Procurement 13 August 2018

How to maximise the potential of hot-desking beyond cost-savings

In addition to cost-efficiencies, hot-desking can come with a range of benefits
Hot-desking. It splits opinion. But there can be no doubt that the popularity of hot-desking in the workplace has taken off in recent years, and this is linked in no small part to the boom in the serviced office sector.

Hot-desking and co-working fit well together as established businesses, startups and freelancers alike seek to take advantage of cost-efficient open-plan office spaces, where they also have the opportunity to collaborate with likeminded individuals and companies.

In fact, most hot-deskers believe that the benefits of hot-desking are greatest within shared and co-working office spaces, according to new research we undertook at Workthere to understand the current state of hot-desking in the UK.

In addition to cost-efficiencies, hot-desking can come with a range of benefits for businesses and individuals alike. Whether you’re a freelancer constantly on the move and jumping between different locations, a large business trying to instil a hot-desking policy throughout the company to reduce costs, or even a manager looking create a sense of collaboration within your department through hot-desking, there are a number of ways to maximise the impact.

With this in mind, we have compiled a guide, based on a survey of 500 UK hot-deskers, to help navigate the world of hot-desking

Creatures of habit

How do hot-deskers behave in reality? Do they get into the spirit of hot-desking as it should be, or are they reluctant hot-deskers that need to be guided into it like the proverbial horse to water?

No matter the make-up of the office space, there are always going to be more popular desks than others, and the battle for the best desks can result in some competition. Respondents to our survey said that 35% of their colleagues take desks that have been un-manned for a period of time.

Meanwhile, 37% of hot-deskers purposefully arrive early just to get the best seats, with one in three refusing to move from their favourite desks at all. Over a third simply move between the same two desks every time.

Many office managers decide to implement hot-desking to encourage staff to mix, thereby boosting relationships and morale. However, breaking a workers? “routine” is often challenging, with respondents saying that 44% of colleagues simply sit next to the same people every time they move seats, and almost three in four agreeing that office friends tend to cluster together.

Another apparent benefit to hot-desking is that it keeps the office clutter-free and tidy with staff less likely to personalise a desk that isnt permanent. However, according to our survey, 44% of hot-deskers eat lunch at their desks (with the average lunch-break only 34 minutes long), and 37% personalise their desks (through stickers, plants etc).

Nevertheless, 42% of hot-deskers still leave their desks “spotless” before moving on; while 58% agree that hot-desking helps keep their desk clean and tidy.


A guide to London’s alternative working spaces for startups seeking value in 2018

Workthere has pulled together some of the areas in London that offer a good value alternative to the more traditional office locations.


The increasing role of “etiquette guides” in the office

While the battle to remain with office friends and secure the best seats can lead to some questionable hot-desking habits, an increasing number of businesses are tackling these behaviours by bringing in etiquette guides.

In the battle for the best seats, they are doing what they can to make this as fair a process as possible, with 37% of respondents saying that their company has introduced a rule for staff to surrender desks if they leave it for a certain period of time.

To encourage integration, 44% even are required to sit next to different colleagues every time they move.

On the hotly-debated topic of desk cleanliness, almost half of respondents said there is a “clean desk” policy in their offices, with 44% banned from eating at their desks.