"Musical chairs" nightmare for hotdesking civil servants with 4x more staff than workspaces

Chaos as thousands of officials have nowhere to work

Hot desking doesn’t have a great reputation among workers. You can’t leave your possessions in a drawer, can’t personalise your space, and you can’t form meaningful relationships with the colleagues around you as they are different every day.

But imagine the stress of arriving at work to hunt a desk, knowing that there are four times more staff than desk spaces.

This scenario is precisely what thousands of civil servants in Whitehall are facing on a daily basis.

Former Treasury economist and current Labour MP Helen Goodman obtained the statistics after learning that her colleagues were queuing up to find areas to work in, the Evening Standard reports.

The situation is worst in the Department for Transport, which has 1,477 desks for 6,621 officials. Meanwhile the Department for Work and Pensions has 2,215 desks which are needed by 7,579 officials.

“Hot-desking on this scale sounds more like musical chairs,” Goodman said.

“Senior officials complain privately of instability, inability to have meetings, the impossibility of finding colleagues and general chaos – especially on Wednesday when everyone goes to work.”

Goodman said that she was “simply astounded”, when told by the Department for Culture that each desk cost the taxpayer £10,000.

Defending the figures, Cabinet Office minister Rob Wilson said: “All modern companies and the modern civil service should be hot-desking, which is exactly what is taking place.”

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Werry simple answer get rid of some of the staf to elevate the problems this includes the sienour manager who have subornets under them. This would be a benifet to the govement by reducing the bills.
    Dr N.Matthews

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