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Divide and Conquer – How to Win At Hot-desking

With office running costs being cut by up to 30%, it’s not surprising that hot-desking is still being embraced by many organisations. But it’s not always as simple as it sounds.

Some surveys indicate that more than a quarter of companies that have introduced hot-desking report a drop in staff morale and productivity can also take a hit, some studies cite up to a 66% reduction. So, getting it right is not only good for people, it’s good for business.

Traditionally with office workstations following a 1:1 ratio, with office belongings and paper files the norm, many work environments have struggled to transition to hot-desking.

Some psychologists believe that morale can be reduced when a lack of personal items support a working environment and that unexpected noises can give rise to higher levels of stress hormones.

Spaces can feel cold, be messier without anyone ‘owning’ how clean and tidy they are and teams can feel transient and lack cohesion. Added to that, with 15 million work days lost to back pain the UK each year, work spaces that aren’t flexible can impact outputs.

Both the process of moving to a hot-desking solution as well as its design is vital to get things right.

– Involve staff: having an open conversation about what people need for spaces to work, as well as identify solutions such as lockers for personal belongings, meeting spaces or quiet spaces for example, can help engage staff throughout the process.

– Partitioning: can help section areas off and can include quieter areas, phone call areas, quieter meeting spaces, breakout areas or departmental areas to help group areas of bigger teams together. You may also have casual workstations for additional space which is more flexible and drop in.

– Working process: working through what stations require stationary equipment, phones, or just lap top spaces can help structure the kind of hot-desking spaces available, as can work on what paper files are needed, for which teams and where these need to be sourced.

Planned Office Interiors has delivered a breadth of office refurbishments including many hot-desking integration projects. Experienced in partitioning and mapping out work areas to suit the needs of businesses and their teams, we can offer a whole approach from strategy, design and delivery, from structural services through to furniture sourcing and provision to suit your budget.

Contact Pauline Simpson at Pauline.simpson@poi.co.uk for any enquiries about how we can help you.

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