Cut costs and boost productivity with a flexible working environment
When done well, making the switch to hot desking and agile working can have a significant impact on a business’ bottom line.
Gone are the days where people had a job for life and the working week was strictly 9 to 5, Monday to Friday. Today’s working world is much more fluid, with flexible hours, remote working, and the rise of the freelancer and the so-called ‘gig economy’. In light of this cultural shift, a growing number of companies are recognising and embracing the business benefits of adopting more agile ways of working.
The agile workplace
So, what exactly is agile working and how does it work in practice? Agile working simply means adopting working practices that allow employees to work where, when and how they prefer – with as few constraints as possible.
How this might work in practice varies from company to company, but when it comes to creating an agile workplace, hot desking is often a key component for many businesses. Rather than having a permanent, assigned desk space, hot desking organisations encourage their workers to choose different spaces to work in each day, moving around the office in a way that best suits their priorities and working preferences.
Done well, agile working, and hot desking in particular, can encourage communication and collaboration opportunities across the organisation, as well as helping to boost productivity. As well as this, hot desking can also offer financial benefits by reducing office costs and increasing efficiency.
In a traditional office where everyone has their own assigned desk, instances of sickness or annual leave mean that desks are often left sitting empty for periods of time. By making the switch to hot desking, businesses can eliminate these instances of redundant space and make better and more efficient use of the space available to them. And with fewer permanent work stations needed, companies can save on office equipment costs, or even downsize to smaller premises that offer lower rates.
When combined with an increase in productivity, the lower costs of hot desking can have a big impact on a business’ bottom line.
The business benefits of hot desking and agile working are clear to see. However, there are some practical considerations you will need to take into account in order to make this new way of working a success for your organisation.
Most importantly you need to make sure that your employees are on board with the new arrangements. People tend to get territorial about their workspace and making the switch to hot desking can be a bit of a culture shock. In particular, employees tend to complain about a lack of assigned storage space where they can keep work and personal belongings. This can be solved by providing members of staff with secure workplace lockers. With smart capabilities and in-built security features, today’s lockers offer workers somewhere safe where they can leave their belongings with confidence. Meanwhile, real-time usage tracking data makes it easier than ever before for facilities managers to make the most effective use of space.
Technology is another key consideration when creating an agile workplace. In order to ensure that employees can work from a location of their choosing (either in or outside of the office), you need to have the appropriate technology and infrastructure in place. This usually means providing staff with hardware such as laptops, mobile phones and tablets, and switching to hosted phone systems and cloud computing.
By taking employees’ needs into account and providing practical solutions to perceived problems, you can take significant steps towards creating a truly agile workplace and start embracing all the benefits that this new, flexible way of working can offer your business.