I recently read a description of something that I recognized as ‘Hot Desking”. It was summrised by the auther as using a “Hotspot”. “Hotspots” are normally advertised as places where you could get wireless internet connectivity for your Hand-held device (phone, pda). The description I’d read didn’t require wireless internet connectivity. Not a ‘hotspot’ as I understood it.
I then realized that I had not heard the phrase “Hot-Desking” since I arrived in the US. I searched the internet for the term to see what the search results implied. Sure enough, most of the web-sites were addressed with .co.uk at the end. This site describes the term: http://www.worldwidewords.org/turnsofphrase/tp-hot1.htm
The name may derive from hot bunking, the name given to the sharing of sleeping space by sailors on watch in wartime, when as one went on watch another took his place.
I’ve inferred that the ‘hot’ probably comes from the likelihood that the bunk was still physically warm (hot?) when you got in it at the end of your watch from the body that just left the bunk to go on watch…. a pleasant (?) sensual experience.
This alone seemed weak evidence to determine if the phrase is UK (maybe, Europe) centric. I wandered into the office of a pretty young UK boy and asked him “what would you think of if I said Hot-desking?” He described the term as I understood it. I then wandered into the office of a pretty young US boy and asked him the same question.
He blushed, paused, then said “it depends what mood I’m in“. After I’d finished laughing and commenting on what a great answer that was, he said that he had no idea, he’d never heard the phrase before. I was impressed that he had risked a ”personnel’ violation (e.g. sexual harassment) by flirting with me. Flirting at work seems much more rare in the US than the UK. I took this as confirmation that the US do not use Hot-desking as a term. I then wandered into another colleagues office, described Hot-Desking and asked her if there was a word for it. She said, “yes, Hoteling”
I concluded that Hot-Desking (UK) = Hoteling (US)
Personally I prefer the phrase with the sensual undertones and double entendre… …what can I say…
Wendy with hot-desk and so much more