Hot desking refers to the practice of working from a shared space. It is a modern method of working that allows employees to work from any available desk or workstation in an office space. This approach to work can help to save on costs, improve collaboration, and increase productivity. However, hot desking also poses some challenges; it can lead to discomfort, pain, and even chronic injuries. In this guide, I will share with you some tips on how to maximise your comfort and productivity while hot desking by maintaining proper posture and being aware of Display Screen Equipment (DSE) regulations.

Hot desking and its benefits

Hot desking is a flexible and cost-effective way of working that has been adopted by many organizations. Hot desking allows employees to work from any available workspace within an office, where multiple people use the same desk and chair at different times rather than being assigned a fixed desk.

This approach to work can bring many benefits:


hot desking may have become an essential part of your workday. It offers workers the flexibility to work from anywhere, whether at home, a café, or a co-working space.


When employees move around the office and work with different people, they are more likely to share ideas and information. This can improve teamwork and help to solve problems more quickly.

Improved utilization of office space

Another of the benefits of hot desking is that it allows organizations to make better use of their office space. With hot desking, employees only use a workspace when they need it, which means that organizations can reduce the amount of desk space they need. This can help organizations to save on rent and other associated costs.

Reduces clutter

Another often overlooked benefit is hot desking’s ability to help keep the workplace tidy. When people do not have their own designated workstation, they are much less likely to leave personal belongings (clutter to you and me) around. From a DSE assessment perspective, reducing clutter is a good thing.

And the cons

However, hot desking can lead to poor posture and discomfort, especially if the right precautions are not taken. This is where proper posture and DSE awareness come in, to ensure that workers can work effectively and safely for extended periods.

Importance of maintaining a good posture while hot desking

Proper posture is essential when hot desking, as it helps to prevent discomfort, pain, and chronic injuries such as musculoskeletal disorders. Poor posture can cause strain on the neck, shoulders, back, and arms, leading to pain, fatigue, and reduced productivity.

Maintaining proper posture while hot desking involves sitting upright, with the feet flat on the floor, and the hips, knees, and elbows at a 90-degree angle. The back should be straight, with the shoulders relaxed, and the neck in a neutral position. This position helps to distribute the weight of the body evenly, reducing the strain on the muscles and joints.

Sitting in the same position for long periods of time can cause discomfort and pain, which can lead to long-term health problems. Poor posture can also impact productivity, as it can cause fatigue and make it difficult to concentrate.

Understanding Display Screen Equipment (DSE) Regulations

Display Screen Equipment (DSE) regulations are in place to protect workers who use display screen equipment, such as computer screens, laptops, and tablets.
The regulations require employers to carry out risk assessments on DSE workstations and provide workers with the necessary training and equipment to ensure their safety and comfort. The DSE regulations apply to all workers who use computers for prolonged periods, including those who work at hot desks.
This includes providing workers with adjustable chairs, desks, and screens, as well as footrests and document holders where necessary.

The effects of poor posture on health and productivity

Poor posture can have a significant impact on health and productivity. Sitting for long periods of time with poor posture can cause discomfort and pain, which can lead to long-term health problems. Poor posture can also affect productivity, as it can cause fatigue and make it difficult to concentrate.
The most common health problems associated with poor posture include back pain, neck pain, and shoulder pain. Poor posture can also cause headaches, eye strain, and carpal tunnel syndrome. These health problems can be prevented by using proper posture and ergonomic equipment.

In addition to physical discomfort, poor posture can also affect mental health, causing stress, anxiety, and reduced concentration. Therefore, it is essential to maintain proper posture while hot desking to avoid these negative effects.

Tips for good hot desking posture

To maintain proper posture while hot desking, try the following tips:

  1. Ensure that your chair is adjusted to the correct height, with your feet flat on the floor and your knees at a 90-degree angle. Adjust the backrest to support your lower back.
  2. Sit with your back straight and your shoulders relaxed.
  3. Position your computer screen at eye level to reduce neck strain. Use a monitor stand or adjust the height of your laptop to achieve this.
  4. Take regular breaks: Stand up and stretch every 30 minutes to reduce fatigue and strain on your muscles.
  5. Keep your work area organized: Keep your desk clutter-free to avoid straining your neck and shoulders.

Exercises to prevent discomfort and injury while hot desking

Sitting for long periods of time can cause discomfort and pain, which can lead to long-term health problems.  Here are some exercises that you can do to prevent discomfort and injuries while hot desking:

  • Neck stretches:  Gently move your head from side to side, up and down, and in circles to relieve neck tension
  • Shoulder rolls:  Lift your shoulders up towards your ears, then roll them back and down in a circular motion.
  • Wrist stretches:  Hold your arm out in front of you, with the palm facing down. Use your other hand to gently pull your fingers down towards your wrist, holding for 10 seconds.  Repeat on the other hand.
  • Back stretches:  Stand up and place your hands on your lower back. Lean back gently, arching your back slightly.  Hold for 10 seconds.
  • Leg stretches:  Stand up and place one foot on a chair or stool. Lean forward gently, stretching the back of your leg.  Hold for 10 seconds, then repeat on the other leg.

Choosing the right desk and chair for hot desking

Choosing the right desk and chair is essential for maintaining proper posture while hot desking.

Choosing the right desk and chair is essential when hot desking. Here are some factors to consider when choosing a desk and chair:

  • Adjustability  Look for a desk and chair that are adjustable to ensure that you can maintain proper posture.
  • Comfort  Choose a chair that is comfortable and provides support for your back.
  • Size  Choose a desk and chair that are the right size for you to ensure that you can work comfortably.
  • Mobility  Look for a chair with wheels to make it easier to move around the office.

When choosing a desk, consider the height and width, as well as the material and design.  The desk should be adjustable to suit your height and allow for comfortable arm and leg positioning.

When selecting a chair, consider the backrest, seat height, and tilt.  The chair should be adjustable to suit your height, with a supportive backrest and comfortable cushioning.  Look for chairs with adjustable armrests and lumbar support to prevent strain on your back.

Setting up your hot desk ergonomically

Setting up your hot desk ergonomically involves ensuring that all the equipment you use is arranged in a way that promotes proper posture. This includes your keyboard, mouse, screen, and any other accessories you use.

Here are some tips for setting up your hot desk ergonomically:

  • Adjust your chair and desk to ensure that your elbows are at a 90-degree angle and your wrists are straight.
  • Ensure that your keyboard is positioned in front of you.
  • Your mouse should be placed beside your keyboard within easy reach.
  • Position your computer screen at eye level to reduce neck strain. Use a monitor stand or adjust the height of your laptop to achieve this.
  • Use a document holder to reduce neck strain when reading documents.

Hot desking accessories and tools to improve your posture

There are several accessories and tools you can use to improve your posture while hot desking. These include:

  • Ergonomic keyboard and mouse  These accessories are designed to reduce strain on your wrists and arms, preventing repetitive strain injury.
  • Monitor stand  A monitor stand helps to raise your screen to eye level, reducing strain on your neck.
  • Footrest  A footrest helps to ensure that your feet are flat on the floor, reducing strain on your legs and back.
  • Lumbar support cushion  A lumbar support cushion helps to support your lower back, reducing strain and discomfort. Back/lumbar support should be adjustable to support particularly tall or short people.
  • Headset  A headset can reduce neck strain when making phone calls.
  • For larger builds, the chair provided should have a broader seat pan and backrest

Hot desking and DSE assessments

Employers are required to carry out DSE assessments to identify any risks associated with using display screen equipment. DSE assessments are particularly important for employees who work at hot desks, as they may be using different equipment on a regular basis. These assessments involve identifying potential risks and hazards associated with the use of DSE and taking steps to mitigate them. For people who are hot desking, it is essential that training and information on correct workstation set-up is provided to allow them to carry out ad hoc adjustments to their workstation. One solution is for staff to attend a workstation set-up and self-assessment workshop such as this one: Workstation Set-Up and Self Assessment Workshop


Hot desking offers remote workers flexibility and collaboration opportunities. However, it can also pose some challenges, particularly when it comes to posture and DSE awareness.

By following the tips and exercises outlined in this guide, remote workers can maximize their comfort and productivity while working from a shared space. Remember to choose the right desk and chair, set up your workstation ergonomically, and take regular breaks to prevent discomfort and injuries.

Published On: March 29th, 2023