What is Hot Desking? Learn all about it & how to get started

Modern Office & Hot Desking

Have you heard the term internet café before? Well hot-desking isn’t too dissimilar in the sense that they are workspaces available on an ad hoc basis for people to come and work and/or study.

What is hot desking?

Generally, hot-desking is described as an organisational workspace system where desks are used by different people at different times. In some spaces you are able to ‘rent’ or book a desk or workspace for specific lots of time, or you can simply come and use the space for a few hours. Most office spaces that offer hot-desking will work on a rotational basis whereby there will be multiple workers using a single physical work station during different periods of time. 

Many companies, especially start-ups use hot-desking as a means to save money on desks and other office equipment, to keep a tidier office space and to lessen the company’s carbon footprint. 

As a company that offers hot-desking, its a great way to maximise your office space and provide opportunities for local or smaller companies to grow their business. 

Hot desking definition

Different companies tend to operate hot-desking in slightly different ways, however in general, the term hot-desking can be defined as: 

The practice of an office organisation system which allocates desks to workers when they are required or an a rota system. These workers may not be employed by the company who owns the offices, but will pay a fee or service to use the workspace

The definition of hot-desking is not to be confused with the practice of hoteling. These two practices often get confused and conflated, so if you’re looking to set up a hot-desking system at your office space its important that you know the difference between the two practices. 

Is Hot Desking and Hoteling the same thing?

shared office workspaces

The short answer? No, hoteling and hot-desking are not the same thing. 

These two terms tend to be used interchangeably and while they have both adopted a shared desk concept, they don’t mean the same thing. Hoteling involves reserving desks in advance for a specific duration of time. Someone may reserve a desk for a few days or weeks. Therefore, they will have a designated workspace for that period of time. This is where hoteling differs to hot-desking; hot-desking works on a rotational basis where people will use office space for short amounts of time e.g. 1-2 hour slots, whereas with a hoteling set up individuals and/or teams will use the same office space for weeks or months at a time.

Many people have argued that hoteling is a superior alternative to hot-desking as it eliminates the disadvantages and uncertainty associated with hot-desking, allowing organisations to have a consistent flow of used office space that benefits both the organisation and those in need of a workspace. However, the purpose of hot-desking is to offer individuals or organisations a secure workspace. This could be due to financial issues, an emergency or simply on an ad hoc basis. Hoteling eliminated this flexibility and could disadvantage some organisations and/or individuals looking for a secure workspace. 

Benefits of Hot-Desking 

  • Increases collaboration 
  • Autonomy 
  • Lower Costs 
  • Improves performance and the circulation of knowledge 
  • Tidier workspaces
  • Amenities that you may not be able to provide for your large team of employees such as a comfortable workplace, desk phone, computer and laptop services, more personal space, access to conference rooms, technology amenities, office supplies and much more. 

Benefits of Hoteling 

  • Helping to grow businesses 
  • Space utilisation 
  • Collaboration and teamwork 
  • Consolidating businesses 

Hot Desking Booking System

Hot desking system is a great way to help local businesses and utilise your office space. However, while hot-desking can seem like a simple solution, its important that you have an organised system that benefits both your organisation and the hot desk-er, typically you can book desk spaces, co working space, shared workspace or even a meeting room depending on your co-workplace provider.

Typically as a small business you would be able to contact the hot desking provider and reserve a slot for a number of hours, this ranges on the availability and requirements from yourselves but you can typically book between 1-12 hours, your hot desking provider may be willing to allow a long term booking depending on space and their hot desking policy.

You can typically expect to pay per session or pay monthly with membership deals for meeting spaces. In some instances you may also be able to book and pay for your workplace as a team, with a bundle offer under memberships per company or membership per individual.

Hot-Desking Booking System Tools

  • Skedda
  • CloudBooking
  • Envoy
  • Essential 

What is the point of Hot Desking?

group and team hot desking

As an organisation that offers hot-desking, the service acts as an extra form of income as people pay to use your space and workstations. Especially if you have extra space and office equipment that isn’t being used, its a great way to utilise your space and help businesses at the same time. Its also a great method to encourage collaboration and networking, as more people use your hot-desking service you will have more opportunities to meet new potential clients and partners – all without leaving your office!

As someone who is looking for an office space for their team or business, hot-desking is a cost-effective way of having a workstation for members of your time. It saves you money on office rent and buying desks, equipment for every member of your team. It also means you can keep a tidier office and help the environment by lessening your carbon footprint. Hot-desking is particularly helpful if you are growing business, any remote employees who struggle with home offices in search of a flexible workspace. While you’re trying to work out how you work together as a team and focusing on enhancing your business, hot-desking helps to increase collaboration between your employees and others, allows to keep a tidier workspace and keep costs at a minimum. 

We also advise hot desking to any new businesses who are unsure whether a private office and permanent desk space may be needed. Treat hot desking as your ‘free months trial’ to office life. Examine whether or not the desk usage is worth monthly office bills and whether you require your space for longer, or if a couple of hours a week is all you require.

Who Can Offer Hot Desk Services?

If you’re looking for a reason to start hot-desking this your go ahead! If you have free space and office equipment not being used then you can hot-desk. There are no specific requirements or hoops to jump through, making it an easy acquisition for most organisations. 

However, before you step into hot-desking we recommend that you assess whether this is something you could maintain alongside the other commitments of your organisation. Hot-desking is something that’s meant to add value to your office not deplete it. So while anyone can start hot-desking we recommend that you ask yourself 4 simple questions before stepping out into this new venture: 

  • Do we have the space for hot-desking? 
  • Would it take away from our current projects and business strategy? 
  • Does Hot-desking fit into the future goals for the organisation? 
  • Who would head up and maintain it?

Who Can Use Hot Desk Services?

Anyone! Remote workers looking for a modern workplace with minimum costs, new small businesses looking to get a taste of office space outside of working from home and the virtual office. Multiple employees of the same business can also book a hot desking service provided they book in advanced and book the required seating numbers. Desk booking is incredibly simple and straightforward, employee experience is typically positive, with many sharing they prefer hot desking and desk hoteling to standard office life, due to the easy flexible working hot desking feature. If you’re looking for hot desking services in South Wales, get in touch with us at SGOR. We’d be happy to help.

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