers this freedom lets businesses save on office space. For example, they can just have 50 workstations for the 50 people coming into the office, while the other 50 employees work from home. This practice can save as much as 30% on the costs of running an office.
However, hot-desking is not a silver bullet. It can have detrimental effects if implemented poorly, such as reducing employee morale and productivity.
Here’s what you can do to ensure efficient hot-desking in your office:
Provide the Necessary Equipment
Flexibility may be the core of hot-desking, but that doesn’t mean no fixtures in the workplace. There is must-have equipment that serves as anchors for employees switching desks constantly.
Dedicated desktop PCs in a hot-desking setup are a luxury that not every business can afford. Monitors, however, are essential. A large visual display that laptops and mobile devices can easily plug into provide much needed screen space, especially for designers and data analysts.
A mouse for every desk gives employees more fine-tuned control over their assignments that a laptop’s trackpad lacks. Keyboards also have more functionality than the limited set of keys the average laptop has.
Consider all the devices and cables workers have to use as well. Docking stations and power outlets for chargers and thumb drives are crucial to a steady workflow.
Furnish for Flexibility
Beyond the high-tech equipment, hot-desking offices have to be outfitted with ergonomic furniture that fits every need.
Look for desks and chairs that can be adjusted to suit the different body types of your diverse workforce. Employees that live an active lifestyle might prefer standing desks. Chairs that offer lumbar support promote good posture, which helps keep your employees healthy and focused. Adjustable armrests provide comfort for every worker, no matter their size.
To keep people from cluttering desks and potentially leaving personal items behind, storage options should be available in a central location. Lockers where employees can put their bags, jackets, and an extra pair of shoes will go far in keeping your office organised.
Allow Remote Access
The point of hot-desking is that employees have the freedom to get their work done wherever in the office. If they still have to go to a specific point in the building for every single task like getting help from IT or printing documents, their freedom is strictly limited and undermines the point of hot-desking.
Set up your network infrastructure so that workers can remotely access important stations in the office. A fast and stable Wi-Fi connection throughout the building is crucial. When employees can talk to HR, join meetings, and resolve tech issues from anywhere in the office, you know you are optimising your hot-desk work setup.
Establish a Reservation System
On paper, giving workers absolute free rein over which desk they can work in sounds like ultimate employee empowerment. In practice, it can be a recipe for disaster.
A feeling of unfairness might grow in employees that are edged out by people with earlier schedules or senior co-workers taking favoured spots. Teams could be separated, with certain members of a department becoming isolated if they don’t get to their preferred spaces first.
Put in place a desk reservation system to avoid such negative outcomes. You can compartmentalise sections for specific departments while still allowing for hot-desking. Spaces can be saved for long-term projects. Workstations that have specialised equipment can be booked in advance to prevent conflicts over who gets to use what.
Enforce a Clean Desk Policy
The return to office spaces must be treated with caution when it comes to sanitation, even with Covid-imposed restrictions getting looser. The government’s official guidance states that if work desks are to be shared, “there should be ways to clean them between each user.”
Wipes and hand sanitisers must be available and easily accessible. Mandate employees to wipe down their stations once they are done.
Even removed from the current situation of working during a pandemic, it is advisable to enforce a clean desk policy. Common courtesy between co-workers encourages camaraderie. No one wants to come into work on a Monday morning to a desk brimming over with someone else’s clutter.
Expert Help With Hot-Desking
While not necessarily a modern innovation, hot-desking is a viable path to prepare for the new normal of hybrid work setups. Take full advantage of its benefits while sidestepping its pitfalls through efficient organising.