Hot desking. Does its mere mention send a shiver down your spine? Well, news flash from the news hot desk, it’s back!
Compulsory working from home during the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a seismic shift in working arrangements with several global organisations – including DropBox, Microsoft, Twitter, HSBC to name a few – announcing that remote working is their new normal.
SMEs are also following suit, having already adopted hybrid working arrangements or ditching the office for good. Plus, in a report leaked last month, the government also appear to be considering legislating to make working from home the “default” option for employees.
So, your employees are faced with not having a desk of their own – a place for those novelty Post-It notes, animal-shaped stress balls and pots of unused pens. They will no longer be able to stare down at the faces of loved ones smiling up at them from collections of family photographs. Hot desking can, therefore, be a daunting prospect.
What your employees will have, however, is more time spent with said loved ones at home (but not too much time…they’ll still get that essential workplace respite!) as the very beauty of hot desking is its ability to facilitate a blend of in-office and at-home working. And that’s not all, hot desking facilitates more agile and collaborative working, allowing for increased productivity through cross-departmental or multi-location teamwork.
The first step before you adjust your working arrangements is, plan, plan and plan some more. How many people will be in the office at one time? Do some employees still need permanent workstations? Is your IT infrastructure able to facilitate hybrid working?
It is essential to equip employees with the right hardware and software to allow a seamless transition from home to office. Microsoft 365 apps are ideal for hybrid working – including Outlook for instant access to emails, SharePoint for access to files, Phone System for remote calling, and Teams for collaboration.
With employees accessing data from inside and outside the office, robust IT security is a must. Microsoft 365 also ensures all cloud services are secure, easing any security concerns about employees accessing files remotely. However, vigilance among employees to cyberthreats is also key so consider upskilling teams with training.
A primary concern of hot desking is the health risk posed by sharing a workstation. However, this can be overcome simply by implementing strategies for keeping stations clean – including disinfecting before/after use and ensuring people do not eat at their computers (risky business at the best of times!). Plus, hot desking actually has the ability to offer a range of “healthier” workspace options, such as standing desks.
Author: David Buist
Published: August 4, 2021
Read Time: 3 minutes (500+ words)