How hot desking can still work post Covid-19

I have been interested in the way many people are saying hot-desking is dead, hotdesking will not survive Covid-19.

I am almost certain hot desking was invented to allow companies less office space initially where an office may have 500 seats but at any one time, there may only be 400 people max in the building. Hot desking allows a company to significantly reduce the cost of rent if they can remove 100 desks. The internet suggests 8-12 square metres of gross space per employee. If this is correct and an office can remove 100 desks then they can remove approximately 800 to 1200 square metres of office space.

What does 1 square metre cost? A knight Frank report in 2019 suggested $992 per square meter per annum. If this was correct then the saving above could be between $793,000 to $1,190,400 per annum. Even if we halved the numbers the outcome is significant.

With these numbers in mind, I am not so sure hot-desking is finished, the savings are significant and I feel companies will try and find way for hot desking to work.

How could hot-desking work? What are the actual issues with hot desking?

With Covid-19 the biggest issue is people sharing, Covid-19 is not good for sharing. 2 or more people across a desk over 8 hours opens the path for the virus to spread.

What can we do to make hot-desking safe?

Immediately we could stop multiple people access a single desk in one day, maybe only 1 person per day can sit at a desk with the desk cleaned nightly. Maybe an office could run shifts with schedules, morning shift, and afternoon shift where the cleaners come in and clean between shifts.

One thing we have assisted customers with is tracing who was in the building over the past 14 days. Electronic hot desk software like Condeco can easily track who was at what desk over a period of time but what if you have hot desks and no electronic solution like Condeco?

A simple solution could be to ask the employee when they sign in to nominate which desk they are sitting at so an electronic record could be kept in the visitor management software. Whatever the answers I don’t believe hot-desking is dead, I do believe like many things hot desking will not be the same post-COVID-19 as it was pre-COVID-19

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