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Hot desking has been around for several years now, and rather than being a ‘flash-in-the-pan’ fad, it appears that it is here to stay. So much so, in fact, that office power modules, and ergonomic solutions are being designed specifically with hot desking in mind.
Here we discover how hot desking can benefit your office, and take a look at the products that can make it possible.
In companies where people are continually in and out of the office, it isn’t always necessary for each staff member to have their own desk. Communal workstations where any member of staff can ‘pitch up’ are a much more space efficient (not to mention cost efficient) way of kitting out an office. Invest in easily adjustable furniture and adaptable power modules and you can ensure that each workstation will suit all employees, no matter what physical or practical needs they may have. It is even possible to monitor which areas of the office offer the most popular working environments by using an energy management system, which can track the energy usage throughout your entire office space.
The key to selecting the right equipment for hot desking is ensuring that it is adaptable, so that all employees can instantly set up at any workstation and instantly get to work.
Some of the best products for making a workstation fully adaptable include:
Adjustable monitor arms and laptop stands allow the worker to set their monitor, laptop or tablet to the optimal height for them to work at without putting pressure on their neck and back. For hot desking purposes it is essential that you select a model that can be instantly and easily adjusted, otherwise you may find that employees won’t bother adapting the position if they are only at a workstation for a short period of time.
It has been widely reported that sitting at a desk all day isn’t great for your health, in particular your circulation. As a result, more and more companies are encouraging employees to work at standing desks to alleviate potential circulation and posture issues. Of course there will be certain tasks where an individual may prefer to work from a seated position, that’s where positionable sit/stand desks are a great choice, as they enable workers to instantly raise or lower their desk to suit their ideal sitting or standing position.
When arriving at a workstation it is essential that you are able to instantly plug in your electrical devices and get straight down to work. Unfortunately, the reality is that we end up crawling under desks searching for the elusive free power socket. Rotasoc modular power systems are a great way of ensuring that you have sufficient power sockets for all of your employees needs as numerous modules can simply and safely be connected together.
The quickest way for employees to get connected and straight to work is with ‘on desk’ or ‘in desk’ power modules. Available in a variety of configurations (and even colours!), on desk power modules allow all electrical devices to be instantly connected.
We are all used to having multiple devices that all require different sockets and can therefore associate with the annoyance of carrying around multiple plugs and adaptors. Multi functional sockets can be configured to suit the needs of any employee, offering traditional UK three pin sockets, along with USB, Audio Visual, data and International sockets.
It goes without saying that if you are not feeling comfortable in your environment you aren’t going to be in the best frame of mind to produce your best work. This is one of the many reasons why hot desking works so well, as workers can select the best position within the office to suit their own personal working requirements.
Several factors determine comfort, including:
Temperature is one of the biggest workplace niggles, as there isn’t a one size fits all solution. The recommended temperature for optimum working conditions is around 21-23 degrees, however this doesn’t suit everyone, as age, BMI and hormonal conditions can impact on body temperature.
Being too hot can make you feel lethargic and uncomfortable, not to mention heighten the chance of unpleasant body odours infiltrating the space. Too cold can make you feel tense and distracted. Hot desking is a great way to address this issue, as individuals are at liberty to position themselves in particular hot or cool spots within the office space (by a sunny window, a shaded corner or close to the air con vent).
Noise is completely subjective when it comes to being motivated to work. Some people thrive off noise and excel when listening to loud music, whereas others need absolute silence to be able to complete a task. This can be another bugbear in an open plan office environment.
Again, this is a perk of hot desking and being able to choose your desk space to suit your needs that particular day. If you are writing a crucial part of a presentation or making an important call you may want to tuck yourself away into a quiet corner so that you can completely focus on the task, on the other hand, if you are buzzing with creativity, you may thrive off the noise and bustle of others around you.
When planning an office layout it is worth keeping this in mind and ensure that quieter areas are factored into the overall design. Consider where speakers are positioned so that music can be targeted to specific areas, kitchen hubs for example, are likely to be a more ‘buzzy’ social area, whereas meeting areas may benefit from being calmer.
Extensive studies into ergonomics have highlighted the importance of investing in furniture that encourages good posture. It goes without saying that employees suffering from aches and pains due to uncomfortable seating will not be able to perform their daily tasks efficiently. It is also worth considering the implications of staff needing to take time off sick and for doctor/physio appointments as a result of poor seating.
A hot desking environment offers employees the chance to select the seating position that best suits their physical needs. Providing a selection of desks with adjustable elements, which can easily be positioned to suit the individual, standing areas to promote circulation and soft seating areas for a more relaxed way of working will ensure that all employees working ideals are catered for.
Mood lighting is also a big consideration when planning out a hot desking office. Similarly to the above-mentioned quiet areas, lighting needs to reflect the atmosphere that is being created in particular spaces.
Dimmer lighting is more in-keeping with the creative areas of the business, whereas brighter task lighting is more effective in areas where employees are required to work to deadlines and be more ‘on the ball’.
Different jobs lend themselves to different working environments, creative roles being a prime example. Relaxed, informal soft seating areas are perfect for thinking up creative ideas, especially when a group is involved.
With this in mind, formal individual workspaces may even be counterproductive for this type of task. A better solution would be to provide for employees to plug in their laptops. Mobile charging hubs in these environments are also great for instant connectivity without having to hunt around for the correct charger and an available socket.
In most industries there will be a need for different individuals to work together on specific projects, so having the flexibility to group up and work in close proximity when necessary is beneficial to all involved. Again, having sufficient power modules available at all workstations will enable colleagues to gather together and immediately hook up laptops, phones etc.
Aside from all of the above reasons for high-fiving hot desking, there is the very real factor that employees can become stale when faced with the same view day in day out. In traditional seating arrangements, cliques can develop, certain individuals may create ownership over the ‘best desk’ and sometimes employees are positioned in a place where they may feel uncomfortable, ultimately inhibiting their ability to perform.
Shaking things up keeps every one fresh and on their toes, which is as relevant for senior management as for anyone else, as it is a great way to remain in the thick of what’s going on. And with many companies slipping into the dreaded internal email system as a means of communication, hot desking is the perfect way to ensure that everyone actually talks to each other.