Hot Desks vs Dedicated Desks: Pros and Cons

Workplace Aug 06 2021

In coworking spaces and serviced offices, hot desking and dedicated desks are two popular seating options for individuals and teams. These spaces mostly cater to small and medium-sized businesses, startups, and freelancers. But after the pandemic, many companies are looking for satellite office spaces for their teams across multiple locations and looking towards these kinds of spaces for their requirements. These spaces can open up new opportunities for individuals and organizations alike in terms of ideation and collaboration.

If you are looking to rent office space, then you might find yourself in the dilemma of choosing between hot-desking and dedicated desks. Some say hot desks are better while others believe dedicated desks are the way to go. To be honest, there is no superior option; each arrangement has its own advantages and disadvantages.

In this article, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of hot desks and dedicated desks, so that you can make an informed decision. Most of these points apply to seating arrangements in dedicated and private offices as well.


Hot Desks

It is a flexible office practice as part of coworking space where places are not assigned to anyone and there is no ‘fixed seat’ for a person. Workers are free to choose any available seat that fits their needs. It is typically a community area that allows them to sit anywhere in the lounge and work. In this set-up, employees share communal spaces and are in a working environment that thrives on open communication and teamwork. For a team, a pool of seats is allotted to the group on a daily/hourly basis and they are free to occupy and the seat of their choice.

Pros of Hot desks

·   Hot desk memberships are cheaper than dedicated desk memberships. It is a cost-effective solution for teams who work remotely but need to come together in an office from time to time.


·   You have a greater say in choosing your space and have more flexibility in work settings. You can decide on a cozy corner or a sun-lit table by the window based on your mood and needs.


·   Most coworking spaces consist of people with various industry backgrounds and roles. Your social skills improve in a communal space. It encourages a creative environment where people get to interact and socialize with other teams.


·   By not having a fixed desk leads to a cleaner, more organized, and professional-looking workspace that can help inspire productivity, focus, and engagement. You finish your tasks and you leave the desk with your belongings and no clutter is left.




Cons of Hot Desks

·   Hot desks work on a first come first serve basis which means if you like a particular space then you have to come early to take that seat, or else it might not be available. If you leave a certain seat for some time, it might be taken by somebody else. It is also possible that certain spaces are fully occupied and you may have to wait which can hamper your work and make you lose time.


·   If you need to concentrate and focus on work, the noise and lots of activity around you can cause an unnecessary distraction. Lack of privacy is an issue for everybody as you don’t get their personal space and it hampers productivity.


·   It may not be suitable for bigger teams, as reserving many hot desks within one coworking space shared by many companies could be increasingly difficult.


Dedicated Desks

It is simply a fixed/dedicated space in a coworking space where teams/individuals can reserve the same workstations to come to every day, while still enjoying a coworking space’s shared amenities. It is typically for a longer duration of time as long as the membership is valid. You can store your belongings and no one else is allowed to use your desk.



Pros of Dedicated Desks

·   You get more control of your space. It comes with an added degree of personalization and permanency. You can also customize and set up your desk to your liking.

·   Safety is not an issue. This allows your employees to safely store their valuables, important documents, and other work-related items while at work without having to worry about them getting lost. 


·   No hassle of finding a seat every day. Your desk will be waiting for you regardless of the time of day or night you arrive.


·   You get more privacy than hot desking. The area is quieter for getting your focus work done.  There are not so many distractions from other workers.


·  It allows members of the same team to reserve desks in close proximity to facilitate teamwork and collaboration which might not be possible in hot desking.


Cons of Dedicated Desks

·   You have no choices of workstations with different settings in other areas of the coworking spaces. You are stuck to one place which can be monotonous and isolative.

·   You lose some of the advantages of coworking, like making contacts, learning from others, and social skills. The team may need more push to interact with other teams stationed beyond their workspace.

·   It costs much more than a hot desk. You will have to pay the rent even when you are not using it.



Choose what suits best


Both have their own advantages and disadvantages and you can choose according to your needs, budget, and preferences. Carefully consider which of these arrangements works best for you and your team’s needs and can help your organization achieve success. The choice is truly yours. 


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