Hot desking: The business revolution where everybody wins
For most businesses, behind paying staff salaries, the second most expensive outlay is usually premises. When you factor in office space rental or mortgage payments, utility rates, insurance, health and safety, break out space provision and a million other factors, it soon gets to be very expensive.
Another seemingly unrelated aspect of modern business is how to cope with your staff’s increasing demand for more flexible working hours. The modern working day is no longer just nine to five. We’ve all got other commitments, hobbies and interests that we’d like to explore, not to mention the constraints of family life.
So, what if we were to tell you that hot desking could be the solution to both of the above seemingly unrelated issues?
What is hot desking?
The idea, and the name, of hot desking comes from the submarine shift system whereby to save space, submarine crews work on a one on, one off pattern. While one submariner is one shift, the other is asleep. Then, when they switch places, the off shift sailor gets into a ‘hot bunk’ to sleep.
The same principle is applied to the concept of hot desking in offices. When someone is on shift or at work they occupy a desk space. With some careful planning of the rota, they could feasibly share this desk space with another employee who works different hours. You need half the amount of desk space and half the office equipment, and get the same amount of productivity.
Variations on a Theme
This one on, one off system might not work for everybody but there are plenty of alternatives that might suit. Rather than having individual desk space, why not have set workstations where any employee can log on and work? By subdividing the office into working spaces rather than desk spaces, staff can come in, find a space and work.
It’s even possible to divide up the working environment into categories, so that staff wanting to brainstorm can do so without disturbing those involved in tasks that require greater concentration. This kind of working is quickly replacing the more out-dated open-plan office system.
It’s not all change
While it is certainly possible to streamline working practice by using the above methods, there is a baseline office expenditure that you should always expect to meet. By law you are obliged to provide some kind of recreation or rest space. Of course, it goes without saying that you need to meet all health and safety regulations regarding fire safety, evac chairs, hygiene and more.
However, with some careful planning and office strategy, you can drastically cut back on your expenditure and keep your staff happy, content and safe at the same time.