It’s 10:30 a.m. on a weekday. Do you know where your employees are?
According to workplace consulting firm DEGW, chances are that only 50% are in the office and that 30% are at their desks. The rest are teleworking, on sales calls, attending a conference, traveling, out on vacation, or otherwise occupied.
If you have a workstation for each employee, you may be missing out on an opportunity to save money on office space and computer hardware by “hot desking.” The name is adapted from a naval term called either “hot bunking” or “hot racking,” where sailors share limited bunk space because ships and submarines operate on a 24/7 schedule. Since one sailor gets up just before another lies down, the bed is still hot.
An increasingly mobile workforce and technological advances have made hot desking, also called location independent working, a viable option for many companies. Do your outside salespeople really need a workspace at the home office? Those employees likely can access company data remotely, making a physical connection at the office unnecessary.
Although the concept of hot desking dates to the late 1980s, the prevalence of Software-as-a-Service offerings, centralized data servers, and smart telephony solutions that don’t require a physical phone have combined to give the concept new life. If your company works on multiple shifts or has staff members who spend most of their time out of the office anyway, hot desking could save up to 30% on office rent.
In a managed services environment, employees can access any information they need from anywhere, eliminating the need for a dedicated workstation at the office. Of course, that begs the question of where an employee puts the photos of the spouse, the kids, the dog, or that prized boat.
But that’s what screensavers are for.