Hot Desking & Desk Booking

Four creative ways employees can make the most of hot desking

Darin Herle
August 28th, 2019
hot desking

How can employees leverage hot desking to improve their overall workplace experience?

The modern workplace is equipped now, more than ever, to accommodate flexible schedules and work styles. From video conferencing software to file-sharing instant messaging tools, employees are connected no matter where they are. 

All this connectivity is improving productivity rates among employees. In fact, a study from The McKinsey Global Institute found that productivity improves by 20-25% in companies with connected employees. 

But what about employees making the most of the time they have in office?

In this article, we’re exploring a few tactical ways employees can benefit from using hot desking. But before we dive in, let’s start with the basics.

What is hot desking?

Instead of being assigned a desk, hot desking allows employees to select an available desk to work from each day. Hot-desk seating adheres to a first-come, first-served structure, which provides employees an increased level of flexibility in the office. 


This is not to be confused with hoteling, which requires employees to reserve a space through software—like OfficeSpace Software, for example—before they use it. 

That level of flexibility in the workplace may sound like it could cause issues, but there are many benefits to structuring an office this way:

  • Increased opportunities for collaboration
  • Improved relationship-building
  • Better flexibility within the workplace
  • Greater employee productivity 

Besides, 70% of managers and 87% of employees report that their flexible work arrangements made a positive impact on their productivity. What’s more, a study from Zenefits found that 77% of employees say flexible work arrangements to be a huge factor when considering future job opportunities.

So how can employees leverage hot desking in a way that improves their performance and experience at work?

Let’s take a look at a few of the tactical ways employees can better use hot desking.

woman using a laptop at a desk

Hold more efficient meetings

It’s no secret that meetings are essential to the workplace, but they can be a significant time waster unless planned correctly. The flexibility of hot desking removes some of the chaos associated with scheduling and holding meetings.

You may be thinking, “wouldn’t the first-come, first-served structure of hot desking make holding meetings even more stressful?” 

Not quite. For large meetings involving multiple employees, scheduling a meeting with software is still the best bet. But for smaller touch-base meetings that can be done without lots of coordinating, hot desking is the perfect solution. 

For example, if there are many people involved in a project, hot desking makes it easier for employees to gather without spending valuable time trying to find a place to meet. The team can choose desks near one another on days they need to meet, which would make close collaboration and communication easier.

efficient meeting

Improve collaboration among teams

Collaboration can be an issue, especially among large companies or teams, and employees are expecting more from their employers. A study from CBRE found that 85% of respondents want an increase in mobility in their workplaces, like spaces for collaboration in addition to working remotely.

Hot desking can eliminate some of these disconnects. Allowing employees to sit with the team members they work closest with—no matter the department—can improve teamwork across the entire company. If you’re still near other employees, especially the ones you work closest with, it’s easier to work together, maintain communication, and build rapport.

Hot desking isn’t just beneficial for day-to-day collaboration. It’s also great for short-term projects as well. 


Let’s say your company is busiest in the months leading up to the holiday season, and several, condensed projects require some employees full attention. Hot desking makes it easy for the employees working on those specific projects to work together during that time frame without issue. By providing employees with the flexibility to sit near others working on the same project, they can collaborate with the right people without having to switch desks or put in a move request through the facilities management or human resources team.

employee collaboration

Empower employees to take control of their workspaces

Everyone is guilty of a messy desk at some time or another. Coffee cups, stacks of paper, and personal items can create a lot of clutter on a desk. 

Not only is a cluttered desk an eyesore, but it’s also a productivity killer. According to the National Association of Professional Organizers, there is a strong correlation between clutter and procrastination.

Because employees aren’t assigned a specific desk with the hot-desking model, the issue of clutter is eliminated. Employees only work with the essential files they need. Hot desking helps employees focus on work, without the distraction of a messy desk.

Of course, employees need some space of their own. As a result, some employers provide lockers or rolling backpacks so employees can keep any items they need to do their job in one designated space. But the issue of desk clutter is significantly reduced with hot desking. 

Though employees aren’t able to customize their desks, they can keep their workspaces as minimalist as possible, which removes distraction and increases productivity.

minimalist workspace

Cut down on expensive office space rent

There’s no question that the cost of office real estate is skyrocketing. A survey from Priceonomics, the average cost for a start-up to rent office space is $6,100 per month. Also, according to The Square Foot, the average annual cost per employee for companies to rent office space is $14,800 in New York City, $13,032 in San Francisco, and $10,522 in Washington D.C. 

For companies that are looking for ways to cut costs, hot desking is an excellent remedy to price hikes. Hot desking removes the need to spend thousands of dollars on renting an office space or purchasing a huge property. Now, that’s not to say you shouldn’t have space for all your employees, but the need for tons of extra space can be minimized with this solution. 

If you give employees a choice to work remote or hot desk, you can ensure your space is being used efficiently. Using software like OfficeSpace Software lets employees see what desks are available, so there’s no confusion about what desks are occupied. 

Reducing the need for a large office with hot desking can put dollars back into your company’s pocket that can be used for other business matters.

hot desking strategy

Be strategic about implementing hot desking

Introducing hot desking into a workplace will look different for every company; it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. Depending on your company culture and how your employees work together will determine how you should approach adding hot desks to your office.

Replacing all desks as hot desks may not work for your company. Perhaps adding a few hot-desk areas in addition to designated desks will help with the integration. 

In whichever way you decide to introduce hot desks into your workplace, it’s critical to maintain clear communication with employees. Explaining why you’re adding hot desks and how they benefit both the company as a whole and individual employees are key to a successful implementation. Start small and see what works best for your company.

Is your company in need of a better system for organizing and managing your workspace? Learn more about our hot-desking and hoteling solutions.

Photo Credits: Visual Tag Mx, Marek, Elevate Digital, Rawpixel, Pexels, Rawpixel