A Hot Desk Concept: An In-Depth Guide to Navigating the Transition 

Navigating the transition is far easier with a comprehensive hot desk concept.
Navigating the transition is far easier with a comprehensive hot desk concept. Image by Mark Cattell.

When it comes to the new work world, a hot desk concept is a significant element for many organizations. The concept easily sums up the attributes of the new work world: flexible seating arrangements where employees don’t have assigned seats but utilize any available workspace. This shift can be complex, particularly for organizations used to fixed desk spaces. This post offers you an in-depth guide, filled with actionable hot desking tips and examples for creating a bespoke policy that aligns with your organizational structure and culture. 

Understanding the Hot Desk Concept 

Embarking on the journey to hot desking begins with a full understanding of what it is. It’s not just about sharing desks; it’s a transformative approach to using office space, creating a culture of flexibility, collaboration, and innovation.  

Delving into the advantages of hot desking to the employer reveals reduced operational costs, maximized office space, improved employee interactions, and a boost in creativity and innovation. To learn more about the hot desking concept in general, see our blog post Hot Desking: What Companies Need to Know Today 

Planning the Hot Desk Arrangement 

The initial blueprint stage is crucial. Determine the desk-sharing ratio, also known as the flex office rate, ensuring no employee feels stranded or cramped.  

Traditionally, offices would have had a 1:1 ratio, i.e., one seat for each employee. Your ratio should align with the workforce’s minimum and maximum sizes, and individual department needs. You can categorize employees as fully on-site, hybrid, and fully remote, ensuring availability and accessibility. For more information on desk-sharing ratios, take a look at VergeSense’s guide on employee-seat ratio calculations

Remember to include diverse workspace options like meeting rooms and informal areas to take employees’ varied work styles and preferences into consideration. This inclusivity caters to the full needs of a team, which will ultimately enhance productivity and employee satisfaction. 

Hot Desking & Flex Office Quiz – Is Your Company's Print Setup Future-Proof?


Have you implemented hot desking in your office space? As you navigate your back to office strategy, have you also considered how effectively you manage printing for desk-sharing employees?

This quick test reveals whether your printing setup is fit for a modern workspace where employees pivot between hot desks and the home office.

Ready to find out? Answer three simple questions to receive your personalized score and actionable insights!

Introducing Office Lockers for Hot Desking 

As the personalization of desk spaces becomes a relic of the past, office lockers for hot desking are increasingly important and a key factor in hot desking. They offer a personalized storage solution, ensuring the security and accessibility of personal and work items. It’s a strategy that maintains organization and cleanliness, quintessential elements of a productive hot desk environment.  

Again, you’ll have to carefully consider the number and sizes of the lockers required. And even lockers have become smart devices, with an employee having various access methods to use their lockers, such as apps, QR codes, PIN codes, workplace badges, RFID cards, and more. RFID-enabled workplace badges are ideal as they can be used for a range of other scenarios in an organization ranging from building access to secure printing.  

Communicating a Hot Desk Concept 

A transition of this magnitude can only be achieved based on transparent, consistent, and inclusive communication. 

Engaging with employees for example in dialogues, workshops, and informational sessions demystifies the hot desk concept and ensures that the workforce feels that they are part of the transition. It’s an opportunity to highlight the benefits, address concerns, and most importantly gain insights from the team, ensuring the transition is not just top-down but a collective journey for everyone in the organization.  

These insights, which will most likely be different for each department, will give you the data you need for a successful transition.  

Hot Desk Technology Integration 

The hot desking model is inherently dependent on technology. Implementing intuitive and user-friendly systems for resource allocation and feedback collection is paramount. Technology should facilitate, not complicate, the transition, ensuring employees can navigate the hot desking landscape with ease and efficiency. 

Moving to a hot desking environment also gives organizations the opportunity to reevaluate the technology and tools they use. Take printing as an example – if employees are to be given the freedom to book their desks which are potentially distributed across different floors, how will it be ensured that the user can print to the nearest printer?  

Trial Period 

The concept and planning phases are forerunners to a trial period – a live testing ground to assess the practicality and viability of the hot desk arrangement in an organization’s day-to-day scenario. 

Here, real-time feedback and observations are invaluable from all office stakeholders. During this phase, some aspects may arise such as individual employees monopolizing a specific desk or “reserving” a space by keeping personal items on it. Or you may find that employees connecting desk monitors, keyboards or printers are not working as smoothly as they should. But that is exactly what a trial period is for, and where the necessary adjustments allow your organization to fine-tune the hot desking model to fully meet your own requirements. 

Hot Desk Concept Implementation  

With insights gained from the trial, your rollout phase ensues. Armed with a hot desk policy template which includes clear guidance on employee and employer responsibilities, clarity, precision, and comprehensiveness become the watchwords. Every employee should not just have access to, but also understand the policy, ensuring alignment in expectations, responsibilities, and utilization of the shared spaces. Depending on the organization’s culture and requirements, you can create a more rigid or more flexible policy. Some examples that workable, a site for employer resources, include are: 

For employees: 

  • Maintain a neat workspace and adhere to hygiene standards. 
  • Refrain from occupying the same desk consistently. 
  • Store personal belongings in your bag or designated lockers. 
  • Consume meals in the designated dining areas, not at your desk. 
  • Ensure confidential paperwork isn’t left out in the open or in printer trays. 
  • Utilize conference rooms for sensitive or private conversations. 

For employers: 

  • Allocate a sufficient number of desks based on the organization’s desk-sharing metrics. 
  • Facilitate seamless connectivity of mobile devices and laptops to printers, incorporating secure pull printing features. 
  • Standardize desks with computer monitors, keyboards, and mice that can easily link to employee laptops. 
  • Strategically position lockers for easy access to personal storage. 
  • Provide desks with proper lighting and ergonomic chairs. 
  • Designate zones for collaborative team activities or specific project requirements. 
  • Ensure meeting spaces and shared zones are easy to locate and reserve. 


Embarking on the hot desking journey is a strategic move for any organization. Even though it is laden with potential benefits but also intricate complexities. It’s a transition that goes beyond the physical rearrangement of office spaces. It redefines organizational culture, work ethics, and interpersonal relationships. Every step, from conception to implementation and evaluation, is pivotal. The hot desk policy is not a one-size-fits-all but a bespoke strategy, intricately tailored to resonate with the unique structure, culture, and objectives of your organization. 

When executed with precision, inclusivity, and adaptability, the hot desk model transcends the boundaries of traditional office setups. It ushers in an era where flexibility, collaboration, innovation, and efficiency are not just buzzwords. They become the lived experience of every employee. It’s a journey worth embarking on. A strategic shift that positions organizations not just for the present but future dynamism of the new work landscape. Every hot desk arrangement, every shared space, can with the right hot desking policy, become a melting pot of ideas, innovation, and collaboration. This can bring a future where work is not just something you do. It brings a workplace where you experience, live, and evolve with.

This is one of a series of posts focusing on hot desking. You can learn more, and read the other posts here: