Hot Desk vs. Dedicated Desk – Find What’s Right For You 

With the right workspace, productivity soars – choose the best option for your needs from hot desks and dedicated desks.

Coworking spaces are growing more and more popular by the day, and the number one reason is undoubtedly the flexibility that they offer. From freelancers and digital nomads who just want to pop into the office for a few hours to more established companies that want a cost-efficient private office to represent their brand, these modern workspaces aim to answer a wide range of needs.  

Shared offices tend to be more affordable than their traditional counterparts – members pay only for the space they use when they use it: by the hour, daily, or monthly, without having to worry about additional overhead costs. The list of benefits continues with tons of networking opportunities, attractive amenity packages, and beautiful interior design and décor elements that make them an overall pleasant and stimulating place to work.  

Although private and full-floor offices are increasingly common, day passes are perhaps the hottest commodity in the coworking realm. If you’re familiar with shared offices, then you probably already know that not all desk rentals are created equal – to be exact, we currently distinguish between hot desks and dedicated desks. And with any flex space, there’s no one-size-fits-all, so learning the pros and cons of both solutions can help you determine which option works for you and your business.  

What is a hot desk? 

A hot desk or hot desking refers to a free-seating arrangement, in which members reserve a workstation on a first-come, first-served basis. As opposed to dedicated desks, these workstations are not assigned to one individual only – instead, they could be occupied by one person in the morning, followed by someone else in the afternoon, and so on.  

The element of spontaneity is what best differentiates them from dedicated desks, something that’s very similar to how we buy tickets to the movies. There, you have the possibility to purchase them days or even weeks in advance, but you could also just show up at the cinema right before a screening starts and pay for whatever seat is left (if there are any). The former allows you to reserve the seats you like best, but the latter requires less planning. At the end of the day, there’s no objectively better option; it simply comes down to preference and flexibility. 

Similarly to showing up spontaneously at the cinema, hot desks can be a last-minute solution when the unexpected happens. Perhaps you’re working from home, but the internet suddenly drops and you need a place to finish a time-sensitive task, or you have a delayed flight and would want to spend that waiting time getting work done in a comfortable shared office. In both cases, you can easily look up the WeWork location closest to you and book a hot desk on the website or in the WeWork app

You’ll see that there are many advantages to hot desking, among them being: 

  1. Flexibility – Members are welcome to choose any seat from cozy nooks to sun-lit tables. It also helps that they only pay for the desk when they use it, making it the ideal non-committal office.  
  2. Affordability – Thanks to its pay-as-you-go nature, hot desking is a more cost-efficient solution, attracting people who wish to avoid a long-term lease.  
  3. Networking – Coworking spaces are built with collaboration in mind, encouraging social interactions and the free flow of ideas. Hot desking, in particular, allows you to sit next to professionals of various backgrounds whose fresh perspectives may be just what you need to kickstart an exciting new project. 
  4. Change of scenery – Coming into the office and sitting at the same desk is not for everyone; especially not for those who need variety to stay creative. So start off in an art-filled corner, then move to a seat by the window and enjoy the views while you work. 
  5. Less clutter – Everyone appreciates a clean and organized office space, and hot desks help achieve just that. Since these workstations don’t belong to any one person, members are required to clean up and gather their things at the end of their booking.  

Naturally, there are also some drawbacks to hot desking, especially for larger teams who would all like to reserve workspaces in the same area where availability may be scarce. Distractions and lack of privacy are other downsides people tend to remark, but for many, the benefits still outweigh the disadvantages.   

What is a dedicated desk? 

Dedicated desks are fixed desks, and as the name suggests, they are assigned to one specific individual for the duration of their booking. They allow you to enjoy all the shared amenities of a coworking space while having a personal desk, chair, and sometimes even lockable storage for your belongings, so you can comfortably keep the supplies you need right at your workspace. These make them the optimal solution for anyone who appreciates a collaborative environment but fares better with the structure and routine that a dedicated workstation provides. 

With WeWork’s monthly subscriptions, you benefit from 24-hour access to your desk in a shared office and a quieter, more private setting. Lounges and phone booths are also at your disposal whenever you’d like to meet other people or take an important call.  

Other noteworthy perks that come with a dedicated desk include: 

  1. You have your own desk for as long as you wish – The desk is yours for the entirety of the booking, so you don’t need to rush to work in the morning to reserve your favorite seat. People may also enjoy the sense of ownership they get from having a permanent desk. 

2. Productivity – With a sense of stability, privacy, and a setup that fits your workstyle just right, your productivity levels are also bound to soar.  

3. Amenities – A dedicated desk membership is so much more than just a workstation with your name on it. Take advantage of WeWork’s hallmark amenities as well as tons of unique perks that can turn an ordinary workday into an extraordinary one. 

4. Community – Members who keep returning every day are essentially the backbone of a coworking space. They are the ones who help build a true community that differentiates a coworking space from traditional offices. In other words, they put the “co” into “coworking”. 

Even with all these advantages, you may find that dedicated desks are not cut out for you. For instance, remote or hybrid workers who only need a temporary solution could be more drawn to the flexibility that hot desks provide. Additionally, assigned desks entail monthly commitments, so they are a bigger investment than their pay-as-you-go equivalent.  

The choice between hot desks and dedicated desks will all come down to your needs and preferences. Nevertheless, a coworking space best operates with a combination of both since everyone wants something different out of coworking. Permanent members will be the faces you’ll likely greet every day, while the occasional hot desk user will bring in a sense of freshness that keeps the community from becoming monotonous. Together, they foster a vibrant place where everyone is happy to collaborate, work, and ultimately, thrive.  

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