Picture this: You wake up on Monday morning and decide to work out of the office that day. You drive there and an app on your phone automatically detects when you pull into the parking lot, then you immediately receive a mobile notification with your temporary desk location. If you work in Amsterdam at the Edge, the greenest building in the world, then this is exactly how your day starts — and most other modern office buildings are not far behind.
Hot desking, also known as hoteling, has been around for decades, but it’s currently becoming the norm at companies around the world.
Organizations are being heavily influenced by the needs of millennial workers, and there’s a significant cost savings when you reduce square footage to only what’s essential.
There are also cultural benefits. The willingness of companies to provide flexible work/life arrangements seems to have a positive impact on morale, and when people decide to go into the office, employees can interact and share insights about their projects and goals more freely. Creativity and collaboration appear to increase with an open space design, as does the sharing of ideas between people who wouldn’t normally interact in a more traditional office layout.
Of course, one specific type of working environment won’t be suitable for all industry types and divisions. Some positions may require that workers have dedicated, in-office workspaces that allow for moments of quiet concentration.
For all hot-desking users, drawbacks may include difficulty locating team members you need to speak to, or having to carry around and keep track of digital devices and physical files — among a handful of other concerns.
We’re seeing designers and companies working to solve these issues by finding a balance between traditional and more open, hot-desking floor plans.
The modern office will continue to evolve, but it’s essential that today’s workspaces are designed to adapt to the unique needs of multiple desk users. Workspaces should also be conducive to BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) culture. Read about how ergonomics can help, here.