Hot Desking & Desk Booking

Just how effective is your hot desking strategy?

Darin Herle
March 20th, 2018
Effective hot desking strategy for the office

You asked the questions, did the research and overhauled your office layout. Finally, you hit the start button on your new hot desking strategy. But what now? Well, the next step is to ensure it’s effective for both you and the company’s employees.


70% of managers and 87% of employees report that their flexible work arrangements made a positive impact on their productivity. This should definitely get you excited about your own strategy, but it is not necessarily an indicator of how your employees are going to adapt to the new structure. To make sure your employees—and your bottom line—are getting the best possible results from your new desk booking system, it pays to do a little recon.

Measure the adoption rate

If a new system is easy to use, employees will quickly adapt to its implementation. Your hot desking policy should be supported by software that allows employees to book a desk quickly, easily and from anywhere. However, it’s important to ensure you are actively monitoring the adoption rate. In order to measure the effectiveness of the policy, you need to run real-time reports to get a deeper understanding of how well employees have adapted to the new protocol. Advanced software can also offer insight into which spaces are being used the most or are the most popular—this data will inform you about what’s working and what could be improved.

Run a survey

Seek input from employees on hot desking system

While collecting and using data is great for determining how regularly people are actually booking desks, this information will not inform you about how employees actually feel in the new office setup. Since your employees are the ones actually using the hot desking system, it pays to seek out their input on its pros and cons. Send out a survey to allow anonymous feedback, or sit down with employees to discuss their experience with the process. Be sure to ask open-ended questions that elicit honest and thoughtful answers.

Assess employee performance

Adoption rates of your system shows you how well employees have adapted to the new software. However, that’s only half the story—to truly understand how well the system is working, you need to be able to measure how employee performance and productivity have been affected by the new policy. It is crucial that in the early days of the strategy you set clear expectations and goals for your employees, then follow this up with frequent performance reviews to ensure their work ethic and output hasn’t slipped. FMs should focus on measurable results related to each individual’s responsibilities in order to determine whether or not the flexible work policy is effective.

Improving effectiveness

Improving hot desking strategy

If you find your immediate returns aren’t as great as you’d hoped, don’t write your hot desking strategy off as a failure. For some people, changing the way they work will take time and patience, so don’t throw in the towel early. Try improving the situation with these approaches:

  • Make accessing your software even easier. Apps like Slack can integrate with software and make finding colleagues and bookable desks quick and painless, whether you’re on a phone or a computer.
  • If you’re falling short of your adoption goals, evaluate what you can do to boost effectiveness. This could mean offering small rewards—team lunches or outings—as these can help boost morale, improving software usage.
  • It is also important to give your employees a deadline for adoption. Ensure employees who are hesitant have all the help they need to make the transition and allow for an adjustment period for those who might be struggling with the new tech. At the same time, setting a deadline will make it clear that change is imminent.
  • Determine office areas that aren’t being used and brainstorm how they could be set up differently in order to gain a better adoption rate.

Hot desking could be the best thing to ever happen to your office. It encourages communication, interaction and performance—over half of managers see team communication improve when a flexible work environment is implemented. But if you don’t know how your employees feel, or if you aren’t tracking usage, you can fall victim to an ineffective strategy. Therefore, it is absolutely crucial you couple your plan with advanced office management software that will help you ensure your new desk booking system is a success.

Ready to learn how effective your hot desking strategy is? Start running reports today and give us a call if you need help with flexible work space management.

Photo Credits: Shutterstock / Zastolskiy Victor, Shutterstock / Petinov Sergey Mihilovich, Shutterstock / 06photo