Does Hot Desking Improve Productivity? 5 Top Tips

Hot desking has become very popular within office spaces, with employers having to rearrange their spaces to adapt to new guidelines. Hot desking leans towards a more first come, first serve with office desks. But with employers having to figure out their new office layouts, how can hot desking improve the productivity in your workspace?

With people slowly going back into offices, employers want their employees to get back into the swing of things quickly but also safely. Hot desking is the new way in which workers to book their desk before getting into work. Hot desking has proved that its new theory has definitely impacted the UK office workers with a 39% positive impact on their mental health and a 34% impact on their physical health. These figures are both an increase from the last survey from 2016. So, hot desking has obviously helped us feel better about going to work and in theory will raise our productivity levels. It encourages employees to communicate with each other as they are always moving desks and sitting near people they maybe wouldn’t have before. Not only encouraging communication but collaboration and new levels of creativity.

From the obvious fact that hot desking has positively impacted us, if you are struggling to see a productivity rise in your office. Our 5 top tips below can definitely help improve your office productivity.

1: plan your hot desking layout

An obvious tip but a very helpful one that should be one of the highest on your list. Introducing hot desking can be a tricky thing, especially if you office isn’t the largest. But taking the time to work on a layout, can avoid stress later on. Think about your space and what can be the most effective way to keep your employees comfortable and safe. 65% of employees claim to feel “unsettled” as a result of hot desking going wrong. So make it a priority to chat with your employees to get their opinions and thoughts on how they would feel comfortable back in the office before you start planning. After all they are the ones working in the space that you will adapt.

“More UK workers now say they’re happier with their office than any other time when we’ve run What Workers Want, and there’s been a big improvement in physical and mental health in the workplace over the past three years, indicating that employee wellbeing and health are being taken seriously”

Steve Lang director in Savills’ commercial research team

There is a lot to think about when planning your hot desking space. Even though we just said it is good to encourage employees to mix, its still important to keep certain teams together. This is know as zoning. Keeping teams of employees together can stop that jumble of shouting across the office as they’re all on different sides of the room. However, to keep in line with the hot desking theory of booking a new desk everyday, just try to rotate you teams of people around the office. That way they get a new desk but are still close to their co-workers. This can positively impact an employees productivity as it stops them from feeling left out because they had to book a desk further away from their team.

2: think about furniture and equipment

A new office layout can mean new office furniture and equipment. Take this chance to think about what you can buy to help your employees productivity. Think about more comfortable desk chairs as your employees are used to their cushy sofa and changing from that to a hard chair can be impactful on their physical health. You may think how can that impact a persons productivity? But like we said earlier making you employees feel comfortable in their office can really help them focus on their work. Although, if you’re finding it difficult to find that great desk chair, try adjustable desks. Being able to raise your desk and stand for a few hours can again greatly impact your physical health and help your employees feel more relaxed. New equipment, such as monitors, webcams and special keyboards can motivate your employees to get back in the office and use that special new set up you bought for them.

If you’re unsure about the best equipment you can get to make your hot desking plan successful and to boost your productivity. Send us a live chat with your questions and someone from our team will be happy to send you some options that we think are the best. If you are still stuck on what you think is best, don’t hesitate to give us a call on 01189 977 770.

3: offer some relaxed areas

Now a new office layout doesn’t just have to be about where to place your desks. If you find that you have taken our first tip and planned out your hot desking layout but still have some empty spaces in your office. Don’t just think about filling the space with more desks, try introducing some relaxed areas. These areas can be a quite place for employees to take small meetings, whether with their team of people or with workers over a video conference. These relaxed areas gives a change of scenery and a place to focus on conversing new ideas and plans for the business.

This can majorly improve productivity. It encourages employees to think up new ideas that they can present in a safe comfortable space. Buy some sofas, armchairs to fill the space to make employees feel comfortable.

“space and place had a vital role to play in not only boosting productivity but employee wellbeing. This was pressingly important, in an age of technology and flexible working, where the workplace had to act as a central hub employees wanted to spend time in”

Matthew Webster, head of wellbeing and future-proofing at British Land

You can also introduce booths to your workplace. Just like the relaxed areas, creating booths in the office can again allow certain teams of employees to present any projects and communicate any queries. But this way a booth presents more of a professional setting. It can also let employees take time in a quitter setting to focus on certain tasks if they are feeling that they cant concentrate in the main office. This way booths and relaxed areas let your employees have a choice on what they want to use, making them feel more independent within their workspace.

4: give people their space

The biggest complaint from employees in this wave of hot desking, is the fact they feel as though they don’t have any personal space. 67% of employees in fact feel this. Now this tip is practically all our tips mixed into one but is arguably the most important. Really the definition of hot desking is giving people their space. Remember to place signs around your office reminding your employees to keep their distance from each other. Tape and stickers on the floor are also a great way to show employees where to go and stops people from gathering in one place. But with employees feeling as though they have no space for themselves you need a way to lower this figure. Because if you don’t it could lower your productivity.

If you have opened your office back up with a new hot desking inspired layout and you feel as though you have done your best. You still should communicate with your employees and get feedback on the layout. Getting that feedback is so important, it lets your employees tell you any of their problems with the new office plus can show you any mistakes you may have missed when planning. It makes them feel wanted in the office as you have given them their own space. Giving them the motivation to get back into their tasks and projects, improving their productivity.

5: remember safety

Looking back at the figure we mentioned before, 65% of employees feel unsettled in their workspace because of hot desking. That’s over half of employees in a office feeling uncomfortable and therefore lowering their motivation to work in the office. Safety can be a big contributing factor to this figure. Being clean and safe is everyone’s first thought when leaving the house and even though it is a big thought people can still forget. Take our easy tip of providing your employees with sanitary products. Hand sanitiser, masks, wipes and tissues placed on every desk can instantly calm your employees nerves of feeling unsettled and lets them get to work.

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