What Is Hot Desking? The Benefits of Sharing a Workspace

Hot-desking is an organizational workspace system in which desks are used by different people at different times, on an ad hoc basis. Typically, the aim is to maximize space efficiency and lessen real estate risk by reducing redundant office space.

Hot-Desking: Is it the New Future of the Workplace?

How does hot desking work?

Depending on the kind of office and its requirements, hot desking operates in various ways. This frequently occurs in workplaces with flexible schedules where team members don’t show up to work each day. Anyone on duty that day usually has the option to choose a desk when they arrive. They can then utilize it however they see fit to complete their day’s tasks. For instance, they could select a location with a phone if they need to make calls, or they could select a conference room if they want to hold meetings or present information.

What is hot desking?

Instead of allocating specific workstations, some offices use hot desking as an organizational strategy. When using hot desking, multiple coworkers utilize the same workspace and equipment, such as desks and computers, throughout the course of the day. Typically, this entails sharing a desk with individuals working other shifts. One person could use the station during the day shift, and another person could use it during the night shift, for instance.

Disadvantages of hot desking

Hot desking also comes with a few disadvantages. Knowing these drawbacks will enable you to discover solutions. Take into account the following when deciding whether or not to use hot desking:

Causes phone call confusion

It can be challenging to direct phone calls specifically to team members because they frequently use different spaces. Using digital communications—such as email—can help you resolve this. Additionally, some businesses provide telephone systems that can route calls to a team member’s cell phone.

Creates cleanliness issues

For the sake of the health of your team, you must prevent illnesses from spreading throughout the workplace. Sharing workspaces could result in team members unintentionally spreading germs, bacteria, or other illnesses. Antibacterial lotion or wipes can assist your team in keeping both themselves and their workspaces clean. Encourage them to clean up after themselves to help minimize the possibility of them contracting an illness from one another.

Decreases chances for on-the-job training

New team members frequently work next to seasoned colleagues in their department during on-the-job training. Finding a new space for each team member every day makes this occasionally challenging. When bringing on a new team member, think about having them train with a particular team member in a particular area. They can be in close proximity to one another so that the new team member can observe and learn from their assigned colleague.

Causes difficulty finding space

Hot desk space is frequently first-come, first-served, so it might be challenging for your team to locate a location quickly. You can fix this by allowing your team to pre-register for available space. Additionally, there are apps you can download that let your team choose from every available space before they show up at the office.

Advantages of hot desking

There are many benefits to hot desking for your office or business. When planning the layout of your office, it can assist you in saving resources. When considering this organizational method, consider the following advantages:

Uses less space

A larger team can work out of a smaller space thanks to hot desking. It enables your team to fill in the space that they have available to them rather than allocating a specific area for each team member. Your team can complete the same amount of work in this manner without having to move into a larger office.

Saves money on tools and equipment

Your team members share the office’s tools and equipment when hot desking. As a result, your office can save money by not having to buy tools for every employee. Lessening the number of tools will also help save money on maintenance and replacement.

Promotes teamwork

Team members may locate a space near different coworkers more frequently because they have the option of choosing a new workspace each day. They meet new people through hot desking that they might not have otherwise done in a traditional office. This can encourage them to support, work together, and develop teamwork skills with various coworkers and personalities.

Offers greater flexibility

Your team can choose a workspace based on their daily tasks with hot desking. This enables them to utilize the resources and areas that are most useful to them whenever they are most needed. Depending on what they need to get done, your team members can also decide between working from home or going to the office. Consultants and other team members who don’t typically work in the office can also find space when they need it.

Tools for hot desking

There are many tools available that can help you and your team have a better experience hot desking. These resources include the tools that team members use on a daily basis as well as architectural features. When choosing the hot desking method, consider these tools:


When hot desking, laptops are a useful substitute for desktop computers. While transferring from one location to another, team members can bring their projects with them. They can also continue to use any messaging or digital communication apps that your team uses.

Wireless internet

Your team can access the internet in any location they choose thanks to wireless internet (wi-fi). This helps them complete their tasks in each new space. For teams that use laptops or other wireless devices to complete tasks, wi-fi is especially useful. By doing this, they can bring all of their equipment and necessary information with them.

Communication apps

Messaging apps can help your team communicate digitally. Each team member can find and communicate with one another using these apps without having to know where the other person is. They could also work together while still at their separate stations. While working together on a specific project, your team can benefit from using project management apps to stay organized and communicate.

Adjustable furniture

Since every team member is unique, it’s beneficial if they can modify the workspaces to meet their particular needs. For instance, movable chairs can assist each team member in finding a comfortable workstation. If utilizing desktop computers or external monitors, adjusting the settings will enable everyone on your team to comfortably view them.

Various spaces

Having various workspaces can help your team if they frequently complete a variety of tasks to meet their needs. For example, a straightforward desk and chair in a workspace can assist them in performing common computer tasks. Conference spaces can help your team hold meetings. Large tables make it easier for team members to work together on a project.

Alternatives to hot desking

Hot desking alternatives that employ different techniques may provide some of the same advantages. Some popular alternatives to hot desking include:

Desk hoteling

Similar to hot desking, desk hoteling allows your team to reserve a workspace in advance. Digital apps can also help them claim spaces and provide you with useful data about which spaces are most frequently used. This can assist you in figuring out how to reorganize your office so that it better serves your business needs.

Office hoteling

Office hoteling is like desk hoteling. Office hoteling allows your team to choose whether they want to work from home or the office that day rather than letting them choose their workspace. This frees up space for the rest of your team to work in the office while allowing some of your team to work from home.

Activity-based working

By rotating workspaces according to your team’s activities and tasks, you can use activity-based working (ABW). This allows your team to move from space to space based on what they need to do rather than deciding on a workspace for the entire day. Additionally, you can combine this with conventional hot desking in your workplace.


You can use the same workspaces for various team members at various times by assigning shifts. Your team can share space with other shifts rather than selecting a new workspace every day. As an alternative, you can designate particular workspaces to various team members on various days based on their respective tasks for that day.


Is hot desking a good idea?

Hot desking encourages staff to interact with people from other teams that they might not otherwise meet, which fosters a more social and collaborative environment. This not only makes the environment more social, but also offers opportunities for skill and idea sharing that can encourage interorganizational cooperation.

Why is it called hot desking?

The term “hot desking” is believed to have originated from the naval practice of “hot racking,” which involves sailors sharing the same bunks during different shifts.

What is the difference between hot desking and desk sharing?

Disadvantages of hot desking
  • Less personalization. Because there are no designated spaces, employees might start to feel that their workplace is less personalized.
  • Disruption of hierarchy. …
  • Increase in IT resources. …
  • Strict health and safety policies required. …
  • Changes in routine. …
  • Intermittent communication breakdown.

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