Recently, I had a conversation with someone who works for a company with a hybrid model. This person has learned that mid-week, you have to log into their enterprise’s hotdesking system early if you want a good seat, as it fills up fast. Maybe that’s the next big side hustle, we joked: Scalping seats at your company’s office.
Things might not be that bad yet, but IT professionals need to consider plenty of issues when it comes to equipping the office for hybrid work. Irwin Lazar of Metrigy has a great post on No Jitter looking at some of the real challenges IT faces and may see grow as enterprises deploy hotdesking as a core element of their hybrid work strategy.
Irwin includes some interesting Metrigy data on what kinds of equipment enterprises are deploying for shared desks, and you should definitely read the whole post. The issue points to one of the fundamental questions about the hybrid office: How much should it cost to outfit an office for hybrid work, and how can you measure the cost against the work being done over a period of time?
When technology and space were relatively static and not ubiquitously shared, these questions were much more straightforward. The default was an office-based standard setup: Monitor, either a PC or a laptop plus a docking station, telephone, and accessories like a headset and wireless mouse. You could get a pretty good idea of what you were spending on technology for a given worker.
Cost and benefit become harder to calculate in a heavily shared environment where people may be assigning technology assets to themselves on the basis of how they use the hotdesking and other systems. Thus, IT may have to ask more complex questions about who gets access to what technology in the office, and why. Should people who come into the office more frequently — whether by choice or necessity — get priority for seating, conference room usage, and other amenities? How might IT consider requests for enhanced options like dual monitors?