How is the equipment needed in share desks different from private offices?
It is easy to fall into the trap of assuming that a share-desking environment is identical to a normal office setup – to assume that you can keep everything the same, but just better utilize the desk space with multiple employees sharing. While changing to a shared-desk setup may have significant savings on office space, some changes may be required to effectively implement shared desking.
Equipment to help make shared desking work
Separate storage areas
One of the big differences that may be required in share desking is the amount of storage that you need for a desk. Not only do you have multiple people now using the desk, but they can’t easily leave their material out at night. Everything needs storing, and you may need separate spaces for each employee. This may involve both filing cabinets and also draws to store other small items.
Locked storage for personal items
Another form of strange that may required is for personal items. Personal items may need putting away at the end of the office day, and with multiple people sharing the space, it may be needed for a locked cabinet to ensure that the items are kept safe.
If employees are using laptops, it is important to make sure it is as easy as possible for them to get going in the morning and to back their equipment up at night. Docking stations can help with this – allowing peripherals such as screens, mice, and keyboards to be kept permanently plugged in.
Desk sanitization material
Allowing individuals to sanitize a shared desk space is important with shared desking. Understandably employees may be concerned about spending time sat at the same desk as someone else, and cleaning equipment can help allay some of such concerns.
Regular cleaning of the office
Finally, it is important that procedures are put in place to regularly clean the office. Some people are clean and keep the office perfect. Some people are not – their desks quickly deteriorating into a coffee-stained mess. When such employees work in separate desks, the mess of the other person may not matter. However, problems can arise when such individuals share with one another. Ensuring that a frequent cleaning process is put in place can help minimize the impact of having to share with someone who does not keep the desk as clean as a co-worker may desire.
Beyond equipment: Better supporting share desking
Beyond ensuring that the office has the required equipment to facilitate shared desking, it is also important that managers and the company more broadly are well placed to support shared desking. For example, functional shared desking needs consideration of the schedules of different employees and monitoring and enforcing policies that lead to successful office sharing, such as clearing desks at night.