Flexible working is the way of the future, but how do you do it well?

On the surface, hotdesking sounds like a no-brainer. Doing away with fixed desks reduces clutter, promotes creative thinking and improves co-operation between departments – all while minimising those pesky office rental costs. But a policy of “wherever I lay my laptop, that’s my home” can cause trouble if handled badly. Thankfully, there are a few simple things you can do to get it right.

LIGHT IS RIGHT

Keeping a clear desk might make the office look pretty but it can create serious storage issues. Make sure you provide generous locker space for all those files, pictures of loved ones and novelty mugs.

You’ll also need to make certain that your employees don’t have to come to work every morning with a backpack that looks like it was designed for Everest base camp. Are bulky laptops really necessary? Tablet-laptop hybrids can literally take a load of your back, while still providing all the power of a heftier notebook.

SAFETY FIRST

Portable devices mean two things: morale-boosting flexibility and power cables, lots of power cables. If not kept tidy, the latter will have your health and safety officers blurting “trip hazard” until they’re blue in the face, so make sure you keep your staff well-trained.

Of course, workers aren’t the only assets you need to protect. Portable devices have to endure the same commute as you do, so avoid anything that looks like it might crack if you look at it the wrong way.

MUM’S THE WORD

In this day and age, safety concerns aren’t just confined to physical assets. The risks from cyber space are growing by the year. Fortunately, flexible working doesn’t have to increase those risks. So long as your employees know not to send the details of your company’s top secret Project Spectre over insecure public wifi, then lightweight, high performance hybrids are just as safe as their bulkier cousins.

Whether you’re launching a new advertising campaign, expanding sales into another country or drilling a tunnel deep into the Earth’s core, hotdesking should be your friend, not your foe. Just make sure you come prepared for the challenges of flexible working, so you can make the most of its opportunities.