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Dave Carter
Dave Carter
  • 3 Minute Read
  • 18th February 2015

Could sharing desk space save you money?

Whether you are a freelancer, part of a small business team or an employee of a larger corporation, there are ways you can make good use of desk sharing workspaces and save money in the process. As employers embrace more hybrid working practices, many are looking at how they can make their office space more cost effective and are considering the benefits of serviced offices.

Working from home might be OK from time to time, but it’s easy to over-look the costs of rent, utilities, furniture, equipment and consumables. Then there’s the consideration of how productive you can be in a domestic environment that may be shared with others, and the professional costs of not being able to meet others or network effectively in the home.

With this in mind, many employers and employees are looking at desk sharing and hot desking alternatives as a means of reducing costs and boosting productivity.

What is desk sharing?

In a conventional office, you are assigned a desk which is your own workspace. When you are there, you occupy the desk but when you’re not, it remains vacant.

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Desk sharing is a form of office management that allows workers to schedule their use of a desk in advance. Workers reserve a desk for the period that they need it, sometimes weeks or months in advance. Desks are unassigned but can be pre- booked, much like booking a hotel.

Desk occupancy is only around 40% on average

Research suggests that, on average, in a conventional office, desk occupancy is around 40%, meaning that desks are unoccupied for more than half of the time. This represents unnecessary costs for office owners who can reduce their office overheads by utilising desk space more efficiently through desk sharing.

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Desk sharing recognises that workers have different work patterns and may spend increasing amounts of time away from the office. It also accounts for the fact that many activities such as meetings, events, presentations, networking, reading, making calls, snacking and relaxing etc. take place away from the desk.

The Pros and Cons of Desk Sharing

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What is hot desking?

The term “hot desking” is believed to have originated from the Navy’s practice of hot racking or hot bunking within the confines of a ship, whereby a sailor completing a shift would take the still-warm bunk of the sailor whose shift was just beginning. Cosy!

A hot desk is shared by different people at different times and originated in call centre environments where shift systems operated. Hot desking is about impromptu seating without reservation. Office owners often introduce hot desks to cut costs by increasing desk occupancy. However, some offices also create a hot desk zone so that employees from different departments can sit together and work as a group.

The Pros and Cons of Hot Desking

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Save money by hot desking in a modern serviced office

Renting a hot desk in a serviced office can give you immediate low-cost access to a vibrant office environment that’s also flexible. Most serviced offices offer hot desking options with access to shared facilities like kitchens and meeting rooms. The office building is maintained by an operator that looks after all the facilities, so residents don’t have the headache or overheads of facilities maintenance or service provision.

Renting a hot desk is easy

Hot desks can be rented at short notice on a daily, weekly, monthly, or annual basis and the price includes use of a desk, power socket and a fast internet connection.

Hot desking is available the world over

There are hundreds of serviced offices in the UK and worldwide that offer hot desk options and they are generally inexpensive. Hot desking can be particularly useful for anyone whose job takes them to different parts of the country or the world on a regular basis. The flexibility of desk-sharing spaces means more can be done in different locations, even if they are unfamiliar, and both time and money can be saved in the process whenever traditional offices are not required.

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Room to impress

Given the importance of impressing existing and potential clients, particularly for small businesses, conducting meetings in coffee shops or in your home are generally best avoided. Taking a hot desk opens up affordable access to well-equipped meeting rooms, which can give small business operators a much greater chance of sealing sales and improving their prospects.

Cut costs by hot desking

Another key reason why hot desking is so popular is that it can help reduce office costs. All-important energy costs are kept low in shared office space, with these costs spread evenly among occupants, and they’re generally included in the headline price associated with any hot desking deal.

So, if you’re looking for a cost-effective way of optimising the way you work, then perhaps it’s time you looked at the many hot desk options available to you?