Eight Essential Hot Desking Tips
By Nai Kanell
Director of Marketing
Hot desks are a hot commodity in many modern workplaces. Employees appreciate the freedom and diversity of hot desk workstations, while facility managers recognize them as a smart way to utilize office space and improve workplace flexibility.
A few simple hot desking tips go a long way in guaranteeing their success. If you already have hot desks in your office or are considering a few of these flexible workstations, take a look at these eight tips for successful hot desking (read more on what is hot desking):
- Balance capacity: Converting 100% of your workstations to hot desks will create more problems than it solves. Focus on balancing capacity by evaluating workplace metrics like occupancy, space utilization rates, and productivity benchmarks. Find the balance between static workstations and hot desks to ensure you can accommodate both at utilization levels appropriate to your workplace.
- Diversify workstations: For employees, hot desks are unique. Diversify hot desks by location, atmosphere, and amenities. This encourages employees to choose spaces most conducive to their mood and workflow on a particular day.
- Provide resources: Every hot desk should be different, but all of them need baseline resources for efficient, effective use. A desk and chair are good starting points. Provide phones, ethernet access ports, Wi-Fi relays, and computers where needed. And don’t forget about the small things like outlets and lighting.
- Get IT coordinated: An often-overlooked part of hot desk set up is coordinating IT services. How can you manage hot desking if workstations aren’t networked? Ensure workstations have appropriate network access—computers, VoIP phones, networked devices, etc.
- Centralize check-in: Hot desks can quickly go from convenient to chaos if not centrally managed. Create a system for delegating available space, tracking desk occupancy, and locating employees. Centralized management prevents overbooking, space conflicts, and problems locating employees.
- Encourage etiquette: Set etiquette standards for hot desks. Usage rules keep hot desks appealing, welcoming, and comfortable for every employee. Institute policies for cleanliness and behavior, as well as variables like noise. Making employees responsible for their space—even if just for a day—promotes pride of ownership and respect for fellow employees.
- Get feedback: Measure the appeal of your hot desks through continuous employee feedback. What do workers love about the hot desking arrangement? What do they hate? How can workstations be better? Understanding the role hot desks play in everyday office productivity is the key to unlocking the full potential of these versatile workstations. And, with solid feedback you can make adjustments to improve the appeal and effectiveness of hot desks.
- Monitor utilization: Hot desks aren’t a “set it and forget it” workplace variable. They need to be monitored. Use utilization data to determine who’s using these desks, how often, for how long, and to what benefit. Remember, hot desks are meant to improve workspace utilization. If desks are underutilized, figure out why. It could be a case of having a disproportionate number of desks. Or, it may be how your hot desks are structured. Without utilization data, you can’t make positive changes.
If managed properly and continually monitored for improvement opportunities, hot desks can be a superb addition to the modern workplace. Follow the above eight tips for developing a flexible, grounded framework for hot desks.
Keep reading: how to prevent hot desking problems