Business Blog Business & Networking Hot Desk Meaning: The Benefits and Challenges

Hot Desk Meaning: The Benefits and Challenges

By Varun Bodhi


Hot desking has become a major buzzword in the flexible workspace industry and has gained significant traction for good reason. In hot-desking setups, employees are not assigned desks but instead share desks depending on needs.

This flexibility has given rise to greater collaboration and the ability to exchange ideas freely within different teams. But as with anything, hot desking also has its challenges that can make businesses think twice.

Join us as we explore the meaning of hot desking, along with its benefits and challenges.

Hot Desk Meaning

Hot-desking is a flexible organizational workspace arrangement where desks are utilised by various individuals at different intervals, as needed. The concept gives employees freedom over where they sit and is a popular workspace solution that coworking companies provide.

What Are The Benefits of Hot Desking?

There are around 34,618 coworking spaces in the world, and this number is projected to reach 41,975 in 2024. Hot desking is the fastest-growing shared workspace solution globally because of its myriad benefits.

Let’s start with the most obvious.


Conventional offices typically have lengthy contracts that lock tenants in for a significant amount of time. This can be challenging for entrepreneurs, small businesses and large companies looking to gain more office space.

Comparatively, hot desking has the most flexible leases, and professionals can commit for as little as one month. Having control over these finer details lets businesses scale or downsize seamlessly and mitigates the high levels of risk commercial office space comes with.

Cost-effective solution

Hot desking provides office space amenities without the hefty price tag.

A conventional office in Sydney CBD costs around $900 per square meter per annum, and when this rate is applied to a team of 10 or more people – the costs quickly accumulate. On the other hand, hot desks in a prestigious area like Circular Quay cost $223 per month.

This includes amenities such as meeting room access, fast Wi-Fi, team support and other facilities that we will cover next. Conventional offices typically don’t include the cost of ongoings, whereas hot desks do.

Many Amenities

Hot desking companies offer several services and amenities, but these vary depending on which you select and the location of the shared space. Hot desks in prime locations cost more but are accompanied by a wider array of services that can enhance business operations.

Some include:

  • Gyms
  • Meeting rooms and boardrooms
  • Lockable storage
  • Showers and change rooms
  • Shared kitchen with free coffee and tea
  • Private phone booths
  • Printing facilities
  • Networking events
  • Mail forwarding
  • Call handling

Modern coworking spaces are beginning to offer additional services such as yoga classes or sleeping pods. These are nice to have, but it’s best to ensure you have access to business-enhancing services before exploring other options.

Access to Technology

Technology is what separates businesses apart from the pack.

Some hot desking companies give access to essential and pivotal technologies that many could otherwise not source. Here is a quick list of business-enhancing tech a quality hot desk space can provide:

  • Fast, secure, and customisable Wi-Fi connections.
  • Call routing
  • Global number portability
  • Boardrooms with presentation capabilities

Technology is commonly the largest cost for many companies and is a resource that smaller businesses usually lack.

Collaborative and Networking Opportunities

Because hot desks are in coworking environments, there is plenty of opportunity to expand your network, make meaningful connections, and collaborate.

Coworking spaces will commonly hold events that celebrate holidays such as Christmas, but also special workshops that bring many professionals together. It’s an ideal circumstance for gaining new clients, business partners, or even solutions through a friendly chat.

The Challenges of Hot Desking

Hot desking has unique challenges, but many of these can be tackled by selecting the right coworking space provider.

Let’s delve into some challenges you may experience with hot desks.

Lack of Privacy and Personalisation

Some hot desk spaces can be on the louder side.

It can come down to various factors, such as music playing in the background, chatter between colleagues, and phone calls, but there is a solution! Never make the common mistake of selecting a hot desk space without taking a tour.

Bring a checklist of questions and observe basic factors such as design, size, noise levels, and the general undertone of the coworking space. For example, a hot desk at Servcorp is in a professionally furnished environment, with plenty of breakout areas and private booths for regulating sounds and maintaining privacy.

On the other hand, personalisation is limited across all hot desk spaces because of shared workspaces. This can be best navigated by browsing several coworking environments and selecting one that aligns best with your industry while keeping the amenities in mind.

Effective Coordination

Entrepreneurs won’t have any difficulties on this front, but businesses with a team may struggle to foster effective communication and coordination.

Without the convenience of being in close proximity to colleagues, it may take more effort to collaborate on projects or share information. This can lead to delays or miscommunication if proper systems and strategies are not in place.

Implementing efficient communication tools and encouraging regular check-ins among team members can foster effective collaboration despite physical distance.

Lack of Ergonomic Consistency

There is a chance of employees facing ergonomic challenges if workspaces are not consistently designed. Variations in chair quality, desk height and monitor placement can quickly lead to discomfort if the option of adjusting them isn’t available.

Cultural Disagreement

Not everyone is on board the flexible workspace train.

Some employees may resist the cultural shift towards hot desking and prefer their dedicated space in a traditional office – especially if they view it as pivotal for their productivity. A solution can be using dedicated desks, which is an option in coworking spaces.

How To Optimise the Hot Desk Experience

Arriving Early

If selecting the best view is your priority, then arriving early to the office can greatly enhance your hot desking experience. Getting there before others will give you the best chance of securing your preferred desk and will mitigate potential availability complications later in the day.

Making Use of Digital Tools

Some hot desk users are separated from their team, and collaboration can slow down. However, there are many redeeming remote team collaboration tools that can be incorporated to maximise productivity and communication.

Coworking spaces also have tools that might allow you to reserve a desk beforehand or inform you of desk availabilities.

Organising Personal Belongings

Keeping your personal items in check is important for those who have a hot desk since all items must be removed.

Arrange all your files and paperwork neatly, while using any secure storage facilities the coworking space may have.

Is Hot Desking The Right Choice for You?

Consider The Nature of your Job

Not all occupations will suit a hot desk.

For example, roles that require specialised equipment will struggle because they need dedicated space for their tools and materials. Highly confidential or sensitive occupations will also need to consider other workspaces.

While mobile workers, tech companies, and those working flexibly will thoroughly enjoy hot desking.

Assess your Personal Work Style

Do you enjoy being mobile and having a new desk with a different view everyday? If so, hot desking will suit your work style, especially if flexibility is a preferred option.

Individuals that don’t place emphasis on flexibility or are more productive when they can customise their desks will prefer hot desks.

Compare The Pros and Cons

Look at the benefits and challenges we highlighted in this article while deciding which factors you value more. Overall, many professionals can make hot desking work and prefer the autonomy it awards them.

Companies of all sizes have considered hot desks for several reasons.

Whether it’s acquiring a low-risk alternative for office space, a cost-effective solution for expanding, or simply reducing your overhead – hot desking is on the rise.

Related Articles