Gen-i hotdesk office boosts efficiency
Forget leaving your work lying around over night, or surrounding yourself with personal things - every new day means a new desk at Gen-iBy Ulrika Hedquist, Auckland | Monday, 08 August 2011
In Gen-i’s brand new building in Victoria Street in central Auckland, you won’t find people sitting at the same old desks every day. You won’t find desktops or filing cabinets either. Every single staff member, including admin staff, has their own laptop.
Every morning, staff collect their laptops and files from lockers and set out to find the best spot in the house. Most stations have a screen and a laptop dock with a keyboard and mouse. There are also large collaboration tables where project teams can plug in and work around the table, says Gen-i business delivery manager, Ingrid Cronin-Knight. It’s not completely random though, different business divisions are divided into zones, but there is no reason you can’t work across zones, she says.
There are no desk phones in sight. Gen-i is using Office Communicator, which offers instant messaging, presence and softphone functionality, as well as collaboration tools. This has significantly sped up efficiency and decision- making, says Cronin-Knight.
Gen-i staff are also allowed to bring their own devices to work. The company supports smartphones and iPads and has set up wi-fi for anyone to use. “There are always challenges that come with that, in terms of security and support,” says Cronin-Knight. “We make it quite clear that staff can use the devices [for work] but it’s actually their device, so they are accountable for support and ongoing upgrades of it.”
Gen-i provides the ability to access their email, calendars and documents from their chosen device, and surf the web of course.
“Our people wanted it and as an employer we’ve got to be able to provide that kind of thing to get the best IT talent,” she says.
The applications that people use at home are coming into the work environment and you have got to allow the flexibility to use them, she says. The challenge is to at the same time maintain a strict policy around security, she says.
Another newish technology at Gen-i is telepresence and usage of it has skyrocketed, says Cronin-Knight. Gen-i justified the deployment of telepresence by cutting travel budgets by 20%. The company used 12% of the investment to build the telepresence suits, so effectively saved 8% on travel, she says. It started with four suits – now there are 27 rooms in 16 locations, supporting from two to 18 people.
Who wanted it? You packup your desk, cram stuff into a small locker and then unpack the next day,10-15 minutes either end, everyday including restarting laptop, have to wipe down the keyboard from someone elses lunch and flu germs.It takes 5 or so adjustments, of screens,docking station,chair,to comply with OSH needs.Some job roles dont suit hot desking. Most people just give in and sit in the same desk everyday.
Posted by Anonymous at 03:42 on August 29, 2011
You packup your desk, cram stuff into a small locker and then unpack the next day,10-15 minutes either end, everyday including restarting laptop, have to wipe down the keyboard from someone elses lunch and flu germs. It takes 5 or so adjustments, of screens,docking station,chair,to comply with OSH needs.Some job roles dont suit hot desking. We didnt ask for it, we got it. Most people just give in and sit in the same desk everyday.
Posted by Anonymous at 03:39 on August 29, 2011
The negative press in here is astounding. The hot desk is absolutely fantastic. With the building being wireless it means I can be productive from any surface in the building. I don't understand the; stationery, docking station argument. Your laptop/tablet has a; screen, WiFi, keyboard and mouse built in. What more do you need? A foot rub?
Posted by Anonymous at 01:12 on August 10, 2011
I like packing my gear up at the end of every work day. This environment has also freed me of all the clutter I used to leave on my desk and in drawers.
In reality you'll find that most people stick to their team zones, there are plenty of seats and there not being an actual desk available rarely happens.
Posted by Anonymous at 01:25 on August 10, 2011
There's the PR in this message, and then there's the truth. Who are these people bringing in their own devices? And where are the people who dont want to be found? The ones that go offline, sit in a different place every day away from their team zone.And the OCV phone is more of a nuisance than a blessing.
Posted by Anonymous at 10:42 on August 10, 2011
It's maths: 100% workforce - 25%of seats = $$
And the pay is questionable at TCNZ compared to other places, as well as not really caring about the culture of the company.
Studies have shown massive negatives in relation to the hotdesking solution. There are simply some things you can't put a $ figure on.
Posted by Anonymous at 06:21 on August 9, 2011
Pay is questionable? The pay is egregiously low and kept that way. Telecom does not like to meet the market. However the annual bonus and free Telecom phone/broadband etc. are worth several thousand per year.
Posted by Anonymous at 10:46 on August 10, 2011
As a Telecom company it's not just Gen-i who have embraced flexible working, a huge chunk of Telecom has. It's also probably led to an increased number of people working from home more regularly, where if you are going to use the time=productivity argument - you can gain up to an hour in productivity when you're not stuck in traffic, or waiting for a train.
Posted by Anonymous at 04:18 on August 9, 2011
It's interesting to watch the Communicator availability of the Hot Desk cousins in Auckland from Christchurch!!! Don't think the majority are working their contracted 40 hours, but the manager can see it, or chooses to ignore.
Posted by Anonymous at 04:10 on August 9, 2011
Or maybe they are working shorter hours as they have time owing due to all the 16 - 20 hour day's they work in late Feburary and early March?
Posted by Anonymous at 09:37 on August 10, 2011
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