Following our recent blog on office layout types, The Times published an article last week on hot-desking. The piece focuses on a survey by Savills which reveals a perception of reduced productivity for hot-desking workers. In the survey only 12 percent of workers feel that hot desking is more productive with Britain being cited as more likely to have open plan offices than anywhere else in Europe.

But for every argument there’s a counter-argument – and office layout is definitely not a ‘one size fits all’. PowWowNow, the conference call company extolled the benefits in their article, citing increased levels of communication, improved professional relationships, better bonds across the wider company structure and opportunities to learn new skills. There are plenty of ways to make the transition to hot-desking pain free – including organisational products such as Hotbox and introducing more relaxed areas for meetings and working can make the office a happier place.

Hot desking doesn’t suit everyone, and at Eden we work with each client to understand cultures and business practices before helping to work out the right fit for each situation, but open plan and hot desking certainly works for many.

What’s your view?

 

Read the full Times article here:

Hot-desking craze given the cold shoulder by frustrated workers

It is the workplace phenomenon that has been inflicted on tens of thousands of British workers by enthusiastic managers: hot-desking.

However, office workers are increasingly unhappy about the removal of rights to their own desk, saying it decreases their productivity.

Hot-desking is the practice of allocating desks to employees as and when required. A survey of more than 1,000 office workers by Savills, the property consultancy, found that 12 per cent of hot-desking employees thought it made them more productive. Half believed it made them less productive, compared with about a third of workers in a similar survey two years’ ago.

Companies have increasingly enforced hot-desking to reduce the amount of office space they need to rent and to encourage greater interaction between employees. Savills found that 60 per cent of workers said a dedicated desk remained their preferred option. The sentiment was consistent across age groups, apparently dispelling the idea that younger workers are more prepared to work flexibly.

British offices were more likely to be open plan than those in any other European country surveyed. However, the survey found that British workers in an open plan office were more likely to say the design decreased their productivity than those who worked in segregated offices, at 36 per cent versus 14 per cent.

Source: The Times

 

And the PowWowNow argument:

 

Hot desking: What are the benefits?

The modern workplace is almost unrecognisable from the offices of previous decades. There’s always something new to try, whether it’s throwing out cubicles and welcoming in the open-plan era, or encouraging employees to work remotely from a café or co-working space.
Hot desking is one of the many elements of working in the 21st century, with many companies trialling it to reap its benefits. But what exactly is hot desking, and how does it encourage a more collaborative environment?

What is hot desking?

Hot desking typically involves one or more employees having no set workspace to call their own either for a set amount of time or permanently, and instead setting up camp at any empty desk.
Some companies such as the BBC will have around a third of their employees hot desking every day, although it can be done on as big or small a scale as you like.
It doesn’t have to be a permanent fixture either. For example, one employee per week could hot desk with another team to learn more about the way they work and their day-to-day roles, then return to their original seat the following week.

What are the benefits of hot desking?

The core advantages of hot desking lie in increased levels of communication and improved professional relationships. Sitting and working alongside different people every day allows you to build bonds across the wider business, giving you the chance to understand people’s skillsets and responsibilities.
By communicating better with more teams and departments, collaborating on future projects becomes much easier, allowing you to each be more productive in your role.
Hot desking is also beneficial for learning new skills. If there’s an area of the company that you would like to learn more about, then working alongside an expert in that field is one of the best ways to pick up all the required information.

What to consider when hot desking

To ensure that you implement a beneficial hot desking system whilst avoiding the drawbacks, it’s important to consider various things to ensure that the scheme is a success.
If you’re hot desking on a large scale, then it’s apparent that employees will use different desks from one day to the next. Therefore it’s important that every member of staff keeps the desks tidy for the next person to use it, so no one person will be responsible for the upkeep.
In connection with this, many employees will still want an area of personal space to call their own. So to cater for this, a good idea is to allocate a couple of specific desks to be hot desks.
Hot desking also requires an organised plan to be in place, including who will sit where and on what days, and they’ll also need to consider where they’ll store documents relating to ongoing projects.

Hot desking has numerous advantages and is truly a part of modern workplace life. But to make sure that it can be successful for your business, it’s important to consider the scale of its implementation and how the scheme will be structured. Get everything right, and you’ll see the benefits of improved communication and interdependent working begin to take shape.