Saturday, July 27, 2013
Every organization is looking at effective ways on how to increase productivity while lessening the operational costs with today’s economic condition. In the 21st century working environment, there is growing management enthusiasm for hot desk services because the cost of office spaces and buildings at major cities are ridiculously expensive.
Implementing hot desking setup is seemingly intimidating for an established organization, especially if its employees are used to working in a fixed desk or a traditional office setup. One of the challenges of embracing a hot desk office in Hong Kong is how to maintain the culture and values among the dispersed employees.
Can you influence your employees to shift from the traditional office setup into an “on-the-road” flexible working spaces? Are you a startup who is planning to implement a virtual office to your new recruits? How are you going to maintain the culture and values of the company despite the absence of physical interaction?
These are some of the frequently asked questions of managers and business owners. To avoid compromising productivity and corporate values, here are three ways to do it:
Inform the team, and go through the process with them
What is the first thing you do as you sit in front of the office table? Probably most of you are gazing at our loved ones’ pictures while you wait for the PC to boot up. There is a sense of identity and belongingness when you sit in your personal desk before you start the day.
However, a growing band of staff starts the day as they unpack their stuff in a new desk every morning. These nomadic workers are the new forefront of companies that have implemented a hot desk environment, allowing them to use different workstations round the clock.
It seems intimidating at first for your team to work in this type of environment, but you must inform them and educate them why you are going to implement the system. Go through the process with them, and let them know that you are willing to help them cope up with the change.
Cultivate open communications
Your leadership team must communicate and model the organization’s values and culture. From there, it must be channeled to the team members down to the rank and file. Information, instructions and specific details should be sent clearly among the staff and employees.
It does not matter where they are, but as long as you have unified virtualization systems and communication tools that can be accessed by each employee, it would be easier for both the management and employees to communicate directly.
Some of the companies (Britain’s Yellow Pages, Siemens, Proctor and Gamble etc.) that use hot desk services have staff spread across five continents, and they are doing a great job in affirming and living out values. It takes a constant awareness on the part of the management and leadership to give importance and impact of what they say and do.
Schedule meet-ups, trainings and boot camps
While the most challenging part in a hot desking environment is the absence of physical interaction of employees, you can compensate it through regular meet-ups, trainings and boot camps to cultivate the relationship among the team.
Most of hot desking services include packages where you can rent a conference room to gather your employees. Some of them might be working in different locations and time zones, but with the advancement of technology, you can conduct live webinars and videoconferences at the same time while the big event is ongoing.
After all, culture and values are not tied up with a physical office. In fact, they are bound to people’s lives and work ethics. Above all, creating constant awareness to the plans and strategies of the organization would drive everyone to commit and work under the corporate culture and values regardless of time and location.
Reynold Gustavson is a self-employed online entrepreneur currently working from four different cities around the world. He is a regular contributor to various sites and blogs specializing in startup businesses, business travelling and working environment solutions for self-employed business owners.