The hidden costs of hot desking

It’s time to make way for the latest office trends: more collaboration spaces, telecommuting, and less personal space.

You now have the chance to take advantage of the fact that over 30% of the EU workforces are not always in the office. The costs of moving to a new workplace design are now being offset by the savings from better space utilization. It is thought that hot desking can reduce a company’s costs by up to 30 percent, with businesses able to save a total of 34 billion a year. 

Managing occupancy costs and assets isn’t easy, although reducing these costs can increase a company’s profitability. One way to make sure this happens is by introducing hot desking into your workspace.

Hot desking

Hot desking is an easy way to accommodate today’s workforce that may include a mix of permanent staff and mobile workers. Within this type of busy office, you need the workspace to complement your employees and save you money.

Hot desking is a business practice of assigning desks based on the average number of employees that are in the office at any given time because you do not have enough space for everyone.

This is a new way of working is rewriting the rule on work environments. By letting go of desks and dividers, hot desking allows employees to use the entire office as their workspace. This ‘free-range” style in which employees take their laptops and shuffle between collaboration tables, couches, and single workstations. This encourages employees to have better collaboration and innovation while you succeed in efficient space management.

Not only does your office space allow for employees to be closer to the office and work in different space but it enables them to come and go which offers the employee more control of their work life balance. It accommodates all employees including permanent in office workers as well as part-time in the office and the telecommuters.

This approach addresses your workforce as a whole. Most employers now have a large portion of employees that are part time or telecommuters that are regularly out of the office that leaves desks empty for the majority of the work week. By implementing hot desks, you maximize the efficiency of the floor space.

Also, by putting workers in proximity with people who might not be on the same team or department it allows the spread of thoughts, feedback, ideas and a less department focused company culture.

Overcoming the Hidden costs

Now that we have established what hot desking and hoteling can do for your business, before implementing a system, there are some hidden costs to look for and how to overcome them.

Space utilization costs

Space utilization is the key to running a happy and productive office. Hot desking is all about what employees you have in the office on a typical day. It’s all about providing the right ratio of desks to employees.

Think about your workforce and their individual work needs, some may require a desk for a half hour, others may need a desk to sit and focus at for a good portion of the day, some may need large collaboration areas and others may require a combination of all. 

Most importantly you need to pay attention to their habits and build an environment around them that offers different desks, layouts, and seating. Not only will this create an environment that they enjoy but it will reduce the amount of space in your office, ultimately saving money on leased space.

Lost asset costs

With the mobility of the office allowing employees to shuffle between open tables, couches, and workstations, deciding whether you are going to have shared desktops in place at a workstation or issuing laptops across the workforce. You then have to decide how you are going to manage the assets as they come and go and move about the office. The loss of assets is like money walking out your door.  And most of all you hold your employees accountable. As they move around the office, you can track their specific assets.

Along with cost savings, you increase your organization’s efficiency. Tracking your assets will save you time and makes the process of finding and loaning them out faster. When you can track your assets through the cloud, you receive more accurate results than if you were manually tracking.

Productivity costs

Hot desking is one size does not fit all concept.  Carefully gain an understanding of the day to day operations of your company. The key is not over or under-allocating, when you find the correct ratio of desk to users, you will experience cost savings.