Home Training What Is Hot-Desking as a Workplace Trend?

What Is Hot-Desking as a Workplace Trend?


As hybrid work setups proliferate, they’ve given rise to a workplace phenomenon known as “hot-desking,” where employees share communal desks instead of having designated ones.

Tawny Lott Rodriguez, HR director at Rowland Hall, a private school in Salt Lake City, noted that this trend has gained traction alongside flexible work arrangements and a focus on space optimization. In her previous role at a large accounting firm in Utah, she introduced a similar system called the “hotel office system” to cope with rapid employee growth. Rodriguez witnessed firsthand both the advantages and drawbacks of this approach.

Hot-desking, or “hoteling,” involves a shared workspace where desks aren’t assigned to individuals. Instead, employees select available desks and reserve or rent workstations daily. This setup aims to maximize space usage and foster collaboration but may also pose challenges like disruption and difficulty personalizing one’s workspace.

Matt Jones, CEO of WonderDays, sees hot-desking as beneficial for fostering flexibility and creativity in his company’s workspace. However, he acknowledges that not all employees appreciate the lack of a permanent space, which can affect their sense of stability. To address this, WonderDays provides personal lockers and quiet areas to create a sense of permanence and personal space.

Hot-desking presents various pros and cons for both companies and employees. Companies benefit from space efficiency, cost savings, and enhanced collaboration, while employees enjoy flexibility, a change of scenery, and potential community-building opportunities. However, challenges such as decreased loyalty, disrupted focus, and feelings of isolation may arise.

If employees wish to discuss the hot-desking policy with their managers, Rodriguez suggests a direct and professional approach. Starting a dialogue about concerns and preferences regarding focus and productivity can lead to collaborative solutions that benefit everyone involved.

Approached collaboratively, hot-desking can be a successful arrangement, fostering a productive and accommodating work environment for both employers and employees alike.