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National Stress Awareness Month: Hot desking not good for the soul

52 per cent of employers are open to hot desking, but 92 per cent of office workers have reported issues with it.

That’s according to research from Brickendon Digital, the technology and product development arm of consultancy Brickendon, which says the results highlight the urgency for businesses to do more in order to look after their employees’ wellbeing.

The data reveals 80 per cent of office workers report office seating can negatively affect their mental wellbeing, making it clear the full benefits and opportunities are not currently being reaped by businesses.

The research, which looked at the impact of hotdesking, also found the most prominent causes for hotdesking malaise were: wasting time setting up a computer (44 per cent), wasting time looking for a desk when starting work (31 per cent) and difficulty to bond with their team (22 per cent).

Identifying the main causes of hot desk caused stress, the research revealed 58 per cent of respondents found the prospect of not knowing where to sit every day as the biggest stressor when it comes to hot desking, while 61 per cent felt the ability to pre-book their seat in advance would ease this worry.

Christopher Burke, CEO, Brickendon, who recently launched HotDeskPlus a workplace optimisation tool, said: “There are growing issues in the way businesses are currently managing and looking after their workforce causing an alarming need for companies to rectify this situation and enhance employee wellbeing. 

“Managing this can be a minefield, and in its current state hot desking is very much flawed, and worryingly affecting employees’ mental wellbeing. It’s an important issue requiring urgent attention.”

The research also highlighted that hotdesking is more common amongst the male office population with 61 per cent of men reporting to hot desk compared to just 49 per cent of women. 

With 25 per cent of female employees also reporting to having difficulty in establishing bonds with new desk mates, it’s clear that measures need to be put in place which monitor and combat such issues. As hot desking tools like HotDeskPlus are increasingly prominent, businesses can better promote initiatives like flexible working, which is one of the key drivers in achieving a healthier work-life balance. 

Burke added: “If hot desking is utilised properly, it has the potential to positively transform the way we work and open doors to incredible results. Since launching HotDeskPlus we’ve spoken to hundreds of business leaders globally, and identified a gap in the market for a service which supports improving work-life balance, removes the stress and anxiety associated with never finding a space to work and promotes a nurturing work culture.”