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Hot desking is a good way to kill your company

by on24 June 2019

The dumbest management fad ever

The management fad of hot-desking is a damn fine way to destroy your company according to Forbes contributor Simon Constable.

For those who are not with the latest dumb management trends, hot-desking has been around for decades, but no one has really taken it seriously.  It is a working arrangement where employees have no assigned desk. Each morning you get a workstation based on that old standby, first-come-first-served. If you show up at 5:30 a.m. then you'll have your pick. Later than 9 am, then probably you'll get what's left.

The theory behind this idea is that it provides companies with increased flexibility in managing office space.

However, like most dumb management novelties, the drawbacks vastly outweigh any benefits but managers are too stupid to work it out yet.

"If you hate your company, its employees and the shareholders then go ahead and introduce the latest management fad: Hot-desking. It's a better way to destroy the firm than inviting Russian hackers to rob you blind”, Constable wrote.

He said hot -desking sends the message that employees don't matter. Employers frequently say their employees are their biggest asset. But when the company can't even be bothered to let you have a permanent desk, then the opposite message is sent.

It means that no one can easily find anyone, making it harder to hold quick impromptu discussions or ask for help. And it also becomes harder to explain to employees why they can't just work from home.

Constable said that hot-desking might work OK for small companies with just a handful of employees. But "the bigger the firm the larger the inefficiency.

A company of 50 people might see only minor problems from hot-desking, while one in 50,000 are likely to see "massive dysfunction throughout the institution".

"If you see a public company introducing hot desks as a way to add flexibility or save money across the board, then be afraid for investors. Why? Because the profits quickly suffer in a dysfunctional company."

Last modified on 24 June 2019
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