Flexible workspaces has become popular in workplace design, with increasing numbers of facilities teams choosing to go down this route with the aim of maximising office utilisation. The benefits are clear – flexible workspaces, or office hoteling as it’s often known, can cut up to 30% of business costs. Not to mention it also reportedly increases staff productivity and satisfaction.
However, all is not as simple as it seems, with some businesses falling into common traps or issues around implementing their hot desking strategy. Below are the most common mistakes – plus how to avoid them.
Mistake one: Not sorting out the basics
It may sound obvious, but before embarking on a hot desking scheme in your office, everyone needs to be on the same page. That means communicating clear rules on what will be included, and ensuring everyone understands how the system will work. You may need to communicate rules or guidelines, or consider having help available for employees who are unfamiliar with the concept.
Mistake two: Not deploying desk booking software
If you’re looking to maximise efficiency with your new workplace solution, utilising hot desking software could be your answer. Being able to book workspaces in advance has major advantages, particularly if your business also has a flexible working policy, or you have team members working closely together. For your employees, the ease of desk booking in advance can help avoid any unnecessary stress. Mobile booking systems can help make things even simpler.
Mistake three: Only thinking about the desk
While obviously the workstation and surrounding environment are important, the desk itself is not what enables your employees to get their work done. IT solutions and phone systems should be managed as part of flexible workspace too – consider what type will be the most effective for your workplace strategy. This may depend on both the size and nature of your business, so be sure to explore all options available.
Mistake four: Not considering other tools
While IT and phone systems should be one of your top priorities when deciding on your hoteling system, don’t forget to consider other tools around the office. Paper and pen are the obvious tools, along with reference materials and files. Can you go paperless? Can you create a flexible storage system for other tools? These are important points to consider.
Mistake five: Not keeping a clear desk policy
It sounds simple, but a clear desk policy is one of the secret weapons in ensuring your flexible workspace scheme is a success. You may have to provide individual staff storage elsewhere in the office for this to be most effective. If desks aren’t kept clean and clear of un-needed objects, productivity could be compromised.
Mistake six: Not encouraging movement around the office
One of the biggest benefits of flexible workspaces is the positive social impact around the workplace. When employees start to change workstations regularly and find themselves sitting next to someone new, not only do stronger inter-office relations begin to happen, but understanding of other areas of business increases. Movement around work spaces isn’t just necessary when it comes to desk arrangements – providing breakout areas and available meeting rooms is important too. Don’t forget to review your meeting room booking solution as part of your new workspace strategy.
Mistake seven: Not listening to your employees
Generally speaking, flexible workspaces improve employee morale and productivity. If you’ve followed the rules and prevented mistakes and you’re not seeing results, it’s time to talk to your employees. Even if it's a success in your office, it’s still important to get employee feedback. What could you be doing better? How is flexible workspaces impacting their time at work? Keep communication open and you’ll continue to improve your workplace.