Hot Desks or Fixed Desks? Take your pick!

The last decade has witnessed office culture undergoing tremendous disruption, credits to the new crop of owners & CEOs who have not only altered the way people come to office, but also how they work. Gone are the days when offices had a closing time and office spaces were mundane. Cut to the 21st century where the market is driven by the millennial generation & aspiring entrepreneurs. And this new target group has made the real estate market change for the better. The biggest difference one could see is the way that the office spaces are designed, with cubicles becoming a passé, the walls coming down and the growing impetus on improving productivity and efficiency. The older monotonous cabins are being replaces by quirky private offices and open desks.

Hot Desking

This fairly new concept is selling like hot cakes in the real estate market. A recent advancement in office design – hot desk or flexible seat literally puts forth a blank canvas for community members. In simpler terms, one can occupy whichever seat they want. There is no guarantee of space, and it all depends on availability.

Fixed desk

Fixed desks or dedicated desks in shared offices are for people who want stability for their office needs. One might say that a fixed desk resembles a traditional office layout wherein your desk belongs to you alone, thereby allowing you to use your own private storage. This means that you can simply leave your workstation the way it is at the end of the day and come to the same workstation the very next day. This way you enjoy the benefits of traditional office space while enjoying the community and perks of a coworking space.

Hot Desk vs Fixed Desk

Both hot desking as well as fixed desks further amplify the advantages of shared office spaces, although the selection of the option varies from person to person or company to company. While a segment of employees or employers prefers hotdesking, courtesy the day-to-day variety provided by hotdesking, others are inclined to have their own dedicated workstation that allows them to customize their surrounding according to their needs and wants and thus maximize productivity.

Below are some of the pros and cons of both working styles available in shared office spaces depending on which you can zero down on your preference-

  1. Hot desk is a flexible format in which you pay as you go, sit anywhere you find a seat, and the same seat is not guaranteed every day. There’s more dynamism to this style. On the contrary, fixed desking is a static format where you have a pre-defined, dedicated space to work for a fixed duration depending on your contract.
  2. Given the dynamic nature, hot desking seems more appropriate for freelancers or remote workers and start-ups. All you need to do is bring your own laptop, select an open seat and get going with the work.
  3. On the other hand fixed desking is more appropriate for the medium and/or small organizations who have opted for shared office spaces as a part of their expansion spree.
  4. For people working in a shared space, flexibility is the key aspect. Members in a co-working space may be there for an hour or two, and say six months or a year for longer durations. The rentals for hot desk are by far more flexible vis-à-vis fixed desking as the former is orchestrated for maximum flexibility by the hour or day. These rentals are monthly only for regular employees. Whereas in case of fixed desking, the rentals are monthly and slightly higher than that of hotdesking format. However, you can avail membership discounts for longer term commitments in case of fixed desking.

So arguably, hot desks make the most sense if you want to cut down the costs within the office. Another fact, however, is that the private offices offer other ways to lower company’s overheads, from in-house reception staff to facility management and cleaning services.

Although the proposition of hotdesking seems to be lucrative indeed, in some cases fixed desking gets an edge as it comes with privacy as well as storage space and equipment. Fixed desks are inarguably the most stable working arrangement since the staff have space to themselves. Whether it is a fully kitted-out desk with photos of loved ones, or having that sense of belonging and comfort, fixed desking offers it all. One can start their work from where they left it the day before.

Also, for the profession where one needs a plethora of equipment, fixed desking is the best bet. One might be a designer working on an interlinked PC with dual screens and an attached printer and lightbox, or an accounts guy who actually needs to manage a lot of hardbound files and requires storage spaces for the same. Hot desking offers zero guarantee that one will have the required equipment on a daily basis. The time and effort required to pack and unpack is also taxing. Fixed desk offices make sure that one has easy access to the gear they need to get their jobs done.

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