Hot desking vs closed offices in flex space – a closer look at India

December 4, 2019 / By  

Do you want your organization to be a place you don’t have Monday blues? If your answer is yes, then the hybrid office space model is the solution to this problem. Modern organizations are increasingly becoming dynamic and collaborative by providing the employees with a vibrant workspace.

The emergence of a shared economy has been one of the biggest disruptors to the way people live and work today. The concept of co-working was one such offshoot of the innovation. Co-working has become popular due to its advantages of low costs, no fixed capital investments and higher flexibility.

However, co-working models continue to evolve through different product offerings. Taking cues from global experiences, operators in India are changing their product mix by offering more closed office spaces as opposed to exclusively hot desks to cater to corporates’ need for privacy and business performance. While the office spaces previously incorporated approximately 75-80% closed office spaces and 20-25% hot desking, the proportion is gradually shifting more towards closed office spaces while hot desks are accounting for only 5-10% of leased space. The trend is becoming apparent as some of the biggest players in the co-working space are redesigning their co-working.

Figure 1: Closed office spaces gaining share in office space leasing

Source: JLL Research

What has led to the shift to this hybrid office model?

Hot desking provides flexibility, and solves the problem of resources being wasted on dedicated desks in cases when the employee was travelling, going for office meetings or working from home. Corporates using flexible space, therefore, found that hot desking helped to save on fixed costs and ensured optimal use of existing spaces. The trend  was appropriate for startups and freelancers with more limited resources as well.

However, as the trend intensified, concerns related to reduced efficiency in hot desking  started to crop up among corporates. As a result, Such a mixed office model gives the employee the autonomy to work where they like depending on their needs. There is no denying that it not only boosts their productivity but also enhances their well-being.

Is the change taking us back to where it all started?

To conclude, there is a change in the mix of spaces within the co-working model. What is debatable is whether it will take us back to the office model with cabins given the high proportion of closed office spaces. However, the probability of that is very low given the preferences of the millennial workforce. The office ecosystem has become much more contemporary by providing amenities and flexibility that align well with the needs of millennials. It demonstrates how the changing landscape of real estate is thus constantly evolving to match the modern preferences of occupiers.

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