What is hot desking ? – Definition

Hot desking is a concept that originated in the United Kingdom. It is a work organization where employees no longer have their own office. Instead, they share the same workspace but at different times.

This practice is inspired by “hot racking” or “hot bunking”, which refers to the habits of sailors who are forced to share one with several others due to the shortage of bunks. The latter often sleep in shifts and take over the still-warm bunks of their replacements at the end of their watch. By copying this practice, hot desking makes it possible to optimize the presence of teams in the office and to ensure the profitability of workspaces.

In this sense, hot desking makes it possible to face the challenges of hybrid work and/or the flex office, which involves employees alternating between working on-site and from home. Therefore, hot desking allows employees to work according to their needs in private or shared office spaces.

How does hot-desking work in companies ?

It should be noted that when a company chooses this type of organization, each workstation has the necessary office equipment, including fixed computers, office supplies, ergonomic chairs, etc. Once on site, the employee plugs in their laptop and starts working immediately.

However, there are different practices. For example, some companies prefer to keep the classic hot-desking system based on the adage of first come, first served. As a result, and by operating in this way, early risers will be spoilt for choice, with little risk of competition from colleagues for a seat. After 9 am, however, seats are likely to be scarce.

All in all, it is an organization that can quickly cause some clashes. It’s a point that should be discussed with your employees to agree on good management rules to reconcile flexibility, comfort, and fairness in everyday life.

This is why, to excel in this new organization and improve the employee experience, many companies choose to integrate a dedicated digital solution into their practices. The latter allows employees to reserve a workspace and/or workstation before they come to the site. This is also known as “desk booking” in companies. As a result, they can be sure of getting a workstation when they arrive on site, which is more uncertain if they choose the first option.

What are the benefits of hot desking for companies and the employees ?

On the business side, it is not surprising that it is very popular with employers! Not least because it reduces the number of dedicated offices. In correlation, it optimizes the use of workspace by lowering real estate costs by up to 30%.

At the same time, hot desking allows us to respond to the crying expectations of employees, who now want more flexibility. By opting for this practice, the company can be more competitive by attracting and retaining its talents. In addition, it reduces its absenteeism and turnover rates by improving the well-being of its employees at work.

On the employee side, it significantly improves cross-functional collaboration between teams. Each employee can sit where they wish, depending on the day’s tasks and needs. As a result, working groups and/or project teams can more easily meet to discuss the project. This improves their daily productivity and creativity.

At the same time, employees are happier. This work flexibility contributes to a more comfortable and dynamic working environment. Hot desking, therefore, enhances the employee experience, offering them greater autonomy and satisfaction. In correlation, it improves the Quality of Life and Working Conditions (QLWC).