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Hot desking – not such a hot idea

‘Hot desking’ or office sharing has become the hot thing for small businesses in Australia, but specialist recruitment consultancy, Kelly Executive, warns employers to consider both the positive and negative impacts before making such a change.

The popularity of ‘hot desking’ is being driven by the obvious environmental and cost benefits. Also, the flexibility of this working arrangement can bring a new and exciting culture to a company. However, ‘hot desking’ may not be the right option for all types of businesses.

Ray Fleming, General Manager, Kelly Executive said, “We are still seeing many job seekers who tend to shy away from the idea of shared workspaces. They believe they will feel less engaged with their work and although ‘hot desking’ is cost effective – a business is not just about the space and infrastructure – a large part of it is people.”

‘Hot desking’ works great in some businesses where a lot of employees are regularly on the road or working remotely but it relies on advanced IT and office systems.

Mr Fleming said, “There has been a major shift towards flexible work practices over the past decade as employers have looked for new ways to attract and retain good people. The increased trend towards ‘hot desking’ is simply employers looking to reduce costs in this new operating environment.

“We know the work environment is very important to workers’ productivity and motivation. For many employees, having their own workspace lets then feel part of the organisation and solidifies their position in the team.

“Employers need to understand that shifting to a ‘hot desking’ structure just to save money may driver some employees to start looking elsewhere for employment.”

It is important to consider that changing employees work style may affect productivity and motivation. Kelly Executive highlights some of the implications to think about when considering ‘hot desking’.

Implications

De-personalisation of immediate workspace means employees may feel less connected to their work.

The new cultural shift will be stressful and daunting to staff. They will have to change their work habits to fit in with the new work environment.

Some employees may not agree with the new structure as they feel like they have ‘earned the right’ to their own space.  It is important that businesses recognise the ‘human’ side to this issue and that consultation with staff is provided to air out any grievances.

Natalie Tsirimokoshttp://www.dynamicbusiness.com.au
Digital Editor of Dynamic Business