Desk Sharing: Top Tips for Optimizing Your Workplace

The desk sharing hype is real.

As businesses continue to evolve and adapt to new working conditions, desk sharing has emerged as a policy that offers profound benefits for a company’s optimization goals.

Google is the latest example of a leading tech company turning to desk sharing to streamline office attendance, reduce real estate costs and boost productivity.

But what is desk sharing? And how can you leverage it for the good of your business?

Source: Fortune

What is Desk Sharing?

Desk sharing, also known as hot desking, is a work system that allows employees to use available workstations on an ad hoc basis, rather than having a dedicated workspace.

This not only serves to optimize office space and reduce real estate expenses, it also promotes collaboration and teamwork, fosters a more creative and diverse workplace, and ultimately provides employees with a more comfortable work environment that promotes their well-being.

As we’ll see later, desk sharing works best when it’s implemented alongside a tool for hybrid work. Having the right software to help manage your desk sharing policy is vital to ensuring you never have to compromise on team coordination and an intuitive user experience.

The Power of Desk Sharing

As companies continue to adjust to the new normal of post-pandemic life, many are struggling to get oversight on the actual day-to-day use of their office space.

It’s understandable. Without a proper system in place for hybrid work management, the intention to balance remote and in-person work can result in logistical chaos: employees scattered all over the place, unsure as to each other’s schedules, coming and going seemingly at random.

Introducing a policy for desk sharing can give much-needed structure to this chaos. When business leaders and employees gain transparency into the use of their workplace — the availability of work stations; their team members’ Kadences; overall office utilization — the results can be profoundly impactful on a number of fronts:

1. Space optimization and cost saving

Perhaps the most attractive proposal for organizations facing a tricky year ahead. By utilizing office space more efficiently, desk sharing will help you significantly cut down your real estate costs. No permanent, dedicated workstations means smarter space management and a concrete opportunity to downsize your workspace.

2. Collaboration and community building

Contrary to common misconceptions, desk sharing has a powerful galvanizing effect on the social landscape of companies. Employees in effective hybrid work systems come in to the office with higher intention – whether that be to collaborate with relevant team members or just to feel like part of the community.

3. Flexibility

The beauty of desk sharing is that it can easily cater to a workforce made up of remote employees, part-time workers, and contractors. It’s a flexible system that allows workers to have a designated workspace when they need it, without requiring a permanent desk that goes unused.

4. Employee well-being

Desk sharing ultimately empowers employees to choose their workspace depending on their (ever-changing!) needs. Remote work remains a safe haven for deep focus work, whereas the office becomes a stimulating creative environment for collaboration and socializing. The flexibility this provides is conducive to a flourishing workforce with an in-built focus on personal well-being.

5. Attracting and retaining diverse talent

Many workers, particularly younger employees, are drawn to flexible and collaborative workplaces. Desk sharing will make your company more attractive to a diverse range of potential candidates, improve employee satisfaction, and help retain top talent.

6. ESG goals

With increasing attention towards the ESG efforts of organizations, desk sharing comes with the promise of a real reduction in your company’s carbon footprint — whether through smarter office energy usage or the simple act of downsizing your space.

Kadence’s Desk Sharing Tips

Implementing shared desks can be a daunting task, especially if it’s the first time for your organization. Here are some tips for managing the process to ensure you adopt desk sharing as seamlessly as possible:

Find a desk booking system

Choosing the right tool for desk booking is absolutely key to successful desk sharing. Make sure the tool you choose comes with a full feature set that allows you to reserve shared desks, check availability and coordinate with other team members.

Kadence desk booking

Communicate with your employees

Make sure that your employees understand how the system works, and create clear guidelines for booking desks and keeping workspaces clean. Encourage open communication and feedback, so that employees can work together to optimize the desk sharing experience.

Encourage personalization

Encourage your employees to personalize their workspace to make it their own, even if it’s just a temporary space. This can help employees feel more comfortable and productive, and can foster a sense of ownership and pride in the workspace.

Provide storage solutions

Provide storage solutions for employees to keep their belongings, such as lockers or storage cabinets, to keep the workspace clean and clutter-free. This will ensure your employees stay organized and focused, while reducing the risk of lost or stolen items.

Prioritize cleanliness

Provide cleaning supplies and make sure that employees understand the importance of keeping their workspace clean and organized. Desk sharing should be supported by easy-to-clean desks and furniture, so that employees can focus on their work rather than worrying about cleanliness.



At Kadence, we believe that desk sharing is just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to optimizing your workplace for success. That’s why we offer a comprehensive tool for hybrid work management that can help you coordinate your desk sharing policy with other remote and in-person work policies.

If you’re interested in learning more about how hybrid work can help your organization thrive, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

The Space Management Challenges Your Return To Office Plan Must Solve

How do your people feel about returning to the office? How do you? Putting together a return to the office plan that delivers a safe, efficient, and agile space management process is an immensely complex task.

Health and safety measures at your workplace

People worry about their health and wellbeing. Close to a half (39%) of American and British workers say they’ll no longer use shared kitchen areas, cups, and utensils or make coffee and tea rounds in the office. A quarter (24%) won’t even use shared elevators.

You need to make sure workspaces are cleaned and sanitized properly, ideally, as soon as they’ve been released back to the pool. That would help you optimize the workplace experience for the employee as well as maximize the use of company real estate.

What’s more, the global health situation and government regulations will likely continue to change. There may be potential outbreaks in the office requiring you to adjust its layout and restrict employee access at a moment’s notice. You need to be prepared to act swiftly in all of these scenarios.

Desk and room booking process for your hybrid workplace

Just walking into the office and grabbing a desk for the day is no longer acceptable. Nor is a manually updated excel sheet of desk bookings and the employees working in the office a long-term solution.

Yet both you and your people need visibility over who’s coming in and when. A quarter (25%) of US and UK workers worry about finding the right kind of workspaces once the office doors open. It’s not just a question of choosing between a silent zone and a collaboration hub.

Can your plan for returning to the office solve these three challenges?

People want to:

  • book a desk that’s close to the amenities they’ll need that day;
  • have it available at different times to optimize their productivity cadence and maintain a healthy work-life balance;
  • be sure the colleagues they’re looking forward to meeting will be in the office.

Your team managers will also appreciate a more efficient way of organizing hybrid team meetings than a half hour back and forth via Slack or email to pick the right time, book a room, and check the tech they need will be there. Combine that with health and safety concerns, and there’s little wonder many suffer from anxiety about returning to the office.

Can your return-to-office plan solve these challenges? Yes, it can. In fact, it’s crucial that it does if you want to nurture collaboration and motivate your people to come to the office for that face-to-face time that’s so crucial for productivity and mental wellbeing.

Three questions to answer in your plan for welcoming people back to the workplace

1. Will you choose a phased approach or open up to everyone at the same time?

There are various internal and external factors that may impact this decision or be affected by it, including government-imposed restrictions, company budget, internal approval processes, and the building’s cleaning protocols.

2. What’s the main role of the office in a hybrid work context?

Survey your employees to understand what they value most in a workplace and what they need to perform at their best. That will likely include different activity-based office neighborhoods, such as social and collaboration hubs and silent zones. Space usage insights will help you to further optimize the office layout.

3. What do you need to look for in a space management app?

The success of any space management system starts and ends with user adoption. So choose a workplace app that’s a fit for the company as well as the people.

Look for:

  • Ease of use with excellent UX and UI across devices
  • Useful features like smart suggestions, single sign-on, and integrations with your existing tech tools, apps and software
  • Support for coordinating individual and team cadences for easy collaboration.
  • Well-rounded safety measures covering self-certification, automated cleaning updates, and touchless mobile check-in.
  • Agile space management features such as customizable layouts and flexible policy settings that allow you to instantly block desks, office neighborhoods, or an entire building.

To uncover the exact steps to implementing a safe and efficient desk booking process in a hybrid workplace, download our Complete Guide to Building a Return to the Office Plan.

5 new product features to boost your return-to-workplace plan

While workplace leaders may be eager for their people to return to the office, some employees are still feeling unsure, and enjoyed the comforts of working from home. The workplace should be a place people want to return to, and you can start with offering solutions that address their concerns, and tools that make the experience seamless and better.

Here are some of our new product features to help you and your teams navigate through your return-to-work plans:

  1. Quicker sign-on for faster adoption
  2. Faster on-boarding with directory sync
  3. Delegate booking for easier collaboration
  4. Auto desk release to improve availability
  5. Building insights to optimize spaces

Quicker sign-on for faster adoption

To create the best workplace experience for your people, we make it simple for workplace managers to integrate with their existing workplace systems or workflows. Users can now login with single sign-on, meaning there’s no need for registration as the authentication is managed by your SSO integration. Keeping the onboarding flow easy and seamless also lowers friction for employees and helps increase adoption.

Faster on-boarding with directory sync

Workplace managers can sync with their preferred directory to automatically provision users without having to invite them individually, so that organizations can sync all of their employees’ records in just a few clicks.

We take our data privacy and security responsibilities very seriously, and only store data that is absolutely necessary. With our single sign-on and directory sync integrations, workplace managers no longer need to keep track of different sets of corporate credentials, eliminating the risk of identity or password theft, giving peace of mind to both the organization and users.

Delegate booking for easier collaboration

Effective desk booking software should always do the heavy lifting for you – making it easy for employees to find and book the right spaces they need. With our latest release, team managers, personal assistants, and admins can now book spaces on behalf of others within their team to make on-site collaboration and management frictionless and simple.

Auto desk release to improve availability

With a lower office capacity in the new normal workplace, there is a greater need to use data to understand how desks are being used, and make better data-driven office space planning decisions moving forward. With our latest release, admins can now set desks to release after a specified elapsed time if an employee hasn’t checked in to their booking – to eliminate recurring ghost bookings and improve overall desk availability.

Building insights to optimize spaces

To create the best workplace experience for your people, you first need to understand the way your spaces are currently used, and the needs of your employees. Our ‘Building’ insights dashboard gives you an overview of occupancy across any building, floor, or office neighborhood, and lets you compare how spaces are being used by selecting the data you need:

  • Future bookings
  • Actual check-ins
  • Wasted bookings (no-shows or early check-outs)
  • Daily capacity insights to keep a close eye on busy areas and allocate resources accordingly

Find out more about Kadence analytics here

Book a demo with one of our team today to see how Kadence’s desk booking software could help you create an effective hybrid workplace.