Between homeworking and hot desking: How to approach office storage in 2021

13th Jul 2021

Between homeworking and hot desking: How to approach office storage in 2021

2021 is here, and so is the pandemic. Still. What looked like a milestone of hope for a ‘return to normal’ a few months ago, the beginning of this year is now a clarification that the changes in our lifestyle are set to be at least for the long term. We feel it in the travel industry, and particularly in our office life. With ever-extending lockdowns in the UK and across the world, we can now come to terms with the fact that a great part of 2021 is going to be centered on homeworking. And for those offices that are open or working on plans to re-open, maximising efficiency will be at the forefront of every office management strategy, accelerating the already growing trend of hot desking.

With employees finding themselves in a rhythm that is likely alternating homeworking with hot desking, what does this mean for the office culture? What does it mean for the feeling of belonging? When you finally step into the office after weeks or months of working remotely, only to find yourself sitting at a generic office desk, on a random office chair, with no personal belongings stored in your under-desk pedestal, no special cup of coffee to act as a trigger for uplifting your mood and no personal plant to sit on your desk and cleanse your thoughts when tasks get so intense, how will productivity be impacted? Will it go down on the same trajectory as employee morale? Or, on the contrary, it will be increased due to a more focused approach? Futile as it may seem, this is a question that executives and office managers should seriously consider.

What is Hot Desking and what are its benefits?

In the context of a growing focus on maximising space efficiency and resource allocation, hot desking has been gaining ground. When offices re-open, they might still not operate at full capacity for a while, therefore it is a sensible decision to reimagine your office layout and focus on a more compact set-up that is likely to reduce operating costs. Hot desking is a workplace system used by organisations that shifts the focus from fixed personal workspaces, to an office dynamic based on the sharing economy. It essentially means that it provides office desks and office chairs that act as hot desking stations and that can be used by different employees at different times, on an ad hoc basis. These can be set up in enclosed offices or in shared, coworking spaces and in addition to increasing space efficiency, they are also meant to encourage innovation and interaction within the company. However, in order for the hot desking system to truly increase efficiency by reducing the redundant space, it has to be done with care and good planning.

What are the key elements of Hot Desking?

Undoubtedly, there are some clear benefits to this system and it can be a real driver of efficiency if employees buy into the idea and if it genuinely provides them with a comfortable and well equipped working environment. The key is to make each hot desking station a complete ecosystem that provides comfort, accessibility, connectivity and that is easy to plug in and out of, without extensive set-up.

The office desk: comfort, space and easy cable management

There is nothing like coming into the office in the morning and having to set up your cables before you can plug in to your station. For efficiency and productivity, the set-up should be complete and only require a quick connection of the laptop to the docking station in order to gain access to power, internet connection and extension screens. A key element to ensuring the set-up stays in place and cables are not misplaced or removed is staying on top of cable management, by choosing adequate office desks with cable ports and support system.

One of our best selling office desks that is ideal for setting up hot desking stations with great control of cable management is the Impulse White Rectangle Contract Office Desk With Cantilever Legs.

AOffice desk for home or office working - cantilever desks, rectangular, writing desks with metal frame and legs, white coated and including 2 cable ports.

Impulse White Rectangle Contract Office Desk With Cantilever Legs

For a more elegant workspace, perfect for a stylish office or home use, there is also another approach to cable management. That is, opting for a contemporary design with a full, simple worktop and replacing the traditional circular cable ports with an under desk cable dumping system. Our Oslo Single White A-Frame Bench Home Office Desk is a perfect example and great choice for a hot desking station that provides the appeal of a more personal touch and welcoming office.

Oslo Single White A-Frame Bench Home Office Desk With Natural Wood Edge and Wooden Legs With Floor Levellers, including under desk support system for easy cable dumping.

Oslo White A-Frame Bench Office Desk With Natural Wood Edge And Wooden Legs

The office chair: ergonomics are non-negotiable

When employees are using the hot desking stations on an ad hoc basis, you need to be able to cater to everyone’s needs. That is, the office chairs provided should take into consideration the fact that certain employees might have specific posture issues such as back pain, neck or shoulder problems and therefore will need to use an office chair that provides support in keeping a healthy posture.

The safest way to approach it is to opt for fully ergonomic office chairs that will allow your employees to minimise body pressure and increase their productivity. By popular demand, our recommendation is the Ergo Click Plus office chair with mesh seat and mesh headrest.

Ergonomic Office Chairs: Ergo Click Plus black office chairs with mesh seat and split backrest design with adjustable mesh headrests for a good working body position, with swivel star-shaped base and gas lift height adjustment lever. Ergo Click Plus Black Office Chairs With Mesh Seat And Back with Headrests, in the office.

Ergo Click Plus Black Office Chair With Mesh Seat And Back With Headrest

Combining mesh seat with split backrest design and mesh headrest, the Ergo Click Plus office chair accommodates the body for an ideal working position and easy adjustments and provides auto-adjusting lumbar support.

Office storage is important and it must be reimagined

A common concern and main reason for pushback from employees when it comes to hot desking is the lack of a personal touch on the workspace or a means of storing personal items. While there is always going to be a trade-off in this area, there are ways of making it feel personal, even when it isn’t.

Lockable Pedestals

Depending on the number of stations and employees using the hot desking area, you can provide your staff with personal lockable pedestals or multidrawers that can be labelled and stored along the office walls or in a dedicated space. Mobile pedestals are ideal and can be easily moved from personal offices to co-working areas, depending on the needs.

Our Steel mobile filing pedestals with 5 casters offer great mobility, durability and particularly an adequate office storage solution for safe handling and storage of important files and documents, with its safe locking system.

Steel Mobile Pedestal with 2 lockable drawers and a lockable base filing cabinet, built in high quality steel and with bright, white finish, fitted with 4 easy run castors and a fifth front castor that prevents tipping.

Steel Mobile Filing Pedestal With 5 Casters, White Finish

Open Shelves Cupboards

Open shelves storage cupboards, especially those with wood finish, have the advantage of taking away the industrial feel of steel storage cabinets. By adding open shelf cupboards to your office next to the hot desking area, you can store some generic items such as books or catalogues which will add personality to the space.

Impulse 2000 Open Shelves Storage Cupboard, Maple finish

Impulse 2000 Open Shelves Storage Cupboard

Take it further and add some plants among them and that will contribute to creating a welcoming space, making the hot desking station feel more personal.

For many, office life has seen dramatic changes over the last year and is set to continue adapting and reacting to changes in our lifestyle. The key is to stay on top of it, predict changes, needs and preferences and quickly react to shifting trends. Therefore, adaptability is key, and so is adopting a strategy that is based on mobility and flexibility of your office layout.