Hot Desks and Office Creepers

Monday, July 10, 2017

A while back, Unclutterer took a new term as its point of departure for a collection of tips for a subset of office workers. As if the popularity of the open office weren't bad enough, some businesses are now telling their employees to hot desk. (The term correctly reminds me of the submarine slang term, hot racking.) This struck me as a great way, from an employee's point of view, to combine the worst of the two worlds of working in an office and working remotely -- and the mention of Febreze from a commenter there told me how right I was.

In any event, since I always have an ear out for advice on working remotely, I took a gander and found it worthwhile -- although the following reminded me of another relatively new term:

In some hot desk offices, employees may have lockers where they can store their computers and a few personal belongings. If you do not have a locker, you should invest in a durable briefcase that is easy to carry around, holds all of your items, and can be locked when needed. [bold added, link omitted]
The idea that you might need to be able to lock a briefcase reminded me of the term, office creeper, which Word Spy defines as, "A person who sneaks into an office building during business hours to steal personal items and equipment." Such people would, I am sure, have a field day in a hot-desking office. Perhaps, if you need to bring a lockable suitcase for such an arrangement, a bicycle lock would also be a good idea.

-- CAV


Dinwar said...

While I detest working in a semi-open office (all cubicles), I've seen several companies where hot desking in an open office works just fine. These tend to be companies largely focused on out-of-office activities--drilling, h-vac, construction, that sort of thing, where having a desk for every employee isn't warranted because only a small portion of their work is conducted at the office.

That said, pretty much everything people complain about occurs in even these situations. It's an idea that can work, but there's a gulf between "It can work" and "It's a good idea"!

Gus Van Horn said...


You remind me of a large company (I forget which) that recently had ended up closing a huge office in SF because coming in was optional, and very few people normally showed up. In a situation like that, it can work, and maybe even IS a good idea.


Anonymous said...

Gus van horn wrote;

"...a bicycle lock would also be a good idea."

Not least because it would give you something handy to beat the thief with when you catch him!

c andrew

Gus Van Horn said...


Heh! And, I guess in an "open" office, you'd have dozens of witnesses to the theft.