The corporate world has seen a decided shift in work methods, with numerous companies opting for flexible working as opposed to in-office working.
A flexible workforce is made up of employees who work remotely and from within the office, depending on location, availability, and preference. A large number of corporations no longer require employees to be present on site day in and day out.
Flexible working has made it easier for small businesses to sprout up on the scene. The last three years have seen a rise in start-ups operating through the hot-desking models. In fact, according to The Complete List Of Unicorn Companies by CB Insights, there are over 1,100 “Unicorn” businesses in the world as of 2022.
Most start-ups don’t have the funds to rent office spaces because they’re busy trying to find funding. And this is where hot desking comes in.
Hot desking isn’t a new concept, but it’s on the rise again as the world turns to hybrid models of working. A hot desk is a space or desk in an office that can be booked online for a day’s use. The space may be booked by an employee of the company who works from home to increase visibility in a remote setting or by an external professional who simply needs a place to work.
One of the advantages of hot desking is that it creates a flexible model by allocating spaces for a day, encouraging new and fresh faces to come into the office space.
Larger corporations utilize hot desking to create coworking spaces that can be taken over by hybrid companies. For example, Company X has a space open on the floor that can seat ten to 12 people, but it isn’t being used because their own employees are working remotely.
Company X can offer the space to a coworking space owner through hot desking, and they can offer perks like a hosted business phone system and high-speed WiFi.
Hot desking gives employees new ideas and inspiration as they engage with other professionals from different fields. A savvy hot desking strategy can help a corporation generate extra revenue in a myriad of ways.
Also, according to The future of hot desking in the new workplace, hot desking can help companies fill up 40% of dead space that they routinely see in the workplace, saving overheads and other costs.
There are a couple of methods that you can use to attract newly hybrid companies. Let’s take a quick look at these before we dive into the tactics you can use to attract small business owners.
The first way you can grow your company is by offering hot-desking spaces in your office space. These can be individual desks that are scattered through the floor or a dedicated space with a bank of seats. Either option allows you to use hot desking and rent seats out to a coworking space or a small business owner who can then bring their workforce in.
The second method is to create a space dedicated entirely to coworking and use hot desking to attract hybrid companies. These are hybrid corporations that will have employees using spaces on and off.
Hot desking is a cost-effective option that will attract start-ups and small businesses because it will allow them to get the team together when necessary, for example, if there’s a complex workshop like a Databricks Spark training workshop, or work remotely if that’s required.
Here are all the ways you can attract hybrid companies to use your space through hot desking:
There are a ton of start-ups and small businesses out there with no physical offices. These companies operate from coworking spaces and use hot desking to get work done each day. If you want to attract small business owners to your space, you’ll have to offer high-quality tech and facilities.
The technological needs of your coworking space include secure, high-speed WiFi and perhaps even AR and VR equipment.
Communication is key, so make sure your space has a hosted phone system. You can search online for “What is a hosted voice over ip phone system?” if you’re unsure of how to get started with it.
Start-ups require phone plans, and if you’re offering communication solutions and have signed up with a VoIP provider, they would love to have a hot desk in your space.
There’s no point in offering a service if you’re not going to put the word out about it, right? Make sure you activate all your social media platforms to advertise your hot desking space. If you’re offering a space that’s part of your company, you can have existing employees record testimonials and talk about the perks on offer.
You can also offer virtual tours of the space for companies that might not be able to come in and check them out in person. You can do 360-degree and live tours to let people see your space. Integrate the advantages of hot desking in your space throughout the content pieces.
For example, when you show your workstations, you can add that software development companies can access the SAP cloud platform integration suite when they work there. Details like these can attract hybrid businesses because they’ll feel comfortable working in the space.
Freshly brewed coffee is one of those details that many spaces don’t focus on and lose guests as a result. Offer strong and well-brewed coffee as a perk to hot desking in your space, and you might be surprised by the number of businesses that want to work there.
Offering a space that's close to public transport is a perk that should be advertised as it’s likely to attract people to your space. Anyone who rents the space will want easy access for their employees to come in and work.
You’ll also be able to attract more businesses if you offer parking on-site or safe parking close by. The method of transport people use depends on your city, but there’s no denying that prime location adds to the attraction.
Offering a comfortable space won’t cut it in today’s world. Business owners seek much more for their companies than coworking spaces that have good seating. You can add clever incentives that will attract hybrid businesses to your space. A lot of these can be offered through strategic partnerships.
For example, you could partner up with a tech firm and offer discounts on programs like Microsoft Office or others. These discounts could apply for the first month or three months, depending on your budget. You could also collaborate with a telecoms service and offer the best phone plans or telemarketing software for teams.
These examples paint a corporate picture. If you think outside the box, you could collaborate with places like art galleries, gyms, or spas to offer additional discount vouchers or codes to businesses who come to work in your space. All of these, if advertised properly, will attract business owners to your space in droves.
One of the factors that can discourage people from hot desking is a complicated booking system. If the online interface is complicated and clunky, business owners might not want to engage, especially when there are a ton of coworking spaces offering similar services.
Consider using digital platforms to organize everything. You can use virtual queuing software to sort out hot desking, allowing people to add themselves to a queue and automatically book the spaces they need.
You can also use appointment booking apps as part of your process improvement framework, to optimize the entire online process. Hi-tech perks like these that add convenience will inevitably attract hybrid businesses to work in your space.
There’s a lot to be said for doing thorough research before you reach out to potential clients. It would be beneficial if you engaged in some market research before formulating your strategy to attract business owners.
There are a number of platforms you can use to get useful insights and analytics. For example, you could look at your target market, find out whether hybrid business owners are millennials, and then target your marketing efforts accordingly.
Analytics will also help you decide on what kinds of packages you want to offer. Hybrid businesses need ultimate flexibility in their daily work, and they would appreciate a list of options to choose from.
You could create daily passes or craft certain offers that have discounts based on how many days the space is booked for. Make sure you offer just the right amount of options so as not to overwhelm prospective clients.
The article was written by John Allen, a driven marketing professional with over 14 years of experience, an extensive background in building and optimizing digital marketing programs across SEM, SEO, paid media, mobile, social, and email, with an eye to new customer acquisition and increasing revenue.