Hot desking fails on productivity

20 September, 2017

More than 100 HR professionals were entertained, informed and inspired at CCI’s 2017 HR Conference last Thursday.

The conference covered a wide range of topics with a variety of speakers.

Humanitarian and human rights lawyer Rabia Siddique shared her terrifying ordeal where she assisted with the rescue of special forces soldiers in Iraq in 2005 when she was a legal officer in the British Army.

She imparted advice on confronting relatives, changing perspectives, preserving hope and being prepared to do the uncomfortable things.

Former WA premier Carmen Lawrence spoke about how the urban environment can impact on productivity and the general health of workers.

She said hot desking wasn’t working because of place attachment that most humans have.

“That’s the idea that we have a connection with place, it might just be our neighbourhood or our suburb or the state of Western Australia, whatever it is, by and large most of us can say we’re attached,” she said.

“There are some downsides to (hot desking), when people walk into the office in the morning they don’t belong anywhere in particular, they have to carry their things around with them on their backs and sometimes compete for a place.

“The evidence is in on that, it doesn’t work, it actually alienates people.

“There are no improvements in productivity. In fact there may be declines; employees feel less valued; there’s less networking and social connection than there is when people have, in a sense, a valued place.”

Lawrence also spoke about building designs and the importance of a connection with nature through views and indoor greenery.

“We know the contact with nature within the office environment can have a big impact on productivity and wellbeing,” she said.

“Contact with nature in the workplace including the immediate presence of plants to window views of immediate nature have all been associated with increased productivity. “We’re not talking peanuts here, we’re talking 15 – 20 per cent improvements.”

Hear from the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Director of Workplace Relations Scott Barklamb at a special IR Briefing on October 3. Click here for tickets.