Hotdesks - How does your work?

(43 Posts)
Faultymain5 Fri 12-Jul-19 14:49:20


We have a dilemma at work where our team of is being allotted to sit in a zone with other teams. Leaving not enough seats for everyone on 3-4 days of the week. However, there is no reservation system in place and it's on a first come first served basis. The thing with a first come.... basis is that some people come in later as they drop children off at school first and so they will never be sitting with the team. One of them is the head of the team. The team is quite collaborative in a discussing things ad hoc, but if you can't find you're team members, it's a little hard to do that, and seems an inefficient use of time a) finding a seat and b) finding your colleague when you need them.

It is what it is, but I'm wondering how other companies deal with the hot desking system. They don't want to allow any kind of reservation system, nor anchoring anyone particular.

OP’s posts: |
Quartz2208 Fri 12-Jul-19 14:56:25

We have a desk booking system that allows you to book and show you where others are sitting
It works well

Justgivemesomepeace Fri 12-Jul-19 15:04:15

In the past when ive had this situation ive 'anchored' individuals who have had to be, due to reasonable adjustments and need certain seating or adjustable desks etc. Then everyone else took it in turns each month to hot desk. For example if i was 3 desks short, 3 would hotdesk for a month and everyone else had a fixed seat for a month. Then it would swap to a different 3 hotdesking next month. We work shifts so the hotdeskers could always find a seat somewhere. Everyone gets share of being inconvenienced and a share of having a fixed desk.

OhDiddums Fri 12-Jul-19 15:34:45

It's every man/woman for themselves at my work and you just have to wander over if you need something. Assigned seating would be much better.

daisypond Fri 12-Jul-19 15:39:21

First come first served in my place of work. But there’s always enough seats to go round as the manager plans the shifts that way. Are you saying some people have nowhere at all to sit? That can’t be right.

AnchorDownDeepBreath Fri 12-Jul-19 15:44:57

I've never worked anywhere that allowed anchoring or reservations! It's always baffled me. Surely it's so much more efficient to know where everyone is?!

We always just had to book out a meeting room if we needed to collaborate and everyone is spread out; or we'd just find each other.

MercedesDeMonteChristo Fri 12-Jul-19 15:46:12

I've worked in a few places where hot desking is the norm with less actual desk space than people. Without fail, all of them have lots of breakout/collaboration space and staff are encouraged to use the appropriate space for the task that they are carrying out. I recognise that I am largely alone in this, but I love moving around, siting next to different people, congregating in a booth or high table for collaboration work, further away from teams when i need head down time. The problem is that most people are quite negative about hot desking and continue to look at what they perceive as losing rather than what might be gained. I accept that is unpopular but I really think it takes some time to tweak and adjust etc and then it becomes your new normal if you see what I mean.

Disclaimer: I am not suggesting OP or anyone is negative, just my general view when I have experienced it.

daisypond Fri 12-Jul-19 15:54:06

The team I’m in is completely international. We do everything by Skype or email. There’s no one in my team physically in the office I work in at all, though other teams may have colleagues in their team nearby. No breakout or collaboration space.

PleaseGoogleIt Fri 12-Jul-19 16:02:15

First come, first served. Most people work from home 1-2 days a week and with sickness/annual leave as well there's pretty much always a desk free. If there isn't, we work in co-working spaces we have set up like pods or the kitchen benches.

Lazypuppy Fri 12-Jul-19 16:07:48

First come first served in ours.

We have 5 desks allocated to 4 of us so we all wfh 1 day a week

Isleepinahedgefund Fri 12-Jul-19 17:03:50

Ours is first come first served, most people sit in the same places though. If you're in later sometimes you can't sit with your team but by and large it's ok. We're all working collaboratively though so it can be a huge pain if someone you need to work with that day couldn't get a desk near you, and you aren't allowed to bagsie a desk for anyone.

Faultymain5 Fri 12-Jul-19 17:34:00

@Quartz2208 this desk booking system makes sense and would be ideal for those of us who work two days from home.

@Justgivemesomepeace anchoring, is what has been bandied about, but the powers that be are reluctant except for those reason you hightlighted. It makes it difficult as I handle original documents that need to be filed into a depository, as well as handling due diligence information. Moving around means lugging boxes whereever I move to and irritating those who find it hard to remember that they should send me the nifo in the first place. An anchored position would be helfpul. Thinking of ways round it, but storage space is a joke at the moment also.

@daisypond There are not enough seats for everyone, on purpose. What we have is an open area (and not enough meeting rooms as it is), where we are encouraged to work and/or collaborate, the only problem is collaboration on legal matters and collaborating on rebranding are two different types of conversations.

@AnchorDownDeepBreath Much more efficient to know where everyone is.

@MercedesDeMonteChristo I don't think it's wrong to enjoy this style of working. It just goes against (in my opinion, mostly because I've never this way) all the rules for confidentiality. The thing is management are not looking to tweak. A simple reservation system, would improve things no end.

@Lazypuppy If you have 5 desks allocated to 4 of you, don't you jsut use the same spaces each day that you are in?

OP’s posts: |
Preggosaurus9 Fri 12-Jul-19 17:43:54

Hot desking isn't appropriate when there's paper documents or other physical stuff that needs to be moved with each person! That's crazy.

Lougle Fri 12-Jul-19 17:43:58

We have allocated spaces for each team, but only one computer per (small) team. If a team isn't in that day, their computer is up for grabs. Otherwise the team sorts out computer use amongst themselves.

Lazypuppy Fri 12-Jul-19 18:31:07

@Faultymain5 type should say 4 drsks for 5 of us

Quartz2208 Fri 12-Jul-19 19:16:39

In ours they wanted to make everyone completely hot desking but realised (publishing) that we publish print products and therefore editorial needed fixed desks. Full time staff got them and then part time (like myself) and contractors book in

Its secure and via both computer and an app. its easy to use and to book in and shows you were everyone is sitting

I dont understand why they wouldnt - we use condeco

bellinisurge Fri 12-Jul-19 19:22:46

We had a desk booking system. But some departments were too grand to use it and had admin staff to do it for them. Chaos if an admin colleague had the temerity to be ill or take leave.
We don't have it any more and it's chaos all the time confused

MercedesDeMonteChristo Fri 12-Jul-19 21:34:30

In most places I have seen this legal, finance and hr would usually have a more fixed set up (and PAs). I agree about the confidentiality issues.

Nacreous Fri 12-Jul-19 21:45:15

We used to have a hot desk system. We weren't in the office more than about 1 day in ten, we each had a locker for personal stuff and people genuinely didn't have fixed desks. It worked well.

I now work somewhere where we are in the office about 80% of the time. We are supposed to hot desk, but no one really does. The teams under each director have an area allocated to them and we deal with it within that. At ours, it's somewhat absurd in that all our junior staff have their own desk and they get extremely extremely territorial about them. Senior staff have to find somewhere based on who's off sick or on annual leave that day. Some of the juniors get grumpy that you've changed the height of their chair... We also have desk pedestals, so if you don't have s desk you have nowhere to store your stuff. I think it's an annoying system (well especially since we gained a new junior member of staff and I was the most senior person with a desk - alas no longer). I wouldn't mind if we hot desked properly and provided lockers etc though.

Violetroselily Fri 12-Jul-19 22:20:43

First come first served in my office. People tend to stick to the same area as the term of their team. I go to the same desk every day and tend to get it as I'm an early bird.

There are alot of breakout areas contsining large communal tables with power sockets, desk phones etc so people without a desk sit there

EBearhug Sat 13-Jul-19 00:15:00

Those of us who come into the office at least three days a week can have a permanently allocated desk and that will generally be with your team. The desks are in blocks of 6, so this doesn't always work exactly, because not many teams are exactly 6 people, so then they at least try to kept people on adjacent blocks.

Alongside this, we have a lot of hot desks. Some of them are adjustable, so can be used seated or standing. (I eye them up with envy from time to time!) These are all first come, first served. Some people clearly have favourite desks (yes, loud phone conversation man, I do mean you!) It seems there are nearly always enough desks to spare, except once or twice a year, when we have American execs visiting. The wifi has mostly been sorted out these days, so you can also use a laptop or tablet in the dining area, though not with a proper desk. It's finding meeting rooms which is more of a challenge.

In one of our London offices, it's a lot more limited space there, and it's all hot desks and you do have to book to use one of those. It's a really different atmosphere in that office.

I think the mix of permanent and hot desks works well, but they did analyse how different teams and individuals work before deciding how to rearrange things. I get the impression many places tend to go all or nothing.

KatherineJaneway Sat 13-Jul-19 06:28:33

We have an allocated bank of desks and it's meant to be first come first served but that isn't fair to those who are not early birds. I now manage the desks and tell the team when we are over allocation and one or two of us will sit elsewhere or work from home so it generally works out. There is however lots of breakout space for teams to collaborate.

Our office tried desk booking but people block booked desks for months on end then didn't use them a lot of the time so it descended into a farce.

LunaMay Sat 13-Jul-19 07:01:31

Technically we hot desk but we had been lucky enough to always have enough desks for each of us so people just set up their own desks.

I am the only one who officially has 'my' desk as it was set aside for the service i work in. I only do a full day of admin work once a week (need more but its not gonna happen!) and pop in and out during the other days to check emails/notes. I have no issues with visiting staff using my desk when they come but they often only use it as a last resort.

We have new people coming in soon and have been given two new computers to accommodate but one of our admin is also taking on work which means she will be working in the office with us part time so it will be interesting to see how it all works out when they start having to share.

BernadetteRostankowskiWolowitz Sat 13-Jul-19 07:13:34

We have hot desking IT but there are 37 of us and there are 39 desks. So we each have our own in the right rooms plus 2 for external people (we work with another org who have the same IT set up). Plus there are always people off.

We can swap round for cover, or if, say 50% of staff are off (happens a lot in Summer) we all bunch together in the biggest room.

EmmaGrundyForPM Sat 13-Jul-19 07:20:48

Where I work it's all hot desking. No booking. And if you're going off to a meeting for more than 2 hours then you have to clear your desk so someone else can use it.
I've sometimes come back from a meeting and not been able to find a desk. The policy is 1 desk for every 2 workers. Working from home is encouraged.

You can always get a desk on a Friday though!

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