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Hot desking and the rise of communal working

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Hot desking is often used in offices where not all of the employees are using the space at the same time. It has many benefits, the obvious is that a company can use a smaller space therefore reducing overheads, yet all employees have a personal space to work in when they are in the office. The trend for hot desking began in the early 1990s to deal with  the growing cost of property to both rent and buy. Hot desking also has the advantage that employees have the flexibility to work from home. They can tailor their working hours around their personal lives, only being in the office when necessary - for meetings for example.

It is often difficult to balance work and personal life; sometimes it can be having to juggle children or study, or even another job in order to make ends meet. It makes sense that employers have become more accommodating towards the needs of their workforce. They've realised that it often leads to a more productive working environment.

Although the trend of hot desking is relatively new, the concept has been around for centuries. Sailors would share beds when working shifts in a tag-team like manner, called ‘hot bunking’. It might have taken a while for the modern working world to catch on, but now that it has, companies who use the concept are seeing many benefits.

One of the benefits of hot desking is the fact that employees have the opportunity to engage with more of their colleagues than they would do otherwise. Having a temporary desk means that you can share ideas more freely - the social side of hot desking is becoming one of its strengths.

Anyone who works from home will tell you they can face problems with self motivation, loneliness and inspiration but working in a communal environment helps. A lot of employees prefer to be in a shared space as it fosters a team spirit or can instil a competitive drive into the workplace.

However, there are some people who prefer a stable environment; knowing who you’ll see and when. Hot desking probably isn't for you if you like to root for each other on team projects or give offer words of wisdom before a presentation. If you struggle to work from home then you'd better stick to the nine to five.

Whether you’re for or against hot desking, you have to admit that a few days a week working from home, the flexibility of picking the kids up from school each day and never missing your weekly yoga class is, more often than not, worth it.


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