Hot desking means not having a dedicated desk of your own. This might be at your company’s office (ICL for example have approximately 1 desk to every 3 members of staff), or might be at dedicated shared office space. The latter is seeing increased popularity – allowing freelancers or start up businesses needing some office space away from home that’s been kitted out with the latest telephony and IT equipment to ‘rent a desk’ for a specific time.
So is this a great way to work or a complete nightmare? Here are the pros and cons for you to consider:
Pros of hot-desking:
- You get to network with a whole bunch of new people every time you visit the office.
- If you pick your location wisely, you can find yourself in the middle of like-minded people, which can spur on productivity and innovation.
- You get a fully functioning office with manned reception, refreshment facilities, IT and telephony services, printers, photocopiers, furniture, decoration, heat and light all included in the price – for as long as you need it. It costs you nothing when you don’t.
- Some companies allow you to pay for e.g. 10 days at ANY of their offices (even internationally). So you can work wherever you need to in the world, and you’ve always got the same great facilities to hand.
- You’ve got all the benefits of serviced offices to hand when you need them, like full use of meeting rooms, video communications and lounges – without the ongoing price tag.
- Some locations give you access to research, facilities and specialist equipment.
- It’s so cheap – with rates starting around £15 a day, it makes sense for cash strapped companies. It’s also a fantastic option if you want to base yourself in a prestigious area like London, without the insane price tag.
Cons of hot-desking:
- You don’t have a dedicated desk so you can’t make it your own. There’s no warm feeling of continuity or belonging. In practice, this means there’s no place for your dying cactus. letter tray for your junk mail and various sample promotional mailings. Some people may regard this as a good thing, however.
- You don’t know who’s been using the desk before you. Earlier this year a poll by ukbathrooms.com revealed that 32% do not wash their hands after visiting the toilet. Ugh.
- Sharing a room with a bunch of enthusiastic people making the most of their office time can be noisy and distracting, although the same can be said for any open plan office.
- If you’re an SME considering this as an option for your employees, exercise caution. The advertising industry has discovered that hot desking led to their employees not identifying with their agency any more, and leaving to set up their own businesses.