Hot desking can offer a range of benefits to your business and your staff, as we discovered last week.
However, as with most silver bullets when it comes to cost saving, it makes good business sense to research the potential drawbacks as well.
The move to hot desking is as much a cultural change as a physical one. The transition could be a bigger change than you anticipate and it could be a strenuous one for staff; especially for long-term staff who were used to the old way of doing things.
Here are some potential challenges to consider:
If you’re going to do hot desking well, so that it is as seamless and productive as possible for your employees, there will be set-up costs involved. Make sure you factor those in to your calculations! Where will the funds for the new desk configurations come from? Have you considered where staff will store their personal items and confidential documents? How will you manage the transition to a digital office so that there is minimal disruption to staff workflow?
Everyone has different standards of cleanliness – but no one wants to sit at a desk with someone else’s crumpled tissues and reminders of yesterday’s lunch burrito. Make sure cleaners are briefed on the new set up and that every desk is cleaned, every day, so that coming in to a new desk each day doesn’t involve any unwelcome surprises.
What about the introverts?
Getting into the office and doing some small talk with the same neighbours everyday is one thing, but having to strike up a new conversation daily could make the beginning of the workday more gruelling than it needs to be for any introvert staff.
Confidential and sensitive information
Most roles in most offices will involve face-to-face conversations, documents or phone calls of a sensitive or even confidential nature. How will you manage this? Will there be private spaces available for phone calls and quick meetings? Will staff be provided with mobile phones so that they can take those calls away from their desks? Will staff have a secure place to stow confidential documents when they are away from their desks?
We hear more and more about the detrimental effects of office work on our physical health. How can you make this hot desking easy on those staff who have additional access requirements, from ergonomic desk chairs to adjustable height desks, ergonomic keyboards and monitor heights? Don’t jeopardise the headway you’ve made in looking after staff welfare.
In spite of these challenges, hot desking can make sense for many companies, helping with cost saving, team cohesion and a reinvigorated office space. But as with any workplace change, it’s worth doing your research first.
If you’d like to know more about how SBA Business Process Outsourcing can help you in that transition, through digitising your systems or just picking up extra admin tasks while your team adjusts to the new set up, please get in touch.