A step-by-step guide to implementing hot-desking

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This walkthrough covers the key decisions in implementing hot-desking – helping you get employees on board and successfully rollout desk sharing.

Step 1: Understand why you are looking to implement hot-desking

When considering hot-desking, it is important to explore the reasons why you are looking to implement the practice. The better you know the reasons why you are adopting this approach for your office environment, the better placed you will be to get employees on board and achieve a successful implementation. Some of the key advantages of hot-desking include:

Step 2: Consider involving employees in the decision process

It is important to next consider whether to involve employees in the development of your hot-desking approach, as well as seeking input on other changes that you may be considering to your work from home policies. Involving employees in the process can be important to:

  • Help ensure that the policies do not feel imposed
  • Help identify problems in the implementation
  • Get the employee buy-in that can be important to successful implementation

Step 3: Determine your requirements for the office space

Some of the key decisions that you will need to consider include:

  • The number of desk spaces that you will need
  • Whether you will be having permanent computer, docking stations, or just spaces for laptops
  • Storage spaces for personal and work items

Step 4: Develop policies to keep the office environment tidy and welcoming for all

It is important to consider policies to help keep the office functional for all. This can include:

  • Expectations regarding conversations – whether for example, short conversations are ok, but longer conversation need to be done in a private space
  • Whether it is ok to eat in the shared office or not
  • Policies regarding whether employees need to clear their desks at night.

Step 5: Implement hot-desking, with monitoring and refinements

The final stage with hot-desking is to implement the approach and monitor the implementation. As with all significant changes to your business operations, there may be teething issues, as for example space requirements are worked out, or expectations around talking in the shared space developed. 

One of the key things to be actively monitoring is whether employees are actually clearing their desks at night. Left unchecked, this can be something that gradually starts to become a problem – some employees don’t clear their desk, then others follow, and gradually more and more desks are reserved, potentially causing space problems as there is no room for employees to sit. 

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