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Dedicated workspace: a modern and employee-centric approach


July 24, 2023


July 27, 2023

Are we taking a step backward

While hot desking is on the rise, we want to introduce a new feature called “assigned desks”.  We didn't change our minds about the potential of flexibility at work and desk sharing. However, many employees express the need for dedicated workspaces. As our goal is to help create the best flexible and people-focused work environment, we have considered this request. 

Going hybrid includes the advantages of downsizing the office and reducing costs. Allowing team members to pick their favorite desk or a different workspace each time they go to the office is another perk of a flexible office most workers appreciate. Yet, some prefer to stick to the same workstation

The future of work is based on adaptability and employee centricity. But how do you define how much office space you need? What types of workspaces are the best for your workforce? This article focuses on the importance of keeping certain elements fixed in the hybrid workplace and how to handle all types of flexible office spaces.

What is a dedicated workspace?

A dedicated workspace at home

There are two types of dedicated workspaces: those at home when working remotely and those provided by companies for their workforce when they come on-site.

At home, employees should dedicate one area of their home to their work-related tasks. They can customize this corner to match their needs as much as possible. A few important aspects include having the right lighting, furniture, equipment, and a calm environment. Creating a comfortable and tailored-made “work only” area at home is highly recommended to enhance focus and productivity. It also helps to separate personal and professional life and maintain a healthy work-life balance

An assigned desk in the office

An assigned desk in the office is the traditional desk setup as everyone knows it.

If you are reading this article, there is a very high chance you are aware of the importance of modernizing the workplace and switching to a more flexible office. However, the most crucial element in order to embrace the future of work and boost your business is an employee-centric approach

What does this have to do with office space planning? Well, everything! Knowing and considering what your team members want is essential. So if a few people in your workforce express wanting to keep an assigned desk, you should allow it and take it into account in your office planning strategy.

🤩 Do you want to show your staff that their needs matter? Discover the “assigned desks” feature and make your work environment more employee-centric!

Female professional sipping coffee at desk
Woman in dedicated workspace

Why should you keep space for some assigned desks in the office?

A guarantee that employees have the workspace they need

Not everyone wishes to sit at a different desk whenever they come to the office. Some might simply like one workstation and don’t want to change it constantly. Others might require specific equipment, and a specific workspace meets their needs perfectly.

What’s most important is that each employee has access to a workspace that meets thier needs. Not only does it boost their productivity, but it also enhances satisfaction and well-being

A dedicated workspace for fully focusing 

Let’s say your colleague Andrew comes on-site twice a week, on Tuesday and Thursday. When planning his schedule, he dedicates one day to collaborative projects and the other to do highly-focused tasks he can’t do at home.

In every office space, some areas are more conducive to concentration than others. Andrew knows that and constantly tries to book the same desk. Unfortunately, this workstation is not always available. It forces him to reserve another spot, risk being unable to concentrate, and be frustrated.

Keeping some dedicated desks in your office space and assigning one to Andrew each Thursday helps you solve this scheduling conflict and gives him the best chance to be in full-focus mode! 

💡 Check our article about time-block scheduling to become more time-efficient and productive!

A space management approach to boost employee satisfaction

The strong demand for flexible work arrangements forces companies to adjust their working policies and rethink how the workplace is used and designed. The office space should fulfil the need for a hybrid workforce while still being profitable.

Two main perks of switching to a hybrid work model are downsizing the office space and lowering your bills. However, don’t forget to consider your employees’ expectations when planning to reduce the size of your workspace. Are they all comfortable with a hot desking system? Are some coming more often than others and willing to work from the same desk each time they are on-site? 

By keeping some fixed desks, you are more likely to make everyone happy. People can have the desk they want and switch to a hybrid work model at their own pace.

Aerial view of woman working on laptop
Employee working from assigned desk

How do you manage dedicated workspaces in a hybrid work environment?

Know your employees’ needs

The first step to creating a work environment that answers your staff’s needs is to include them in the process. If you want to build a place that makes them thrive, the best way to succeed is to ask them what they expect from the physical workplace.

If they can choose when to come to the office, send surveys to know how often they plan to be on-site weekly. Also, try to figure out which type of workspace they usually intend to book. Is it an isolated single desk, a spot at a collective table, a meeting room, etc.? Do they mind working from different areas in the office, or do they prefer to stick to the same workstation? 

Find the right balance between the amount of dedicated workspace and hot desks

One of the biggest advantages of hybrid work for companies is its cost reduction potential. Don’t counter this advantage by planning more assignable desks than necessary. This is why it is key to analyze your employees’ expectations first. You can then find the right balance between their needs and your requirements.

Some positions require more on-site work than others. This can also be a useful indicator. A person who needs to be in the office most days might prefer to work from the same desk every day. However, a team member who comes every few weeks is more likely to understand and not be bothered if he has to sit at a different spot each time.

👋 Check out our customers’ reviews to discover what our users think about the deskbird app!

Woman focusing on work at desk
Woman focusing on work at desk

Be fair and equal to all team members

Desk assignments must be done in a fair and equal manner. All employees should be entitled to a workspace that helps them perform their work in the best conditions. To do so, managers should not express favoritism or discrimination. If several people request the same desk each time they come on-site, you must figure out what could work best to make everyone happy without making biased decisions.

For example, people can pick their favorite desk for one month and book other workspaces the rest of the time. Using deskbird, you can dedicate this specific desk to your team member for a month thanks to the “assigned space” feature. 

Use hybrid workspace management technology 

Lastly, you can get crucial support and improve your hybrid workspace management, including desk assignments, by using hybrid workplace technology. Tools like deskbird, our desk booking software, enable you to optimize your flexible office, coordinate desk and room booking, and assign spaces (desk, rooms, parking lots, etc.). 

CRE professionals, HR executives, and team leaders can do this with one tool and a few clicks! Accessible from anywhere and anytime, this digital ally also collects office analytics to provide key data and help you make the right choices regarding your office space management. 

The goal of introducing more flexible work practices is not to downsize but to foster an employee-centric and productive work environment. Letting people work from anywhere, and sometimes at any time, is one part of the definition of flexibility at work. It also implies adapting to your workforce’s expectations

While this article explains the benefits of allowing some dedicated workspaces in the office, it doesn’t mean your team needs them. This is specific to each organization, and determining whether having assigned desks is necessary for your staff is key. However, to play it safe, we highly recommend considering this aspect when planning your hybrid workplace management strategy, as your workers’ requirements can change over time.

Are you looking for a user-friendly, modern tool to run your workplace smoothly? Request a free demo of the deskbird app and discover all the amazing features to optimize your office space and boost employee experience!

Dedicated workspace: a modern and employee-centric approach

Paulyne Sombret

Paulyne is a highly respected expert in hybrid work. She's known for her writing on sustainability in the hybrid office, flexible work models, and employee experience. With a strong background in content and SEO, her work explores the exciting trends and latest news in the world of work.

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