Hot Desking Evolving Towards an Informal Working Environment Concept
Over the past decade, modern workplaces have moved towards activity-based working spaces or what have been coined as “hot desking”. The trend became popular among businesses wanting to cut down on leasing costs and save space, as activity-based working allows employees to share collaborative spaces and desks.
Australia’s corporate sector has adapted the trend, where interior architects of new generation modern buildings have come up with yet another idea businesses will soon embrace in months to come—the more informal lounge or living-space type office fitouts. Aiming to make the workers feel more at home, a “living room” type work space will replace the traditional desk and chair set-up.
David Gianotten, director of OMA Hong Kong, architects of Shenzhen Stock Exchange and the new CCTV Beijing headquarters, said, “Instead of hot-desking it becomes simply a ‘hot’ environment, or ‘living room’ environment is a term that a lot of people now use, where you can choose your own way of working and are not locked to a desk any more.”
He said that since more people prefer to lounge when they work on their computers, an office environment with soft furniture and couches will motivate them to work all day and be more productive.
According to the conclusion of a workplace survey, when employees are able to control their space, they perform better. And with more companies being aware of this growing trend, it will not be far for an organisation to seek the services of an interior design company specialising in commercial interiors.
Not only technology companies are supporting the new concept; even conservative businesses are welcoming the idea, including management consultants, McKinsey and Company.
“People want choice, flexibility and the ability to influence their work space, while at the same time there was a push to ”more collaborative spaces, informal meeting spaces, more space for people just to encounter each other,” Gianotten stated.
This sizzling new trend does not result to having less office space. In fact, areas for desk-related tasks became concentrated, leaving more office space.
Meanwhile, Steve Coster, principal of Hassell Studio, said that with organisations in the Australian business sector entrenched with hot desking, it will not be surprising if they advance towards more informal work spaces soon.
He also mentioned that it has been recognised that employees perform at their best when they are in an informal and comfortable work environment. Coster said, “The more you can do your work from anywhere, the more important it is when you get together that you have high-value time.”
He added that businesses will be open to the idea if their circumstance requires them to do so.
On another note, Gianotten said behavioural analysts are also collaborating with commercial office design firms to come up with office fitouts that will foster creative interaction among employees at work.
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