Hotdesking – good, bad or indifferent?
Hotdesking is not a new concept. It comes in many forms, from the occasional hotdesker to the hard-core, full time hotdesker and it wouldn’t surprise you to read that not everyone is a fan of hotdesking. Some people love it and some people really hate it. Here is just one article about hotdesking from the Management Today website: hotdesking: hot or not?.
My reason for blogging about hotdesking is that, for the past six months I have been sharing my office with one of the Directors (incidentally, I am not line managed by them). The option came up due to the reshuffling of some staff within the organisation. As part of the deal, I agreed to hotdesk from somewhere else in the building every Monday and then from an outlying office every Thursday. This helped me in two ways: 1) I would actually have a reason to hotdesk (it’s hard to justify when your office is sat empty) and 2) To live the hotdesking way of working I have often pushed onto other staff .
First off, the positives:
- It has been great to get out and about more – I have interacted with other staff much more than I would normally have the opportunity to;
- I have seen and heard some good and some not so good working practices – learning I can use when the time is right to improve these sorts of things within my teams;
- I have worked (survived) hotdesking from various locations;
- Using headphones can block out a lot of everyday office chatter.
There have been however a few negatives:
- As I have a pretty busy role, I have not been able to keep to my ‘Mondays and Thursday’s hotdesking regime’, especially working from the outlying office – this has been much more ad-hoc than I would ideally like and often less than a day a week;
- As with anyone who hotdesks, my laptop bag has inevitably become heavier and heavier with papers etc. that I need during my working day (this needs culling fairly regularly to keep it manageable);
- Sometimes it really is hard to have quiet time to work/think when hotdesking in a larger office;
- Sometimes finding a ‘private’ office can be difficult at short notice.
A few other things are worth pointing out:
- I have been essentially paperless for several years now, but as the organisation I work in is not paperless, I am given my fair share of paper. This proves more of a challenge when not always office based;
- I have all the necessary tech to make hotdesking a success: laptop, tablet, bluetooth keyboard (for use with the tablet) and smartphone.
So, what have I learn’t from this six months? That it is certainly possible to hotdesk on a more regular basis and that staff seem to appreciate seeing me around more. It is definitely something I want to continue doing. In fact, I am now going to work out how I can hotdesk from other locations more often than I do currently. I also realise I need to keep some flexibility of where I work, depending on work demands and meetings.
I realise this is only my experience of hotdesking in a small way, but I thought I would share my thoughts on this. I would love to hear what everyone else’s experience of hotdesking is, good, bad or indifferent?