The pros and cons of hot-desking

Here, we look at why hot-desking has increased in popularity as a flexible working solution over the last few years.

Hot-desking has seen a huge growth as a flexible working solution over the last few years. Hot-desking offers the opportunity to cut the costs of running an office by up to 30 per cent, and it’s not hard to see why many businesses across a range of industries have been enticed by the model.

Aside from the financial gains, with employees sitting away from their respective teams / departments, it is believed that hot-desking allows employees to build connections and create collaborating opportunities with other employees they do not often engage with.

Moreover, as employees do not have their own work desk, hot-desking reduces individual clutter around the office, creating a more focused working environment. With reasons such as these cited as endorsements for hot-desking, is this really the case? What do employees and experts alike think and feel about hot-desking?

Reboot Online Marketing conducted a survey, receiving 460 responses from office workers across the UK, who are currently or have had previous experience of working under a model. The statistics reveal:

Hot-desking survey results
Hot-desking survey results

Maria Parker a business consultant comments, ‘I have seen a lot of businesses subscribe to the hot-desking model over the last few years because they believe it will enhance cross-departmental cooperation and collaboration. Businesses though must realise that these components don’t simply just happen because you split teams up and get them to sit separately across the office. It’s a more complex process than that.’

‘What many businesses tend to find after introducing hot-desking is that even though teams are away from each other, they still end up going to each other’s work desks or stations multiple times throughout the day. Instead of making valuable connections from other departments, they end up gravitating back towards a circle they have always been familiar with. Its human nature.’

Christina (29) a merchandise buyer says, ‘I personally find hot-desking really irritating. Moving from desk to desk on a daily basis you never truly feel settled. Also I am one of those people that needs to splash files, notepads, documents, electronics and stationary across the desk to fuel my work ethic – so packing everything up at the end of the day is not only time-consuming but frustrating.

‘Additionally, with so many employees at our company, you often end up worrying about not getting a spot in-case you’re running late or have an external client meeting. If it was up to me, I would prefer to have my own desk for peace of mind.’

Justin (23) a junior financial analyst says, ‘Even though hot-desking has reduced mess around the office, we don’t have the same harmonised spirit we used to have when sitting together in our teams. With our company also introducing flexible working hours complimentary to hot-desking, face-to-face interaction has also dropped enormously.

‘With my role involving analysis of multiple physical and digital documents, my preference would be to have my own desk where I can leave things without the stress of taking it all home and then remembering to bring everything in the next day.’

Further reading on hot-desking

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Freddie Halvorson

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the and titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the

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