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Hot-desking saves SMEs money, boosts creativity

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Lowered costs are the main reason why SMEs opt for hot-desking, says The Extension's Simon Campbell-Young.
Lowered costs are the main reason why SMEs opt for hot-desking, says The Extension's Simon Campbell-Young.

Hot-desking, a relatively new phenomenon in the SA workplace, is taking off in a massive way, particularly with regard to small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

This is according to Simon Campbell-Young, CEO of The Extension, who notes the trend is being driven by increasing availability of technology.

In today's mobile workforce, multitudes of employees working remotely, and remaining productive and effective, says Campbell-Young. All they need is a laptop and a WiFi connection.

The Ericsson ConsumerLab's recent report says more and more people around the world are choosing to work from multiple locations, requiring a greater need for technology-enabled flexibility.

Rather than commuting to single location offices, the workforce of the future prefers to conduct video conferencing from different locations, using mobile phones provided by their employer, it adds.

Campbell-Young points out hot-desking means instead of owning physical offices, small businesses can rent a limited number of communal stations. Employees do not need their own desks, but can use what is available as and when needed, he adds.

Lowered costs are the main reason why SMEs opt for hot-desking, says Campbell-Young. It allows SMEs to have 'offices' in prime locations, for a fraction of the cost.

"Office space, particularly in desirable locations, is prohibitively costly, usually completely out of reach for small businesses and start-ups. By reducing the amount of space needed, hot-desking becomes an extremely cost-efficient method of running a business, with all the amenities in a great location."

Another benefit of hot-desking is it brings employees together - particularly in creative environments which involve a lot of brainstorming, bouncing around of ideas, and creative communication, says Campbell-Young.

Beatrice Jonah, marketing digital campaign strategist at ThoughtWorks, says hot-desking can be beneficial for SMEs in terms of reducing costs and allowing flexibility.

It allows for multiple individuals to be able to work in a smaller space, while also saving on the overheads of fixed office spaces, she notes.

Organisations that have a large majority of their employees working off-site; such as sales personnel or consultants, heavily benefit from this type of environment, she adds.

The real benefit of hot-desking is the impact it has on the culture of the business - organisations that adopt this concept often have cultures of collaboration to inspire innovation, says Jonah, adding this is often seen in many of today's technology companies.

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