Tuesday 10th October 2023

The Ultimate Guide To Hot Desking

Laura Beales 13 minute read
Colourful hot desking area in De Beauvoir Block coworking venue
What is hot desking?

Hot desking is a workplace strategy that involves multiple workers using the same desks and workspaces on a rotating basis. It allows organisations to save money on traditional office space by reducing the number of dedicated workspaces while still providing access to workspace when needed. By hot desking, organisations are also able to increase productivity as well as foster greater collaboration between employees.

hot desk coworking on Tally Workspace

There are two main types of hot desking, the first is where companies use external workspaces such as coworking spaces to book desks as and when they need them. Second, is where companies have their own private office where their employees do not have a dedicated desk but can drop into the office and use any free desk that is currently available. 

1. Hot desking in coworking spaces and different locations

Booking hot desks in coworking spaces is becoming increasingly popular amongst professionals, entrepreneurs, and companies looking to benefit from the increased flexibility and freedom that hot desking offers. Many coworking spaces and private offices now offer hot desk booking options that allow individuals and teams to book hot desks ahead of time online or through platforms such as Tally Workspace. This allows hot desk users to reserve a hot desk for a specific period of time, they can use workspaces across the world and don’t have the commitment of a full-time office.  

This article will explore: 
  • Hot to find a hot desk near you 
  • What are the best London workspaces for hot desking?
  • How much does it cost to hot desk? 
  • What to consider when booking external hot desks

Orange coloured hot desking area in Oru Space coworking venue

2. Hot desking within existing private office space

When hot desking in a private office space workers don't typically have their own dedicated workspace or the same desk but instead use whatever desk is available. This can be beneficial for organisations with limited office space or those with an ever-changing roster of employees who don’t require their own desk. Hot desking often takes place in an open-plan workspace, where users sit together in an environment that encourages communication and collaboration between colleagues.

This article will explore: 
  • How to establish a hot desking policy 
  • What are the benefits of hot desking in your private office?
  • What are the disadvantages of hot desking in your private office?
  • What is warm desking? & how is different from hot desking?
  • How to decide if hot desking is right for your company

Hot desking in coworking spaces and different locations

How to find a hot desk near you

Finding a hot desk is simple - simply search Tally Workspace for the area you need a hot desk and choose which coworking space or office space is best suited for your needs. You can easily filter hot desks based on location, cost and amenities offered. 

What are the best London workspaces for hot desking?

Coworking space East London 
Second Home Spitalfields yellow office space

Coworking space South London 

Hot desk coworking area in Missionworks office space

Coworking space West London 

Coworking space North London 

Hot desking area in a coworking venue

How much does it cost to hot desk? 

The cost of hot desking can vary greatly depending on the type of workspace you are looking for, the location and the amenities included. Generally, hot desking rates range from as low as £10 a day for basic hot desk rentals in shared office spaces to £70. 

On the Tally Workspace platform, you can see the price for each hot desk by the hours, half-day and day as well as what is included in this price so you can choose a hot desk which works for your budget. If you are setting up a team account to provide your members of staff with access to hot desks across the world you can set budgets and spending rules within the Tally workspace platform so that you are in complete control of what your team spend.  

What to consider when booking external hot desks

When booking hot desks in coworking spaces, hot desk users must consider factors such as availability, pricing, amenities, and the overall work environment before making a selection. Pricing varies from space to space but is all clearly shown on the Tally Workspace platform and you can filter by the key features you need e.g. second screen, dog-friendly or access to phone booths.

Two ladies coworking at the office

Find Hot Desk Near Me

Amenities are an important factor when selecting a hot desk as well since these can greatly impact one’s comfort level while working - so be sure to check all available amenities on the Tally Workspace platform prior to making your selection.

It’s worth noting that many hot desk providers will require proof of identity upon arrival (such as showing your driver’s license) so be sure you have this as well as your booking email before arriving onsite.

Three people coworking at the hot desk area

Hot desking within existing private office space
  • How to establish a hot desking policy 
  • What are the benefits of hot desking in your private office?
  • What are the disadvantages of hot desking in your private office?
  • What is warm desking? & how is different from hot desking?
  • How to decide if hot desking is right for your company

How to establish a hot desking policy 

Creating a hot desk policy requires careful consideration and planning to ensure that everyone is comfortable with how hot desking works. Here are some tips on setting up a hot desk policy that will be fair and effective:

1. Establish a clear set of hot desking guidelines.

This should include information about use of hot desks, such as what type of items is allowed to remain on the hot desk overnight, how long each user can occupy the hot desk for, and any restrictions or limitations in place for hot desking. It should also include instructions for properly cleaning up after yourself when done using the hot desk and any other housekeeping expectations when hot desking.

Two smiling men coworking

2. Set up a booking system.

If an organisation has enough hot desks for all employees, it may be helpful to have a system in place where users can book hot desks in advance so that there is no confusion or overcrowding. While this may not always be possible, having some structure around how hot desks are used can help keep everyone organised and make it easier to plan ahead if necessary.

3. Make sure there is adequate storage space available.

Hot desking requires more workspace than traditional office setups since workers don’t have their own dedicated space to store their things. To prevent clutter from accumulating on hot desks, organisations should provide ample storage solutions such as cubbies or lockers near workstations where users can store their personal items while hot desking so they won't be taking up valuable workspace during the day.

Hot desk area with many people working, decorated with fairy lights

4. Assign responsibility for maintaining cleanliness and order at workspaces.

Offices utilising hot desking will need someone who is responsible for ensuring that the areas stay tidy and free from clutter when not being used by another user, so make sure to assign these duties accordingly so that everyone stays on track with keeping their workspaces neat and orderly while using them throughout the day.

What are the benefits of hot desking in your private office?

Hot desking is an increasingly popular trend in the modern workplace that provides a number of key benefits for organisations.

1. Cost savings

One of the primary advantages of hot desking is the cost savings associated with it, since hot desking allows businesses to maximise their office space and reduce the amount of furniture and equipment they need to purchase. Hot desking also streamlines operations as employees can quickly find a workspace without needing to move items around, while providing more flexibility as workers are able to work from any desk they choose.

Three people coworking at the hot desk area with a bright green shelf in the background

2. Productivity

In addition to reducing costs, hot desking can also boost productivity and creativity among workers by encouraging collaboration and communication between employees. When hot desking, teams can easily get together in an open-plan workspace without having to book a meeting room or try to coordinate everyone's schedules. This minimises disruptions and allows teams to capitalise on time by brainstorming ideas together more quickly than if they were scattered across different workspaces.

3. Flexibility

Hot desking also offers greater flexibility for remote working, allowing employees who don't need their own dedicated desk the chance to hot desk when needed. This creates a more inclusive environment in which every employee feels comfortable accessing workspace when necessary regardless of their work location or schedule.

4. Welcoming for visitors

The lack of assigned seating at hot desks can also make offices more welcoming for visitors, promoting an open atmosphere that will foster greater engagement from guests and encourage collaboration between colleagues. 

By hot desking, organisations are able to reduce costs while increasing collaboration and productivity among staff members. Hot desking is also beneficial in creating a more inclusive environment where all workers feel welcomed regardless of their work location or schedule, while making offices more inviting for visitors as well. As such, hot desking is becoming an increasingly popular option amongst organisations that want to maximise their workspace without sacrificing comfort or efficiency.
Three women coworking at a hot desk area

What are the disadvantages of hot desking in your private office?

1. Reduction in personal space

One of the main disadvantages of hot desking is that it takes away from the sense of personal space and ownership that comes with having an assigned desk. This can be off-putting to some employees, as hot desking may make them feel like they don't have their own area to call home and this can lead to lower morale and decreased productivity.

2. Lack of privacy

Another disadvantage is that hot desking can lead to a lack of privacy when discussing confidential topics, since people hot desk in close proximity to each other. This could make workers hesitant to have open conversations or brainstorm ideas with others in the office, which could ultimately limit collaboration and creativity among teams.

3. Competition for desks

In addition, hot desking can lead to increased competition for available hot desks, particularly in smaller offices where there are fewer workstations available. If too many people try to hot desk for the same day or time period, someone may be left without a workspace and therefore unable to get any work done. It's best for organisations who use hot desking to ensure that everyone has access to a hot desk when needed so that no one feels left out or overlooked when trying to secure a workspace.

Hot desk seats with a window in the background

4. Additional cleaning

Organisations should also keep in mind that hot desking requires additional organisation and cleaning up after each person leaves the workspace. Without proper protocols in place, it’s easy for messes and disorganisation at hot desks to quickly accumulate over time - leading to clutter around workspaces which could become distracting or unprofessional looking if not taken care of properly.

5. Additional Storage

Finally, hot desking tends require more storage solutions than traditional offices setups since workers don’t have their own dedicated space to store their things. To prevent clutter from accumulating on hot desks, organisations should provide ample storage solutions such as cubbies or lockers near workstations where users can store their personal items while hot desking so they won't be taking up valuable workspace during the day. Assigning responsibility for maintaining cleanliness and order at workspaces is also key so that everyone stays on track with keeping their workspaces neat and orderly while using them throughout the day.

Overall, while hot desking offers many advantages such as cost savings and increased collaboration among employees, it also presents some disadvantages such as a loss of personal space and privacy as well as potential extra costs associated with providing storage solutions and maintaining cleanliness at workspaces. Organisations should carefully consider these disadvantages before implementing a hot desking system into their office space in order to reap the full benefits this type of setup has to offer without sacrificing employee comfort or productivity levels. 

What is warm desking? & how is different from hot desking?

Warm desking is a workspace solution that provides employees with access to hot desks on an as-needed basis. Unlike hot desking, warm desking offers workers a more personal and customised workspace experience by allowing them to select their own hot desk from available options each day and reserve it for the duration of their stay. In order to implement “warm” desking companies use hot desk booking software.  

Warm desking allows employees to take ownership of the hot desks they select, making them more likely to maintain cleanliness and order while using them throughout the day.

In addition, warm desking tends to produce less competition among employees since each hot desk can only be occupied by one person at a time, meaning fewer people have to fight over the same workspace. This can create a better working atmosphere overall since everyone knows that they will have access to the hot desk they need without having to worry about someone else taking it away from them.

While warm desking provides many advantages such as increased productivity levels and lower competition amongst employees, it does require organisations to implement rigid protocols such as reservations systems or scheduling software so that hot desk spaces are allocated appropriately among users. 

It is important for organisations considering implementing a warm desking system into their office space think carefully about how many hot desks they have available versus how many people will be using them on any given day - ensuring an appropriate balance between demand and supply so that everyone has access when needed while avoiding overcrowding or underutilisation problems altogether.

How to decide if hot desking is right for your company

Hot desking is an ideal solution for companies looking to increase their workspace flexibility and reduce overhead costs associated with traditional office leases. Additionally, hot desking comes with numerous other benefits such as increased productivity due to fewer distractions, access to amenities such as high-speed internet connections, printing services, meeting rooms, kitchen facilities with refreshments - all without having invested into expensive office furniture pieces found in traditional workplaces settings.

Whether hot desking is right for your company depends on a variety of factors. First, consider your team size and the number of hot desks you will need in order to accommodate everyone.

Huckletree colourful coworking area with tall ceilings

When deciding whether hot desking is right for your company it’s important to evaluate both short-term and long-term advantages of hot desking against the possible drawbacks before making a decision. While hot desking can provide significant savings in terms of leasing costs over time - it also requires teams to adapt quickly and adjust their seating arrangements regularly depending on who is working from which hot desk on any given day. 

Furthermore, there is always a risk that hot desks may become unavailable at key times if they are fully booked you may need to use a platform such as Tally Workspace to ensure you have overflow space on busier days. However, when planned properly hot desking can provide substantial cost savings while ensuring high-quality working experiences for staff members alike - making it an attractive option compared to more traditional methods of office space utilisation.


At Tally Workspace we believe that hot desking is here to stay. We make it easy for companies to find hot desks across the world whatever their requirements. Our platform makes it easy for you and your team to find the perfect hot desks requirements and book it in seconds. 

We also help companies to find private offices where they can implement their own hot desking systems - we understand that each company is different and work with you to help you find the perfect workspace for your team. Find a hot desk near you here.


Where did the expression hot desking come from?

The term hot desking is believed to have originated in the 1960s, when businesses began to explore alternative workspace solutions that would enable employees to work flexibly and remotely. As technology developed, hot desking became increasingly popular in the late 1990s as a way for companies to maximise space efficiency. 

Hot desk meaning 

Hot desking is a modern workspace arrangement in which employees are not assigned individual desks but instead have access to hot desks that can be used on an as-needed basis. This setup allows for maximum flexibility and collaboration between teams as hot desks can easily be shared or swapped depending on the specific needs of the team. In addition, hot desking helps organisations save money on office space since multiple workers can use a single hot desk during different parts of the day.

Does hot desking improve productivity?

Hot desking has been rising in popularity due to its potential to improve productivity among employees and make better use of resources. But does hot desking really improve productivity?The concept of hot desking is based on the belief that there is no need for everyone in the office to have their own desk. By hot desking, employees can rotate throughout the day, allowing them to work in different places with different colleagues. This can help foster collaboration and creativity, which are both beneficial for improved productivity. 

Studies have shown that hot desking encourages more interaction between staff members - leading to more ideas exchanged and better problem-solving skills developed over time. Aside from fostering team collaboration, hot desking can also create a more organised workplace - allowing employees to find the right space according to their tasks or preferences during the day. With hot desks being set up specifically for these purposes, workers are able to get right down to business without wasting any time on setup or rearranging furniture. On top of this, hot desking can create an atmosphere of increased well-being amongst staff members by reducing stress levels associated with traditional office environments. With hot desks providing a sense of freedom and flexibility when it comes to where and how one works - workers become less likely to feel overwhelmed or overworked due to their environment. 

In conclusion, hot desking can certainly be beneficial for improving productivity among staff members due to its potential for fostering collaboration and creativity as well as increased feelings of wellbeing - all resulting in a more productive working environment overall!

Is hot desking Covid safe?

Hot desking can certainly be a safe and viable option for businesses during the coronavirus pandemic. As hot desking involves sharing desks in an open office environment, it is important to take special precautions to ensure everyone’s safety. To begin with, hot deskers should be asked to observe social distancing rules by maintaining a 2-metre distance from their colleagues at all times. Additionally, hot desks should also be sanitised regularly and only used by one person per day. This will help reduce the risk of spreading germs and viruses between hot deskers. Aside from these basic hygiene practices, hot desking during the pandemic should also focus on reducing contact points such as shared keyboards and computer mice. By keeping such items disinfected after each use or providing hot deskers with their own set of equipment, further risks of contagion can be minimised. Furthermore, hot desking areas should also feature adequate ventilation and efficient air exchange systems that filter out airborne particles - allowing hot deskers to work in a safe and healthy environment. 

Finally, hot deskers should also have access to hand sanitiser and antibacterial wipes so they can clean their area before and after use. By following these guidelines and implementing additional safety measures if necessary - hot desking can definitely be a covid-safe workspace solution for businesses during this time of uncertainty. With careful planning and monitoring as well as strict adherence to health guidelines - hot deskers should be able to enjoy the same benefits of increased collaboration, creativity & productivity that come with hot desking without compromising their health or that of those around them!

At Tally Workspace, we understand that hot desking has become an increasingly popular way of working amongst teams wishing to maximise their workspace efficiency while still enjoying luxurious amenities at an affordable rate. By allowing teams to expand their workspaces without having to sacrifice comfort or productivity - hot desking has become one of the most cost-effective solutions when it comes to maximising workplace efficiency while reducing overhead costs over time. 

If you are looking for a new office space to implement hot desking or are looking to provide external hot desks to your team contact us today! 

Written by Laura Beales

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