Office space is expensive. Do you really need to have a dedicated desk for each and every employee?

Recent years have brought a lot of changes to the office environment, particularly as technology develops and the next generation of employees has come through to management. This new generation of managers brings new thinking about the modern office environment and what it should be.

For example, if a workforce of 100 has, on average, only 80 people in the office on a given day, those 20 empty desks take up space and are not being efficiently utilised. A hefty portion of business overhead is dedicated to office building space and maintenance. By trimming furniture and hardware costs, some of that wasted space can be better used as a meeting or project development space, saving money and benefiting the bottom line.

If your employees hot-desk, they tend to socialise more. Employees who sit beside someone different every day interact more, converse with a greater number of departments, and can find inspiration where it wasn’t possible to before. More interaction with a wider variety of people can lead to greater company cohesion and increased collaboration.

Employees will tend to optimise the space around them for productivity and might select a space that meets their needs for any given day. If they have conference calls on their schedule, they may gravitate towards a small meeting room or less-crowded alcove. If they are collaborating with colleagues on a specific project, they may choose to work in a room with presentation software and large screens, rather than huddling around a single desk.

When your office design allows for employee flexibility, your workers who thrive on mobility and independence are happier and more productive. They will find a way to optimise their office set-up for each and every day.

So, perhaps modern businesses are better off having flexible, open and collaborative offices rather than relying on the more old fashioned approach of assigning each employee a fixed desk. As an added bonus, the business may be able to reduce office overhead costs as office space can be used more efficiently.