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Hot desking

Simplify your hybrid work life with hot desking for the days you’re in the office.

Ease in to hybrid work with hot desking

Eliminate the anxiety of wondering where you’ll sit during your time in the office.

Easily switch workspaces

Seamlessly transition from your home office to your work office without a complicated tech setup.

Feel more secure in a shared space

Gain peace of mind knowing that your personal information isn’t saved on shared devices.

Access all your files

Simply log in to a Teams device to pick up working where you left off.

Make any workspace your own with hot desking

Learn more about the benefits and challenges of hot desking.

  • A person wearing over-the-ear headphones and participating in a Teams call at a desk.

    A workspace whenever you need one

    Check out some of the benefits that hot desking offers.

     A Teams display device displaying availability at a hot desk.

    Reduce your building footprint

    Save money and office space by eliminating the need for each employee to have a dedicated desk.

    A mobile phone charging on a desk.

    Come and go as you please

    Work from home to save on commute time while also having the option to come in person when you prefer. 

    A person using a touchscreen monitor at a flexible workspace that they booked to view messages and alerts in Teams.

    Mix up your surroundings

    Because you’re not tethered to the same space, you can interact and collaborate with different coworkers and teams each time you’re in the office.

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  • A person using a Teams display device to book a spot at a flexible workspace.

    Prevent challenges before they’re a problem

    Although hot desking offers many benefits, like any office setup, it’s not without its drawbacks.

    A person working at a flexible workspace and another worker walking by in the background.

    Limited flexible desks

    If many hybrid workers want to come in at the same time, there may not be enough flexible workspaces for them.

    A person using a touchscreen monitor to sign in to Teams at a flexible workspace.

    Inability to personalize flexible workspaces

    To some people, having a personalized desk at work decorated in their own style is an important feature.

    A person using a touchscreen Teams display at a flexible workspace to dial a number and make a call.

    Change is hard

    It’s natural to resist change, but if many people are voicing resistance, particularly managers and other leadership, the effects can be damaging.

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  • A person using a touchscreen monitor to view Teams chats.

    Plan ahead to prevent pitfalls

    Prevent hot desking challenges from ever happening with a bit of planning. 

    A monitor at a flexible workspace showing the availability of the space.

    Help have enough seats with hot desking software

    Good hot desking software will offer a booking system that shows the available seats, the option to book for a full or partial day, and details about the technology you’ll have.

    A hand reaching out to use a touchscreen monitor to send praise to colleagues.

    Get leadership on board

    Give employees the full picture about why you’re implementing hot desking and how it will make their lives easier.

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Read more about hybrid work and hot desking

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What is hot desking?

“Hot desking” refers to reserving flexible workspaces in an office that aren’t assigned to a specific employee. These spaces act as a perfect solution for hybrid work by giving people a physical place to sit when they visit the office, rather than a dedicated personal desk—which takes up space and goes unused when people are working remotely.

Prepandemic, dedicated cubicles for each employee were extremely popular, with other employers opting for a mix of cubes and individual offices and some choosing open-concept floorplans. Today, as many offices begin reopening, hot desking has become a popular option for hybrid workers.

People working in flexible workspaces inside an office.

How does hot desking work?

Hot desking typically uses a form of hot desking software that allows employees to view which flexible desks are available at the office on a given day and time. They can then book the seat they’d like to work from for a full or partial day so it’s ready for them when they arrive. Depending on how an office with hot desking spaces (or a “hot desking office”) is set up, workers might bring their own laptop or might already have a computer at the desk that they can sign in to with their credentials to access company drives, files, and folders.

The effect of COVID-19 on hot desking

The COVID-19 pandemic changed work life forever. Suddenly, organizations were rushing to figure out how to make remote work fit their needs. As global health concerns diminish, it’s become clear that the return to physical offices won’t look like it did prepandemic. According to a 2022 Work Trend Index report, several reasons contribute to this:

  • What people want out of work and what they’re willing to sacrifice for a job has evolved—53 percent of workers are now more likely to prioritize their health and wellbeing over work, while 18 percent of respondents quit their jobs last year.
  • Leaders need to make the office worth the commute—38 percent of hybrid employees say their biggest challenge is knowing when and why to come into the office.
  • Rebuilding work relationships looks different in a hybrid world—while most hybrid workers have been able to maintain their team bonds (58 percent), only half of remote workers say they have a thriving relationship with their direct team, and even fewer (42 percent) have a strong relationship with those outside their team.

Hot desking provides a strong solution for these concerns and obstacles by enabling a balanced mix of at-home and in-office time. In an office, employees still get the benefit of seeing coworkers in person, resulting in greater bonding trust, and teamwork, and hot desking allows employees to achieve this with flexibility.

When it comes to strengthening coworker relationships, hot desking can also be a great aid. Even though virtual meeting technology has advanced significantly since March 2020 to become more engaging, for some situations, there’s nothing quite like face-to-face in-person interaction. In a hot desking office, employees still get the benefit of seeing coworkers in person, resulting in greater bonding, trust, and teamwork.

Additional hot desking resources

Simplify your work life with hot desking and Teams.

A person seated at a desk participating in a Teams video call on a laptop.

Microsoft Teams displays

Plan, deliver, and manage Teams displays in your organization.

A person wearing a headset working at a desk.

Introducing Microsoft Teams displays

Streamline your work experience and help prioritize what’s important using Teams displays for hot desking.

Five people participating in a Teams video call being displayed on a screen inside a conference room.

What’s new in Microsoft Teams

See how hot desking looks on a Teams display.

Frequently asked questions

  • “Hot desking” refers to reserving flexible workspaces in an office that aren’t assigned to a specific employee.

  • Hot desking typically uses a form of hot desking software that allows employees to view which flexible desks are available at the office on a given day and time. They can then book the seat they’d like to work from for a full or partial day so it’s ready for them when they arrive.

  • One of the biggest benefits of switching from a traditional office to a hot desking office is the cost savings. Additional benefits include increased flexibility and the option to work in a variety of places.

  • Some hot desking drawbacks include:

    • Not having enough flexible workspaces for the employees who want to come in at the same time.
    • The inability to personalize flexible workspaces.
    • Resistant company culture from leadership that isn’t fully onboard.

  • Besides having the flexible workspaces themselves, most importantly, you’ll need good hot desking software. Ideally, this should include:

    • A booking system that allows employees to see which workstations are available on a certain day.
    • The option to book a workstation for a full day or a few hours and to make the reservation recurring.
    • Details about the technology that the workstation will be set up with.
    • A place to add information about how to contact IT for any troubleshooting that employees may need.

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