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Sustainable Agriculture Institute


Sustainable Agriculture Institute Promotes Sustainable Education through Permaculture Design


Hot Desking Policy

Policy brief & purpose


SAI’s Hot Desking Policy outlines rules for assigning working spaces among employees on a rotating system. We’re able to save space and costs when employees use the same set of desks at different times, depending on their working hours. Desk assignments are subject to change daily, weekly, or monthly.

We have established guidelines to ensure that hot-desking, or desk sharing, works efficiently.


This hot-desking policy refers to our employees who are able to occasionally work from outside the office, work flexible hours or don’t need a specific desk by nature of their jobs (for example, receptionists and office managers are excluded.)

Policy elements

What is hot desking?

We have a set number of desks in our office. These desks aren’t assigned to any particular employee but may be shared. Employees who come to work may sit at an unoccupied desk of their choice. After they’re finished with their work, they need to remove personal items from the desk so their colleagues may use them.

Why we established a hot-desking policy

Employees may feel a sense of ownership over their working spaces and be reluctant to share them.

We understand the sentiment, but we believe that our hot desking system has various benefits that include:

  • Saving space and costs incurred by unoccupied desks when employees work away from our office or on flexible schedules.
  • Networking with a larger number of colleagues.
  • Creating ways to work and communicate with other teams more easily.
  • Fostering a culture of respecting shared office space.

Our employees’ responsibilities

Employees should:

  • Keep all desks clean and tidy and follow basic hygiene rules.
  • Remove all personal items from their working space if they plan to be out of the office for more than 2 hours.
  • Avoid monopolizing a specific desk. If we observe employees leaving personal items on a desk to hold it for themselves, we’ll ask them to move to another location.
  • Keep their personal items in their briefcases or lockers, instead of on desks.
  • Eat lunch in the kitchen/cafeteria and not on desks.
  • Avoid leaving confidential documents on desks.
  • Use meeting rooms for important or confidential calls. Employees may have to make desks available to colleagues, if calls are expected to last long.

We also advise employees to wipe desks down with antibacterial wipes, and adjust screens and chairs to their needs.

Employees should try to resolve conflicts over desk spaces amicably amongst themselves. For serious issues, they should turn to their managers or HR for further assistance.

Our company’s responsibilities

We want to ensure that employees can be comfortable and productive at any given desk. Our company is also committed to making it easier for employees to follow this policy’s rules.

Specifically, we’ll:

  • Establish an open-plan office with uniform desks.
  • Have enough desks to accommodate all employees working at specific times.
  • Provide all employees with laptops to carry all necessary software and files with them.
  • Equip all desks with phones, computer screens, keyboards, and mouses that connect to laptops.
  • Place lockers in convenient areas so employees can easily store personal items.
  • Ensure all desks have adequate lighting and adjustable chairs.
  • Implement work from home and flexible hours policies.
  • Create “zones” for team members who need to sit close together when working on certain projects or for a specific time.
  • Make meeting rooms and common areas easily accessible.
  • Scrap paper files whenever possible and use electronic storage systems instead.
  • Have fast and effective technical support available at all times.

To streamline hot desking, we’ll number desks and have a calendar where employees can note which desk they’re using.