‘Hot Desking’ has long been the domain of entrepreneurs and freelancers; that is, not working from any one fixed desk or even office, but instead taking your work (often a laptop) with you and working wherever, and whenever required.
However, the term ‘hot desking’ often sparks fear in those working in a structured office environment, as it frequently seems to be a way for large companies to enforce an infrastructure restructure and remove desk space in the name of efficiencies. As a new initiative, this is not only often hard to adapt to for office workers but also can be inconvenient and in some cases, even render them without a suitable workspace. When managed correctly, however, hot desking holds many advantages – hence perhaps its growing popularity amongst businesses of all shapes, sizes and types.
Does Working From Home Count As Hot Desking?
There’s no ‘right’ answer to this question, as technically, wherever you can take your laptop to and work from counts as a hot desk. For many, working from home is the default option – particularly if there’s desk space there, if there isn’t a central office HQ for work or if there’s no desks available at the usual place of work. There’s lots of perks to working from home; after all, it’s free, and it’s very easy! This said, working from home can easily be counterproductive. It is not usually counted as ‘hot desking’.
When working from home it can be easy to fall into ‘home routines’ and find yourself indulging in other activities away from your work tasks. First you check your emails, then you pop a wash load on, then you do some Googling, then you make another coffee, then you join an online meeting, then you chat to your neighbours… and very quickly, your productivity levels drop and you get less done than ever! Working from home can be done efficiently if managed correctly but hey, we’re all human, and we all lack discipline at times.
There are also a number of hidden costs that many fail to consider when working from home. When you factor in your electricity costs, your water costs, the TV playing in the background and the cost of your time spent doing other things, it’s clear that home working isn’t the freebie we often think it is!
The Mental Health Advantages Of Working Somewhere New
No matter the industry you work within, there are distinct advantages to being around others as you work, even if only occasionally.
Working from home can be lonely, and working in an office with the same people day-after-day can be same-y. Hot desking and working around new people, even if not in your industry, removes this isolation and opens up the opportunity to network with other professionals (if you wish to). Even if you’re unable to discuss your work in-depth with those around you, the ability to be able to ‘small talk’ and interact with other people when you choose to can help boost your mood. Social interaction is key to positive mental health, even if you don’t feel like you want to be around people all of the time.
When Co-Working Spaces Give Access To More Than Just A Desk
Aside from working around new people, a change of surroundings can give a breath of fresh air to your work, opening up new perspectives and sparking inspiration. Adults forever tell children to get up and out the house, but rarely heed this advice themselves as they tap away glaring into a computer in one spot all day!
Working from a coffee shop, library or co-working space can be much more than just a place to set down your laptop and ‘get stuff done’.
Hot desking removes the temptation to procrastinate and the distraction of getting on with lower priority tasks. Instead, your focus can sit solely with your work and productivity levels will increase. Many people trying out working in a different place for the first time report that they’re surprised with just how much they’ve managed to achieve!
Depending on the facility the host desking is taking place in, there may be considerably more on offer than just a plug socket and a Wi-Fi connection. Dedicated co-working spaces often offer access to meeting rooms, IT support, printers, scanners and postal services; making it more than just a desk to send emails from, but conceivably an ‘on-demand’ office space where you can meet clients, produce paper materials and resolve any IT issues. Co-working spaces are frequently, and appropriately, perceived as modern and agile – giving a great first impression to those looking to work with your company as a lean and adaptable firm with state-of-the-art working practices.
Of course, co-working spaces aren’t the only place for people to work remotely from. Coffee shops are a popular and easy choice; not least because there’s one on every high street to be quickly nipped into whenever needed! Increasingly too, bars and restaurants are offering hot desking packages that include drinks, snacks and even meals alongside the electricity and internet connection needed.
The costs associated with hot desking can often be claimed back, or, if self-employed, written off as a business expense. Receipts should be kept for everything and a record kept of the time and date. If clients (prospective or existing) join you at any point, associated costs with this can also usually be claimed under ‘business entertaining’ categories, dependent on your employer and their expense policies. As with anything, don’t splash the cash too frivolously, but don’t be afraid to pay for quality work facilities.
Once surroundings have been found that spark inspiration and nurture productivity, stick with it – but not every day! Mixing it up and adopting new habits (reaching outside of your comfort zone as such) can help prolong a healthy work effort and give you a renewed energy in your workload. The benefits are numerous and varied, and once you’ve given it a go, you’ll never look back.
Feel free to get in touch with a member of our team if you would like to enquire about Co-Working or Hot Desking Space in Bexley.