By now, most us are familiar with the concept of desk sharing. Many offices are now set up for employees to share desks on a continual basis, booking by the day (or hour, or week – any desk sharing solution worth its salt should be able to provide this).
The benefits are reported widely, but there is still a significant resistance to moving over to a desk sharing pattern from many businesses. This is largely thought to be because tradition still reigns supreme for many – after all, if you’ve been doing something the same way for years and years, and it works well enough, why change?
If that sounds a bit like your own thoughts on desk sharing, perhaps it’s time to re-examine. To help you, here are the top four advantages of employees sharing desks:
Save space and lower costs
The main benefit of desk sharing is one of the most overlooked. By introducing desk sharing, business leaders can create significant cuts to budgets, and save space at the same time. Think about it – you need a desk for every employee, but how many empty desks do you currently have in your workspace?
And what about the desks that are inevitably empty on a temporary basis, due to illness, annual leave or other reasons? Wouldn’t a more efficient and cost effective approach involve ensuring the number of desks matches the level utilisation? Desk sharing can help you achieve that.
Provide opportunity for collaboration and new working relationships
Most of us like to sit next to our team members in the office, and there is often an unfounded fear that introducing desk sharing will mean that someone from accounting ends up wedged in between a couple of creatives.
While that isn’t actually the worst idea in the world, a good desk sharing solution will enable employees to book banks of desks, in groups or teams, to avoid these mishaps. However, stop to consider that desk sharing can also help employees improve workplace relations and bonds by sitting next to colleagues they don’t usually interact with – and that can expand workplace collaboration, too.
Out of 400 global corporations, two-thirds plan to implement shared desks by 2020 – CBRE
Improve workplace efficiency and wellbeing
Wouldn’t everyone like a more efficient, happier workplace? With the right desk sharing plan, this can be achieved easily. Sharing desks provides employees with more choice and more flexibility in the way they wish to work, which can only be a positive, particularly when applied to employee wellbeing.
Moreover, the space that’s saved by having less workstations can be used for other practices – more relaxed areas for informal discussion, or quiet areas in a usually loud and busy office. These types of decisions will be based on your own workplace needs, and the preferences of your workforce, but rest assured, they can be incredibly beneficial for everyone.
Attract and retain talent
Shared desk schemes are the future, as are agile workplaces. These are the type of offices that millennials and gen Z, as well as those behind them, are expecting. The idea of booking into their desk each morning via their smartphone is second nature to a twentysomething office worker.
69% of employees are placing an increasing importance of the look and feel of their workplaces – The Modern Workplace Report
By ensuring your workplace is up-to-date with current workplace trends and expectations, you’re more likely to attract young talent. There is also the issue of retaining older talent, which some suspect is impossible when updating an office and eschewing older styles of working. This is where employers must take the time to communicate both the advantages of shared desks, and allay worries. Listen to your employees, keep the lines of communication open, and you cannot go far wrong.