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What is Innovation?

  -   19. March 2017
Source: TeroVesalainen/

Simply stated, innovation is the action of creating something new. We are surrounded by innovation and it can be found everywhere. It does not only make our life easier but also boosts productivity, entertains us and broadens our ability to communicate. Innovation is so broad, so diverse and so complex that it cannot be seen as a fix study. For certain, an improvement in the quality of living can be seen.
When we think of innovation, we often associate that term with technology. Quite understandable, since technology advances have been impressive in the past decades. Sources of innovation can be found across any business, service or industry. However, innovation can come in many different forms, from tangible to intangible. Especially for businesses, it has always been a skyrocket topic. Whether innovation is their core business or the way an organization can simplify its processes to make them more effective, efficient, and essentially more competitive in the market.

Innovation in Offices

Facility managers and office managers around the globe are responsible for organising office spaces. They set up a space that is not just a working place for employees, but more a strategical tool for productivity and collaboration. The right office environment can set employees up with right situation and motivation to undertake projects. Now, there is a new office craze called ‘hot-desking’.

What is ‘Hot-desking’?

Hot-desking is basically the practice of not giving employees an assigned desk in the office. Instead, employees come to work and can sit anywhere they please, from fully equipped desks to more public spaces like lounges. Thanks to technology advances like wireless internet, laptops and tablets, employees do not necessarily need to be chained to a single desk.
But in order to make this concept work, a company should take special care to create spaces in the office that can easily be reshaped for different tasks and evolving teams.

Pro and cons of hot-desking

A lot of major companies have implemented hot-desking, to name a few: Microsoft, PT Group Goodman, Ernst & Young and Deloitte. But what works for one company does not necessarily work for another. Hot-desking tends to affect different employees in different ways.

While the benefits of hot-desking can lead to an environment that encourages creativity by boosting opportunities for workers to talk to colleagues they would not normally talk to and to better team ethics, there is also a disadvantage.

One of the major criticisms of hot-desking is that it reduces the opportunity for employees to express their identity and personality at work, which in turn can decrease job satisfaction.

It can make employees feel under-appreciated at best and unwanted at worst. Hot-desking in fact can damage both morale and productivity more than it improves them. However, the flaws that have pointed out can be the result of poor planning and execution.

“To be successful, spaces need to balance the requirements of the dominant working styles of the business with possibly divergent preferences of individuals, and management needs to shift to outcome focused management in order to give accountability to employees for their own work.”, said Pip Dexter, Human Capital partner at Deloitte Consulting.

Is hot-desking right for your business?

From a managerial perspective, hot-desking is attractive because it can cut overhead costs significantly since office space represents one of the largest costs in a running business. Therefore, before introducing this kind of workplace in your office, try running a survey with your staff. It’s highly likely that the people who are going to be most affected by this strategy are your employees. Hence, involve your team and consult them during all stages of the process. Hot-desking is the way of the future.

Who wrote it?

Van Nguyen

Van Nguyen studies at the European Management School in Mainz.


Thorben Theis
22-03-2017 13:01

In my opinion hot-desking is a great opportunity for all businesses that are reliable on their employees creativity and innovation. Talking to people supports innovation immensely. On the short run I thing this concept can be beneficial but I personally would prefer to have my own desk long term. Nevertheless these two approaches of offices can be combined easily. This can result in high job satisfaction and give return to all companies.

Theresa Möhn
21-03-2017 14:58

To me hot-desking appears to be a great opportunity for some offices. It allows new space for creativity and comfort. People might be more motivated to go to work in the morning: Seeing the same desk, the same view, the same people day to day can be quite exhausting and tiring. Studies show that efficiency and creativity increases when being in a pleasant atmosphere. Sure this concept cannot be transferred into every industry. Nevertheless I would appreciate working in a varied environment.

Katharina Blanckart
20-03-2017 16:10

To me the hot-desk concept seems very interesting yet I am skeptical. It addresses some of the issues employers have to deal with concerning office space, cost reduction but also increasing work creativity. Companies have started trying to break certain seating arrangements to foster creative thinking, communication among the team and avoid the development of closed groups. All these points make perfect sense and the hot-desking is supporting these measures. On the other side what actually happens in reality when we implement a system like this? I can imagine it as simply as this: Every person has a tendency towards certain things, patterns and behavior. For some people the location of their desk might be rather secondary important, for others this factor determines their entire work. I am afraid that hot desking might create a ‘first come-first serve’ in which employees will come early to win the battle for a certain desk. But there are pros and cons for every innovation and when implementing the right way I am positive hot-desking can add value to your company

Marie Schubert
20-03-2017 10:48

I am rather sceptical towards this innovation. I think I would not like it, to come to office and first of all see where I could sit today and if it might fit with my colleagues. I experienced that the communication with colleagues is an essential part of work and sitting together with your direct team can simplify things a lot. Although “hot-desking” might cut costs the disadvantages are outweighing that. I think that human beings are creatures of habits who like to have their own desk with their pens, their folders and their pictures of their family on it – just their personal space at work. In addition, I think that the feeling of togetherness between people working on a project together as a team is extremely limited. I could hardly imagine that good planning and execution of “hot-desking” can increase employee productivity and creativeness. For me personally, it would probably rather decrease my job satisfaction. I would be very interested in any studies regarding the performance change related to “hot-desking” and I am open to get convinced of this innovation.

Letizia Credico
19-03-2017 22:30

The way I see it, hot desking can be a very good option in order to cut costs through office space savings. Since companies provide only a few desks for a great number of employees, companies that are located in expensive city districts could definitely save rent expenses as well. But what happens if all employees have to be present and work in the office, but only half of them would get a desk? Hot desking can definitely be an option for a company that allows their employees to do home-office. No company would like their employees to get mad every morning, only because they cannot find an appropriate seat. Nonetheless, companies should definitely give it a try!

Beate Gaitzsch
19-03-2017 17:15

In my opinion hot-desking can be a good thing, like you pointed out with cutting costs and boosting creativity. However it could also bring unrest, as everyone's first task each day is to find a suitable working space. It could also be negative, if communication is inhibited due to important colleagues sitting somewhere else. In my point of view there should be sort of a 'mild' version. For example a company could limit the change to once a week, to reduce possible turmoil. Or there could be an area of the office with changing spaces and one with assigned desks, so employees can chose where to sit. On the other hand it could impact relations between people positively, if workers get to know their colleagues better with whom they don't work on a daily basis. I think every company should at least try this model and see how its employees feel about it. Because like you said, they are the ones impacted most by it.



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