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Activity-based working vs. hot desking: Which setup should you choose?

9 March, 2021

The days of shuffling into tiny office cubicles are almost nonexistent these days. No one likes the idea of feeling like an animal stuck in the stocks. There's also been a slew of research that shows working in cubicles results in the opposite of creativity and productivity. However, working in a traditional office space with dedicated seating doesn't seem to be much better at sparking ingenuity either.

With that being said, a new era of office workspaces has arrived. The two most popular methods are hot desking and activity-based working. Both of these options allow for the freedom of movement in the workplace, removing the age-old idea of being confined to a spot and allowing for higher levels of creativity.

Given this, which option is better for you and your team? This article will go into detail about whether your office space needs to incorporate hot desking or activity-based workspaces for best results.

What is hot desking?

When you were a kid, you probably had an assigned seat when you went to class. How did you find that setup? The idea of a hot desking office space is to do away with assigned seating, allowing you to take a seat wherever you feel like it.

Every time you come to work, you have the option of sitting at any available desk of your choosing. This freedom of movement is said to give workers total comfort in their workspace, allowing them to be at their best every time they walk through the door. It also saves on office space as workers in different shifts can use the same allotted desks.

Activity-based working

Activity-based working is more than a workplace design. It's a way of working, where the workplace is supposed to support employees in whatever task they have. With an activity-based work station, your employees are offered a variety of seating configurations that they can take advantage of.

In this manner, employees can work in the workspace that best supports their specific type of work, as well as their mood during their work period. When done right, ABW can improve both productivity as well as employee satisfaction.

The difference

Still not sure of what the difference is? It's a bit confusing, we know. But think of it like this: an activity-based workplace can include flexible hot desking areas, but just because you have a hot desking area in your office, it doesn't mean that you have an activity-based workplace. As mentioned, ABW is a way of working and not a workplace design. 

Let's get you started

Now when the differences are all sorted out – which setup should you choose? We would suggest that you start with hot desking, especially if you're new to ABW. By implementing hot desking first, you give your employees a chance to adapt to the new workplace guidelines without confusion. Read all about how to get started with hot desking in this blogpost!

Workplace tech is essential when transitioning to either hot desking or ABW. Meetio has a wide range of solutions that can help you manage your new workplace. Read more about our solutions with the link below!

Guide: Get started with hot desking!

A comprehensive introduction to hot desking, its benefits, and how you best implement it.


Get your guide!

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