As the global workforce moves forward after lockdowns attributed to the pandemic, a new normal remains which has proven effective for mitigating risk of infection in the workplace. Thanks to the pandemic, workplaces across the world have adopted a modern approach to workplace management by streamlining processes using technology.
One of the trends defining future workspaces is hot desking. Allowing greater flexibility for employees, hot desking is a workspace organization system that eliminates employees from having permanently assigned seating. In a workplace where telecommuting multiple times a week is normal, hot desking leverages ad hoc desk usage based on who’s on site at the time. Not only does this reduce office real estate overhead by reducing redundant desks or spaces but also allows for effective social distancing and 'zone' booking for teams working within a hybrid work model.
Hot desking also inspires employee innovation and motivates more cross-disciplinary collaboration between typically physically disparate teams or departments. Furthermore, in line with pandemic measures, hot desking is also compatible with ‘contactless’ office policies. Read on to find out why hot desking is on the rise, its advantages and maximizing its benefits, and how desk booking software can increase office productivity in a hot desking environment.
The rise in hot desking
Hot desking was on the rise even before the COVID-19 pandemic, and is synonymous with “zoning” and “hoteling.” A Gallup poll found that 43% of participants in the US had already worked remotely at some point by 2016. The pandemic and lockdowns forced businesses worldwide to test out various work from home schemes, from full remote work to hybrid contactless telecommuting setups with hot desking, further fueling the demand for increased flexibility in working arrangements.
As every office space is different, so too will their hot desking setups and workplace management policies be. The core benefits, however, are similar. The most notable almost always include:
- Improved office space efficiency (and associated cost savings)
- Increased inter-departmental collaboration
- Enhanced overall productivity
- Better employee morale
- Reduced employee churn rates
Hot desking has been successfully implemented across leading innovative companies. For example, Citigroup offering employees a daily choice of desks in an open floor plan, and Deloitte seating 2,500 employees in only 1,000 desks.
The importance of desk booking software when hot desking
The concept of modern telecommuting and hot desking is built on a foundation of technology-enabled tools and platforms. For hot desking, a key component in the tech stack is good desk booking software. A digital in/out board is a key starting point for effective hot desking practices.
Great desk booking software incorporates several key points of hot desking policy into a streamlined, ideally cloud-based platform that goes well beyond self-service desk reservation for employees. It can extend to taking into account floor plans and wayfinding, statistics and analytics, and integration with other digital tools of the trade. Desk booking software enables companies to empower their hot desking workers for maximum productivity on the operations floor.
Desk booking software automates manual scheduling and reservation functions that are naturally prone to human error and streamlines the telecommuting setup. Self-service booking software also eliminates staff having to manage the bookings.
5 Ways desk booking software can increase productivity
Hot desking has been linked to various improvements in office productivity through the study of co-working spaces. Meanwhile, desk booking software, a critical digital tool that enables hot desking, can likewise increase productivity in the office:
1. Connect employees who may inspire each other
It has been reported that such working arrangements help improve collaboration through shared physical spaces, infrastructure, and even digital tools. This helps workers find potential collaborative partners who help increase their creativity or productivity and lets them explore novel, innovative ideas they otherwise would not.
2. Create designated focus spots
Hot desking is compatible with flexible meeting room or cubicle scheduling, encouraging the designation of focus spots that help workers truly give 100% to whatever it is they’re trying to achieve. This can happen both in an individual cubicle setup or a reserved meeting room where a team can brainstorm and maximize group creativity.
3. Help visitors and contractors immediately get to work
One of the most obvious ways desk booking software directly impacts productivity is its touch-and-go nature. Schedule work hours, reserve a desk, and simply start working when you arrive at the office. No fuss, no wasted time.
4. Create fewer disruptions
Desk booking software can help workers choose the desk they want to work at. This gives them more control of their working hours, physical locations, and who they’ll be working with. For instance, people who like listening to music while working can assemble in one area while those who prefer quieter working environments can gather in another area. Desk booking software removes disruptions, not just physical walls, but also those caused by incompatible working arrangement preferences.
5. Less paperwork for your front office staff
Automated desk booking software reduces manual work without eliminating crucial paper trails and records. This can free up a lot of time for front office staff to perform other, more impactful or time-sensitive administrative and organizational tasks. Remember the Pareto principle: staff can focus on the 20% of work that directly results in 80% of outcomes. Desk booking software automates many redundant but essential tasks.
Of course, these all depend on the capabilities and functionality of the desk booking software. SwipedOn has taken its expertise in booking management into creating a hot desking solution that provides all the benefits mentioned above, and more. SwipedOn Desks is our cloud-based smart desk and workplace management platform for managing shared desks from a centralized hub.