BBVA relaunches hot desking for return to work

It's back to the 90s at BBVA, which has adopted hot-desking as its return-to-office model.

This month, the bank adopted a 60-40 office/remote working model for its staff, and when they plan to be in the office they have to book a modified desk space.

Drawers and other bits of furniture have been stripped away and staff are expected to bring their laptops to plug into screens and connectivity points at the spaced-out desks. Lockers are provided for personal belongings.

A workstation can be booked according to the use needed, whether it is a table for individual work, a meeting room or a collaborative space.

“The use of shared desks also fosters an open work environment,” said BBVA, “which encourages communication and collaboration among employees”. It also helps to keep spaces tidier and free of personal belongings, facilitating cleaning and disinfection, the bank added.

“As a result of social distancing measures half of the workstations in our headquarters could not be used. The only way to allow employees to resume on-site work was to de-assign the workstations,” said Desirée Granda, global head of premises and services at BBVA.

He added: “We are fully convinced that future work models must be hybrid and flexible. In this new scheme it was essential to have a tool that would allow dynamic management of the stations.”

The reservation process is “simple”, said Granda. Every 22nd day, the pool of available stations for the following month is opened and employees reserve according to the days they are going to attend. They can also request a parking space if they want to bring their vehicle.

A main benefit is also optimising the use of space. “Before the pandemic, when we had an assigned workstation model, an average of 15 per cent of workstations were left empty every day due to business trips, training or employee vacations,” Granda said. “This system helps correct these inefficiencies.”

The plan will be adapted according to the “evolution of the pandemic”, said BBVA.

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