How to Set Up Hot Desk Booking

July 21, 2022
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How to Set Up Hot Desk Booking
Jacquelyn Wong
July 21, 2022

How to Set Up Hot Desk Booking

Three years ago, 60% of U.S. employees worked entirely on-site. The typical worker commuted to the office daily, sat at an assigned desk, and had little flexibility in choosing their working conditions.³

That time feels like a distant dream. Today, only 19% of employees work entirely on-site, a dramatic decrease from pre-pandemic numbers. The modern hybrid workplace values employee flexibility more than ever before.³ As more companies offer hybrid work options, they must adapt their physical workplace to meet employee needs and reduce wasted space.¹ This article will cover the nature of hybrid office desk seating and how you can best implement a hot desk setup. 

What Is Hot Desk Booking?

Hot desk booking is a system in which employees can reserve, or are assigned, a rotating office desk. Hot desking is an alternative to standard seating charts where each employee has a personal desk. Sometimes called “hotel desking,” hot desking allows multiple employees to use the same desk at different times or on different days.

What Is the Purpose of Hot Desking?

Hot desk booking generates so much interest because it can help companies reduce unnecessary office space. For any given company, real estate costs and related expenses are usually the second or third largest expenditures. As office real-estate management strategies become more widespread, companies that don’t act now to cut down on unnecessary office space risk being left behind by those who move quickly.²

One business leader saw employee collaboration and communication in their company benefit from hot desking. Alan Duncan, from Solar Panels Network USA, explained, “Because employees are no longer tied to a specific desk or office, they’re able to move around and work with different team members more easily. This has resulted in better brainstorming sessions and a more cohesive work environment overall.”

The Importance of Today’s Trends

Unfortunately, some companies still treat hybrid work like a phenomenon that will fade shortly.² In reality, most employees expect hybrid work options to be available long-term. One survey found that 85% of respondents prefer to work virtually at least twice a week.¹

Reacting to modern trends can be essential to a company’s success. Most high-growth companies have adapted a work-from-anywhere model, while many no-growth companies still hyper-focus on the employees’ physical location.

JPMorgan Chase, a leader in investment banking, is one of many companies that successfully used virtual tools to reduce the need for office real estate. According to Forbes, JPMorgan’s new approach to asset management could save the company up to 40% of its real estate costs.²

How to Implement a Hot Desk Setup

Employees at desks in a brick office with a hot desk setup

It can be challenging to implement hybrid work because it represents a significant change for companies.¹ Yet, with the right tools, switching to a hot desk setup is manageable. Here are a few tips to help you get started with hot desking.

Find a Hot Desk Policy that Works for You

The general idea of hot desking is to create shared workspaces. Here are several ways to implement hot desk booking: 

  • Give employees the flexibility to choose their seats. Whether employees choose when they come into the office or are assigned in-office workdays, this strategy lets workers choose where they sit each day. Desk reservations occur on a first-come-first-serve basis.
  • Assign rotating workstations. This strategy works well for companies with multiple shifts throughout the day or for rotating hybrid schedules. Employees receive an assigned desk, which they share with a co-worker who comes into the office at a different time or day.
  • Use neighborhood hot desk booking. This strategy allows leaders to bring teams together by reserving a block of desks so team members can sit with each other and collaborate.

Companies may develop different variations depending on their needs. The goal should be to give employees enough flexibility while maintaining predictability in where and when they will work.¹ 

Communicate with Your Employees

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to hot desk booking. No matter what seating policies you implement, the workforce should know what to expect and what will be expected of them.¹ 

For example, if you give employees the flexibility to choose which days they come into the office, they should know how to reserve a desk or find an available workstation. If employees are assigned a shared workstation, let them know they won’t be the only one working at the desk.

Employee feedback is essential to determine which policies are working and which are not. Consistently listen for suggestions to improve hot desking in your office.¹

Invest in the Right Tools

Hybrid office tools can lighten a manager’s burden and make it easier for employees to reserve office space. Employees must have a way to see which desks are available so they can guarantee a workstation when they come into the office.

OfficeTogether is a hybrid office management system that includes hot desking help. OfficeTogether allows employees to view the office on the app, look for an available desk, and book a workstation wherever and whenever they need it.

OfficeTogether works for any office, no matter the seating arrangement. It also supports flexible desk booking, recurring reservations, and dedicated space management for employees who prefer to sit at the same desk.

Management tools like OfficeTogether (otherwise known as employee experience applications) can contribute to the success of a hybrid office. A recent survey found that 33% of large companies have already invested in employee experience applications. These programs can help streamline hybrid office procedures and make it easier to implement hot desk booking.¹

Find More Help for Your Hybrid Office at OfficeTogether

A female employee on a business video call while working remotely

Hot desking is just one of many potential changes with hybrid work. At OfficeTogether, we’ve personally seen how investing in the necessary software can ensure a smooth transition to a hybrid office.

OfficeTogether is more than a simple hot desk booking system. From teammate tracking to event management, OfficeTogether includes all the tools you need to maximize your office space efficiency and employee productivity. Visit our website to view our full array of features or to schedule a demo.

Works Cited

  1. CBRE. “The Next Normal.” CBRE, 16 August 2021, https://www.cbre.com/insights/reports/the-next-normal-how-hybrid-work-will-transform-commercial-real-estate#executive-summary. Accessed 6 July 2022.
  2. Forbes. “Hybrid Working? Time To Rethink The Office.” Forbes, 19 April 2022, https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2022/04/19/hybrid-working-time-to-rethink-the-office/?sh=329b752e7b0a. Accessed 6 July 2022.
  3. Wigert, Ben, and Ryan Pendell. “The Future of Hybrid Work: 5 Key Questions Answered With Data.” Gallup, 15 March 2022, https://www.gallup.com/workplace/390632/future-hybrid-work-key-questions-answered-data.aspx. Accessed 6 July 2022.
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