Hot desking in IT - advantages and disadvantages

Hot desking in IT - advantages and disadvantages

Hot desking or hot desk, or “hot desks”, is not a new invention. This concept appeared already in the 80s. 20th century and, as is usually the case, was the answer to a specific need. It was noted that in companies employing in a shift system, not all desks are used at the same time, and therefore the employer incurs unnecessary costs. To reduce expenses, invented hot desking.

The problem with filling all jobs affects not only shift workers. Research in Australia has shown that in companies there, up to 40% of desks remain empty during the day. You can imagine that in other highly developed countries it is similar. This is especially true for companies that use new technologies and are open to flexible forms of work, and the IT industry fits perfectly into this pattern.

Up to 49% of developers work remotely, most in Argentina, Mexico and the United States. In Poland, such developers are about 30%. It turns out that people who work flexibly most often combine remote work with hot desking (20%). So it is worth checking out the good and bad sides of this solution.

Why sit at a hot desk?

At the hot desk, the employee does not have his own desk. He does not come to work every morning to take the same place-he uses a desk that is currently vacant, and after finishing his work he takes his things. In some companies, each desk is already equipped with the necessary computer and IT equipment, in others there is only a place at the table, and the employee brings his own notebook.

Regardless of the choice of options, it is primarily about optimal use of office space. It should not be forgotten that it is renting an office that is one of the biggest costs incurred by the employer. With hot desking you can optimize your spending, however you need adapt your office to your new way of working. Is it really worth it?

Advantages of hot desking

Use this solution, for example, HP, Microsoft and Twitter, as well as many other well-known companies. Here are some arguments for the introduction of hot desks:

Less office expenses

Studies show that an employer can reduce them by up to 30%. In the hot desking system, you can afford to rent a smaller area, and in addition, you save on the equipment of workstations.

Almost 100% use of available space

Flexibility and freedom of action

Developers appreciate this atmosphere. Some people find it difficult to move to work without their own desk, but it workers are more open to such changes and generally perceive them positively.

Incentive to work remotely

It is easier for companies that introduce hot desking to offer at least partial remote work to their IT staff.

Motivation for cleaning

Hot desking encourages employees to maintain order in the workplace.

Integration of workers

Moving around the office in search of free space you can meet new people from different departments. In the case of the biggest companies, you actually meet someone new every day.

Freedom of choice

Hot desking allows employees to choose the most convenient part of the office for them.

Accelerated development

Hot desking promotes faster learning-you can take a place next to a specialist in a particular field and work with him.

Dark side of hot desking

Downtime risk

Everything works as long as a precise work schedule is planned. Unfortunately, if the office suddenly has more employees than positions, there is no question of efficiency.

Working on suitcases

Constantly decomposing and collecting the necessary items can be tiring. Just look at the desks of some developers-many things have been lying there for a good few years.

More difficult teamwork

In this formula, employees identify more with the company than with the team of which they are a part. This attitude can interfere with the IT industry, where you often work on a project within a specific team.

Uncomfortable positions

The lack of a desk assigned to a specific employee can cause problems with the ergonomics of the workstation. Employers do not always remember about desks with adjustable tops or suitable chairs, which everyone can quickly adapt to themselves.

Weaker ties

Research shows that hot desking can lead to less attention being paid to co-workers and even reduced engagement in tasks.

Psychiatric discomfort

Always for some employees, having their own desk will be very important. This applies even to such an open community as software developers.

Documentation in danger

Although this is less of a problem in the IT industry, where much of the material is digital, there may be a problem with the storage of individual employees ‘ documents. Such materials need to be constantly moved (for example, to a designated cabinet), which increases the likelihood of their loss.

Unnecessary voltage

Sometimes there can be a phenomenon of competition for space to work. Then the rule applies: who first, the better, and the wounded bird takes a better placed desk (e.g. by the window). This can give rise to resentment and quarrels between employees.


Although hot desking has its drawbacks, it seems that if it can pass the exam. More and more employees of this industry expect the possibility of flexible work, and hot desking perfectly complements remote work. Of course, everything depends on the proper equipment of the office and on the proper planning of work, so as to avoid the situation when some employees wait idly until a desk becomes vacant. Then, instead of improving work, we run the risk of complications and reduced productivity, not to mention the frustration of employees.

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