Thanks to technology work does not have to be anchored to a desk anymore. Today, employees can connect to the cloud and work from a train, a cafe, their home or the office of a client. As a result, several companies have chosen to implement a new form of work called " hot-desking " where the employee reserves a station and releases it once the work is over. According to some studies, this system reduces the office space up to 50%. Learn the advantages and disadvantages of " hot-desking " and examine whether it could be implement in your business.
Imagine this scenario: Catalina works in the sales department of a mass production company. Her work is measured by the number of sales she makes during the month, so Catalina spends, most of her time on the streets, visiting potential customers. A couple of times a week she has to go to the headquarters of the company to turn in some reports concerning her results, and also assists to some meetings with her colleagues and her boss Catalina gets into the office, looks for the lockers area stores her personal belongings and there she can also make use of a " hotbox " or drawers with wheels where she keeps her work items and documents. Right there she can find a touch screen which shows a floor plan of her office showing which work stations are available, Catalina can then choose among the available places where she wants to work this day, reserve it and then approach it, turn on the computer, enter her user and password and have access to all her personal information. By late afternoon, she picks up her documents, leaves the surface clean, takes the drawer back to its place, picks up her belongings and leaves for home. The next day, someone else will make use of the post where Catalina was that afternoon.
This type of work, is known as " hot-desking " it is a solution that some companies have used to save financial resources in real estate rentals, and also diminishes their square meters in as much as 50%. The advantages and disadvantages are endless and the success rate depends on how it is implemented in each company. If you are thinking of carrying out this new method of working, some factors must be taken into consideration before making any decision: a) " Hot-desking " is not designed for all the employees, since there are positions that require the person to be at their post, consulting materials, and interacting with colleagues who should also be close; b) an important technological support needs to be in place which enables to reserve the work stations, provide access to personal information from any of these stations and also the fact of being able to contact any of the other employees anywhere in the office ( this means that landlines and extensions will tend to be replaced by corporate cell phones ); c) there must be a strong organizational culture that enables and supports this working method, otherwise it may fail, even if the company relies on the adequate infrastructure.
The advantages of this working method are as numerous as the disadvantages and, as has already been said, success is based solely on how it is implemented. On one hand, the company can save a significant amount of financial resources having only to rent fewer square meters; On the other hand, the advantages are numerous for the employees: communication between teams and colleagues increases, because people sit side by side on a daily basis, the response times decrease as they are able to choose, depending on the task of the day, next to whom they will sit and, therefore, increase collaboration among employees, and as a result this enables organizational culture to be strengthened. By contrast, the main disadvantage refers to the time that people should devote both in the mornings and afternoons adjusting and fixing the work station, so that someone else can come in the next day and use the it without any problems. Also, it is likely that some days the occupancy of work stations is very high and latecomers would not have access to a place, or that specific software such as AutoCad or SPSS would have to be installed on all computers.
Clearly, " hot-desking " is gaining more and more followers. However, it is highly important to do a thorough analysis before deciding on changing a number of your collaborators to this type of working method; not everyone will be comfortable about it and your company could lose important resources, instead of turning them into savings.