Did you know? The cubicle first made its office debut in 1967 under the theatrical name, Action Office II. While these brand new, partially-enclosed workspaces were meant to revolutionize employee privacy and eliminate distractions, today they’re typically seen as bland, isolating employee chambers for companies trapped in the past.
The newest trend to revolutionize the way we work breaks down the walls between employees and encourages a much deeper level of connection and collaboration. In line with the latest social media and information-sharing trends today, “Hot Desking” is a free-range approach to office design in which employees are encouraged to share more community space and even shuffle between larger tables, couches and other open workspaces.
How does hot desking work?
Rather than exiling employees to their own isolated islands, hot desking is designed to give you more access to your coworkers and the projects they’re working on. The old process for many companies worked as a kind of assembly line where a project was passed down the line until it’s completed. However, as employees work in their own separate “silos,” their projects either look nothing like the original vision, or the original concept has even been forgotten along the way.
Hot desking addresses this issue by giving every team member the opportunity to see a project through every step of the way, and it creates a much more casual atmosphere to ask questions and collaborate together on every aspect of a project. This way, team members are no longer interrupting workdays with unnecessary meetings, and the original vision of a project is still easily preserved from conception to completion.
Additionally, working in open workspaces enables employees to learn more about your business from a number of different perspectives. For example, a marketing company who utilizes both writers and designers wastes time and money by separating the two departments. Placing them together or giving them the freedom to work closely when they need to gives them the opportunity to get a project right the first time without wasting time on after-the-fact feedback sessions. Plus, they’ll become more in touch with what’s going on in the business as a whole by interacting with fellow teammates from a wider variety of backgrounds.
Here are just a few ideas for how you can break down the walls inside your own company and boost your overall efficiency through employee collaboration.
Employees can keep a sense of privacy with modular desks that feature optional partitions or low walls.
These types of desks can help maintain a sense of privacy for your employees without the claustrophobia of a cubicle. Choose from a wide variety of options, and customize your modular office furniture with removable partitions, low walls and other smart, open-air features. Plus, these desks are easy to rearrange into any design that works best for your team.
Create casual lounge areas.
Employees should be free to take their work anywhere in the office. Some people are better at brainstorming in a less formal atmosphere, so comfortable couches and chairs are smart additions to any office. Get creative, and make sure every corner of your office is optimized for teamwork and productivity.
Give everyone a seat at the table.
Another popular strategy for hot desking is to replace wall-to-wall cubicles with just a few long conference tables. Give every employee a seat at the table, and work face-to-face all day long. This is a great way to get employees to interact and get excited about their work by sitting close to others who are passionate about the same projects.
Regardless of how you choose to implement modular office designs and hot desking strategies, one things for sure: Your employees will be amazed at much more productive they are – and how much more quickly the day flies by – when they’re up, moving around and collaborating with a team as opposed to clockwatching alone in a cubicle.