How to convert a commercial office space to accommodate hot desking

Aug. 27, 2018

A recent study found 51 percent of employees need an escape from working in the same place every day. The fact that employees, particularly millenials and Gen Z, look for creative workspaces when evaluating new job opportunities shouldn’t come as a surprise. But for employers creating a flexible, inspiring environment isn’t always easy in traditional office parks.

The commercial office space has seen many different trends over the years, ranging from cubicles to pods to the open workplace, the latest trend on the horizon is hot desking. Hot desking means that employees don’t have a designated seat or desk within their office, but instead have the ability to work from any desk or room. In order to convert an existing office space to accommodate such a work environment, there are a few necessary items.

Charging Surfaces

In order to work from any particular area within an office, an employee needs access to all of the conveniences that would be available to them at a desk or in a personal office, including reliable access to charging. Because day-to-day work is predominantly carried out via electronic devices, an available charging solution when hot desking is a need, not a want. Productivity plummets if those electronics lose power.

There are other solutions beyond undergoing a pricey retrofit to rewire a space to allow for more outlets, one of which is conductive charging surfaces. Embedding these surfaces into desks, tables and even running them along the floor provides true freedom of placement when charging. Conductive charging surfaces have the ability to charge multiple devices at once and enable employers and employees alike to feel comfortable working from anywhere within the office. Simply place a device down on the surface to power up.

Advanced Phone Systems

Another reason an employer might feel wary of implementing hot desking in their work environment is the fear of employees being unreachable without access to a desk phone. In most offices, it is not mandatory for an employee to share their personal phone number and conduct all work-related calls through their private number, so another solution is required.

Enter: advanced phone systems. Upon placing a call to a company using an advanced virtual phone system, an automated attendant answers and transfers the caller to their desired department or individual. The employee can answer a call through an app on their phone, a separate number that comes through their personal cell phone or even via a tablet or laptop depending on the service. Additional features available through such systems include call recording, voicemails sent through email and integrations with programs such as Microsoft Office. Utilizing phone systems also works well for remote workers or when an employee is working off site for the day.

Personal Lockers

Take a quick trip down memory lane. Remember how in high school, your locker was your home base; where you started and ended each day? In a hot desking environment, it’s important to provide employees with a secure place to store personal belongings. Installing personal lockers gives individuals the space they need to keep coats, backpacks and any other personal items they previously stored in a desk or office. The ability to lock them can be determined from office to office depending on the level of security employees desire. Lockers more advanced in technology also offer the ability to unlock via an employee’s smartphone or a digital keypad – much more modern than the lockers of the past.

Hot desking offers both a collaborative work environment and a private one, depending on what is needed. It enables employees to work from anywhere within an office, whether from a table with colleagues or in a conference room for a little bit of privacy to focus on a task at hand. The aforementioned study also found that 43 percent of respondents believe an informal workspace establishes a deeper sense of trust among colleagues.

While this workplace trend requires infrastructure changes or additions, it allows employers to offer an ultra-flexible work environment that is becoming a desirable incentive. Digitally transform and convert space for hot desking to give tenants what they want and to give your building the competitive edge it needs.

Cliff Weinstein is the CEO and president of FLI Charge, a company that provides power and charging solutions. Prior to FLI Charge, Weinstein was executive vice president of FORM Holdings, Inc., a diversified holding company that specializes in developing companies with superior growth potential, where he led the acquisition of FLI Charge in 2015 and was responsible for mergers and acquisitions along with capital markets strategy.

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