Is Hot-Desking Good for Your Business?

Flexible work arrangements are turning more widespread these days. And since employees have a chance to work from home at least part-time, their desks and workstations may remain empty for a substantial portion of the week. Such a situation is a paragon of inefficient use of office space and business resources. But how to solve this problem? Well, hot-desking can become a perfect solution.

In this article, we will explore the concept of hot-desking along with its main advantages and disadvantages. We will also explain which things one needs to consider when implementing this office management system in order to make it produce maximum benefits.

Hot-desking Defined

HOT-DESKING is a flexible workspace organization system in which employees don’t have personally assigned workstations but share the same ones with each other at different periods.

In other words, when hot-desking, the company creates a co-working area with a pool of separate desks or a shared work surface. When necessary, an employee comes there and occupies any vacant place / desk / workstation for a timeframe. The next day, they may return to the office but sit at a different desk. Thus, the only permanence that hot-desking offers is daily relocation from one workstation to another.


Since hot-desking is pretty much a synonym of workplace flexibility, it is associated with many benefits of the latter. However, hot-desking can easily intensify those benefits and also provide some unique positive effects on its own.

Here are the main of them:


In his recent article for Forbes, Simon Constable described hot-desking as one of the most damaging practices a company may apply. Some drawbacks of hot-desking he used to support his arguments with are as follows:

In addition to the above disadvantages of hot-desking, it’s appropriate to note that not every individual would feel comfortable sharing their working space with others. Having an assigned desk and decorating it with personal items are two of the things that allow many people get cozy at the workplace and enjoy the office environment in the first place.

Besides, distractions are harder to control in co-working spaces. For a professional who has to be very focused while working, it won’t do any good to sit next to a person whose job mainly involves active communication with clients and colleagues.

Lastly, shared workstations are not always the safest option in the context of the epidemic — one has a much lower chance to catch a germ when sitting at a permanently assigned desk that nobody else works on.

So, Is Hot-Desking Good (and Safe) for You?

The long list of hot-desking disadvantages surely looks discouraging. But don’t be in a hurry to reject it too soon. The benefits hot-desking can produce are still very much real. Though it may not be suitable for every company (e.g., for overly formalized and hierarchical ones or those regularly dealing with sensitive data), hot-desking can become a perfect solution for a plethora of businesses.

As such, it’s usually easier to manage shared office environments in smaller companies where people know each other relatively well. However, even large enterprises like Deloitte are quite successful in implementing it.

Organizational culture is key here. Thus, prior to adopting hot-desking, you need to consider the cultural aspects of the workplace along with your team’s size, business needs and employee interests:

  • Do you seek to reduce real estate costs?
  • Do you want to drive innovation and promote collaboration?
  • Is your workplace informal enough to perform efficiently in the context of flexibility?
  • Do you let your employees work remotely?
  • Will they be alright with desk sharing?
  • Will you be able to create separate co-working zones for team members whose processes may cause distractions to others?

If you answered “yes” to at least some of these questions, there’s a high chance that hot-desking will work for you pretty well.

Below are a few recommendations on how to get the best out of this office management system. Be sure to use them to attain the best results.

How to Make Hot-Desking Work

Originally published at

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