By Penketh Group Insights Team
6th January 2017
As the squeeze on office space tightens, the demand for hot desking is rising. In the UK, we have twice as many open plan workers than the global average; as a result space-saving desking solutions are increasingly useful.
Every office will have a different requirement depending on the size and shape of the space available to them. And with the advances in technology, workers today are much more flexible about where they work – whether that’s remotely from home, in a cafe, from hot desks or breakout spaces.
What does this mean for the traditional workspace? It means there are exciting new ways of working. It means that the rules of an office space can be shaken up and redefined. It’s also the perfect opportunity to motivate staff.
Here we consider in a bit more detail the Pros and Cons of hot desking and what you need to bear in mind.
Well-designed bench desks are a great way for teams of workers to quickly and easily collaborate on a project. Space-saving and flexible, these bench desks make a perfect agile working space. If a larger group of people need to work together, the desks can accommodate extra chairs due to the inset leg which removes obstructions.
With elegant white or silver frames, floating tops and stylish brushed steel cable ports, our range of bench desks can help you get the best out of your workspace. Bench desks can be used individually or for teams and are available in various sizes from 1200 to 1800mm.
Improved communication and more energy
Hot desking can shake things up and help people engage. Working from different spaces allows employees at different levels and in different departments to meet and communicate – perhaps for the first time. This boosts communication within a company, improves working relationships and actively encourages mentoring ad skill retention between different generations of workers.
Bench desks are much more compact than the average desk because they sit on a smaller office footprint. With space at a premium – office rental is the second biggest cost for a company after the wage bill – bench desk solutions mean you can fit more people in to the square footage or free up some space to do something else. Consider creating a Relaxation zone, a Quiet zone or an Ideas area with the saved space.
A hot desk should be the tidiest desk in the office because you never know who is going to sit at it. Encourage a daily clean desk policy, minimise the printing of unnecessary paperwork and provide staff with personalised desk toolboxes where they can keep essentials like paperclips, pens, staplers and business cards – these can be swiftly picked up and stored away in a locker at the end of the day.
Reduced personal storage space
Because hot desks encourage staff to move around it means they lose their valuable under desk pedestal storage space. This is no bad thing though. Surveys show that most people hoard all sorts in their pedestals – from their packed lunch to out-of-date paperwork and business cards.
Hot desks are actually a clever way of reducing clutter in an office environment. Strip out the under desk pedestals and instead offer staff space in a dedicated wall of lockers in a central part of the building. Make lockers a feature by choosing bright colours such as yellow, red, blue and green rather than the traditional grey. Or try Spacestor, a floor-to-ceiling storage system customised to fit exactly into whatever space you have available. It can even be cleverly installed back-to-back to divide a room and provide storage on both sides.
Lack of personality
With no set desk to clutter with photographs of the family or a pet dog, a hot desk can be a bit minimal and impersonal. Get round this with colour, graphics and branding in other areas of the workspace. Use colour in the chair fabric, on feature walls or as pieces of bright artwork. Soften the look of the office with plants, add homely soft seating to create a breakout space or add a coffee machine and drinks area for an inviting space to connect with others.
Most people are nervous of change so adjusting the culture of an office through its layout can make staff feel a bit wobbly. Communication is more important than ever, to help staff to understand why changes are being made and encourage them to embrace it. Promote the benefits of freeing up additional office space, which could be used to provide a quiet space to focus or a social space to interact with others. Feeling good at work drives business performance.