In recent years, open floor plans have all but taken over corporate workspaces. Driven by a millennial workforce that values fun and collaboration over privacy, a majority of offices in the United States have adopted this mode of working. According to Forbes, this design promotes transparency and fairness: Fewer walls and doors make management seem more approachable and encourage information to flow freely.
Due to this trend, one of the most asked-about features in the business phone system market has been hotdesking, an extreme version of open floor plan working where people sit wherever they want in the work place, moving their equipment around with them. In the PBX context, this means that a worker can sit down at any desk and have all calls and calling features available at whatever handset happens to be at the desk, simply by logging-in.
According to the BBC, however, hotdesking may become less important as the Millennial generation starts to age and the pendulum begins to swing in the direction of privacy. A recent story published by BBC Online reports a backlash against open floor plans. According to the article workers are 15% less productive, have immense trouble concentrating and are twice as likely to get sick in open working spaces. Support for this assertion is building. A recent study found that nearly 40% of employees in an open office wish they had more privacy. Another study concluded workers in an open office are less focused and experience higher levels of stress. The BBC story goes on to detail the many other downsides of an open work space.
While the SkySwitch Web Centrex platform supports hotdesking (sometimes called hoteling) among hundreds of other hosted PBX features, the important lesson to take away from this article is that working trends change. Especially in the UCaaS world, it’s important to have a system that’s sufficiently flexible to change with the times.