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The dos and don’ts of hot desking etiquette

Everyone’s trying out hot desking these days, and why not? It’s perfect for making the most of your space when hybrid working. But, there are a few things you need to know before you start hopping on the trend. Let’s look at the dos and don’ts of hot desking etiquette — because yes, there are rules.

Hot desking in the hybrid working

Work Your Way

Hot desking is a great way to better use office space for companies with hybrid work models. You don’t want assigned desks sitting empty for half the week. Hot desking helps you make better use of your office space and give employees options for different workspaces.

Hot desking also helps boost collaboration since employees working on a project can book workstations next to each other, or in neighborhoods set up for their specific needs.

Redesigning the office to focus on collaboration and less on solo work can help bring people back into the office and help them reconnect with your company culture.

Hot desking etiquette: dos and don’ts

Desk Booking Analytics

DO: have people book a desk in advance

If you’re going to be hot desking, having people book a desk in advance is important. This is called ‘hoteling‘ and eliminates the daily stampede for seats. There’s nothing worse than searching for an available desk on Monday morning before you’ve had your coffee. Having employees book in advance lets everyone know where they’ll be working each day and helps them jumpstart their days. It also helps space planners forecast demand.

DON’T: let people book the same desk every day

While booking desks in advance is a great way to approach hot desking, you also need to make sure people aren’t booking the same desk again and again. Try setting limits such as prohibiting an employee from booking the same desk three days in a row. This way, everyone has a chance to use different workspaces, and everyone benefits from sitting near different coworkers. It also helps break the old habit of feeling territorial over a desk, and helps employees embrace the change for a better future.

DO: make sure there are different types of workstations available (and consider ergonomics)

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When hot desking, it’s essential to have different types of workstations available. This way, employees can choose a workstation that suits their needs for that particular day. For example, if you know you’re going to be on the phone all day, you might want to book a desk near a window to enjoy some natural light, or a bookable phone booth so you are not distracted or distract others!

Or, if an employee is going to be working on a laptop all day, they might want to book a sit-stand desk so they can move around throughout the day. And research shows that workplaces with more active workspace options can help improve employee health. Activity based working zones means that spaces are made appropriate for the style of work helping with wellbeing and productivity.

DON’T: forget about personal storage

Give employees a place to keep their bags, coats, pens, and pencils since they won’t have a dedicated desk.  Investing in lockers at your office is a great way to do this. This way, employees can store all their belongings in one place and won’t have to worry about lugging them around. Plus, this lets workers leave items in the office that they won’t need when they’re working remotely.

DO: create different work zones or neighborhoods

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Not everyone wants to listen in on their neighbor’s fourth meeting of the day. So split up the office into areas for different types of work — section off quiet zones and zones for calls or meetings. And set aside spaces for meeting rooms, collaboration, and solo workspaces.

You can also split up the office by department to keep members of the same teams in the same general area. This can make it easier for employees to collaborate and helps streamline the desk booking process by giving them a set area of the office to book into each day.

DON’T: wait to tell people about any changes to hot desking policies

If you’re making changes to your hot desking policies, ensure you communicate these changes to employees ahead of time. Avoid hot desk anxiety in the workplace by effectively communicating policy changes. Hot desking can be a big cultural change for your organization and your employees, but if you effectively communicate, they’ll more likely support it from the get-go.

DO: encourage people to try different workstations

Check In Out

This is especially helpful for promoting collaboration and helping people find the best workstation for their needs. “Desk hogging” is a thing. If people tend to stick to the same workstations, it negates the positive impact of mixing with various colleagues. And encouraging everyone to try out different workstations can help employees learn more about their working styles and needs.

DON’T: forget to reassess your strategy regularly using real usage analytics

Hot desking is great because it’s so flexible. So, be sure to reassess your hot desking strategy regularly to ensure it’s still meeting the needs of your business and employees. Make sure you ditch any outdated or irrelevant policies and reconfigure your workspaces based on how people are actually using them.

DO: use a powerful desk and room booking solution to help you hot desk seamlessly

System Intergrators

If you’re hot desking, you need a powerful desk and room booking solution to help you manage your office’s different workstations. Good desk and room booking software helps employees book desks, guides visitors through the office, and helps you set up your office based on actual usage analytics.

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Smartway2 is a powerful desk and room booking solution that can help you kick your hot desking into high gear. We can help you manage your office space more efficiently and use resources better.

Huw Davies
Author

Huw Davies

Huw Davies, Product Director at Smartway2 part of Hubstar, has spent 25 years developing workplace technology solutions that help to enhance workplace experience. Huw is passionate about user experience and how workpalce technology can be used to boost workplace experience.
Last updated July 6, 2022