Published: 04 Sep 2019
Category: Management , Compass Tips , Career Development , Human Resources

Hot Desk vs Dedicated Desk – Which Office Arrangement Fits Your Team?

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If you need to rent office space, you might find yourself in the hot desk vs dedicated desk conundrum. Such option commonly applies in coworking spaces. Some will say hot desks are better while others will claim dedicated desks are the way to go.

The truth is that there is no superior option; each arrangement has their own advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take a closer look so you can decide based on factors that matter most for your team. 
 

Hot Desk Pros & Cons

Hot desk is a free-seating arrangement where individuals can choose any workspace by hour or by day within a coworking space’s shared area.
 

Benefits of Hot Desks: 


Flexible arrangement

Hot desk setup could be a good idea if your team mostly works remotely but need to come together in an office from time to time. You may not need to pay for a workstation when they’re not around. When your team needs a workspace, reserve hot desks without contracts or memberships. This way, you’ll cut down on overall office renting expenses. 
 
If you’re on a tight budget, you can book one to multiple hot desks as you go. For instance, in Hong Kong you can get to work with a HKD100 day desk that comes with facilities such as:

  • Desk and chair

  • Free Wi-Fi

  • Free beverages

  • Optional secretarial and admin services

 Take a look at an office space with hot desk arrangement:

  • Encourages social interaction

Most coworking spaces consist of people with various industry backgrounds and roles. Free-seating arrangement gives room for your team members to network with their work neighbours.

  • Helps reduce mess and clutter 

An absence of fixed workstation coincidentally prevents one’s workspace to be cluttered with work materials or personal belongings.

Reducing material clutter helps us to maintain a clear headspace, which can improve productivity; an idea that’s endorsed by author David Allen and strategic business coach Penny Zenker.

  • Disperses hierarchy 

Hot desk arrangement could be a good idea if your team is made up of people of different age, interests, and experience level. Free-seating setup give your employees an opportunity to mingle with both senior and junior colleagues. They can freely cooperate, socialise, and help each other learn and be more productive. 
 

Drawbacks of Hot Desks:

  • Lack of personal space

In line with the benefits, hot desking doesn’t provide dedicated space to store personal belongings over a period of time.

  • May not be effective for big teams

As your team grows in number, finding and reserving many hot desks within one coworking space shared by many companies could be increasingly difficult.
 

Dedicated Desks Pros & Cons

Dedicated desk is an arrangement in a coworking space where teams can reserve the same workstation to come to everyday, while still enjoying a coworking space’s shared amenities.
 

Pros of Dedicated Desks: 

  • Access to private and shared facilities

Dedicated desks typically come with personal facilities on top of amenities within the coworking space’s common area:

  • Private desk

  • Private storage cabinet

  • Wi-Fi cable

  • Phone line

  • Free beverages in common sitting area

  • Shared work equipment like printers.

  • Optional secretarial and admin services 

Take a look at an office space with dedicated desk arrangement:

  • Provides personal space

Each team member owns a fixed workspace to be used daily in their discretion. Some dedicated desks provide storage cabinets for each table. This allows your employees to safely store their valuables, important documents, and other work-related items while at work.

  • Allows personalization

Opting for dedicated desk allows your employees to personalise their workspace to a certain degree. They can bring their chairs, additional monitors, keyboards, or simple decorations to their daily workspace. 

  • Creates efficient collaboration

If your team requires frequent interaction within their department, a dedicated desk arrangement allows you to group team members together to achieve such purpose.
 

Disadvantages of Dedicated Desks:  

  • Less flexibility

Assigning a dedicated workspace might mean less flexibility for team members to choose a workstation that best suit their work style.

  • Decreases cross-department social interaction 

Your team may need more push to interact with other teams stationed beyond their workspace.
 

A Combined Approach 

Finally, you can take a combined approach and rent both dedicated and hot desks. This “best of both worlds” recipe can prove very beneficial for diverse teams and companies. You can browse coworking spaces in Asia and Australia that offer both approaches here.
 

What Fits You and Your Team Best? 

The choice is yours. Both hot desks and dedicated desks have their own advantages and disadvantages. In some cases, a combined approach might also be a great idea. However, it all comes down to what you and your company or team need. Carefully consider which of these arrangements works best for your needs and can help your organisation achieve success. 
 

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