Hot Desking in the corporate workplace - agile working in the modern office
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We recently published our second white paper looking at Hot Desking and what it means for Facilities Managers. Whilst the modern workplace continues to evolve, so does the way in which we approach our work and the practice of hot desking has become the cornerstone of corporate culture.

The report highlighted not only the common challenges when introducing a hot desking policy in the workplace but also some of the more hidden challenges, including; connecting, rightsizing, retrofitting and engaging.

Understanding the people, the workspace and how it is to be used is vital to ensure the successful introduction and integration of hot desking within any corporate environment. Ravi Bhatnagar, Account Director at Anabas, explains how to make hot desking a success – and offers a few practical recommendations for consideration…

Cultural Change

A move to hot desking can create a big change in any organisation and so be sure to align it specifically with your own company culture. If you give people the chance to understand how this can positively impact them, then they are far more likely to support it.

Hot desking can bring feelings of isolation, detachment and impact on the health and wellbeing of your staff if not done correctly. However it can work in any environment as long as you bring people along on the journey with you and make them feel part of it.


It may sound obvious, but at the outset, be sure to communicate clearly what is meant by hot desking for your organisation. Hot desking can mean different things to different people, so it is vital that everyone understands what it means for them. Implementing a new hot desking policy may also ruffle a few feathers – people like what they know and not everyone will embrace change positively. Most personalities want to understand what they can and can’t do, so be sure to communicate clearly how the changes will affect them and the benefits this new way of working (NWOW) will bring.

Set out your policies and what is expected of your staff so that they can behave accordingly, these might include;

  • A clear desk policy – this practice is a common one and ensures that no personal belongings are allowed on desks at the end of the day
  • No camping – this aims to stop people from claiming a desk space as their own – leaving belongings at the start of the day yet working elsewhere…
  • Fixed desk requirements – there will always be a need for some fixed desks for employees who deal with sensitive information and have a need for privacy- so be sure there is an approval procedure in place for this
  • Good hygiene practices – unfortunately hot desking often means sharing more than just your desk space. Encourage staff to combat the rise in shared germs and bacteria by promoting a clean working environment

Collaboration and confidentiality

One common mistake is not catering for different meeting sizes. Large meetings rooms are always the first accommodated but it’s also important to ensure you have enough small private spaces and meeting rooms for any confidential conversations.

Capable IT

Technology has liberated people from a single work environment enabling them to seek out workplaces that best meet their needs. In order to make hot desking work, it is vital to ensure that all IT and systems are fit for purpose and deliver a work anywhere capability.

So is hot desking for you?

The agile environment has many nuances and FM’s have a key role to play in making it work. Done well, it can liberate people from a desk bound environment. Done badly, and you can disrupt the status quo, damaging hard earned social capital. One thing that is for sure, however, the modern office environment is changing at a rapid rate and the rules are all being re-written. One size most certainly does not fit all but with the right consideration, implementation and management, any orgainsation can move to this way of working and thrive.

We would love to hear from you