What is a hot desk?
The forced work-from-home movement caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has brought on a tidal wave of change to the way we work. One of the major impact it has had is on the office as we know it; most post-pandemic offices are already starting to adopt new approaches fitted for hybrid work such as Hot Desking.
A Hot Desks are unassigned desks found in a hybrid workspace available to individuals for same-day reservations. These types of desks cannot be reserved in advance and require people to check in and out of the reservations which are reset daily rather than belonging to one single person.
Data collected revealed that about 40% of a traditional office’s dedicated desks sit unused on a given day. Hot Desks are a great way to reduce the office floor plan by eliminating this unused space and repurposing it for the hybrid workplace.
In other words, you can expect out of the new hybrid office less dedicated individual spaces and more collaborative spaces. Moreover, the hybrid office should aim to eliminate unused space and superfluous expenses.
Rethinking your office floor plan so that it answers the needs of the new way of working isn’t as daunting as it might sound. On the contrary, the redesign process can be broken down into three steps which we will go over in the next section of this article.
Step 1: Define
The first step is to define your needs. Those can largely vary depending on the size of your organization, your industry, your employees’ expectations vis-à-vis hybrid work, etc.
Still, there are a few things that remain important to any enterprise undergoing the transition to hybrid work.
- Office capacity: how many people do you anticipate having in the hybrid office each day?
- Desk assignment: will there still be an assigned desk and if so, how many and what is the assignment strategy?
- Furniture updates: what type of furniture is currently in the office and what needs to be updated to fit the new model? Consider new furniture needs such as partitions, lightweight movable furniture, and so on.
- Office activity: Which teams and employees perform work that requires them to work on-site, how is the office used by employees, etc.
In order to properly define these needs (as well as any other need identified for your organization), you will need to ask questions. Conducting a high-level employee survey is one of the best ways to do so.
Your survey should include questions such as:
- Who wants a dedicated desk?
- Who wants to come into the office?
- What hardware do you need to buy?
- Will employees need lockers?
- Do you need new software?
- How many days per week do employees wish to work from the office?
- What equipment will employees need?
Naturally, the examples above are a starting point and you should tailor your survey questions to your specific demands and requirements. You will also have to determine what type of equipment and hardware you will need for hot desking and for the overall hybrid workplace.
Below is a short list of the hardware you would typically find at a hot desk:
- Mouse and Keyboard
- Chargers – Adapters, Dongles, etc.
- Power outlets
Consider what types of desks, chairs, and other furniture your space will need. Will the desk provide sit-stand options? Will employees need lockers on-site? Will the furniture be moveable or fixed? Think about what best suits your organization’s needs and how to optimize your space to accommodate those needs.
Step 2: Plan
After you’ve defined your needs you will have a rough idea of what your hybrid office should resemble. Surveying employees should have provided you with the necessary data to determine how many hot desks to include, what percentage of the space to dedicate to collaborative spaces, and so forth.
With all of the above in hand, you can start mapping out your new hybrid office. You will likely have to test out various scenarios before finding the right one for your enterprise’s needs. Space planning tools and online floor plan editors are a great way to try out these different possibilities at no or very little cost.
Once you’ve established what your hybrid office floor plan will look like you will need to develop a flexible desk management plan. Hot desks and flexible workspaces means you will need a booking software for employees to use. Having the right technology is just as important as having the right office flow.
With Archie, a leading management software, you will be able to upload your new floor plan and add functions to each desk specifying which ones are assignable and which ones aren’t through an interactive seating chart.
Additionally, Archie allows you to automate your office to effortlessly manage bookings and track activity in your space.
Some key features needed for companies that need to go flexible are offered by Archie:
- Hot desk, office & room booking
- Interactive maps & floor plan
- Mobile apps
- Analytics & reporting
- Calendar integration
- White label
- Unlimited live-chat support
Step 3: Iterate
The final step is iteration. This is a crucial step as it has never been more true to say that your workplace can’t remain static. In other words, it is critical that you encourage employees to provide continuous feedback on the changes and adjust accordingly.
Using a management software such as Archie is a great tool for the iteration stage. With Archie, you will be able to track various analytics to help you understand patterns and trends in the office.
Archie has many features that can help you transition your team into a hybrid work model, such as analytics that allow you to see how your space is being used, as well as many community features which can help keep your employees stay in touch with each other whether they are in-office or at home.
Once you are familiar with the data collected, make the according to adjustment and repeat for a few cycles as needed.
Hot Desking with Archie
Once you’re confident about your flexible desk management plan you will want suitable technology to support it.
Need help with hybrid office tasks automation? Archie helps you put your strategy into action in just a few minutes, quickly alter the layout of your desk as your plans and space requirements change, and much more. Contact us to learn more about how our leading management software can help automate your hybrid workplace.