Disadvantages of Public Hot Desking aka. Co-working.

This post covers what it’s like to work at one of these new up & coming temporary office facilities/desks, and largely, reasons not to use such temporary office space or Hot Desking as it’s known – where you turn up and hire a desk for typically £10+ per day.


From what I ‘see’ today, the workers here (IndyCube’s Cardiff; Trade Street.) appear to be …

  • Fairly young and single early 20’s to early 30’s (well certainly not a 41yr old family man like myself).
  • 60% have been silently on their computers or looking at their phone (can do this from home?!).
  • 20% have been co-working in fairness to them ie.Chatting to each other about their mutual project.
  • 20% wandering around, socialising with each other (chatting), taking calls in the back room, or getting tea’s & coffee’s (the same people over & over).


As I sit here in IndyCube Cardiff, similar to other hot desk facilities I’ve trialled, for me here are the main reasons I can’t see myself using such Hot-Desking or Co-Working environments in future; in order of impact …

  1. Travel downtime to leave my home office
    … An estimated 2 hrs off my working day.  Traffic can be a pain at the best of times, especially if you’re making your way to a City Centre (as I have today).
  2. Getting here outweighs the benefits (for me anyway).
    … First & foremost, it appears people come here MAINLY to have company and get out of their house. With a close second being (from what I see) to co-work.

    I’ve spent £10 to park nearby, plus it took me around 15/20mins to find parking and then pay over the phone due to lack of card machine. Plus, as a newbie at least, walking/finding this place wasn’t easy, luckily I used Google Navigate app on my phone, despite this, it wasn’t clearly signed – I walked past this grey door twice in belting down rain & wind. If I wasn’t on the day trial, I’d also have to pay around £10+ for the desk use.

  3. Missing the freedom to speak as I feel on the phone.
    … here anyway, you’re supposed to use the back room for phonecalls, and there’s nearly always someone in there.
  4. The place seems almost library like
    … perhaps a little harsh, don’t get me wrong, there are a few conversations that spark out now and again amongst various cliques / groups here – but library like was my initial impression for the first hour.
  5. Lacking the comforts I’m accustomed to.
    … Some of the below may seem laughable, but the comforts of my home office are missed right now

    1. Missing my warmth!  🙂
      – I set the temperature as I like it in my home office (heater alongside me), whilst this place has pleasant modern looks, it’s painted brick walls and grey window frames make for cooler (as in cold) space, it’s a little cold at this desk near the window.
    2. Missing my Comfy Chair.
      … I’ve just realised that all the other standard chairs are white plastic.  I’m in a leather chair, but i think it’s the person who usually occupies this desk. Oops.
    3. Missing my tilted desk, organised the way I like.
      … plus my mouse makes a scratchy sounds on this desk’s surface for some reason (don’t judge!).
    4. Missing my Ambient lighting,
      … You know when you’re eyes go a little funny with the bright cealing florescents? Well that’s what I feel right now as I type – I don’t get this at my home office; ever.
    5. No Chillout tunes.
      … yes, some hear are wearing headphones. But we both know it’s not as free as a bluetooth speaker set the way you like it. 🙂
    6. Internet seems ok.
      … nearly every home office has the option of Fibre Optic these days. My home office is 40mb Fibre, just for me; not shared between other users.
  6. Not in-keeping with my Family Flexibility / Lifestyle
    … My kids catch the bus at 8.30am and they’re back at 3.45pm – any childcare outside of that would cost me, hence I work from home.  I get lots done and it sharpens my focus knowing the core undisturbed Client hours that I have each day.


So for me to leave home, get to an office, to do the same as I would at home, to then leave that office and get back to receive kids, really reduces my core hours even more. Most here are having a lot of downtime in chatting with each other – I’m no grump, but I’m guessing they don’t feel the same time constraints as I do.

(in order of best advice)

  1. Join a networking or Small Business Forum.
  2. Plan a few days at one of these facilities – it’s not all bad, but I suspect you may find the above.
  3. Plan to work from your Client’s place 1-3 times a week – I find they appreciate the time you spend on them & with them.


Let me know what you feel about my thoughts and also you’re own experiences – Where do you work from and what works best for you?

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