Desk Sharing: Pros and Cons

Desk sharing pros and cons

We all like to have our own space when it comes to working, so the idea of desk sharing with others is not always accepted with an open mind. However, since many businesses have shifted to hybrid work, overall workspace occupancy hardly reaches total capacity in offices with the traditional assigned desk system. Companies face serious underutilization and high maintenance costs due to a higher number of employees working remotely. Thus desk-sharing was born as a way of using unused space better.

To share or not to share? That is the question many companies worldwide are asking themselves before implementing a desk sharing system. If you’re one of them, maybe these main pros and cons will help you decide:

Pros of Desk Sharing Policy

Saves office space and lowers utilization costs

Desk sharing at work is an effective way for businesses to use less office space and invest in fewer desks, which can reduce business expenses by up to 30% depending on various factors.

Helps to attract and retain talent

You are more likely to attract talent if your workplace is current with workplace trends and expectations. And giving your employees the flexibility to work where and when they want helps you to retain your current staff.

Enables flexibility for employees

The hybrid work model and desk sharing are well-known for giving employees more freedom, flexibility, and the opportunity to manage their own work-life balance more effectively.

Creates collaboration among coworkers

Desk sharing encourages social office culture, new connections, and collaborations. When employees have assigned desks, they work with the same people, but desk sharing creates new cooperation opportunities and expands knowledge.

Creates equality between employees

Desk sharing at work promotes greater networking and more close relationships both horizontally and vertically. It reduces workplace hierarchy and promotes networking at all levels. Furthermore, individuals in decision-making positions benefit from a better understanding of their employees.

Cons of Desk Sharing

Loss of privacy and personal space for employees

Because there are no assigned desks, employees may perceive their workplace as less personalized. When an office loses its personality, it can become alien, affecting company culture and people’s sense of belonging to the company.

Creates challenges for support and IT infrastructure

The company may need to increase IT resources to install a desk sharing policy. However, the increased costs can easily be covered by savings from spending less on office space.

Takes employees longer to get settled and work

When people are not guaranteed their own desk, they may waste time looking for an available desk and then arranging their belongings to their liking.

Can increase distractions at work

Increased distraction can occur for a variety of reasons, ranging from teams having to collaborate while sitting in different parts of the office to people introducing themselves to colleagues they have never sat with before.

May trigger an inner germaphobe

Desk sharing means more people and germs, which may make your employees uncomfortable. Make sure your company has ample antibacterial cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer!



Desk sharing

Now you know the pros and cons of desk sharing at work, and if it’s still challenging to decide whether to implement this practice in your company, these 6 tips will help you make informed decisions and ensure a successful transition.

  1. Evaluate office space

    Assessing the available office space is an essential first step in determining whether desk sharing is viable for a company. If space is limited, providing every employee with a dedicated desk may not be possible. Desk sharing can optimize the available space, reduce clutter, and create a more efficient work environment. It is essential to consider the number of employees and the office space size to determine the best strategy.

  2. Analyze work patterns

    Analyzing employees’ work patterns is crucial to determine if they need a dedicated desk. It is essential to consider the frequency of employees’ office attendance and their work requirements to determine the most effective strategy. If many employees work remotely or come in only a few days a week, desk sharing may be a good fit.

  3. Consider cost savings

    Implementing desk sharing can be a cost-effective solution for companies that want to optimize their use of office space. Providing every employee with a dedicated desk can be expensive, especially if office space is limited. It is essential to weigh the potential cost savings of implementing desk sharing against providing every employee with a dedicated desk. Desk sharing can help reduce costs, and companies can use the saved resources to invest in other business areas.

  4. Solicit employee feedback

    Asking employees for feedback on their workspace needs and preferences is essential in determining if desk sharing is a good fit. Employee feedback can help companies understand their needs and preferences and tailor the desk sharing strategy accordingly. Some employees may prefer having a dedicated desk, while others may be open to the idea of desk sharing.

  5. Explore hybrid work arrangements

    Desk sharing can be a good fit for companies implementing hybrid work arrangements, where employees split their time between working in the office and remotely. In such arrangements, not all employees need a dedicated desk, and desk sharing can help optimize the use of office space. It is essential to consider the company’s work culture, the nature of employees’ work, and their preferences to determine the best desk sharing strategy.

  6. Plan for implementation

    Before implementing desk sharing, creating a clear plan for how it will work is crucial. The plan should include scheduling, cleaning protocols, expectations for employees, and the management of shared resources. One of the solutions for managing desk sharing is to use a desk booking system. Employees can reserve the desk in advance and ensure that desks are available when needed. Planning for implementation with a desk booking solution will ensure a smooth transition and help avoid potential issues that may arise during the process.

The rise of hybrid work arrangements has led many businesses to adopt desk sharing. This practice does have some significant benefits, such as the ability to save space and money. But it also has drawbacks, like a tendency to create more disruption. But every company should identify the best desk sharing practice for itself and its employees according to the company culture, values, and strategy.

If your company decides to adopt the desk sharing policy, we will gladly help you make it happen.

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