Debate on hot-desking

We asked:- Would you be happy to work for an
organisation that operated a hot-desking policy?

Here are some of the comments we received:-

“I found the article on flexible working very interesting as I
have renting office space within a Housing Association and I am
line managed by one of the senior managers.

Due to the restrictions on space, part of the support team had
to find alternative office space. This was done, but due to lack of
office space we were told that we would all be hot-desking.

I am not aware of any research and know we do not have a policy
to cover this. At the beginning, the senior manager gave people
‘time to settle in’ which meant those people always
getting the same desk and having personal items left on the

We do not have a unit to move to an empty work station we have
to lift and carry our work out of cupboards. We are all very
apologetic about using the space and feel very frustrated that it
seems to be the same couple of people hot-desking all the time.

There is no health and safety around the work station and the
stress for those hot-desking is high due to having their work
scattered about the office and having to pack each time they leave
the office.

Three months on it feels no better for me but I am still in the
process of trying to occasionally work at home, which is taking
months to arrange. I feel so strongly about this I have joined a
union to try and get some support.”

Anonymous Oxfordshire

“I thought it was a shame and a missed opportunity that the
article only ‘addressed’ the issue of teamwork in the final
paragraph of the article on hot-desking. 

I recognise the positive aspects of more flexible working
arrangements but feel that the development and sustenance of team
support are crucial aspects of social work practice. 

Careful thought and planning are required if workers are not too
feel increasingly isolated both in the office and at home under
hot-desking arrangements.  I work in a busy children and families
team and rely, as do colleagues, on the presence of others for
advice, practical support and a sense of perspective.  Can such a
‘team culture’ survive in any meaningful way when people
increasingly are expected to work from their cars and
Louise Dolphin


“I was interested in this article because my office is
being refurbished and hot-desking is to be introduced.

I have a disability and am covered by the Disability
Discrimination Act. I have a back and neck problem, a sight
problem, and need to have control over the lighting I work in.

The department’s answer to my difficulties is to ask me to work
at home. I have refused, given that space is limited and that the
move would effectively exclude me from the workplace because I
would not be able to work within it.

As your article stated, doing things on the cheap never


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