6 Rules for Getting Organized While Hot Desking

Woman working at desk on laptop

How many times have you seen disorder at your work station and you just couldn’t manage to start working?

We all know that being organized is essential if you want to get your mojo going, that is, if you want to put any idea you may have into motion.

However, sitting and working at a hot desk can disrupt the peace and order you need to establish to start working.

So the main question here is – what to do in order to get organized at a hot desk?

Why Is Organization Important for Productivity?

Man working on laptop

It started long before you even started working.

It started in your room, at your parent’s house, the place where you spent most of your time doing your homework, studying. Then it continued at your college dorm. Those endless sleepless nights, doing assignments, finishing papers, preparing for the finals.

Do you remember the feeling of entering your room, mess everywhere and you had to study? Do you remember the feeling of utter despair? Not being able to continue doing anything productive before getting at least some of the things in order?

Well, the same thing happens at your work table.

Of course, there are people that like the mess. They focus best in their creative disorder. However, in the long run, it is better to find a way to keep things organized. There are many reasons for it.


When you get things into some kind of an order, you will spend less time searching for some important papers or notes, you knew you had lying somewhere, but you couldn’t quite remember where exactly.

You cut your time in half in that way, and you can use that time for important tasks at your job. More time, more tasks, more opportunities for you to advance in your career.

Lower Stress Levels

By keeping things in order, you will know where everything is at any time. Imagine a situation where your boss asks you to bring them a file from god knows when. Could you imagine the stress if you had to look for it under a messy pile on the desk? Could you imagine the horror if you failed to find it?

If you keep things in check regularly, you will definitely help yourself feel less stressed and more task oriented. That way, you will not only be a better employee, but you will also take care of your health.


Remember when you looked for that case file you were certain you left on your work station a while ago, and now you can’t find it? You are late for the meeting, the file is missing. In the end, you are not only late for an important meeting, but you failed to do your job properly.

Punctuality and organization always go together. When everything is in check, you can never be late. You will always remember everything on time. When your boss sees you as someone who is always ready and on time, your promotion will be right around the corner, waiting for you.

Meeting Deadlines

Two women hot desking

Oh, the deadlines, our most dreaded foe. When you have things piling up, you can easily forget about something important you were supposed to do, but completely lost track of.

Being organized means every deadline is met and every task is done appropriately.


A neat work station says a lot about the person working there. At a coworking office space, many people pass by you, see you at work, and see how you manage your work table. If you keep things neat and tidy, you give off a vibe of professionalism. You come off as a true professional, somebody who is dedicated to detail and planning.

This is what your superiors want to see, this is what your potential clients want to see. Don’t ruin the possible opportunities by being messy.

Safety and Health

Especially now, in the time of the pandemic, you need to keep your things in order. That is to say, keeping old files lying around is, in this day and age, completely unacceptable. Not to mention that old cup of coffee you forgot, just lying there.

You have to be very careful and take care of not only your health, but the health of the people around you.

Hot Desking – An Organizational Challenge

Team working at desk

Many companies have shifted to the communal work space in order to cut their expenses in the time of the pandemic. In addition, many big corporations have realized the benefits of their employees working at a co-shared office space: the flow of ideas from the people working around them, the networking. This and much, much more.

The Coronavirus has only sped things up, and now more corporations are looking for more flexible work environments, now that more and more employees are working from home, and the need for space is not the same as before.

Hot desking came as a wondrous solution to all of the organizational problems. There are no designated seats and everybody can come and go as they please. The benefits of this type of work organization are many. It reduces the office space a company will use per employee. When only one person occupies a single office, that space cannot be used by another.

However, if you have a hot desk situation, then you have the possibility of using the space more efficiently. When one person goes, the other person can occupy that place in no time.

Be that as it may, hot desking still presents an organizational challenge.

Difficulty Finding Space

One of the biggest problems for employees is difficulty finding an appropriate available space every day. In addition, everybody has their preferred seat. People are creatures of habit. That is why, if they don’t find a seat they got accustomed to available, it can destroy their creativity and stimulation for the day. It is as simple as that. Often the best seats, those close to the natural light or the best printer, are already taken.

Difficulty Finding Your Fellow Co-workers

When you are working, you never know when you will need a piece of advice for the job you are doing at the moment. You may need to clear something with your superior, but there is no superior in sight. They can be sitting god knows where.

So, instead of being productive, you came to a standstill, waiting for a familiar face to appear so you could continue with what you were doing.

Difficulty Keeping the Communal Work Station Clean

You can never know who was sitting at the work station before you. Nor can you know if they cleaned it properly after they have finished. Or, more importantly, if they came to work completely healthy.

Everybody is familiar with the general recommendation that you shouldn’t exit your house sick, but what if somebody has no symptoms at all? How can you focus if you don’t trust the hygiene of the space?

All the reasons listed above are legitimate causes of concern. But, you needn’t worry, with just a few simple organizational hacks, you will own hot desking and become the ultimate hot desking consumer.

How to Organize Yourself Properly While Hot Desking

Man working at hot desk

Arrive Early

You will not get your favorite seat by slacking off and dragging yourself out of bed the entirety of the morning.

Yes, we know – it’s sad, but true.

Set your alarm clock an hour early, go to the co shared office space early, and take that seat you know will get your inspiration going.

Starting your work early has many more benefits. You will finish early and have the opportunity to spend more of the day with your family. In addition, research has shown that starting work early in the morning can do wonders for your productivity, as opposed to working later during the day.

Eradicate Distractors

This is one of the biggest disadvantages of hot desking. You can never know who is sitting next to you. You might never have a moment of peace. It can seriously damage your productivity, and you wouldn’t want that now, now would you?

Distractors are not just the people surrounding you. Distractors are all the emails waiting to be read, all the social media waiting to be checked. How to deal with all those things pulling your attention away from what you need to be doing?

Bring earphones. That way, you will at least eliminate the noise coming from your fellow coworkers. Come early in the morning, turn off your phone, and plan your activities carefully. By doing this, you will manage to do the most important work before everybody arrives and starts giving you trouble.

Be Prepared

This advice is crucial. However, for all of us procrastinators, doing everything at the last possible moment, this one is the hardest to follow. This means that you need to prepare everything you will carry to work the night before. That way, you can carefully plan your work for the next day, and actually give it some thought.

Bringing all the necessary equipment for that day, that can’t be found at the work station, will mean the world to you. By planning ahead, everything you want to achieve for the day gives you a specific inner deadline, which can only boost your productivity. And nothing works better than inner motivation.

Keep Things in Order

Take enough time to organize your work station.

This isn’t easy, especially if you are not used to keeping things in order. However, this is a habit you need to include in your everyday working life. All the reasons for it have already been listed above. Keeping everything neat and organized will put your productivity through the roof in no time.

Don’t allow your documents to clutter, designate a space for them. All coworking office spaces have lockers you can use for storage. Don’t allow important documents to just lie around in complete disorder. When you have a dedicated storage space, it will be of enormous help when you happen to sit at a different desk. It eliminates the trouble of having to move things around.

Get rid of any papers that can be eliminated, and that you have no need of. If there are some important files you must throw away, it is essential that you create a filing system that will help you find them more easily. Imagine the aforementioned situation with the boss asking you for a file from a couple of months ago. This filing system will keep everything in check, so you will need to create one. As difficult as finding order may seem at first, in the long run, it is the only reasonable solution.

Organizing files also includes computer files. If you are someone that spends most of their time working on the computer, then it is essential to keep those files in check. Your productivity depends on that. When you assign names to files, be very specific so you can find them more easily. This can be a valuable time saver.

Plan Who You Sit Next To

This is as important part of the planning as the others are. Of course, you can’t influence who you are going to sit next to every day, especially because coworking office spaces are not fixed like that. However, everybody has a place of work they prefer, and by observing carefully, you can notice seating patterns of the people surrounding you.

By now, you have met the people that can contribute to your work in a way that can truly be beneficial, so try to find them and sit next to them. It can be extremely important for boosting your performance.

Clean Up After Yourself

This part of taking care of your work station is quite important, especially in the time of Cov-19. Yes, the coworking companies have people assigned to sanitize the area, but it is your responsibility as a part of the community, to take care of the place, and leave nothing behind. Little litters like candy wrappers, tissues or scrap papers can pile up fast, and they can influence your concentration in a bad way, so be sure to remove them regularly.

How you leave your desk speaks volumes about you, about your hygiene and your attention to detail. And you never know who is going to sit there right after you – a new job prospect or a potential employer.  

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