Thanks to continuously evolving technology, working remotely has become easier than ever before. That’s why more and more people choose jobs which ensure a degree of flexibility regarding where and when they do their work. Hot desking is an excellent option for freelancers, small business owners and creative entrepreneurs alike, offering a productive environment where you can get some quality work done. But what exactly is hot desking?
This workplace trend garnered popularity in the ‘90s and has remained a favorite ever since, not only with one-man businesses but also with large companies having hundreds of employees. It is basically a minimalist office space where anyone can use a desk on a first-come-first-served basis. There are no assigned seats and you can’t reserve your place in advance, but you can drop by any time, stay for as long as you like and sit wherever you wish.
If you’re interested in trying out this unique work environment, you must know that as well as the benefits there are also a few drawbacks. Explore the pros and cons of hot desking below:
If you’re looking for a cost-effective place where you can be your most productive self, this might be it! You can save a lot of money by only paying for a desk when you actually use it, instead of maintaining a full-time office space which you don’t frequent half the time. As the operator of a hot desking office, you don’t need to provide as many amenities as in, say, a coworking office. And as a member, you can work from your own laptop, use the office supplies, and only pay for the hours you spend there—so it can be a win-win situation for both sides.
It offers a lot of flexibility
Mobile and remote workers will surely appreciate the amount of flexibility such a workspace offers. Instead of working fixed hours from 9 to 5, you can freely drop by whenever you feel a bit of inspiration coming on. You can work for a few hours, stay for a few days, or even enjoy your hot desk for a couple of productive weeks.
There are fewer distractions
Thanks to the minimalist interior you will have much fewer distractions than you would at home. The sleek design and the tidy desk policy help maintain an uncluttered and well-kept work environment, which can be enjoyed by every member. Fewer distractions mean greater focus on your work and a more productive day. Just remember to clean up after yourself to ensure that the person coming in to work after you can benefit from the same conditions.
There are collaboration opportunities
Hot desking attracts a varied crowd of like-minded individuals coming from different backgrounds and specializations. This can be quite beneficial for those looking for inspiration or collaboration opportunities with other entrepreneurs. Don’t hesitate to mingle with other people during breaks, because you never know what kind of partnerships can arise from such occasions.
On the other side of the spectrum, you might find that not everyone will appreciate the concept of the minimalist desk space. Many people love to personalize the places where they spend time to make them feel a bit homier. At a hot desking office, however, this is not a possibility, so those looking for a personalized work space will not find it here.
With so many different people coming and going on a daily basis, it’s hard to keep germs and bacteria at bay. As an office operator, you can provide members with antibacterial wipes, hand sanitizers and other cleaning products. This way you can help enforce the tidy desk policy, where everyone needs to clean up after themselves before leaving the premises. As a hot desking member, you can do a quick disinfection on your desk before you tackle your daily tasks.
Lack of technological resources
Not every hot desking office is fully equipped with the newest technological resources, whether you’re looking for laptops, printing machines or computers. Some like to bring all their personal equipment from home, whilst others prefer not to bother with the burden of carrying large packs and would much rather use the computers available on-site. A good hot desking office should try to appeal to both types of workers so it can reach a wider audience.
It’s not for everyone
Flexibility is a characteristic which many young professionals are looking for. However, this trait might not be so appreciated by the older generation, who are used to stability above all else. If, as a company owner, you’re interested in offering a hot desking service to your employees, make sure that they will value it and that they can get used to all the aspects of switching to such a way of working.
As you can see, hot desking has its fair share of both pros and cons. If you’re contemplating giving it a go, make sure you are well aware of both sides of the argument in order to establish if it’s a good fit for your business needs.