Hot desking is a phenomenon that is growing in popularity and that is known to boost productivity. But without the right level of management, it can have its downsides. The good news is that, courtesy of smart desk booking solutions and a hot desk booking app, the negatives can be allayed, making hot desking a wholly positive experience.
Hot desking involves providing a pool of desks that employees can choose to work from each day. Generally there are fewer desks than staff, and the system works best in organisations where people don’t tend to spend much time tied to their desks.
Hot desking has its benefits. It makes it possible to optimise real estate costs by eliminating the space wastage that goes hand in hand with permanent desks. It can also provide a positive working environment that leads to enhanced productivity, communication and collaboration.
The process of working alongside a variety of people from day to day offers staff the opportunity to build relationships and develop communication and team building skills.
It can enhance collaboration too, with employees interacting with different colleagues to work on a range of projects, gaining a wider variety of insights and views.
Workers get to mingle amongst others they wouldn’t normally spend time with, making them feel more comfortable generally and better connected with their company as a whole, which leads to heightened productivity and loyalty.
When people feel less constrained, they tend to work better and faster. And for the less experienced employees, there is the opportunity to learn from the wisdom of their senior peers. Hot desking and its fluid seating arrangements ensure more experienced workers mingle with newer staff members, helping to foster growth and innovation. Employee development excels as people get to know the business faster whilst mixing with people outside their team.
It’s clear to see the benefits of hot desking. But it’s not all a walk in the park.
There is evidence to suggest that employees consider their desks their own personal zones where they feel safe, and where they can rely on being close to their colleagues. The lack of structure and the fact that managers are constantly looking for their teams, as well as the problems individuals face in locating suitable desks, can end up impacting negatively on productivity rather than having the opposite desired effect.
The fact is, with the economy as it is, employers are increasingly looking to make use of freelancers. This has led to the hot desking phenomenon becoming more popular, with 52% of employers reporting that they are open to the idea, according to a survey of 1,001 UK office workers by Brickendon.
But it clearly needs to be implemented properly, as the same study revealed that 80% of office workers felt office seating could negatively affect their mental well-being, showing some of the most prominent causes for hot desking malaise as time wasted looking for a desk, and the prospect of not knowing where to sit every day.
However, 61% of survey respondents said that if they had the ability to pre-book their seat, then their worries would be eased somewhat. And the good news for the business looking to get the most out of hot desking is that technology has a solution courtesy of smart desk booking solutions and a hot desk booking app.
Smart desk booking solutions for the ultimate hot desking experience
Smart desk booking solutions use of Internet of Things (IoT) technology to manage desk sharing. It makes use of the likes of motion detectors, smart sensors and device docking stations to relay desk availability into a central system. The system then allows free seats to be booked in real time, either by administrative personnel, or by the hot deskers themselves.
Desks can be booked by the hour, day or week, all via a convenient hot desk booking app. The technology allows the user total flexibility of choice in where they sit, depending on what they need to get done that day, and the particular facilities they need for the job. Permanent seat assignments can also be made where appropriate.
It’s also possible to set up ‘neighbourhoods’, so that teams can sit together, as well as automatically seat co-workers by role or project. Users can also easily find where others are sitting on an interactive map which shows who’s sitting where.
Workers can also select particular areas in which to work that best suit their preferences, for example natural light, cool or warm, lively or quiet, etc.
All of this takes away that negative uncertainty that can make hot desking less productive. A hot desk booking app also reduces the strain on administrative and management staff by putting control in the hands of the user. The great thing is that preferences are stored for future bookings, making it so much easier to pin down the right desk for the right person and the right job, every time.
Smart desk booking solutions also have the power to deliver vital information on who and how many people are set to work onsite every day. This allows management to ensure workspace layouts are optimised to support teams, minimise wasted space and save on real estate costs.
Courtesy of analytics produced by the software, it is possible to ensure teams are always prepared, and workstations are always used to maximum efficiency. Smart desk booking solutions also go the extra mile by delivering information to facilities management as to where cleaning and refreshment stocking is required. They can also issue digital access passes for the building, or for specific spaces within it, as well as parking spaces. This level of automation has the power to increase workplace efficiency significantly.
Smart desk booking solutions are able to organise hundreds of booking requests in just a few swipes or clicks. Whether it’s managed by admin staff or user-controlled, there really are so many benefits for the entire organisation.
How Smart Spaces is making hot desking a positive experience
Smart Spaces is a cloud-based, Internet of Things driven platform incorporating powerful desk booking solutions in the form of a dedicated module.
The Smart Spaces Desk Booking System features an intuitive, user-friendly dashboard built around an interactive office plan with a desk selector. Hundreds of bookings can be managed from a single hub in just a few swipes or clicks.
The desk booking module can be personalised and branded for individual organisations for the ultimate tenant experience. It’s available as an iOS, Android or desktop app. It allows preferences to be saved, and past bookings to be repeated.
Smart Spaces also allows users to locate colleagues, so they can book space close by for collaborative and team work tasks. Group bookings can also be made, and the hot desk booking app can run in conjunction with other Smart Spaces modules, including food ordering and access control. Outlook calendar integration, multi-functional search filters and pre-meeting food ordering all feature.
To discover how Smart Spaces could help streamline flexible working within your organisation by automating your hot desk booking needs, you are welcome to get in touch or request a demo.