Will Hot-Desking Kill Your Company?
Saturday June 22, 2019. 09:34 PM , from Slashdot
'If you hate your company, its employees and the shareholders then go ahead and introduce the latest management fad: Hot-desking,' writes Forbes contributor Simon Constable. 'It's a better way to destroy the firm than inviting Russian hackers to rob you blind.
'The bigger the company, the faster the damage will occur with hot-desking.'
Hot-desking is a working arrangement where employees have no assigned desk. Each morning you get a workstation based on that old standby, first-come-first-served. If you show up at 5:30 a.m. then you'll likely have your pick. Later than 9 a.m., then probably you'll get what's left even if that means working apart from your colleagues. The theory behind this idea is that it provides companies with increased flexibility in managing office space. With some exceptions, the drawbacks vastly outweigh any benefits.
I know this having witnessed decades in corporate jobs, including a role at one employer that implemented such idiocy. It sends the message that employees don't matter. Employers frequently say their employees are their biggest asset. But when the company can't even be bothered to let you have a permanent desk, then the opposite message is sent.
He cites other more specific problems -- like the fact that no one can easily find anyone, making it harder to hold quick impromptu discussions or ask for help. And it also becomes harder to explain to employees why they can't just work from home.
The article concedes hot-desking 'probably works just fine' for small companies with just a handful of employees. But 'the bigger the firm the larger the inefficiency that is caused. A company of 50 people might see only minor problems from hot-desking, while one of 50,000 will likely see massive dysfunction throughout the institution...'
'If you see a public company introducing hot desks as a way to add flexibility or save money across the board, then be afraid for investors. Why? Because the profits quickly suffer in a dysfunctional company.'
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