Hot desking is one of the hottest workplace trends right now. It can cut the cost of running an office by up to 30%, but can also lead to higher rates of work-related pain within your team if not managed correctly.
How do you create a safe ergonomic workplace when your workplace changes from day to day?
What is workplace ergonomics?
Workplace ergonomics is all about making sure a working environment is fit for the user. It covers environmental factors such as noise and lighting, physical furniture like office chairs, and the arrangement of equipment within a workplace. Ergonomic office equipment and healthy working practices can protect you and your team from developing work-related MSK injuries over time.
Hot desking health and safety challenges
Hot desking may have its benefits, but it can also create some health and safety and ergonomic challenges:
- Employees are less inclined to make adjustments to a workspace – Hot deskers may be more likely to accept an incorrect working setup, as changes and adjustments may be lost the following day. This increases their risk of developing MSK issues like back pain.
- Furniture and equipment tends to be standard across the office – Hot desking layouts make it more difficult to personalise equipment according to people’s preferences and needs.
- Less visibility of hot desking workplace setups – Hot deskers are often spread out in different areas and locations, making it harder for you to identify any health and safety risks in their workplace setups.
How to improve workplace ergonomics for hot desking teams
Here are a few simple ways you can create a safe and healthy working environment for hot desking teams:
- Provide adjustable furniture and equipment – Offer easily adjustable equipment and furniture to fit different body types and preferences. This will help a range of hot deskers maintain good posture and avoid MSK pain.
- Include all the ergonomic equipment essentials – Equip every hot desk station with a chair, laptop stand, external keyboard and mouse, wrist rest and footrest to accommodate different user needs. Also include an external monitor as many hot deskers prefer to connect their laptop to a larger screen.
- Storage solutions – Provide storage solutions like lockers and drawers to help hot deskers keep their desk area organised and free of clutter.
- Noise-reduction measures – Hot desking environments can be noisy. Try to ensure the office is equipped with sound-absorbing features like acoustic panels, carpets and wall partitions to separate areas for meetings and deep work. You should also consider adding more plants to the workplace – they absorb sound and boost emotional wellbeing!
Habits and routine play a huge part in your physical and mental wellbeing. Encourage your team to adopt healthy working habits like taking frequent breaks, good posture and regular physical activity!
How VIDA solves your hot desking health and safety challenges
Vitrue VIDA has many features to help you keep a handle on hot desking health and safety and workplace ergonomics.
- AI webcam assessment – A common problem in hot desking is working on a laptop positioned too low, which can put up to 400% more force on your spine than if it was positioned correctly! VIDA’s AI webcam assessment measures your posture and detects whether you’re putting unnecessary strain on your neck or shoulders in a cool and engaging way.
- Interactive workspace planner – Allows hot deskers to assess any workspace in minutes and gives instant, actionable recommendations for changes they can make to improve the ergonomics of that specific workspace.
- Pain Coach – A personalised pain management programme, with tailored exercises to help hot deskers stay active wherever they work and keep desk-related pain at bay.
- Analytics – Gives you a window into your team’s workplace setups, habits, pain levels and burnout risk, enabling you to understand how your hot desking policy is affecting your team’s wellbeing and ergonomic needs wherever they are.