By Katherine Schwartz
Demand Generation Specialist

As the workplace adapts to COVID-19 and the much-anticipated new norm following it, employers are looking for insights to guide their workplace adaptation. As we’ve seen already, a flexible approach appears to be the best one. Companies are freely experimenting with non-traditional scheduling, repurposed workspaces, and distributed teams. Still, data is key in qualifying empirical evidence. It’s why there’s rising demand for hot desking stats. Companies embracing flex desks and other flexible workspace arrangements want to know if it’s working.

Key hot desking statistics indicate that a flexible approach to workplace management is an effective one. Here’s a look at six telling stats and what they mean contextually for workplaces as companies pivot to welcome the new norm.

78% of employees said flexible work arrangements made them more productive

People want the ability to work in the capacity that best suits them. This has long been the idea behind flex work and it’s evident in the feedback—both qualitative and quantitative. In the age of the multigenerational workforce, non-traditional schedules, and technological innovations, sticking to the one employee, one desk concept can seem a little like forcing a square peg into a round hole.

Give employees the freedom to utilize their work environment in the way that meets their needs and the result is clear. More than three quarters of them will find ways to be more productive and efficient, doing their work comfortably and expediently.

73% of employees said flexible work arrangements increased their satisfaction at work

Not only are people more efficient when given hot desking and other flex work opportunities, they’re happier! It’s hard to quantify happiness and it means something different for everyone, but such a large consensus seems to affirm that flex work means something to a broad range of people.

Whether it gives them the freedom and flexibility they need or it helps them find utility and comfort in their workplace, employees are happier when hot desks are available to them. Nearly three quarters of people agree on this desking concept. What other topic can you think of that garners this kind of majority from such a diverse group of people (working professionals)?

20% of full-time employees lack tools to make using flexible work arrangements easy and productive

Now for some bad news. While popular and proven, companies still find it difficult to manage hot desks and flex work. Many simply aren’t used to this level of dynamism in the workplace—employees on the move, workspaces flexed into and out of. Roughly one in five companies can’t keep up.

There is a solution: hot desking software. Companies willing to make the commitment to hot desking and flex work also need to commit to investing in the tools and infrastructure to support them. This means software. Facilities managers need the tools and resources to be able to see, adapt, and serve agile workplaces in real-time—a feat that’s only possible with workplace management software and other tech solutions geared toward hot desks.

As many as 67% of small businesses offer some form of flexible work arrangements

Despite uncertainties and the general unfamiliarity of hot desking, companies have embraced it—especially during COVID-19. With far more than half implementing some form of remote work arrangement, hot desking is now broadly available to working professionals. It’s equivalent to rolling a snowball from the top of a hill. Change begets change, as we’ll see in the next statistic.

The shift to flex work solutions like hot desking offers practical benefits to businesses, at a time when they need them most. Lower overhead. Better space utilization. A happier, more productive workforce. These factors hone a competitive edge for small businesses. It’s why more and more are delving into hot desking.

77% of employees consider flexible work arrangements when evaluating future job opportunities

As more companies offer flex work and involve hot desking into the mix, more employees become comfortable and successful in this type of work environment. That success spreads as people leave jobs and start new ones. Eventually, hot desking isn’t anything special—it’s the new norm and something professionals expect.

More than three quarters of working professionals see hot desking and other flexible work arrangements as an incentive. Companies that offer them will attract new talent, embrace better company culture, and enable new hires and long tenures alike to succeed. The workforce is beginning to demand more; flex work is a simple way to give it to them.

As much as 40% of an office’s dedicated desk space sits unused on a given day

Want to talk about practical benefits? Consider how much desk space sits idle on a daily basis in static workplaces. When employees are tethered to their desk, every other desk becomes isolated. Absentee employees, reserved desks, overflow seats, and more all become dead space—and dead cost.

Hot desks address the threat of dead space. They reduce overall seating and introduce flexibility, simultaneously ensuring a place to sit and shaving dead cost from the company’s overhead. A shift to hot desks isn’t solely about employee satisfaction and productivity—it’s also a prudent cost-savings initiative.

There’s plenty of room to discuss hot desking advantages and disadvantages. But the facts don’t lie—there’s merit to the freedom hot desking provides to adapting workforces. Hot desking is a viable, effective strategy for coping with the fallout of COVID-19 and stands to be the go-to desking philosophy for companies post-pandemic as a result.

The above statistics were compiled from a Zenefits (Workest) survey and an Inc. article, titled “Here’s What Happens When You Take Away Dedicated Desks for Employees.”

Keep reading: What is Hoteling in the Workplace?

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