REPORT
Not Another Hybrid Work Debate
Desk Booking
Chapter 5

Don’t get burned by hot desking

Choose your battles: fighting for your seat shouldn’t be one of them.

The solution to “more people than desks”

In 2023, offices designed for activity-based work were most common and had the highest utilization rates (CBRE). These are spaces where desks are shared and employees are empowered to organize where and how they want to work. There are many benefits for both employers and employees to embrace hot desking or desk hoteling.

Hot desking helps save space and cut costs while supporting employees with just enough workstations for the day they’re in the office. Cisco says it saved roughly $500 million since implementing hybrid work and cutting half its real estate footprint. Allstate cut its real estate spending in half after embracing flexible work. 

“Now that the company has outgrown the office space, we need to continuously use a hot desking system for all of our employees."
Kerrie McSorley
Kerrie McSorley
Office Manager/Payroll Officer at Audinate
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30% Stat

Space-sharing, which can be in the form of hot desking or office hoteling, has increased by 30% globally since 2021.

Hot desking also allows employees to have a seat when working from different office locations and collaborate with people based on what works best for the projects they’re working on. By implementing and optimizing flexible workspaces, organizations can also reduce their carbon footprint and move toward meeting sustainability goals. 

Wow! Case Study
Case Study

Autovista Group's Hangout model maximizes office space and cuts costs

Autovista Group utilizes a Hangout model for their small office space, which only has six spaces and three meeting rooms. The company doesn’t expect these workspaces to be full everyday, so they have a policy where they only open the workplace when enough employees come in for the day.

The company is able to save energy and reduce personnel costs by maximizing the use of their office space.

Hot Tip
HOT TIP

Implement hot desking with smart design and policy

Reusing the traditional office layout isn’t going to cut it anymore. To successfully implement hot desking, organizations need to consider their office design, tech infrastructure, policies, and overall employee sentiment. That includes planning out their office layout for efficiency, creating clear hot desking policies, and providing essential amenities to support hybrid work. 

“We try to be as green as possible. If only one person comes in and one of us has to be here for that one booking—that is not really efficient environmentally. With efficient hot desking, we can reduce our employee’s carbon footprint by decreasing unnecessary travel. We can also manage our workspace’s energy consumption by opening the office based on employee demand.”
Vita Minas
Vita Minas
Vendor Development Manager at Autovista Group
28% Stat

Efficient hot desking among hybrid workers can reduce carbon footprint by 28%

Invest in hot desking or desk hoteling software

“More people than desks.” That’s a common problem organizations face as employees are called back to downsized offices. Centralized desk hoteling software enables employees to reserve desks in advance so they know they have a designated workspace when they arrive at the office. This ensures employees have a place to work and can help avoid conflicts or overcrowding. 

According to Owl Labs, 33% of hybrid employees report that knowing when the people they want to see will be in the office is a motivator for them to go in. Hot desking software lets employees know who will be in the office ahead of time so they can plan their in-office days more efficiently. 

Hot Tip
HOT TIP

Drive adoption with strategic planning

Ensuring your hot desking software is fully embraced and adopted by employees requires careful planning. Organizations should first gather employee needs and secure buy-in from key stakeholders. Providing ample time for communication and training is also key to ensuring adoption.

“The usability of the platform was what really caught our eye first off. With SSO in place, it's a breeze to check out a desk at our different offices. Everything from the start has been easy to set up and the personalized messages about updates have been an extra special touch.”
Zebulen Kaupish
Zebulen Kaupish
Technology Administrator at Trio
According to Gartner, these are the top 3 technologies corporate real estate leaders are adopting this year

Workplace Mobile Apps

Sensors for Space Utilization Measurement

Seat Reservation Systems

Hot Tips

Get past the predictions with tips you can implement right away.

HR

Help employees transition to hot desking by being clear and communicative in the change management process. Getting employee buy-in through transparency, feedback, and training is important, as it helps ensure that the changes do not feel imposed.

IT

Invest in desk booking software that allows employees to reserve seats in advance, check for real-time availability, and choose workspace preferences. Ensure the tech infrastructure is up to date. That means having fast and reliable Wi-Fi and implementing security measures to protect sensitive data stored in the software. 

Facilities

Optimal hot desking enhances space use and productivity. Ensure success by assessing and planning office layouts for efficiency, collaboration, and individual work. That means having well-planned layouts, sufficient desks, tech setups, and amenities like power sources and ergonomic furniture for effective work.

About the Research

The data and insights in this report come from top voices, researchers, industry pioneers, and business leaders experienced in the world of flexible workplaces. Some of them have guest starred on our Heroes of Hybrid Work podcast. Some of them are our customers who have undergone their hybrid work transformations. All data and research we cite here are taken from public sources. 

In this study, we cut through the hybrid work noise and provide you exactly what you need to know to adopt and implement hybrid work successfully. From policy-setting to structuring hybrid work to leveraging tech tools, we break down the essentials so you can feel confident implementing hybrid work at your organization after reading this report. Whether you’re in the midst of fine-tuning your hybrid work strategy or starting from scratch, our goal is to give you practical takeaways that you can use immediately.

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Chapter 6

All the hybrid work ROI stats in one place!

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