How to Optimize Your Office Environment for Hot Desking

So you’ve weighed the pros and cons of hot desking and decided that it's a good fit for your office—now what? The next step is to ensure both your office and employees are properly equipped to deal with the transition. Any change to your office can potentially disrupt workflow, so it’s crucial that facility managers make the necessary preparations before rearranging the office layout. As with all big changes in the workplace, the key to success and a smooth transition is communication and consideration—and of course, the right software.

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Plan it out

Before committing to a new desk sharing policy, take the time to talk to employees and consider the specific needs of each department. For instance, your legal team may not benefit from a shared, open space environment in the same way that your marketing team will. Ensure you are clear and direct with your employees so that everyone is aware of the changes being made, as well as what their individual responsibilities are. If the entire team is informed and onboard, the transition will be much smoother.

You will also want to make decisions about what type of hot desking areas you’d like to adopt—will your office benefit more from simple open desks, or would it be better to add in a few comfy lounge areas or collaborative meeting nooks? Before making any changes at all to your office, you have to ensure you have a clear vision for the end result. Monitor which sections of the office are the most underused. Then make informed decisions about repurposing any areas that are suited to hot desking.

Network the office

Is your network set up to enable different teams to work anywhere in the office? If the answer is no, you need to prioritize improving the office network so that employees working freely throughout the office won’t have trouble with permissions or connectivity. If employees still use desktop computers, you may also have to convert them to laptops before you take away their permanent desks.

Further, employees might push back against hot desking if they can’t access their work from anywhere in the world. Your office must support communications between team members who aren’t in the office and those who are. Move your work to cloud-based applications before you switch to a hot desking work environment.

Create a hot desking policy

Changing the work environment can be confusing or overwhelming if clear guidelines have not been put into place. Consider implementing policies and procedures to account for the following situations:

  • Who cleans desks at the end of the day—employees or cleaners?
  • Do desks need to be booked by a certain date or time?
  • Are there designated areas for personal items or can they be left at a desk?
  • Can desks or work areas be booked long-term?

Ensuring everyone is aware of their rights and responsibilities will help to eliminate frustration and decreased productivity during the policy rollout.

The tools to succeed

Part of successfully implementing hot desking is using software that adequately supports the change. Quick and easy desk booking is an essential component of hot desking, but as a facility manager you also need to be able to keep up with changes as people are moving around the office. Select a tool that integrates with the applications you already use. For instance, the OfficeSpace Slack App makes finding people a breeze, especially when they change desk locations daily.

When hot desking is implemented with a plan in place, employees have the opportunity to succeed in working environments they never used before. By planning ahead and giving employees the best tools and applications for hot desking, your office can run more efficiently than before.

Ready to move ahead with hot desking? Request a demo to learn more about how our facility management software can help you create a more efficient office.

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Photo Credits: Shutterstock / ImageFlow, Shutterstock / goodluz, Shutterstock / Berni