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3 smart tips to make desk sharing easier

Here are three smart tips, from one employee to another, to make sure desk sharing in your workplace is a good experience.

Justin Zack
By Justin Zack Technical Program Manager

Looking for smart ways to increase flexibility and productivity in your workplace? Then desk sharing may be just the thing you need. Desk sharing is a flexible seating arrangement commonly used in hybrid workplaces. 

Instead of having an assigned workstation, employees can reserve a desk just for the days that they are in the office. This means that multiple employees use one desk throughout the week. 

Sharing a desk is not a new concept. In fact, office hoteling and hot desking have been around for over a decade. Still, employees aren’t always comfortable with a nomadic desk work setup. Where will they store their belongings if they don’t have a permanent desk?

At least that was what I thought when we first started hot desking at Envoy’s offices. But I quickly learned that most of my concerns could be easily addressed with a few best practices. Here are three tips, from one employee to another, to make sure your experience is a good one.

Tip #1: Introduce yourself to the people around you

In a traditional office setting, companies assign a permanent desk to each employee. Now more and more companies are embracing the flexibility of a hybrid work model. When you’re part of a team that works remotely or has employees who come in from other offices, it can be hard to figure out how best to share space.

The number one suggestion I have to make your experience a pleasant one is to introduce yourself to your neighbors! One of the main benefits of hot desking is being able to sit near different coworkers than just your teammates. You get to meet people you may not otherwise work closely with and hear different perspectives. 

Treat every day (and desk) as a new one and choose different folks to sit next to in the workplace. Introduce yourself, say good morning, and learn what team they’re on. You never know when you may need to work with that person in the future. 

Tip #2: Be respectful

You can’t treat a shared desk like your own personal space—you should be respectful and accommodating.

That means not leaving a mess when you head home for the day. It also means that you should always plan to take home everything that you came to the office with. You shouldn’t leave your personal belongings in a shared space.

Just as with any shared office space, people are coming and going on a regular basis—and they will also bring their own equipment (laptops, phones) with them when they do so. It’s vital that everyone is willing to share the space and help keep things tidy and organized for everyone else who uses the office space.

While this might mean letting go of some personalization (you can’t bring that desk plant with you everywhere you go), the benefit of a tidy and organized workplace will do wonders for your productivity. 

Tip #3: Don’t take a desk you don’t need

Another benefit of sharing desks is that it makes for a more efficient workplace. Instead of having empty desks sitting unused, your workplace team can transform that space into other productive zones. Think comfy lounges, phone booths, or whiteboard areas.

But that only works if everyone books a desk only for the days that they need one. If you’re in back-to-back meetings all day, then you probably don’t need a desk all to yourself. Or maybe you’re just coming into the workplace for a few hours. In that case, you can release your desk after you’re done with it so someone else can work there.

By being mindful of our own personal space usage and taking advantage of helpful tools like office hoteling software, we can help create a more comfortable and productive environment for everyone.

Sharing desks is a great way to get the most out of your hybrid work environment. But it’s important to follow these best practices and understand proper desk sharing etiquette

What else enables easy desk sharing? A desk booking system! We love to use the products that we build at our own offices. You can try Envoy Desks for free for 30 days and see just how easy it is for yourself. 

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Justin Zack
Author Bio Justin Zack

Justin is a Technical Program Manager at Envoy where he gets to help teams deliver products that create a great hybrid workplace experience. Outside of work, Justin stays busy keeping up with family activities and the occasional long-distance run.