Adapting your office space to embrace hot desk working | Guest Blog

As technological advancements help tighten the bond between colleagues, customers and employers, virtual communication software allows for seamless online interactions. By minimising the quality gap between physical and virtual conversations, workplaces can integrate remote and home working as a permanent working style without interruption to business operations or service delivery.

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Modern ways of working are being easily embraced as they present flexibility to workers and help creatively experiment with a variety of office environments. As personalities vary from person to person, so do work-life preferences. While a minority may prefer splitting the working week between multiple locations, the expectation to work a proportion of the week in a dedicated place of work, such as the office, may still stand.

Although some industries can continue operations from remote locations without disruption, not all businesses can embrace this. From security considerations, client meetings, to fixed equipment in the workplace, these are a few of the reasons why workers may be required to attend a dedicated office setting. To break free of conventional office standards and invite colleagues to interact freely with each other, hot desking is an often-forgotten approach many employers take, writes Jon Munnery of UK Liquidators, company liquidation provider.

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What is office hot desking?

Hot desking is the practice of providing workstations in a dedicated workplace under the condition that each desk is free for all, rather than allocating each workstation to a worker on a fixed basis. This is a suitable arrangement for an office operating on less than full capacity where workers attend for a proportion of the week and fixed workstations are not urgently required.

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Operational simplicity - This can present a solution to employers who wish to provide a fixed destination for workers without the commitment of kitting out a fully personalised office, split into departments and individual team structures

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Increased interactions - As employees have no designated seat, they have the freedom to switch workstations each shift, interacting with different colleagues each time. This can help stimulate a variety of conversations, allowing them to understand individuals from different walks of life and encourage innovation through collaboration.

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Attracts sole workers – If you operate an office space for remote workers, you may decide to provide a hot-desking facility, in addition to fixed desks. This may widen your options from providing a subscription co-working venue, to a casual, pay-as-you-go service. This can attract self-employed professionals, sole traders, freelancers, and one-man bands.

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What features define a hot-desking office space?

For a hot-desking office space to operate as a success, a host of essentials and a wide range of amenities are required. This is to ensure that all work resources can be accessed from a remote setting without any compromise. Here are the essential traits of a successful hot desk working space:

Power – You will need to charge equipment, laptops, and tools, making power integral to any workspace

Phone line – This may be fixed to the desk or provided through a phone booth or shared casual lounge

Amenities – Coffee shop, reading room, communal kitchen, lockers, and meeting rooms, these are some of the amenities newly developed office spaces are providing

Tech – Fast internet is a staple to successful, efficient working, driven by modern technology

Equipment – From printers, scanners to a stationary room, modern working spaces cater to the growing needs of the flexible workforce

Covid secure environment – Following the coronavirus pandemic, workplaces across the country have embraced elevated hygiene and personal health standards. For public confidence to return and to prevent re-emergence of the virus, providing a Covid secure environment is now a legal obligation

As safety standards have surged, so have flexible working standards as homeworking swept the nation following the onset of the pandemic. As this busts the norm of working in a fixed and regimented place of work, a hot desk office environment strikes an ideal middle ground.