Organizing for hot desks

The terms “hot desks” and “hot desking” have nothing to do with temperature. It a business term used for shared office desks. Instead of assigning each employee a desk, offices will provide spaces with desks that are occupied as required. This is usually done for sales people and remote workers who only occasionally work at the office. A business can save money by implementing this practice because it doesn’t have to maintain unused space.

If you work in an office with hot desks, you’ll need to organize yourself and your belongings a bit differently. No longer can you leave piles of files stacked on the desk or sticky notes on the computer monitor as reminders of what tasks to work on. Alternative solutions include my favourite project managing system, On Top of Everything but you may prefer a combination of paper planners, digital calendars, and/or to-do lists.

In some hot desk offices, employees may have lockers where they can store their computers and a few personal belongings. If you do not have a locker, you should invest in a durable briefcase that is easy to carry around, holds all of your items, and can be locked when needed.

Here are a few things you might wish to carry in your briefcase:

Organizers: A Grid-it (or two) will help keep your computer cables and other items organized and easy to find. Even though your office may provide supplies, a plastic divided container is useful for keeping a small stash of paperclips, staples, etc., close at hand.

Sanitizing wipes: Clean the arms of the chair, telephone, and any other items touched frequently by multiple people. As a courtesy to the next person, use the wipes again before you leave the desk.

Temperature control: I’m always cold while working at my desk. I carry a pashmina type shawl with me to wrap around my shoulders. If you’re always warm, a portable fan may be useful.

Noise control: If you’re more productive when it is quiet, use earmuff-type noise cancelling headphones rather than the smaller ear buds. If your co-workers can see you’re wearing headphones, they will interrupt you only for important matters.

Name tag: Since employees change desks frequently, you may wish to get a simple nameplate to display at your hot desk so your co-workers will know where to find you.

If you have experience hot desking, please chime in with organizing tips for our readers.

3 Comments for “Organizing for hot desks”

  1. posted by Jim Cook on

    Air Freshener: I hot desk with smokers, gym gronks, and cyclists. So a small spritz bottle of febreze to spray down the cube walls and the seat and then a Yankee Candle Car Jar near my laptop exhaust fan cleans the stink out just fine.

    Plants: I know, I know, “really?” Yes really. I have a wide planter with a Dracaena, some English Ivy, and some Boston Fern. It’s on my desk while I work so I see the greens and don’t feel repressed. When I’m out of the office I just tuck it on top of a bookcase in the public space.

    Lighting: One more ridiculous addition – but one worth considering. I have a Tao Tronics LED Desk Lamp. Its very slimlined,Multiple light settings, It folds up and fits in my bag, and the bonus is it has a usb charging port so I can power my phone.

  2. posted by Gabrielle on

    These are all great ideas. I spent a lot of time working in a library cubicle, where there was not really an office. I carried 2 quart or gallon sized heavy duty ziplocks in my bag. One had pens, postits, highlighters and clips and office type stuff, like you suggest for the small plastic container. The other had personal stuff such as lip balm, tissues, throat lozenges, a mini antibacterial gel, head phones, and usually a couple of Clif bars. The bags made an easy and cheap way to sort and store stuff.

    The nameplate suggestion is really a really good idea.

  3. posted by Yasir Abbas on

    great ideas that you have shared with us. (Y)

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