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Desk Sharing: How an “Our Space” Mindset Increases Productivity

Thursday, Dec 29, 2022
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With hybrid workplace trends changing how we operate, it’s time for organizations to rethink their current layouts and desk assignment policies. Why assign desks when some employees are only on-site two or three days a week? Instead, implementing a desk-sharing policy and adopting an “our space” mindset can lead to higher productivity and increased collaboration.

However, some team members may not be ready to embrace change. They might find the new desk-sharing system bothersome, as they prefer to have their “claim” on a space. It’s your job to convert any territorial employees by showing them the benefits of flexible desk-sharing software.

Your top selling point? Reserving space in the workplace will give your business the productivity boost it needs.

How Desk Sharing Makes Hybrid Workspaces Work

Desk sharing entered the mainstream when more companies switched to hybrid workplace models. The concept is simple: employees no longer have assigned desks and workspaces. Instead, they’re free to choose a workstation where they feel most productive.


Desk and room booking lets employees select their daily workstation. It’s similar to reserving a hotel room, but Smarten Spaces’ desk-booking software takes it a step further with intuitive 3D floor maps. These show employees which spaces are available for booking.

Desk sharing lets employees choose a space that meets their needs. For example, a team working on a particular project can book a large meeting room on Monday. Then, they can reserve quiet spaces for Tuesday-Thursday to work on their tasks. Finally, they can book the meeting room again on Friday to discuss progress and next week’s goals.

You may have come across the terms “hot desking” and “hoteling” when exploring desk-sharing options. Though similar in practice, there are a few key differences. When “hot desking,” employees will reserve a workspace for a single day and work elsewhere the next day. When “hoteling,” employees book the same space for multiple days, perhaps to collaborate with other team members on a given project.

Productivity Benefits of Shared Work Desks

Desk-sharing policies add never-before-seen flexibility to the workplace, which leads to more productive employees and more efficient space management practices. Let’s explore the overwhelming benefits of adapting a desk-sharing policy in the modern workplace.

  • Removes the Monotony of Office Work

Desk sharing motivates team members to explore the workplace and change their daily routines. This removes the monotony of walking to “their desk” every day and forces them out of their comfort zone. In addition, flexible designs foster dynamism in the workplace, leading to more motivated employees and increased satisfaction.

  • It Helps Employees Connect With Colleagues

Desk sharing enables employees to connect, encouraging discussions, ideas, and collaboration. More productive and collaborative environments lead to better decision-making, which ultimately lifts every aspect of your business.

  • Improves Focus

Because employees don’t “own” a desk, they have less opportunity to clutter it. Furthermore, the community atmosphere promotes a cleaner, tidier workplace. Less clutter means more focus, and more focus means increased productivity. Think about it: employees who regularly switch workspaces don’t have time to make them messy.

  • Boosts Employee Autonomy

Desk sharing gives employees more control over their on-site experience. Do they enjoy natural light and prefer to work near a window? Do they need a little extra focus today, requiring a quieter corner in the workplace? The ability to choose where they work can boost overall performance and morale for the whole team.

Making Your Shared Desk Space More Effective

Some team members will be hesitant to change. They prefer their own space, especially if it’s been their space for several years. But, when properly executed, desk sharing lets you maximize available workspace while reaping the productivity benefits. You can convert territorial employees into engaged desk-sharers by leveraging the following best practices.

Designate Spaces for Different Goals

By breaking the workplace into designated spaces, employees can select an area that suits their daily needs. For example, you can have a section dedicated to quiet focus tucked away from louder areas meant for social collaboration. Establish guidelines for where employees can have informal conversations to avoid distracting those trying to focus.

Leverage Desk-Booking Software to Avoid Shortages

Software like Smarten Spaces ensures you always have enough desks and workstations for the number of on-site employees. When they open the app, they can see which spaces have already been reserved, when they’ll be opening up, and when they can make their reservations.

Establish Desk-Sharing Etiquette

For desk sharing to work to its full potential, all employees must be aware of proper space-sharing etiquette. Consider posting the following guidelines to keep everyone on the same page:

  • Employees must book workstations in advance
  • Clean up after yourself
  • Leave common areas how you found them
  • Follow established hygiene practices
  • Respect others’ privacy
  • Stay home if you’re sick

How Can You Help Employees Embrace a Shared Workspace?

Some employees are slow to embrace change; others may be downright resistant. New desk-sharing policies are a significant change, and you may never convince your team if you don’t nurture an “us” mentality. So, ensure you’re getting buy-in from employees before the changes occur. Listen to those expressing concern and provide innovative solutions to their specific pain points.

Always plan before making the switch. Ensure you have enough space for everyone and budget for a little extra. You may also need to revisit scheduling to make sure everyone has a seat. The last thing you want is someone driving into work and not having a place to sit.

Finally, ensure all employees understand and obey your established desk-sharing guidelines. Train them on how to use the app and make reservations, and send out email reminders, especially in the weeks following the switch.

Boost Your Productivity With Desk Sharing Solutions From Smarten Spaces

Desk sharing is among the best ways to boost on-site productivity and collaboration. However, companies must promote an “our space” instead of a “my space” environment to increase employee buy-in.

With the right guidelines and user-friendly desk-sharing software like Smarten Spaces, your company can be proud of the collaborative and engaging workplace you’ve created. Reach out to the experts at Smarten Spaces to learn how desk sharing will increase overall productivity in your workplace.


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