Are you managing a hybrid workplace? If so, you have likely thought about how to make hybrid arrangements work on a practical level. Most companies have nominated desks for each person in a business but that’s harder to handle with people coming and going all the time. That’s where hotdesking comes in.

Hotdesking is a workplace system allowing employees to use different desks at different times, enabling employers to manage small office spaces where staff numbers fluctuate daily or weekly. It also allows employees to come into the office at short notice.

As workforces become more widely distributed across multiple locations, more tech companies, including Salesforce and Spotify, are reportedly redesigning their office spaces to accommodate them. Whether you have teams located across Auckland, Christchurch or even overseas, hotdesking can solve the problem of how many desks to include on-site.

It does, however, require technical groundwork and planning to get right. Before introducing hotdesking into your organisation, here are the vital factors to consider.


The Technical Elements of Hotdesking

1. Tech Basics

For maximum mobility around the office, an excellent Wi-Fi connection speed is essential. Ensure all employees have access to Wi-Fi and networking connections at every workspace.

At each workstation, include a full-sized monitor with adequate plugs and adapters employees can use to connect their own devices. (This also applies to meeting rooms.)


2. Personal Storage

As employees won’t be linked to just one desk, they will need a place to store their personal belongings. Many hotdesking workplaces have a dedicated space in the office for individual lockers that each employee can access with their own passcode.

Ensuring that everyone has a space for their things still gives people a sense of ownership over their own space at work, even without a personal desk.


3. Office Layout Changes

Think about the changes necessary to make the office space ready for hotdesking. These can include desk layouts, dedicated quiet areas, meeting rooms and common areas. As open-plan offices are already common, you might not need to make many adjustments.

Consider cultural factors as well – a hotdesking policy can make a workplace more social, so look for ways to maximise the positives. An Envoy survey of hybrid workplaces in various countries showed that impromptu social interactions with colleagues are something that excites employees, including those across New Zealand.


4. Reservation Tools

Software that allows employees to choose their desks in advance, or book a meeting room, can be vital to making hotdesk arrangements work efficiently. Known as ‘hoteling’ software, these tools consist of web or mobile apps that display available workspaces for a given day or allow employees to check in at their chosen desk using a keypad, QR code or RFID tag.

Not only can your team feel confident that you have everything they need in place before they get there, but they will also be far more efficient in their daily tasks. Reservation tools can make a positive difference to hotdesking; when your team is better prepared for the day, they work smarter!


5. Hygiene Measures

Desk sharing between multiple employees requires good hygiene measures – especially in a post-pandemic environment. These could include providing personal sanitiser and disinfectant wipes for each workstation, creating a time buffer between desk occupants for cleaning, spacing desks wide apart and setting capacity limits for areas with several workstations.



Initiating a Hotdesking Policy

1. Understand the Pros and Cons of Different Approaches

There are a couple of approaches that you could take to hotdesking, and we’ve discussed them both already. To recap:

  • Hotdesking can be a ‘first come first served’ system where employees simply turn up with a laptop in the morning, choose any desk and start working. This approach may work best when teams are in the office on a rotation or shift-based schedule.
  • The other approach is ‘hoteling’, where employees can reserve a desk before they come into the office. This method may be more appropriate in workplaces without shift schedules and rotations.

Either approach can be beneficial or detrimental to an organisation – this depends on factors like workplace culture, whether certain roles are client-facing and more. Think about which approach will work best before introducing hotdesking into your organisation and weigh up the pros and cons of each.


2. Don’t Rush the Implementation

For some employees, hotdesking will be a major transition. Prepare them for the change as much as you can before you go ahead and implement it. Allow managers time to troubleshoot and make any necessary adjustments along the way. If you include your employees in the conversation about hotdesking before you do it, they will feel more prepared.

Hotdesking works best when everyone clearly understands how it works and what is expected of them. Devote time to educating employees on the execution and why the organisation is adopting a hotdesking policy.


3. Put it in Writing

Before you make hotdesking official, ensure that all relevant rules – such as those covering desk allocation and health and safety – are added to the company’s policies and distributed to employees.

Remember to include employee responsibilities (e.g. keeping a clean workspace) and what the company is responsible for (e.g. ensuring desks and resources are fairly allocated and managing ergonomics).


4. Be Responsive to Feedback

It is likely that practical issues will arise that managers will have to deal with at the implementation stage and later as well. Gathering feedback from employees will help uncover common problems, smooth out concerns and reduce interruptions.



With the right amount of planning, hotdesking can make your organisation more flexible and agile. Not only can hotdesking reduce a company’s office rental expenses, but it can also spur more collaboration and creativity among employees. Consider which hotdesking model will suit your teams and remember to seek employee feedback and iron out any issues that arise.

As more technology professionals seek opportunities for hybrid working, hotdesking may be the ideal solution your business can implement to keep employees happy and attract more talent.

Need help with hiring tech talent for your hybrid workplace? At Sourced, we help an array of clients in Auckland, Christchurch and beyond to build their teams. Get in touch with our technology and digital recruitment specialists today.

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