Hot desking: A flexible work offering or a villain of the modern office?

Jun 27, 2024
Recent data shows a shift towards permanent desks, suggesting a preference for a more stable office environment that enhances productivity, focus, and a sense of community.
Jonathan Weindel
Head of Data Analytics
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As companies continue to evaluate what their modern office should look like, many are considering “hot desking.” This practice assigns employees to any available desk on a given day, touted by companies as a method to boost collaboration and optimize space usage. However, the reality for many workers paints a different picture.

Hot Desking: Where efficiency clashes with comfort

Hot desking, on the surface, seems like a logical solution. But scratch beneath the surface, and concerns begin to emerge. Here's why hot desking can be a villain in disguise:

  • Lost in the shuffle: Imagine a constant game of musical chairs, where your workstation changes daily. This disrupts workflows and makes it difficult to settle into a focused state. Employees yearning for familiarity and personalization are left with a constantly shifting environment.
  • The morning scramble: Searching for a suitable desk, wrestling with unfamiliar technology setups - these are just some of the daily battles faced by hot deskers. This constant disruption eats away at valuable work time and creates frustration.
  • A nomadic existence: Without a dedicated workspace, employees can struggle to feel connected to their colleagues and the company itself. This lack of belonging can lead to decreased collaboration, lower job satisfaction, and a weakened company culture.

Hot Desking: Is the tide turning?

Recent data suggests a shift in priorities. Envoy found that permanent desk creation growth rate has outpaced hot desk creation growth rate by 58% year-over-year. This signals a growing desire for a more measured approach to returning to the office (RTO).

Beyond Hot Desking: A measured approach to the modern workplace

The answer lies in a more nuanced approach:

  • Understanding how teams use space: By gathering data on employee needs and space utilization, companies can make informed decisions about their office layout.
  • Increased productivity and focus: Providing employees with dedicated workspaces fosters a sense of ownership and promotes both comfort and focus.
  • Bringing people together: Dedicated collaborative spaces create opportunities for spontaneous interactions and foster a stronger sense of community.

Envoy: Your workplace solution partner

Envoy Workplace offers a comprehensive suite of tools to help you navigate the modern office landscape. Our platform empowers employees to find colleagues, rooms, desks, and deliveries, while providing valuable data on space usage. This data allows you to make data-driven decisions about your office environment, optimizing costs and employee well-being.

As customer interest in occupancy analytics has doubled over the past three quarters, it's clear that companies are seeking solutions to maximize efficiency within a comfortable and productive workplace ecosystem.

Hot desking may offer certain advantages, but its limitations shouldn't be ignored. By seeking a balance between space optimization and employee well-being, companies can create a truly modern office experience that fosters both productivity and a positive company culture.

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AUTHOR BIO
Head of Data Analytics

Jonathan is the Head of Data Analytics at Envoy where he gets to show off his passion for creating data-driven insights, tools, and applications every day. Outside of the office, you can find Jonathan in the outdoors backpacking and camping, exploring new hip restaurants, or spending time with his wife and two young boys.

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