The end of Hot Desks and Co-Working spaces

Author: Anais Brizard
September 14, 2021
Hot Desks

...When you actually need to get the work done with your team and keep a certain level of confidentiality.

The Hot Desk concept

What is a Hot Desk? You pay a membership that gives you access to a desk in an open space of a co-working space. You are required to clear up your stuff at the end of the day because it's very likely that someone else will be sitting there the day after. Very pandemic-spread-friendly; that's the reason why you have seen co-working spaces closing one by one recently.

On another note, it became more controversial and seriously annoying when big companies started doing that with their own employees. The assumption was that the total number of employees is never present at the same time in the company and thus, it was more useful to decrease the amount of desks available and increase the meeting room spaces.

I personally experienced that and I was guaranteed to sit in the kitchen area for the whole day if a client had booked an external meeting with me before 09:00...and when you sit in the kitchen, everybody thinks you are having a break and come to have a chat. Least productive days of my life. I think at some point I was just working from home or from a coffee shop and thinking: why would people pay for a Hot Desk in a Co-working space…?

*Also, it's the perfect way to make sure your employees don't feel welcomed in your premises and are so easily replaceable.

The Co-working Space concept

The co-working space can be appealing to a market segment though: an individual person, consultant profile for example, who cannot work from home, needs a office venture matching the (high) standards of his / her service when receiving clients, and like a lot of co-working spaces developed: top notch amenities. The membership prices are relatively high for a space that's not yours but again, it's to be considered if you are a 1-person company needing a high-end venture.

This type of space though is really not to consider if:

  • You are a small team: annoy everyone with your back and forth conversations.

  • There is a certain level of confidentiality in your project development and you don't know what other companies are working on around you and what they listen to…

  • You don't need these jungle of plants, yellow armchairs, latest model of coffee machine and access to a training room!

As a small company or startup, you might be a little tight with money and this is an easy saving to make.

Instead, it is worth spending time looking:

  • A dedicated closed space for your team to focus and leave their notes on the wall at the end of the day.

  • A short term rental agreement which you can just renew easily.

  • A space that you can really make yours “decor-wise”: here you will really feel the pride of having stepped-up and got your own office space.

This type of space is called “Focus Space” on Paguro.

If these spaces are still a little over your budget, there is still an alternative which is not considered as co-working:

  • A chunk of a space that a large company is not using and is open to welcome any small company which is not working in the same sector.

This type of space is called “Shared Space” on Paguro.

*Fun anecdote of a co-working space in Oslo which built the thinnest walls between meeting rooms (where teams were trying to have confidential conversations); we could hear loud and clear everything that was being said. Most companies sitting there were startups pivoting all the time and definitely interested in hearing what others were doing…

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