More companies planning to hot-desk by 2020

More companies planning to hot-desk by 2020

7 April, 2017

Nearly two-thirds of 400 multinational companies operating in the Asia Pacific plan to adopt a hot-desk workplace strategy by 2020—up from the current one-in-three, reports The Australian.

The report is based on the latest 2017 Asia Pacific Occupier Survey from commercial real estate giant CBRE.

“It’s a case of squeezing more people into less space in Australia,” said CBRE Australia research head Stephen McNabb.

While a desire to cut costs is driving the trend, many companies also believe that hot-desking and activity-based working can help employees to collaborate better, attract and retain staff, and soften the disruption caused by technological change.

Out of 100 multinationals based in Australia, 57 plan to hire more staff, but only 22 said they would increase their office space. This trend could impact on office leasing markets in Sydney and Melbourne, said Mr McNabb.

“We are seeing evidence now of larger tenants contracting their space requirements when they relocate through effective consolidation,” he said.

“Businesses are still growing [in terms of people], it’s just about being more efficient with space usage going forward as a cost-savings measure,” he said.

Half the multinational companies surveyed said they had already implemented mobile working, while another 42 percent plan to implement the practice. This suggests that many more companies will allow mobile working in the near future.

While 55 percent of corporates provide employees with fixed desks, only 16 per cent plan to offer them in the future, notes the Survey. By comparison, 28 percent planned to implement hot-desking and 53 percent activity-based working in the future.

“Technology disruption, while recognised as a major challenge, is something that will be embraced as a key opportunity, enabling improved business outcomes—be that optimisation and efficiency or improved productivity in the workplace,” said Mr McNabb.

[NOTE: For an alternate take on the hot-desking movement, see this report from The Fifth Estate.]