How to make hot desking work

Productivity, Workplace

How to make hot desking work

Are you considering a change in an office seating plan? Or, maybe you’ve heard of hot desking, but not sure if it would work for your business or office space? We’ve got a handy guide to explain how to make hot desking work for you. 

What is hot desking?

The system known as ‘hot desking’, allows more than one worker to use each desk or workstation in an office. It offers a more flexible workspace because employees do not have assigned desks and seats. It gives staff opportunities to sit wherever they please, meaning if there is a favourite desk next to a good view, others can get a chance to take the seat, promoting fairness and a healthy workplace culture.

Why is hot desking a good system?

In a traditional office setup, each worker is allocated their own desk or workstation. As the way in which we work changes, employees are often away from their office desks for long periods of time, for instance when they are in other parts of the building or using an alternate working space such as an internet-enabled café. This means that traditional one-to-a-desk systems are becoming inefficient, taking up valuable extra resources and space (up to an astonishing 30%). Hot desking, named after the naval practice of ‘hot racking’, where sailors took turns sharing a limited number of bunks, allows the number of desks to be reduced without affecting the productivity of employees.

How to make hot desking work for your business

A great variety of hot desking systems are in place, each building on the central theme of less-desks-than-employees, to suit individual office environments. Some offices create a colour-code system, whereby identical desk-and-chair setups can be distinguished from one another; workers are placed into coloured groups to indicate which workstations are to be used. Integral software systems that link all aspects of the company are essential to hot desking systems; desks to be used in such systems must be able to incorporate this facility.

Comfortable, supportive office chairs are essential to the health, well-being and productivity of every employee. As chairs in a hot desking system will be used by multiple occupants, it is important to choose highly versatile chairs that require minimal adjustment to safely and comfortably accommodate each user. The recently launched Orangebox Seren range of chairs is perfect for hot desking environments, featuring an innovative mechanism that automatically adjusts to each individual sitter.

Hot desking post-COVID-19

Social distancing in the workplace has been a key COVID-19 safety measure. That and immaculate office hygiene. So how does hot desking work around this? It all depends on your company size, space, recording and structure. You may still provide for the hybrid worker, so you can reduce who is in the office at any one time to help with social distancing. Whether you have assigned desks or not, it’s good practice to have a log on each desk for employees to check when they’ve sanitised and cleaned their workstations – which should be at the start and end of their working day, and before and after eating. Being able to have logs with employees’ names and cleaning checks can help with contact tracing, as well as making sure staff are on top of hygiene. This and your contract cleaners in overnight will all help provide a safer office.

Desks you can use for hot desking

You really can use whatever office desks work for your company when it comes to hot desking. It all depends on your office space, company size, workstation type, and style.  Here are a few ideas:

1. Sit-stand desks

Brilliant for providing versatility, sit-stand desks are great office furniture assets to have. Being height-adjustable, all employees can have comfortable work settings, and can opt for standing or sitting, depending on their tasks.   

2. Ergonomic desks

Ergonomic desks work for all types of businesses. The designs are built with comfortability and innovation in mind. With hot desking, you can give staff room to adapt, allow them to mix things up and to work from different desk shapes.

3. Bench desks

If you have a lot of employees, bench desks are a great idea because they optimise space extremely well. Some seats may face the window, however, and some may face a motivating piece of art or quote on a wall. That’s where hot desking can give everyone a chance to take in different views over the course of a working week or month. And because these aren’t specific, independent workstations, they work incredibly well for hot desking to just allow employees to switch seats every day or week – giving different people a chance to connect also.

DBI Furniture Solutions is a proud supplier of a vast range of quality office furniture designed to meet all of the many complex requirements of a hot desking system. All of our furniture is fully guaranteed to meet all health, safety and quality requirements while being offered at one of the most competitive prices on the market.

For more information on hot desking and how DBI Furniture Solutions can help prepare your office for this essential development, please contact our expert team on 0845 683 0024 or email us at