Hot Desks

As the number of freelancers in the UK continues to grow, 1.91 million at the last count, so does the trend for hot desking.

A flexible alternative to traditional office rental, it means you can grab a desk in London whenever and wherever suits you, without having to pay eye-watering monthly rents - perfect for small businesses, start-ups and freelancers looking for professional workspace.

What is hot desking?

Hot desking is an alternative to the conventional office set-up. Rather than giving each staff member their own personal desk, a hot desk provides flexible desk space that’s shared by multiple employees or freelancers as and when they need it. In short, you show up to your workspace and pick a free desk to work from for the day.

Hot desking has really found its niche with startups and freelancers, offering the kind of relaxed and flexible desk access that’s perfect for today’s agile working environment.

Hot desking great for collaboration

This fluid set-up means staff and freelancers can set up in different locations around the workplace, perhaps choosing a quieter area for more focused work, or a desk a busier one for more collaborative work.

In coworking spaces and serviced office there are often one or more 'hot desking areas'. Here you simply pick a seat that takes your fancy and plug in.

Where did the term 'hot desking' come from?

Hot desking is actually though to come from military lingo. The term 'hot-racking' is used, mainly on submarines, where several sailors share a berth to save space.

What are the benefits of hot desking?

There are lots of benefits to hot desking for businesses of all sizes, as well as freelancers.


One of the biggest benefits of hot desking is cost. A BBC report says that hot desking can cut the costs of running an office by up to 30 percent. Not everyone in an office needs desk space all at once, especially with today’s more flexible office hours, so companies can often reduce the number of desks they have. It’s particularly valuable in cities where office rents are high, which explains why hot desking in London is so popular.


Hot desking lends itself to a range of business dynamics. Many companies make the change to hot desking if they start expanding at a rapid rate. Conversely, companies that are downsizing divert to hot desking when their workforce is powered by more part-time staff or they move to smaller premises.

Two people hot desking

Collaboration and creativity

Hot desking means people naturally move around the office, striking up conversations with colleagues they might never normally talk to. One day you’ll be seated next to an illustrator. The next day it could be a graphic designer or software developer. It paves the way for new conversations and idea sharing, as well as opportunities for fresh collaboration and friendship.

Freelance heaven

Working from home can be isolating, with plenty of distractions to get in the way of productivity. Freelancers renting a hot desk immediately gain a more focused and productive workspace, access to a professional address and useful office facilities, as well as the company of other workers and creatives.

Working from a hot desk

A happier workplace

Hot desking can help to break down the traditional teams and hierarchies within the office. It makes for a more inclusive, and thus happier, workplace.

How much does hot desking cost and what type of price plans are offered?

Hot desking makes access to professional office space affordable.

Most hot desking contracts are flexible, usually in the form of a rolling monthly contract, but you can also rent a desk by the day or even by the hour, with no contract ties.

On Hubble right now we have hot desks available from £16 per month right up to £2,000 per month, depending on the facilities and the location that you’re looking for.

Affordable hot desk space doesn’t mean you have to leg it out to the suburbs either. You can grab great value desk space at plenty of central coworking spaces—just search by your specific budget and location on Hubble.

Laptop on desk

Most hot desk rentals on Hubble fall into the £100 - £300 per month ballpark, including rates, heating, lighting, power and broadband. In comparison, a fully serviced office costs between £400 and £800 a month and a conventional four-person office space between £1,600 and £3,000 per month - that’s roughly £400 to £750 per desk. You still need to add on the cost of rates, heating and lighting to that too. So it's fair to say the potential savings for hot desking are impressive.

Make sure you know what’s included in your monthly rental though, as some part time office space might not come with a fixed phone line or meeting room access as part of the deal. Others will offer you the works, including use of computer and printer facilities, so there might not even be a need to take your laptop with you.

How do I find a hot desk?

It’s a whole lot easier for freelancers and companies to find great hot desk spaces in London these days. On Hubble and you can search for hot desk spaces by location, price and the number of hot desks you need. Have a browse and see if anything catches your eye. You can also filter results by the facilities available, so it’s easy to spot a hot desk that gives you whatever you need - from 24-hour access to a hot shower.

Can I hot desk in different offices?

Of course! The reason hot desking exists it to make work as fluid and flexible as possible. Some offices rent their hot desk spaces full time, with a rolling monthly contract set up. Others rent theirs part time by the day, week, or even hour.

What are the best London offices for hot desking?

Innovation Warehouse: Smithfield Market - £150/£250 per month

Perched on top of Smithfield Market in Farringdon, this smart start up community lets you choose from full time spaces and part time hot desks that give you access 10 days a month.

TOG hot desks

Beyond Aldgate Tower - £160 per month

Including all-you-can-drink free barista-style coffee, networking events and the best views over London.

Workhouse One - £200 per month

Focusing on helping your business grow, Workhouse One offers work spaces at affordable prices with flexible contrracts, and is located minutes from Old Street Station in Shoreditch.

Campfire Shoreditch - £350 per month

Campfire Shoreditch, located inside a unique refurbished warehouse, is a new and exciting coworking space perfect for tech and creative startups.

More flexible working options