What Is Hot Desking & What Are The Benefits?

Posted on: 4th May 2023

Reading time:  12 mins

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With more people turning to flexible work environments, remote locations and coworking offices, hot desking has become an increasingly popular workspace option that benefits all kinds of businesses and workers.

Research has shown that 83% of employees favour a hybrid work model, where they can alternate between working remotely and on-site. They are also likely to decline a job offer that doesn’t provide flexible work arrangements.

Hot desking is a flexible alternative to traditional office rentals. It’s often found in coworking spaces and shared offices, where professionals can work alongside other people from different organisations. Some include access to conference rooms and meeting rooms, and can be paid for by the hour or the day, providing an all-inclusive office environment for all business types.

In this article, we’ll cover what hot desking means, how it works, where it fits within the coworking space, and how it could benefit your business.

What is hot desking?

Hot desking is the practice of using desk space as and when it’s needed. So, instead of allocating each worker their own permanent space, they can work from any available desk when they need one. Whether that’s turning up and choosing from those available on a first-come, first-served basis, or booking a space in advance.

By providing a flexible solution, businesses can maximise their office space by limiting the number of surplus desks they have sitting empty. This means a potential reduction in costs while offering a unique opportunity for workers to collaborate and engage more freely.

Hot desk facilities can also be found in coworking spaces, where workers from different organisations share an office. Coworking locations usually provide the same facilities as a traditional office environment and come with their own set of flexible, cost-saving benefits.

How does hot desking work?

There are several ways an organisation can manage its hot desk policy. Some operate a rota system, whereby workers swap spaces with others in the same building. Others can book their space through a facilities manager or use an online system. And some simply offer desks that can be used on a first-come, first-served basis.

What’s included in a hot desk office?

Offices will vary in the amenities and services they offer, however to operate efficiently there are several hot desk essentials you should look for:

·     Reliable and high-speed WiFi connection

·     Access to power sockets

·     Printers and photocopiers close by

·     Storage facilities

·     Bookable meeting rooms

·     On-site bathrooms

If you are opting for a hot desk in a modern coworking space you may also share:

·     Kitchen areas

·     Outdoor seating

·     Break out spaces

·     Comfortable lounge areas

·     Secure booths for private conversations

·     Café facilities

At Regus, we offer flexible memberships that enable you to tailor your office experience to your needs. Whether you choose to book a regular desk or prefer to switch up your working locations, you can book a desk by the hour, day, or month.

The difference between a hot desk and a dedicated desk

It’s worth noting that within a coworking space, there may be both ‘hot desks’ and ‘dedicated desks’. Whilst they both provide flexible workspace arrangements, there are some differences between them.

Hot desks are flexible workspaces that are available at the moment you arrive, or booked a few hours in advance for a short time.

Dedicated desks on the other hand are workstations booked in advance, reserved just for you, and cannot be used by anyone else - even when you’re not there. They’re generally thought of as a long-term version of a hot desk.

What are the benefits of hot desking?

Whether you’re a freelancer working from home, a start-up, or a large, established business, there are several benefits to hot desking. Here are some of the most important:

Greater flexibility

Hot desking presents flexible working solutions to a range of business types. For remote workers in particular, it enables access to workspaces in many different locations, including major towns, cities and transport hubs.


For businesses, saving money is normally high on the agenda. Traditional real estate can be expensive, especially when you consider the cost of a desk that’s not being used due to travelling, closed office hours, holidays or sickness.

A company’s hot desk office space can be scaled up or down as needed, ensuring they only ever pay for what they use.

Increased collaboration

The nature of hot desking can enhance the social elements of work, offering increased face-to-face opportunities for collaboration, innovation and social networking.

Statistics from Queens University of Charlotte have shown that 75% of workers regard collaboration and teamwork as important. Enabling people to work together means businesses can improve employee well-being and therefore improve productivity.

Cleaner, greener office

The communal nature of hot desking often encourages a more minimalistic, environmentally-friendly office. People tend to think twice when printing a document, using so much paper or keeping items around their space. Many offices even provide lockers or filing cabinets that can be used to store personal belongings and keep the area tidy.

Considering hot desking for your business?

There are many, varied advantages of implementing a hot desk policy, however not all models will be right for every organisation. It’s most effective when supporting a flexible and collaborative work culture, and we can provide tips and advice on implementing the best hot desking solutions for your business.

For enterprise companies

For both small and large businesses that are looking to enter a market hot desking is an agile and affordable way of expansion.

Flexible, short-term agreements give you a local presence quickly, without the major investment of opening and running an office. Similarly, should you need to withdraw from a market you’re not exposed to the ongoing costs of a rigid, long-term contract.

For self-employed workers

Hot desking provides the benefits of an office environment without the prohibitive cost of a long-term office contract. Being around other professionals combats the isolation of working at home alone, aiding motivation and productivity.

And, should your work take you to multiple locations, having a network of hot desks means you can stay connected, and offer a professional setting for client meetings in different cities.

For a hybrid model company

Hot desking is ideal if you operate a hybrid policy that supports a mix of in-office and remote workers who have varying schedules. This ensures workers can have access to office space as and when they need it.

For a distributed workforce

A distributed workforce is one that’s located in different locations in the same country, or internationally. Hot desking allows them to book a workstation or a meeting room either in a coworking space or another office belonging to the organisation.

Tips to getting the most from your hot desk strategy

To optimise your hot desk strategy you should consider the following points:

1.       Tell staff: if you’re introducing a hybrid model or creating hot desk space in your organisation, make sure staff are properly informed in advance; give clear instructions on how it works, and where they can go for support.

2.       Make booking easy: provide workers with the tools they need to make bookings quickly and easily; there is plenty of software and app options available to book, cancel and manage desk space. Regus provides an online hot desk rental system and a flexible membership package that takes care of everything.

3.       Provide a team space: while people may not be working in your office there may still be a need for teams to physically work side by side; make sure you’ve allocated them enough space, or configured a suitable desk layout so that multiple workers can come together and collaborate.

4.       Allow remote access: if you’re working remotely you’ll still need to be kept in the loop; ensure you have the right management system in place that allows secure access to project developments, files, teams, tasks, etc.

5.       Keep in contact: be mindful to check in on colleagues occasionally; while you may be happy to work remotely others may begin to feel isolated. A regular phone catch-up, video conference or a team night out will help to boost team spirit.

6.       Think of others: remember, you may be working in public so keep your area tidy and the noise down; this will make it a pleasant and productive space for everyone to work in.

7.       Be social: one of the benefits of hot desking – especially in a coworking office space - is being around like-minded people. By networking with individuals from diverse industries, you have the chance to explore fresh possibilities and expand your horizons. You could also attend conferences put on by hot desk office suppliers to grow your network.

8.       Future proof yourself: whilst you may now only need basic office facilities, like WiFi and toilets, consider what happens if you expand. Can you get access to larger offices or meeting rooms? Will you need a receptionist? Or, can you hot desk in another city?

Other flexible options

A hybrid office model enables employees to combine working from home, on-site, or in a rented hot desk office.

Hot desking is shown to provide many benefits, but it is only one solution, and may not be right for everyone. For instance, some like the familiarity of their own desk where they can store the paperwork and equipment they need. Plus, if you’re booking a hot desk at the last minute you may find there are none available.

An alternative would be to look at a dedicated desk or coworking to provide a flexible, agile, affordable workspace.

A dedicated desk, as we’ve touched on earlier in this article, gives you peace of mind as it guarantees you the space for the time you’ve booked it, with no disruptions. They usually come with storage, cost less than having to hire an office, and are often situated in their own area, giving you extra privacy.

Coworking, on the other hand, is all about collaboration and networking. It involves people from different organisations sharing an open office environment, working alongside each other to generate ideas and share knowledge. They come with varying levels of facilities, but the more modern ones can provide conference facilities, meeting rooms, full-time receptionists, and even a bar!

So, if you’re looking for a flexible, affordable, professional workspace that could also help boost creativity, productivity and opportunities, then coworking could be the best option for you.

Hot desking made easy with Regus

Whether you’re a freelancer looking for a modern, professional workspace or a large organisation adopting a hybrid policy, let Regus take the stress and uncertainty out of remote working.

You can manage your office space requirements online or through our app, just choose your space and turn up. You can book by the hour or day, there are no contract or sign-up fees, and our support team is on hand 24/7.

Plus, our membership package gives you the ultimate access to the world’s largest network of offices, coworking spaces, hot desks, and lounges, and offers a host of extra business benefits. Flexible working has never been easier.

Choose one of our best hot desking locations

Our memberships offer thousands of locations around the world for you to choose from. So whether you’re rooted to your home or are a digital nomad, you can work your way with Regus.

Topics in this article

  • Work Trends


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