7 tipis for implementing hot desking

The ongoing debate regarding employee productivity in the work-from-home (WFH) model versus office setting has gained significant momentum in recent months. As most organizations adopt a more flexible approach, such as the hybrid working model, the proper management of office spaces becomes crucial. Implementation of hot desk, supported by a booking & utilization management applications, can be an effective solution for managing office spaces in this scenario.

With many reports suggesting that nearly three-fourths of employers are now adopting hybrid work models, it is clear that this model is becoming the new norm. Many employees (68%) also seem to prefer the hybrid working model over full-time WFH or full-time on-site work, citing reasons that it can increase productivity and job satisfaction levels.

However, while the hybrid working model offers numerous benefits, it can also pose challenges for office space management. Managing and allocating workstations for employees can be chaotic with personnels having different office timings and limited office space. This is where hot desking provides a genuine solution to office space allocation and management.  

In this blog, we suggest seven tips to help you successfully implement hot desking in your organization so you can maintain employee productivity and reduce the time spent on booking  & managing office spaces.

What is a Hot Desk and Its Benefits

A hot desk or hot desking, allows employees to choose their workstations based on their needs for the day through a platform like a software or mobile application or websites.

Traditionally, many organizations might use communication platforms like WhatsApp or Slack to share office timings and desk requirements. However, in such cases, office managers rely on manual processes like maintain Excel files to allocate desks. Unfortunately, this method is prone to errors, leading to frustrations when employees arrive at the office only to find their desks unallocated or been assigned to and being used by someone else.

This is where hot desking applications come to the rescue, automating the space allocation and utilization management process and streamlining the entire workflow.

By implementing hot desking applications like EZBook, organizations can achieve the following advantages:

  • It simplifies the process of desk allocation, ensuring that employees have designated workstations upon arrival.
  • Optimizes office space utilization, as desks can be allocated based on demand rather than relying on fixed, assigned seating.
  • Hot desk booking applications enable better collaboration and communication among employees, as they have the flexibility to choose workstations near their team members for specific projects.
  • Utilization reports from a hot desk management solution can help companies right-size their real estate portfolio with potential cost-savings benefit.

7 Tips to Help You Implement Hot Desking

The implementation of hot desking applications might seem overwhelming as it is part of organizational Digital Transformation journeys.  Without prior technological experience and proper strategy, hot desk management projects can become a failure. To avoid failure and successfully implement hot desking, here are seven tips:

1.     Assess Your Current Situation and Office Layout

Before implementing hot desking system, it is pivotal to assess the current situation which includes office layout, work culture, and employee’s behaviors. It is important to determine the suitability of hot desking to different factors because modifications might be needed to ensure its successful implementation.

Factors like the available space, furniture arrangements, and technology infrastructure should be considered before implementing hot desks. Similarly, if the work culture is fluid, then finding a suitable hot desk system which allows easy modifications might be necessary. Additionally, if the current employees are technology averse, then proper training and trial period of hot desks might be required.

2.     Develop a Comprehensive Hot Desking Policy

After assessing current situation and the office layout, organizations should develop a comprehensive hot desking policy. Creating and implementing hot desking policies will help to keep the usage under control and make it inviting for all. Additionally, the policy also acts as a means to resolve conflict as everything will be mentioned in black and white.

The hot desking policy can include guidelines like desk reservation, cleanliness, personal belonging, and shared spaces etiquette. Since everyone is expected to adhere to the rules mentioned in the policy, the work environment will be positive and welcoming for all.

3.     Make Employees Part of the Process

Transitioning from traditional desk permanent desk to hot desking is not an easy task. It requires some level of technology prowess, and change management will play a vital role in the successful implementation of hot desking.

It is important to make employees part of the process from early on and engage them. Organizations looking to implement hot desking can make employees part of the process by informing them early about the changes and starting a conversation around expectations.

Similarly, as hot desking requires technological knowledge, organizations can engage employees in relevant trainings and workshops to familiarize the employees with the new system and highlight its benefits.

Organizations can set an example by making employees part of the decision-making process and addressing their concerns which helps to foster a positive work environment.

4.     Ensure IT Infrastructure Readiness

Hot desking systems require robust IT infrastructure to ensure its smooth operations. This includes reliable Wi-Fi, ample power outlets, and access to technology resources like printers and scanners.

Additionally, it is vital to ensure that security measures are in place to protect sensitive data. This includes training employees to follow data protection practices.

A solid IT infrastructure helps to ensure that employees can seamlessly book desks and carry out their work without disruptions.

5.     Implement a Hot Desking System

Investing in automation tools like hot desk booking systems can drastically improve the desk reservation process and ensure fair distribution of workspace resources.

Hot desk booking systems also help the management to automate the daunting task of manually managing the desk schedules. This way, the administrative personnel can focus on more productive tasks.

Hot desk booking platforms like EZBook allows users, employees, and employers to view desk availability, reserve desks in advance, and personalize their workstations according to their preferences. 

6.     Provide Adequate Resources

It is important to provide adequate resources like ergonomic chairs, adjustable desks, power outlets, and docking stations to ensure smooth implementation of hot desks. If the work nature involves many collaborative teams and projects, then adding productivity tools like projectors and video conferencing tools will support in making hot desks successful.

Additionally, organizations should consider implementing equipment management system to ensure that employees have access to necessary tools when required.

If employees don’t have necessary resources when they need them the most, they will be demotivated to come for onsite work, which ultimately affects the hot desk systems.  

7.     Monitor and Adapt

Collecting feedback and regularly monitoring the implementation of hot desking is an important step to ensure its success.

Organizations should keep track of various KPIs like desk utilization, employee satisfaction, NPS, and productivity levels. By mapping these KPIs to hot desking, organizations can analyze the necessary steps to improve hot desking systems.

Similarly, by monitoring the relevant KPIs, organizations can make data-driven decisions to optimize the implementation of hot desking systems.

Successfully Implementing Hot Desks

Hot desking is a dynamic workspace strategy that can benefit organizations by optimizing space utilization and promoting collaboration, especially for companies adopting the hybrid working model.

Organizations can follow the seven tips to successfully implement hot desks. It is important to start by assessing the current office situation and develop a hot desking policy aligned with company’s values. Followed by making employees part of the process, ensuring IT infrastructure readiness, provide adequate resources, and continuously monitoring and adapting the digital transformation process, i.e., hot desking.

Implementing hot desk systems can be a simple process which ultimately benefits the organization through improved employee satisfaction and proper space utilization. One of the most trusted hot desking solutions available in the market is EZBook which has been around for more than 20 years. Contact us today to learn more about how hot desks can be successfully implemented.

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