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The rise and fall of the hot desk: Say hello to activity-based working

Ditchburn, G.J. (2014) The rise and fall of the hot desk: Say hello to activity-based working. The Conversation, 27 May 2014 .

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Office space is one of the largest costs associated with running a business, which is why hot desking, where employees choose from a selection of available work sites rather than having an assigned workspace, has gained popularity since the 1990s.

Greater collaboration is an essential ingredient in the creative process, and one of the arguments in favour of the adoption of hot desking in organisations. But research on information processing suggests employees need space to concentrate without distractions, and interruptions inhibit creativity. Open work spaces may actually undermine creativity by normalising group behaviours towards structures and boundaries.

Frequent desk relocations can also waste time and generate additional work, and the noise associated with more open work spaces can increase distraction, mental workload, fatigue and stress, all of which can negatively impact productivity.

Item Type: Non-refereed Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Psychology and Exercise Science
Publisher: The Conversation Media Group
Copyright: The Author
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