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There are two issues here: open-plan offices and hot-desking “pick whatever spot is available”.

While I understand the argument for separate offices, or at least cubicles, I have never worked in such an enivornment. But I am truly shocked that these programmers are being asked to hot-desk.

It's not like journalists or cops or people who only pop into the office unpredictably. On the other hand, programmers do have terrible personal notions how how their monitor(s), keyboards etc should be layed out.




A friend of mine used to work for a bank which changed premises, and introduced hot-desking. They only had 80% seats and planned for all staff to work at least one day from home. "I'm a netadmin. I can't work from home to do my job properly" eventually swayed them into giving him a permanent desk.

But hot-desking was still a complete failure, even excluding the personalisation issues. He said that people would arrive at the floor asking 'Is Bob here today?', to which could only be answered 'I don't know, he could be anywhere on the floor. I'd have no idea of where to look for him'.

Some people like open-plan, and some people hate it. But I've never met anyone who liked hot-desking.


Not to mention hot-desking sounds like a fantastic way to spread illness. I would never do it. The guy who is out sick with diphtheria today could have been using the workstation you are currently occupying yesterday. How would you know?

I rather doubt the cleaning crew is taking the time to sterilize keyboard/mice. I know, I'm a bit of a germaphobe.


When I did hot-desking everybody had their own keyboard and mouse that they either brought home with them or locked in a locker every night.


> On the other hand, programmers do have terrible personal notions how how their monitor(s), keyboards etc should be layed out.

Not just programmers, trust me. At our company, most people do not care, but a few of them will notice - and get cranky - if you move their keyboard by just a few millimeters.




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