ICL expands hot desking in a bid to cut property costs

E-business company ICL is aiming to slash more than £10m off its property costs by increasing its hot desking.

Currently, 25 per cent of its staff hot desk, but this will rise to 35 per cent by next year. ICL plans to cut its office space in the UK by more than a third over the next five years, giving a 20 per cent reduction in property costs.

ICL’s HR team played a key role in the consultative discussions on the move towards hot desking. HR manager Katherine Hathaway said, “Hot desking makes employees more efficient and flexible in their working practices.”

But she acknowledged the risks involved. She said, “The main challenge facing employees is to adapt to a situation where they have different desks each day.”

ICL’s move is going against the grain, with the predicted mass shift to hot desking failing to materialise in recent years.

Arjun Kaicker, head of consultancy for workspace specialist Morgan Lovell, said, “It is hard to retain and recruit staff and organisations want workplaces that attract staff. Hot desking is not particularly popular for this.”

ICL’s increase in mobile employees has been made possible by mobile computing and communication devices.

Richard Reed, the company’s director of corporate infrastructure, said, “The whole of our property strategy is geared towards desk utilisation.”

www.icl.com

By Karen Higginbottom

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