Hot Desking & Desk Booking

The Hot Desking and Desk Booking (or Desk Hoteling) working models provide an optimal solution for hybrid working. Read in this article how the models differ and what advantages they offer.

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More and more companies are using the ‘hybrid working’ model and employees enjoy the opportunity to work flexibly from home or in the office. Thus, the concepts of hot desking and desk booking are also receiving greater attention: the models appear very similar at first glance, but differ in detail. In this article we take a closer look at the different working arrangements.

What is Hot Desking?

Hot desking is a workplace concept in which the staff members do not have a fixed seat. Instead, they share workstations with their co-workers, allowing them to sit at any available desk. In this case, employees pick their workstation for the day once they enter the office. This is particularly attractive for companies whose employees work at different times or in shifts, as even a small office can efficiently provide space for many employees. Full-time employees who are used to working in the same personal space every morning may find this concept quite odd. However, this type of organization is not new: among freelancers, for example, hot desking is already well established.

Is it possible for every company to switch to hot desking? Theoretically, yes. However, it is necessary that employees have access to all applications, platforms and data at any office workstation available. Hot desking is also ideal for teams that rely on cross-functional collaboration, as flexible teamwork is super convenient with this method.

Good to know

Did you know that the termn “hot desking” originated from the marine industry? In ‘hot bedding’, several sailors took turns sharing one bed. After the seamless change of shifts, they laid down in the still warm bed of their predecessor.

Advantages of hot desking

Hot desking promotes cooperation and exchange among colleagues, and offers lots of flexibility and freedom. Smaller and cheaper office space can reduce rental costs, and more interaction between colleagues strengthens the team spirit.


The concept can also cause confusion, for example when there is chaos and misunderstanding about the assignment of workstations. Privacy is potentially restricted and concentration may decrease.

What is Desk Booking / Desk Hoteling?

Desk Booking or Desk Hoteling, as the name suggests, allows you to book a free desk or workspace in advance. Many employees find it convenient to plan beforehand which desk they will use the following day. Desk Booking and Hot Desking can, but do not have to, be used simultaneously. This way, the above-mentioned disadvantages of hot desking can be avoided, especially when it comes to sitting together with certain colleagues or reserving a favorite seat.

Via a digital booking system, staff can view free spaces and make flexible reservations for the day or for a few hours. Mobile access is essential, which is why Shiawa Flexdesk is a browser-based system. This allows instant access from any device without the need to install additional apps or software.

Advantages of desk booking / hoteling

Desk booking is particularly effective for flexible and project-based work. This way, teams working together on a project can book desks next to each other and communicate more efficiently.


Both of these working models are ideal for a hybrid workplace. Sharing and changing the desk saves on rental costs, offers more flexibility and strengthens team spirit. With the possibility of digital pre-booking, chaos is avoided and teams can be put together in the optimal constellation. With Shiawa it is possible to book seats digitally and flexibly from any device. Try it out!

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