hot desking

What is Hot Desking? Why is it Beneficial To Use At This Time of the COVID-19 Pandemic?

The development of office technology paved the way for increased workers’ productivity leading to the increased business bottom line. Tools emerged to make it easier for team members to simplify processes, enforce necessary company policies, and navigate the workplace’s hot desking system.

Usually, with managing company facilities and resources, office managers aim to optimize spaces in the workplace. To analyze the team members’ movement and activities in the office, the facilities manager must use a reliable workspace management solution that provides comprehensive reports and data on the workers’ use of space.

Now with the Coronavirus pandemic, businesses are facing another challenge in managing office activities and processes. How are they going to safely bring their team members back into the office while maintaining social distancing?

The answer is hot desking solutions.

hot desking software


What is hot desking?

Hot desking is a workplace management system that allows employees to use any available desk or workstation instead of having assigned permanent desks, which is the traditional office setup.

Large companies practice hot desking in their offices to save real estate costs. For example, if the company has two work shifts, the employees can use the same workstation and equipment to cut down on equipment costs. Additionally, hot desking can support diversity hiring by providing a flexible workspace that accommodates different working styles and schedules.

However, it is not all bed of roses for managing office spaces using desk booking system for hot desking. Office hoteling has its set of criticisms. Many employees hate that they cannot call any desk or space in the office their “own” and put up mementos of their personal lives.

Hot desking can also mean the continuous tense of the verb hot desk, which means implementing or participating in the office hoteling system. Typically, you can label the person who practices desk booking as a “hot-desker.”


Why is Hot Desking so crucial in today’s current health crisis?

Hot desking is a two-decade applied concept that proves to be effective in many corporate offices. It has been a fundamental office management technology that continues to be relevant up to the present when the Coronavirus changed the way people operate in their jobs.

It is vital to utilize the powerful functions and features of hot desking software solutions in the time of the COVID-19 for the following reasons:


Ensure and maintain Social Distancing in the office

  • The World Health Organization, together with government leaders worldwide, all agree that one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of contamination is through social distancing. It is the practice of keeping a 2-meter distance (6 feet) away from each other when in public areas. This health protocol holds in the workplace. Supposing everyone is a potential carrier of the virus, it is best to keep desk distances following the social distancing recommendation. Hot desking software solutions have functions that support social distancing measures in the office.


Schedule desk sanitation after every user and deep sanitation weekly

  • Software engineers upgraded hot desking solutions to include scheduling desk sanitation after every use and deep sanitation of the entire office weekly. Desk booking software has new functions that are relevant to today’s current health crisis. Since virus and bacteria attach to shared objects, air vents, and person to person contact, scheduling deep cleaning and sanitation can significantly reduce the chances of contamination in the workplace.


Screen, monitor, and trace team members and visitors

  • The desk booking software today evolved tremendously from office space scheduling in the 90s. Today, the advent of business software technology paved the way for a more sophisticated desk hoteling system. With hot desking software solutions integrated with thermal scanners and mask detection features, companies can easily detect team members and visitors who have elevated body temperature and not wearing masks before entering the building. In addition to these features, the DeskFlex contact tracing software function collects data from Bluetooth devices via the Bluetooth beacons and collates these data for contact tracing purposes. It is easier to identify vulnerable persons exposed to possible carriers during their time in the workplace.


Where does the ‘Hot Desking’ term come from?

The term hot desking rose to popularity in the early 1990s following the term hotbed, referring to a bed in a low budget lodging house where two or more people share in shifting schedules. Each person can sleep on the hotbed at a designated time then vacating it for the next lodger. A similar term is related to the Navy practice is hot bunking, with which two sailors working on different shifts use the same bed bunk at alternate times.


Hot desking removes the “assigned” or “permanent” desk, cubicle, or office that they always use and clutter when they deem fit. This office space management strategy uses the “first come, first served” scheme in which the employees can reserve or book any available desk ahead of time or when they up to work.


hot desking software solutions


How does Hot Desking work?

Using hot desking software solutions provides office workstations for professionals to work as needed in private and coworking office spaces. The team member finds a desk, plugs in or turns on the provided computer, and start working. Office hoteling entails distinct company particulars. For example, one company requires their desks must come with a complete computer set, power supply, and direct desk telephone line. Other organizations will only provide a power supply on each desk so that the team member can bring his laptop to the workplace.


Typically, a desk booking software provider installs, integrates, and provides training to the company’s admin and employees. Before the company signs the contract, the system providers allow a hands-on trial experience of the free hot desking software. When the Organization deems it necessary to their workplace, the software integrates with its existing network solutions and specialized system functions that meet its office management requirements.


The desk hoteling software systems also allow the management to create tiers and access limitations for high-demanded workspaces such as the conference rooms, meeting rooms, project rooms, private offices, and prime located desks. However, the DeskFlex desk booking software can provide sophisticated software systems that can manage parking lots associated with the desks. When setting company events, DeskFlex meeting room booking software ensures the inclusion of audio-visual conference room equipment and can even include Catering features for organizational meetings and conferences.


In most office hoteling companies, they have identical workstations to prevent colleagues’ conflicts on coveting highly prized desks. Therefore, for the team members to sit with the right “group”, some companies created “neighborhoods” consisting of colored walls, static printed or digital signages, and mousepads to identify their department. For example, when a team member belongs to the red zone, that indicates he/she is from the marketing department, or maybe the blue zone for the creative department, and so on.


Different companies have varying specifications depending on the environment, but there are fundamental factors to consider:


Access to Power outlets and Telephone lines

  • Desk hoteling usually comes with its power sources and WIFI connection. There are specialized desks in shared coworking spaces with phone booths or shared lounges dedicated to taking or making calls. Most corporate offices’ sales department uses telephone switching technology as a complementary feature to the office hoteling system.


Meeting Room Booking and Conference Room Scheduling

  • Most room booking systems have a meeting room and conference room scheduling software that allows authorized team members to book meeting rooms by accessing the desk booking solution’s mobile app or web browser options. The room booking software comes with the hot desking equipment feature that allows team members to reserve a conference room with the appropriate equipment.


Access to Printers and Other Office Equipment

  • Similar to the conference room booking system, hot desking software solutions also have a central printer and other office equipment that workers can access using the web login or mobile app version of the software. The facilities manager monitors the use of these shared office resources in private environments.


Locker  Room for Storing Personal items

  • One reason why team members are hesitant to switch to desk hoteling is the absence of storage space to put their bags, coats, snack, and work accessories. Companies practicing the office hoteling system address this concern in varied ways. One company permits its team members to leave their belongings at a hot desk for a period. Other coworking spaces provide locker rooms for storing personal things of their hot desker clients. Some private offices allow their team members to book the same desk for a period before checking out and using another desk for the next booking.


Appropriate Lighting and Work Ambiance

  • Team members have different work habits and strategies to get the tasks done. Office hoteling ensures that bookable spaces have enough lighting and airconditioning when team members create reservations on them. For example, only confirmed desk reservations could use power supplies and office amenities while turning off other office parts when not in use. This method can significantly reduce energy costs and utility expenditure.


hot desking solutions


What is the Purpose of Hot Desking?

Utilizing hot desking software aims to maximize office spaces, lessen real estate risks, and reduce underutilized office spaces. Free hot desking software is suitable for private offices and coworking spaces. The flexibility related to the office hoteling system is often linked to increased team member innovation, while the social interaction between the team encourages multi-department collaboration.


How to Assess if a Desk Booking System for Hot Desking is right for your Organization?

The office hoteling system’s benefits and usefulness may be countless; however, not all work styles and industries can adapt to the free desk arrangements.

Organizations that handle highly sensitive and classified data may need a more private solution. Simultaneously, teams that require constant collaboration throughout the day could get frustrated at the ever changing seating system. Training new hires necessitate different considerations, and finding colleagues may prove tasking for some.

In these cases, allotting an office space or desk within a coworking office will provide team members a more controlled and consistent workspace while giving others the perks of the wider coworking space community.


Companies that are Utilizing Hot Desking Solutions

Whether you’re a freelancer or running an agile team, free hot desking software can help you increase work productivity without boundaries. It allows organizational and business leaders to expand into new markets or employing talented individuals across the globe unfettered by the long term costs and commitment of traditional office space.


Companies that are already enjoying the benefits of desk hoteling include the United States Patent and Trademark Office that practiced successful teleworking set up since the 90s. Citi bank also jumped into the office hoteling practice in the early 2000s. Recent years showed the upsurge of open office plans that support desk hoteling system. Famous companies such as Lego, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, etc. are hot desking their office spaces, resources, and assets.


Ultimately, you can significantly grow your Organization using the desk booking system for hot desking because it exposes you to fresh, innovative opportunities while giving you access to the top professionals from across the world.

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