A Beginner’s Guide to Hot Desking

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While the practice of hot desking has been around since the 1990s, it has gained significant popularity in the last decade with more people working remotely and more organisations realising the benefits of this modern way of working. 

Coupled with ever-evolving technology, it’s become possible for people to work from any location, accessing their files and software just like they would in a traditional office. 

If you’re not familiar with the term, this blog will help you understand everything there is to know about hot desking and how it could be beneficial for you and your business. 

What is hot desking?

Put simply, hot desking is a workplace concept where workers don’t have allocated desk space. Instead, they work from different desks on an ad-hoc basis, choosing their desk as they turn up for work each day. 

While hot desks were a system initially found in shared offices and coworking spaces, they have now started to appear in traditional and private offices, especially in large organisations that benefit from space efficiency and the cost savings associated with hot desking.  

The term ‘hot desking’ is thought to have been borrowed from “hot racking”; a military term historically used in ships and submarines where crew sleep in any available bunk as opposed to an allocated space.

How does hot desking work?

Hot desking is a relatively simple concept in principle; workers turn up, find a desk and get to work. 

There are usually plenty of sockets at each desk for plugging in laptops and phones or other tech you might need, as well as accessible WiFi, so hot desk users typically only need to bring themselves and the basic equipment they use to work. 

Like any other type of workplace, each instance of hot desking will have varying particulars. 

What’s included with your hot desk will depend on several factors including whether you’re using a shared workspace or private office, the amenities included in your office or coworking package and the style of the space. 

Some shared offices and coworking spaces that offer hot desking also include bookable meeting rooms, client waiting areas, 24-hour reception staff, printing facilities and a stocked kitchen with all the essentials you need for a day at work. 

This ensures they are fully equipped with everything you’d expect from a traditional office space.  

RELATED: What is a coworking space?

What are the benefits of hot desking?

There are many reasons why a business or solo entrepreneur might decide to use this method of working for their business, so let’s take a look at some of the key advantages to hot desking. 

Cost savings

The ability to save money is a key driver for businesses using hot desking in the workplace. 

For freelancers and startups, hot desking enables them to work from professional office space at an affordable monthly cost, without the long-term commitment or financial burden of a privately leased office. 

Larger businesses can also make savings on desk space; full-time employees are typically on annual leave for just over five weeks a year, which means their desk space is unoccupied for this time. 

If you can factor this into your desk space calculations, you can easily save money by only paying for the number of desks you need. 

For businesses that opt for hot desking arrangements in a shared office space, further savings can be made when compared to a traditional office lease. 

Most hot desking memberships also include practical amenities such as office cleaning, waste removal and utilities which can add up to huge savings. 

Scalability

In the modern world of work, flexibility is key. Hot desking enables businesses to scale their office space depending on the needs of their organisation at any given time. 

With flexible rolling monthly contracts and pay-as-you-go plans offered by many office spaces that offer hot desking, entrepreneurs can take advantage and add or remove desks as they need to. 

A great example of where this can work well is when businesses need additional resources to work on a particular project but will need to scale back down when it is completed. 

Organisations can simply lean on freelancers for the time needed without the commitment or costs of permanent staff members and desk space. Scalability is also essential for those who have busier periods during a particular season or time of year and need more office space at that time.

Growth

Growing a business or expanding into new markets can be a big financial outlay for businesses using traditional office space. 

However, with hot desking organisations can expand into new territories and build a presence without long-term or expensive financial commitments. 

Opting for hot desks in a shared office space to house employees in a new locale can also be a great way to ‘test the waters’ of the market and establish whether it would be worth opening up more desks or office space there. 

Space efficiency

With the cost of office space reaching new heights, it’s become more important to avoid paying for unnecessary space where possible. 

Hot desking enables businesses to only pay for the space they need, avoiding wasting money on unoccupied desks or empty office space. 

For example, businesses with large offices where the on-site meeting rooms only get used once or twice a week are losing money each time that meeting room sits unoccupied. 

With hot desking, businesses can choose shared workspaces that offer bookable meeting rooms, enabling them to only occupy the space they need, when they need it. 

This can be particularly beneficial for organisations with remote or flexible working policies that offer employees the ability to work from home, as they will likely have more office space that isn’t used every day than those that require employees to be in the office at all times.

Suitable spaces for different needs

Hot desking doesn’t always mean rows of white desks laid out uniformly. 

Many hot desking spaces comprise several different types of workspaces to ensure there is a place for every type of need and worker. 

For someone working on a tight deadline, they might require a quieter, more private space, whereas a person working on a creative project that requires collaboration might thrive in a busy workspace. 

By utilising hot desking, whether in a shared office or private environment, businesses can ensure workers have somewhere to sit that is suitable for their requirements at any given time. This can also be a morale booster and improve productivity across the workforce.

Increased collaboration

By enabling workers to move around the office and work from a space best suited to their needs, increased collaboration will come naturally. 

This is good for business as collaboration has been shown to improve productivity and give employees a greater sense of purpose at work. 

RELATED: The research behind flexible work and productivity

Collaboration has many other benefits for both businesses and employees alike. 

Companies that promote collaboration and communication in the workplace typically experience reduced employee turnover rates by around 50%, while employees are on average 17% more satisfied with their job when they collaborate with others at work. 

How do I find hot desking near me?

With over 137 million square feet of flexible office space available in the UK, finding a hot desking space has never been easier. 

A simple search online for hot desking will bring up hundreds of results for coworking spaces that offer hot desking as well as other types of office rental. 

At Easy Offices, we have a variety of different office spaces in every corner of the UK; whether you’re looking for hot desking in Bristol or shared office space in London. 
Find your ideal hot desking space with our location search today.

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