How about a new workspace every day? 

With hybrid work models being put in place, hotdesking is taking centre stage

Updated - January 18, 2023 11:32 am IST

Published - January 18, 2023 11:23 am IST

Photo used for representational purpose

Photo used for representational purpose

Recently, at a multinational financial services company, when a bay seemed overfilled, the powers-that-be quickly thrashed out a solution, one that involved hotdesking. Hotdesking and flexi-seating are hardly new concepts, but they are being put to work considerably more than before, and more organically too.

Hotdesking gained in popularity as a result of an increasing acceptance and adoption of hybrid work models. During the pandemic, organisations also decided to shed offices, and operate from fewer addresses, a scenario that encourages hotdesking.

“Bosch India’s 76-acre Spark.NXT campus in Bengaluru is a consolidation of over 15 locations across the city into two main campuses,” says Suresh B R, country head for Human Resources at Bosch India.

This “flexi architecture system” at the campus allows associates to book their preferred workstations in advance, through an app available on the mobile and the desktop.

It also informs the associate if parking is available and at which slot the vehicle can be parked. “Employees choose their workstations based on their comfort or team needs. So, technically, they can work from anywhere in the campus,” says Suresh.

Cargill’s, a unit of a privately-held US-based global food company, has offices in Bengaluru and Gurugram, which are marked by single-seater rooms as well as collaboration rooms. This seating arrangement helps employees to go it alone when they need to, and be comfortably hunched together in a discussion when that becomes an absolute necessity.

Fidelity Investments India offers its employees a digital tool, designed in-house and heavily customised, that enables them to reserve their seats, meals, and office cabs. The employees have to leave the desks bare at the end of their workday, clearing all their belongings.

Seema Unni, Head-HR, Fidelity Investments India, observes that in the initial stages employees had difficulty letting go of the idea of customising and owning their desks. But they got over it.

“By introducing flexi-seating, employees have begun to enjoy working in different parts of the office. They also get to interact with colleagues from other teams, make new friends, and have increased opportunities for collaboration and casual collisions with folks they would have hardly met in prior times with fixed seating. As more employees start returning to office, we will continue to get their inputs and make enhancements towards providing them the best workplace experience.”

Akash Maheshwari, co-founder and chief technology officer, MoveInSync Tech Solution, notes that the days ahead will demonstrate the necessity of shared resources.

In February and March this year, when more employers will begin to ask employees to work out of the office, the demand for shared resources is expected to shoot up, says Akash.

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