Book your desk now – spaces are limited
‘Hotelling’ makes a comeback in major cities as companies seek to save money on valuable office real estate Arriving at the office on his first day as a consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, Tom Broen felt he’d been misled. It wasn’t the work or the upper five-figure salary that upset him. But after five years of experience, he thought he was senior enough to qualify for his own desk.
“They cleverly omitted that detail when I applied for the job,” he says from his home in downtown Toronto. “The managers and higher had their own desks, but junior people did not.”Mr. Broen had just been introduced to “hotelling”, in which rather than having designated desks, staff are assigned a spot daily according to space availability. Each morning, Mr. Broen would key in his employee number and a computerized system would decide the floor and position where he would work for the day.
Hotelling saves on desk and office space, he explains, but it soon became a bone of contention among some employees.
“It made people feel like they were disposable,” says Mr. Broen, who has since changed companies. “It was one of those weird things in a company that everyone understood was stupid, but you didn’t really have a sense that it was going to change.”
…Some employees don’t mind the loss of structure. Lindsay Freeman, a KPMG senior accountant, says she enjoys the sense of transience. Since hoteliers have to clean their desks at the end of each workday, she finds it makes her more organized. Other hoteliers have found ways to circumvent the system. Nahuel Arruda, an analyst who has worked for Deloitte & Touche for almost a year, is technically supposed to move desks according to space availability. But during his tenure, he has managed to stay put. To avoid shifting desks, he books his current space by computer a few days ahead of time, or leaves his desk slightly messy so others won’t want to work there. It’s worthwhile, he says. “If I had to move, I’d probably end up on another floor, and it would be really inconvenient going up and down in the elevator all the time.”
https://francinemckenna.com/wp-content/francine-mckenna.png 0 0 Francine https://francinemckenna.com/wp-content/francine-mckenna.png Francine2008-01-22 09:22:002011-09-05 13:11:47The Reality Of Working For The Big 4
I came to PwC as a Director, with my primary client as PwC itself. I didn’t get an office or a permanent desk, even though my work was internal and I traveled only infrequently to other PwC offices in New York and Atlanta. Having to reserve a space and be told nothing was available was one of the great irritants of my days there and one of the reasons why I often worked at home, a condo that was only two blocks from the office. Not surprisingly, I never got to know most of my local colleagues.
Penny wise, dollar foolish. Rather than save money on office space, maybe they should try to stem the losses from lawsuits…