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Expert comment from leading figures within the business community, on a variety of topical issues across a range of sectors. THE DEATH OF THE FLOORPLAN WHY HOT DESKING IS THE WAY FORWARD By Steve Hancock Spokesperson at Kit Out My Offi ce (kitoutmyoffi Having a set offi ce floorplan seems to be a dying trend, with more and more businesses looking toward hot desking as a way to lay out the workplace. Flexible working appears to be the future of the modern offi ce, and this means having a flexible work space. So what are the benefits of not having a set desk? Here I’ve outlined 5 reasons as to why hot desking is the way forward. Promotes integration Not having a set desk means, in theory, that you sit in a different seat each day which, in turn, means sitting next to a different member of the team, or even a member of a different team. This practice encourages offi ce workers to communicate with people in the offi ce they wouldn’t necessarily talk to; breaking down barriers between teams and making the workplace feel more integrated in general. It also prevents cliques from emerging which can happen if sects of people are sat around each other all the time, making the offi ce a more welcoming place overall. Prevents complacency One of the most common complaints with regards to hot desking is the inability to personalise your desk – with photographs of family, potted plants and other such items. However, there is such a thing as being too comfortable, and having these items on one’s desk can lead to complacency and a lower work ethic. Having to move desks daily will keep you concentrated on the work in hand, and will prevent you from becoming lazy and complacent. Besides, there are ways to personalise your work space without taking over a desk; using a personal picture as your computer background, for example. Cleaner working space The other point to make with regards to not being able to personalise desk space, is that it actually leads to less clutter, and a clearer working space. Being unable to have personal items on your desk permanently, means that anything that is left out by the end of the day will need to be cleared away, thus reducing clutter. As a clear desk means fewer distractions, you may find productivity in the offi ce increases as a result of this. Leads to flexible working Flexible working is the future, and hot desking is the first step towards this. It is important that employees and employers alike understand and respect each other’s work/life balance, and the key to this is a flexible workplace. Giving employees flexibility in their contract – on what time they have to come in to work for example – can lead to an increase in morale and productivity. And if this flexibility is to be observed, then hot desking is an essential part of this. Cuts cost The final point to be made in favour of hot desking, is that it can seriously cut the cost of running a business. There is rarely a day at work where every single employee is in the offi ce; whether because of sickness, holiday or because some only work part time, there are usually people missing. Why then, have a set desk and computer for each individual, when they could be unused for half the week? Instead, an employer can save costs by only having the amount of desks, computer and offi ce equipment that is needed, and employees can be flexible in where they work. | 11