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Desk Sharing: is it the future of the modern workplace?

In a post-pandemic world, where flexible office hours and hybrid work have become the new norm for many companies, can desk sharing promote productivity, flexibility and work-life balance?

What is 'desk sharing'?    

Desk sharing, as the word indicates, is a flexible office seating policy where employees don't get assigned their own dedicated desk but instead, they can reserve a desk for the day. In other words, there are no permanently fixed desks and employees can book in advance their desk for a few hours or even the entire week depending on each company's policy and each employee's needs.
desk sharing: markas employees
Adopting an 'our space' mindset 

Although introducing a desk sharing policy might initially be met with criticism on behalf of the staff, on the long-run, and if thoroughly tested and planned, it can be really beneficial for employees and businesses. 
On the one hand, implementing a desk sharing policy requires a little extra effort when it comes to planning. A clear schedule and desk booking system should be in place in order to ensure that everyone will find an available space when showing up at the office. In addition, not all work spaces are designed in a way that promotes collaboration and sharing and as a result work flows can be disrupted. Also, the lack of a permanently allocated desk might mean less personal touches such photos, post-it notes etc.

On the other hand though, desk sharing can significantly improve productivity and engagement. Not only can companies optimize costs and maximize space efficiency but also employees get the chance to choose the space they need depending on the tasks of the day. In this way they get to know better each other and learn from each other. Consequently, there is a constant exchange of knowledge.

Thus, desk sharing can also contribute to a stronger open collaboration culture across the entire company and, therefore, promote innovative thinking and flexibility as working with different people on a daily basis can offer a fresh perspective, stimulate and motivate individuals.  

In other words, desk sharing, if done properly, can really promote team work, community thinking and an 'our space' mindset.  
desk sharing - employees at their desk
Desk sharing at Markas

At Markas, we are always open to testing different concepts in order to meet our employees' and clients' needs. Since December 2022, Markas' HR department in collaboration with Markas' IT department and members of the Innovation as well as Digitalization and Organization teams have been working on a pilot project that aims at better understanding the pros and cons of desk sharing and use it as a tool to improve work processes and workplace culture.

'It's been a very interesting journey so far. Thanks to desk sharing you exit the mentality of 'this is my desk and my space' and you start thinking more as one big team. You get to hear different conversations and different point of views and you really get to know better each other. There is less hierarchy and more fluidity around the office and every one feels equal since every desk is the same' says Fiorella, Team Leader Digitalization and Organization at Markas.