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Ideas for making hot desking less painful

(140 Posts)
MercedesDeMonteChristo Thu 07-Nov-19 09:58:00

We are shortly moving to a new office and he decision has been taken to hot desk. I am a fan personally, but I know others aren't and I am in charge of the move (though not the decision maker).

I want to set people up for as much success as possible and we are a small team of 16 so I expect people might fall into regular seating patterns.

Every desk will have
- Screen
- Keyboard
- Mouse

I want to add
- laptop stand
- matching adjustable risers for the screens (currently some have them, some are using paper reams etc)
- lockable hot box

Then I want to have a sort of welcome bag on the first day on each desk and so far all I have come up with it
- screen wipes for anyone who might want to wipe keyboards etc

What else can I add to the welcome bag and have I missed anything from the set up?

Tojigornot Thu 07-Nov-19 10:02:20

The desk, keyboard and mouse (and especially telephone if you have one on the desk) need to be cleaned properly every day. Not just wiped with a screen wipe if someone feels like it hmm

MercedesDeMonteChristo Thu 07-Nov-19 10:04:34

There are cleaners so I am sure they will be, I know though that some will want to do it themselves too so am jus trying to pre-empt.

showmethegin Thu 07-Nov-19 10:07:43

Can I ask why you're hot desking? It's massively inconvenient in my experience, you have to readjust your chair every day, I use two screens so someone sitting in my desk really fucks up my day! Everyone would rather sit at the same desk anyway.

UtterlyUnimaginativeUsername Thu 07-Nov-19 10:08:13

There are cleaners so I am sure they will be
Our cleaners clean our desks once a year. They don't touch electronics at all. Thankfully we don't hotdesk but if we did, I doubt things would get cleaned any more often.

Midgey91 Thu 07-Nov-19 10:11:29

We hot desk in my job and we all have our own mouse, keyboard and phone so it's just our germs on them and we can clean it if we want. Each desk also has disinfectant wipes so we can clean the desk. For people who need specific chair adjustments they just have their own with their name on a label. All desk have the function to be standing too and all screens can easily be adjusted.

Slumberama Thu 07-Nov-19 10:12:29

It may be a good time to redo the risk assessment, computer workstation, monitor and office chair health and safety training (apologies, I don't know the proper name for it).

And check that all your office chairs are fully adjustable. Some of ours were broken and people were forever moving chairs about to keep their favourites.

Alicia9999 Thu 07-Nov-19 10:13:20

Welcome bag:
- Phone charger
- Mouse mat with something silly printed on for each person
- Fruit
- Notepad and pens

maryberryslayers Thu 07-Nov-19 10:17:56

Antibacterial spray.
Personally I'd offer people their own wireless keyboard and mouse that they take away with them. Perhaps lockers that they can keep them and any other personal bits in. One of my colleagues sneezes constantly into her hands and another eats greasy smelly food, all day and then licks their fingers. I'd be repulsed at having to use equipment their filthy paws have been touching.

ScreamingCosArgosHaveNoRavens Thu 07-Nov-19 10:22:59

Unless hot-desking is unavoidable, I just don't think you should support it - sorry (I know you are not the decision maker).

It's nothing but a PITA, making life more difficult for people just because someone on high wants to bring in a change for the sake of saying they have 'achieved' something, but whoever it is hasn't the wit to think of anything sensible.

Office life can be soul destroying enough as it is, without being bounced from desk to desk.

So my suggestion would be, don't waste time on preparing 'welcome packs' - spend it persuading whoever is in charge to reverse the decision.

Fithles Thu 07-Nov-19 10:29:07

It's cheaper. There are no other known benefits. Make employees uncomfortable/inconvenienced so we can save on a bit of square footage.

Welcome packs are just more crap that people don't need.

Senior people who manage to spend most of their lives off site anyway always think the idea is marvellous.

I can't even stand open plan, let alone hot desking. I won't apply for jobs if either regime is in place.

themental Thu 07-Nov-19 10:35:26

I would have killed for a hotdesk system at my last work.

We were a completely "paperless" office as in all our stuff was online -- but the amount of folders, papers, old pcbs, drawings, notebooks etc lying around was appalling. It was embarrassing having to walk customers through to get to the conference room.

I was legitimately the only one with a clear desk.

Made me depressed every morning I walked in the door.

Compared to the last place, where there was a hotdesk system and clear desk policy, I much preferred that. I guess it's a cultural thing though, I know not all offices are as bad as that.

MercedesDeMonteChristo Thu 07-Nov-19 10:41:41

Alicia thanks, some great ideas there.

I've personally always enjoyed hot desking/agile working so it isn't a problem for me. I do know that others are less keen and honestly I think with a team our size we will quickly find people sitting in the same spaces. Those who would be particularly bothered are those who get in very early anyway. I plan to work in the communal spaces as well as the office because I want to mingle with more people. We will also have a desk per person plus a couple spare so wewon't encounter the nobody has a desk scenario that some do.

ScreamingCosArgosHaveNoRavens Thu 07-Nov-19 10:44:17

We will also have a desk per person plus a couple spare so wewon't encounter the nobody has a desk scenario that some do.

In that case, why not let those who want an allocated desk have one, and then those who want to hot desk can hot desk around the remaining desks?

MercedesDeMonteChristo Thu 07-Nov-19 10:44:35

themental I am a contractor normally and my last 3 contracts have all been hotdesking so I think it is probably the way forward. I do question whether it is worth it for a such a small team, but actually we only have 3 reticent members of staff, all the others are excited to have lots of different spaces to use (communal plus the private office etc). One who for reasons associated with her job and the equipment she needs is openly upset that she can't move around as freely as others.

MercedesDeMonteChristo Thu 07-Nov-19 10:46:47

Because that isn't the decision that has been made.

SnugglySnerd Thu 07-Nov-19 10:50:08

Could you give everyone a coaster to keep to put their drinks on? I get really annoyed when someone uses my desk and leaves coffee rings on it!

GrumpyHoonMain Thu 07-Nov-19 10:51:32

1. Permanent staff should get priority for desks on the resource booking tool over contractors. Perhaps allow perm staff to book up to 2 weeks in advance and contractors 1. This was a major bug bear at my organisation and perm staff often felt pushed out by contractors, and senior leaders often felt like contractors were too visible.

2. Order all perm staff a new wireless mouse and a spare laptop charger that they can keep for work from home and / or the office.

3. Arrange lockers in the office if not already available for perm staff to store their equipment if they want to book multiple consecutive days in the office.

Ariela Thu 07-Nov-19 10:52:13

We sort of hot desk, in that we are always bobbing in and out doing other stuff. So nobody 'owns' a particular desk/computer terminal/phone, but we all have our favourites - mine is on the right, Julie's is on the left - she's left handed I'm right handed, so it's set up for our own preferences, and Adrian uses the left one as he's also left handed (we're a sinister lot here). However we each have our own set of lockable drawers for our own 'stuff' - I use a cordless mouse but Betty types everything and knows all the short cut codes and doesn't like to use a mouse so if I'm going away mine gets locked in my drawer or it goes AWOL even though it's a bright red mini like my car!
We don't use much paper, only printed invoices and stuff that's filed immediately, so we really do have a fairly clear desk unless we are the one doing queries - they can get a bit complex.

MercedesDeMonteChristo Thu 07-Nov-19 10:56:16

We are a team of 16, all permanent (though I usually contract). I don't think we need to 'book' for that number, particularly as there will be 18 desk available.

Coasters are a great idea, and we have a whole giant box full!

I would like to eventually get everyone wireless mouse and keyboard but we are not for profit so my budget is quite tight, but once we are in and if I have any budget left I will invest in these.

We do have a flexible working and WFH so overall we are just trying to be as flexible as possible.

ScreamingCosArgosHaveNoRavens Thu 07-Nov-19 11:01:23

Because that isn't the decision that has been made.

Do you work somewhere where it's frowned on to challenge decisions? You say it's a 'flexible' environment - it's the height of inflexibility to say 'a decision has been made and that's that.'

What could be more flexible than letting people who want permanent desks have them, and people who want to hot desk, can hot desk around what remains? If you have enough desks to allow that, frankly it's insanely rigid and inflexible not to facilitate it.

GrumpyHoonMain Thu 07-Nov-19 11:05:29

If you have 18 desks for 16 staff why do you need to hotdesk? shock. Is this change just for the sake of change?

MercedesDeMonteChristo Thu 07-Nov-19 11:07:54

The decision has been made after many many official and less official consultations with our 16 members of staff of which 3 have reservations, of which only 1 is anti-trying it. It is not set in stone, if it doesn't work then we will amend - as I have already said, my feeling is that as such a small team people probably will end up sitting in the same places. This isn't a 200 person office where we only have 150 desks. Plus then a debate at management level where the decision is made.

On the contrary really, I have never worked anywhere where the staff have so much input into the process - from deciding the area we move to, the exact building we chose, and how we chose to work.

But again, this thread is not actually about whether hot desking is good or bad, we are doing it and I just want to make the new environment nice and as workable as possible.

MercedesDeMonteChristo Thu 07-Nov-19 11:08:40

It's to encourage members of different teams to collaborate more.

brassbrass Thu 07-Nov-19 11:10:42

Kind of counter intuitive to add more junk to the desks from these welcome packs. What will they do carry their welcome pack bits around each hot desk they use. I think antibacterial wipes are good but do you really need anything else?

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