May 2, 2023

Aiming to Increase Collaboration? Try Creating a Flexible Workspace with Hot Desking

Collaborate in a hybrid workplace

In the office, every employee is an individual with unique skills who usually works independently on their own tasks. However, collaboration is necessary to achieve mutual goals, especially when dealing with complex problem-solving. A strong team is made up of employees with different backgrounds and experiences. The secret to great teamwork is to find processes that meet the needs of the individuals while working together. Hot desking has become a favorable solution in the hybrid office since a dynamic and flexible office space has led to improved collaboration.

Improve the hybrid workplace with a flexible workspace solution 

The hybrid work model is a concept that most people can grasp, even though it can be quite difficult to implement. The traditional office usually has one desk per employee. When employees work remotely from home or in co-working spaces, many office seats are vacant, resulting in a lot of empty office space and decreased occupancy rates. As a business owner, you are required to set up an office with desk space that meets the expectations of hybrid employees and remote workers while managing space to keep overhead costs in check.

Another aspect is taking care of different teams and departments to ensure that goals are achieved. When employees do not meet face-to-face, they might feel detached and struggle to work productively. The good news is that team motivation, job satisfaction, and collaboration can actually be improved with hot desking, which is an important part of the hybrid office

How and why can collaboration boost your company?

Firstly, let's take a look at collaboration in the workplace. We can all agree that collaboration is necessary for a company to thrive, both culturally and financially. Teamwork is not always easy, since everyone is different, with a diverse skill set, mindset, and experience. It's no wonder that so many personality quizzes and HR surveys have emerged over the years to recruit team members who work well together. Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses depending on their age, personality, and educational background.

A team of extroverts could mean that everyone talks over each other, and therefore introverts are needed to balance it out. On the other hand, too many introverted employees can cause you to lose momentum. A team should consist of both types.

The ability to collaborate and communicate with different colleagues is usually referred to as soft skills, which go beyond your education and practical knowledge. It means being reliable, empathetic, and attentive.

The strength of a diverse team

A diverse team ensures that there will be several team members who excel at a specific task. Vice versa, if anyone struggles at work, other team members can compensate for the lack of skills or knowledge.

When faced with an issue, a team of employees is highly likely to find a solution more quickly than a single person. No one has to be overwhelmed when a huge deadline is approaching, as everyone on the team can share the burden and work effectively.

A sense of community

A person who is isolated and works in solitude might lose sight of the bigger picture and fail to absorb the company culture. They may become demotivated and feel that their efforts are taken for granted. If they work together with their teammates, the employee will be part of a community and take greater pride in their work.

Shared learning

A collaborative team can not only carry out work more efficiently, but they can also learn from each other. Since everyone has their own way of processing and problem-solving, it is a good idea to share valuable insights. One person might excel at presentations, while another is skilled at spotting spelling mistakes. By training and coaching another team member, an employee can develop their skills.

Keep the employees happy

One of the most important metrics to demonstrate if individuals feel valued and teamwork flourishes is high employee retention. If employees are satisfied and happy, chances are they will stay in the company longer. They may also attract other successful and ambitious individuals. The cost of acquiring and training a new employee is high, and by keeping your employees around, costs can be reduced. Today, employer branding is key since the digital world has made company culture more transparent.

On-site collaboration vs. virtual collaboration

Many leaders have underlined the importance of meeting every now and then to boost team spirit and motivation. However, virtual collaborations could also be beneficial. Younger and less experienced team members have felt that they can express themselves more freely and feel less inhibited in a video meeting. It’s safe to say that virtual collaboration requires firm leadership and excellent group dynamics. Employees should be comfortable with a flatter hierarchy and transparency.

What is a hot desking setup?

Hot desking is just as "hot" in the hybrid office as the name suggests. The flexible solution suits hybrid workers who want to switch seats more freely - from the office chair in the home office to different desks in the office.

A hot desk can be booked through an app. Employees can locate a preferred desk or room in the office and book a vacant seat. Occupancy sensors track activity in the building, which is also displayed in real-time, both in the app and on a larger screen in the office.

The employees are able to choose a seat according to their preferences, such as location, room size, and equipment. Depending on their task for the day, the employee might want to have access to a printer, video recorder, or a dual-screen. Hot desking allows the team member to pick and choose.

Work better together with flexible working spaces

Another aspect of hot desking which promotes collaboration is the fact that team members are able to book desks next to each other. Their day can be planned in advance. An employee could pick a seat next to a colleague for various reasons. Maybe someone is training a new employee, collaborating on a specific task or needs to pick someone’s brain.

A senior employee could benefit from working next to a junior employee, especially if their valuable experience can be matched with a brand new skill. Especially in the digital era, when employees need to stay on top of digital tools and communication. 

Are you considering hot desks?

If you have decided to try out a hot desking setup, you will need to consider the following:

There are, of course, quite a few advantages. Hot desking is very inclusive for hybrid and remote employees. Since no one has a permanent seat, they can easily settle into the team and workplace, as people have a more flexible attitude. Flexible workspaces prevent people from being too rigid in their ways, which in the long run, will create a flatter hierarchy. Fewer cliques will be formed, and people will go the extra mile to network and mingle with their colleagues.

However, there are also some disadvantages. Some employees feel that they cannot personalize their desk, which can take a toll on their motivation. If the office setting is too sterile and dull, it can negatively affect the mood of the employees.

Therefore, office managers would have to be extra mindful when designing the office layout and selecting furniture for the hybrid office.

A neat and orderly desk place

To meet the needs of employees, it's crucial to provide the right IT tools to streamline communication and collaboration. In addition to desks, office managers are encouraged to offer collaborative spaces such as smaller meeting rooms, conference rooms, and open spaces such as lounges with seating. Meeting rooms can, of course, be booked in advance to avoid hassle. Another alternative is a quiet room where workers can focus on deep work and more complex tasks.

Flexible working spaces encourage collaboration

If you are considering a flexible workspace solution, it could be a good idea to ask for feedback from employees to see what their preferences are. The faster you understand what motivates the employees, the easier it will be to implement a solution that improves the office environment.

There will always be some people who are reluctant to change, but if the solution will benefit the company in the long run and suits most employees, chances are it will be a hit. However, in the end, it depends on the company culture and processes if the flexible working space will be successful or not.

Why not start on a smaller scale with one of the teams and slowly implement the solution across all departments? If hot desking is unsuccessful with the smaller team, you can always choose another solution. In the end, what matters is that hot desking should increase productivity and collaboration. It certainly has our vote!

Want guidance on how to set up your hybrid office for success?

Feel free to schedule a meeting with one of our product experts to learn more about our solutions and how technology can help you streamline your office processes without interfering with employees' day-to-day work.

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