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Posted on Jan 10, 2013

Is “Hot Desking” the Cure for Phoning It In?

Is “Hot Desking” the Cure for Phoning It In?

As the nature of work (along with everything else!) becomes increasingly flexible and ever more mobile, many businesses find it no longer makes sense for all employees to have their own designated day in, day out workspaces.

One possible solution? “Hot desking”, an office organization system in which multiple workers use a single physical workspace or surface during different time periods.

Imagine a company¬†with a large number of part-time employees. If each employee has their own personal workspace, that space sits unused for a lot of the time. For a company with a sales staff that spends a lot of time out of the office, individual cubicles can look like a ghost town. So when those employees share a work area, the space – and cost – savings are obvious. Of course, the system – sometimes referred to as “hotelling” – is not a good fit for every industry. But with ever increasing costs, many businesses would do well to at least consider if theirs is a good fit.

In their excellent blog post on the topic, authors Cali Ressler and Jody Thomson point out that in a certain way, this “new” idea is actually not unlike the typing pools of the Mad Men era: large open spaces where workers sat down and got busy without what we now think of as the essential creature comforts of vacation snapshots and our children’s artwork. Is everything old new again?

For the kind of person who prefers to park in the exact same parking space every day, hot desking could be a challenge. Most businesses that have effectively implemented the system advise rolling out the program slowly, as it takes people some time to adjust to this latest way of getting work done.

What do you think? Would hot desking work for you, or would you go nuts without the comfort and predictability of your own personal workspace? Let us know!

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