Hot Desking – Not always such a hot idea
17 April 2011
Businesses warned not to focus on cost savings at the expense of employee needs
Specialist recruitment consultancy Kelly Executive has identified an increase in the practice of "hot desking" within many large Australian workplaces and is warning 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 worker's productivity and motivation. For many employees, having their own work space 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 drive some employees to start look 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.
- 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.
About Kelly Executive
Kelly Executive is part of Kelly Services Inc and focuses on recruiting executive and management professionals in either a full-time, contract or part-time capacity across all industries. Kelly Services, Inc. (NASDAQ: KELYA, KELYB) is a leader in providing workforce solutions. Serving clients around the globe, Kelly provides employment to more than 530,000 employees annually. Revenue in 2010 was $5 billion.
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