Desk sharing: advantages and tips for implementation

How companies benefit from flexible office structures

Desk sharing is a modern office planning approach to promote agility and efficiency in workplaces. In essence, desk sharing in the modern working world describes the multiple use of an office workstation by several employees due to different attendance times. Especially in times of working from home, this can be a useful addition to working in the office. In this article, coneon explains what desk sharing is, what types there are and what companies should consider if they want to introduce such a concept of shared desks in their offices.

What is desk sharing?

Desk sharing is a concept in which workstations and desks are no longer permanently assigned to individual employees, but can be used by different employees. By sharing rooms and workspaces, companies can use space more efficiently and reduce costs. At the same time, this workstation sharing allows employees to choose their workstation as required and work in different departments or teams.

Nahaufnahme höhenverstellbarer Schreibtisch für Desk-Sharing

Teilweise belegte Arbeitsplätze in einem Gruppenbüro

Types of desk sharing:

There are different types of desk sharing that can be tailored to the specific requirements of a company. The most common desk sharing concepts are

  • Hot Desk: With this form of desk sharing, there are no fixed workstations. Employees can choose any desk depending on availability and use it for the duration of their work.
  • Team desk sharing: Employees from the same team share a workstation. This promotes collaboration and the flow of information within the team.
  • Desk sharing at departmental level: In larger organizations, it can make sense to introduce desk sharing at departmental level. This allows resources to be used more efficiently and improves communication within the department.

Advantages of desk sharing:

Desk sharing offers companies numerous advantages that benefit both the company itself and its employees. Here are some of the most important benefits:

  • Cost savings: by eliminating fixed workstations, companies can use space and resources more efficiently, thereby reducing costs. This enables investment in other areas of the company.
  • Flexibility and efficiency: Desk sharing gives employees the opportunity to choose the right workstation depending on the task or project. This allows them to increase their productivity and work more efficiently.
  • Communication and collaboration: Desk sharing promotes the exchange of information and collaboration between employees. The proximity to each other facilitates spontaneous interactions and teamwork.
  • Employee satisfaction: Employees appreciate the flexibility that desk sharing offers. They can adapt their workplace to their individual needs and feel comfortable in a pleasant working environment.
  • Sustainability: Desk sharing also supports sustainable office concepts. By sharing resources, energy and material consumption are reduced, which contributes to a positive environmental impact.

Grafik Anzahl Mitarbeiter vergleich zu Arbeitsplätzen

What is desk-sharing ratio and how is it calculated?

The desk-sharing ratio indicates how many workstations are available in relation to the number of employees. The number of workstations is lower than the number of employees, which saves costs and promotes flexible working. The calculation varies from company to company, can be based on the use of workstations and can be carried out by adjusting the calculation basis or attendance statistics, e.g. using workforce management software. For example, the result could be 1:1.25 - 16 workstations for 20 employees means an occupancy rate of 80%. In practice, however, this can vary. (see graphic)

A booking system for effective desk sharing

Workplace management software can help companies to implement desk sharing effectively. It offers a booking system, an occupancy overview and allows employees to choose their workstation flexibly. The software contains information on workstation equipment and generates reports on usage. It also enables communication and automatic notifications. This optimizes workstation utilization and increases employee satisfaction.

Gruppenbüro mit aufgeräumten Tischen für Desk-Sharing
Drei Einzelräume mit Schreibtischen und Glastür

Most common concerns of employees / challenges of desk sharing

When introducing desk sharing, employees may have various concerns. Here are three common concerns that employees may express:

  1. Lack of privacy and personalization: Employees may be concerned that desk sharing will deprive them of a personal space. The inability to have a fixed workstation could limit the ability to personalize one's workspace and maintain some privacy.
  2. Communication issues and team collaboration: Employees may raise concerns about effective collaboration and communication. If teams are no longer physically close to each other, this could affect spontaneous interaction and information sharing.
  3. Uncertainty regarding the availability of workstations: Employees may worry that there are not enough workstations, especially in busy offices. Uncertainty as to whether they will always find a free space when they need it could lead to stress and inconvenience.

These concerns emphasize the need for companies to promote transparent communication, establish clear policies and ensure that employees are involved in the process of implementing desk sharing to understand and address their concerns.

What should companies bear in mind when introducing desk sharing?

The introduction of desk sharing requires careful planning and preparation. Here are some points that companies should consider:

  1. Infrastructure: It is important to ensure that sufficient workstations, technical equipment and resources are available to meet the needs of employees.
  2. Communication and training: Employees should be well informed and trained to understand and successfully use the new concept. Communication about the purpose and benefits of desk sharing can reduce fears or concerns.
  3. Flexible office concept: A flexible office concept is crucial for the successful implementation of desk sharing. Companies like coneon offer customized office concepts that are tailored to the customer's needs. From choosing the right furniture to designing workspaces, experts like coneon can help companies make the switch.
Vierer Büro mit schwarzen Tischplatten

Desk sharing checklist

For some employees, the idea of giving up their personal desk and switching to a desk-sharing concept may be unsettling at first. You can find out how to allay employees' fears of change and what needs to be considered when switching to desk sharing in our checklist: Introducing Desk Sharing.

Abbildung einer Checkliste für die Einführung von Desk-Sharing


Desk sharing is an innovative concept that helps companies to use space more efficiently and allow employees to work more flexibly. The introduction of desk sharing requires extensive planning and preparation to ensure that employees' needs are met. With a flexible office concept from experts like coneon, companies can make the most of the benefits of desk sharing and create a modern working environment that promotes both efficiency and employee wellbeing.

Frequently asked questions about desk sharing:

Employees can book their workplace using special reservation tools or software that allow them to select an available space for a specific period of time.

Privacy can be improved by acoustic partitions or flexible room design elements. Nevertheless, it tends to be less in the desk-sharing model than with fixed workstations.

Workplace security can be ensured through clear security policies, access controls and training to ensure that employees use their working environment safely.

The maximum number of employees that can share a workstation depends on the size of the office and the equipment available. However, there are often guidelines to prevent overcrowding.

The IT infrastructure should be flexible and adaptable to meet the needs of changing users. This includes the provision of laptops, wireless internet access and a secure network.

Desk sharing promotes spontaneous collaboration as employees are in different locations. The use of shared areas can facilitate informal communication and teamwork.

Companies should establish clear guidelines for the use of shared workspaces, including cleanliness, personal responsibility and consideration for other users.

Through regular feedback, employee surveys and a flexible design of the working environment, companies can ensure that the needs of employees are taken into account in the desk-sharing concept.

These questions are a good starting point for companies to inform their employees about the switch to desk sharing and allay any concerns they may have. By providing clear and precise answers, companies can promote understanding and acceptance of desk sharing. Do you have any further questions?

Open Space Büro mit leeren Tischen für Desk-Sharing

Implementation of a desk-sharing concept

coneon is your experienced partner for the successful introduction of desk sharing and the design of customized office concepts. Our team of experts is at your side to optimize your working environment, use space efficiently and promote employee flexibility. Put your trust in coneon GmbH - your partner for innovative office solutions.

Let's shape the future of your office work together - contact us for individual advice and joint planning.

Vier Arbeitsplätze mit Akustiktrennwänden

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