Hot desking is increasingly becoming a big part of the workplace as companies look for ways to make efficient use of space and save money.
Office space, particularly in major cities, is expensive and underutilized space can cost businesses up to £10 billion a year in England and Wales. According to Deloitte, companies looking to save money will drive hot desk demand by 45% this year.
“High costs eroded our bottom line at a time when we were focusing on profitability,” said Chris Redmond, managing partner at recruitment firm Redholt, which decided to move his workforce to hot desking after realizing how much the company’s office was not full.
On the other hand, workstations appear to be hard to find at companies where hot desking is enforced. A survey found hot deskers waste 18 minutes a day on average to find somewhere to work, which could potentially lead to stress levels going up.
A Unison survey of social workers found that 90% of respondents said shared workstations had a negative impact on their morale, while 15% said their flexibility and efficiency had improved. Additionally, hot desking can increase distrust and hinder concentration since there is little privacy.
Still, hot desking can be done well if executed right. Employers should look into acoustic treatments for open offices, as well as offer both collaborative and private work areas that suit all workers.