A new report by The HR News, suggests that the trend of the last few years by British Organisations to switch parts of their workforce to a hot-desking system of working, is adversely effecting their efficiency. Hot-desking leads to lower moral among staff, less communication between colleagues, and poorer management.
The report says, that an increasing number of companies are hot-desking, as a way to cut their property costs. According to a recent article in the Daily Telegraph, computer service companies for example, expect to cut the number of staff with their own desks, by up to 65%, which means in a workforce of 20,000 people, only 7000, would have a permanent workspace. In another example, of the 3500 employees at the British Airways Business Centre near Heathrow, over 25% hot-desk.
If a well thought out flexible working system is set up and properly managed, hot-desking can work well, but all to often this isn't the case, and the effectiveness of the the company or organization is reduced. Research by the University of Sheffield, found that often hot-desking did not promote cooperation, because it led to poor communication between colleagues and their managers, and a sense of disconnection with the body they were working for. A separate survey of social workers in Birmingham, by Community Care and Unison, reported that 9 out of 10 workers, believed that staff moral had fallen because of hot-desking.
The report concludes that businesses and organisations, should consider carefully whether the savings they make through hot-desking, are worth the damage they can cause. It argues that in many cases, employees should not only be given their own office space and desks, but that these should be designed to the highest standards, in order to promote a sense of belonging to a team.
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