DSE Compliance For Hot Desking: All You Need To Know

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DSE Assessment

Hot desking is increasingly common in the workplace. It allows employees to work flexibly and often lowers business overheads. However, with the rise in remote working and WFH, DSE compliance can seem increasingly complex. How do you navigate supporting and caring for your remote or hybrid team members while following UK DSE laws?

It's easy for hot-desking employees to accept less-than-optimum working conditions. But incorrect DSE setup can impact health and productivity and lead to eye strain, headaches and neck, arm and back pain. Here's what you need to know about DSE compliance for hot desking to reduce absenteeism and ensure the health and well-being of your workforce.

Do DSE regulations apply to hot desking?

Yes, they do. The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992 protect all DSE users from the risks of working with laptops, PCs, smartphones and using tablets. That includes hot desking and remote workers.

Employers must undertake workstation DSE assessments for all employees to minimise the risks of working with DSE equipment and reduce strain at work. It's a legal requirement that applies equally to mobile and WFH employees, hot deskers, and employees with a permanent workstation.

Any workstation risk assessments should cover the work environment, the job being done, furniture and equipment and the particular requirements of the workstation user.  

Hot desking and DSE compliance: what are the challenges?

Hot desking presents some unique challenges for DSE assessments:

Not having a permanent desk setup

In addition to your business-wide ergonomic workstation assessments, you'll need to consider workplace health and safety best practices for hot desking. However, asking hot deskers to perform dynamic workstation assessments can be challenging. Workers who don't have a permanent workstation setup may see it as time-consuming, particularly if they move to a new desk every couple of days. It also poses an extra administrative burden for your business.

Employees may not have the required equipment

Due to the lack of permanence, hot deskers are less likely to have the right display screen equipment. For example, they may not be able to enjoy an ergonomic office chair set up at the right height and tilt for their body.

Moreover, hot desking employees are more likely to accept a poor workplace setup because changes made can be lost the next day. In turn, that puts hot deskers at increased risk of musculoskeletal issues.

It can be more challenging to monitor your employees’ workstations:

As you can imagine, hot desking employees can move locations frequently. And that makes visibility of their unique workplace health and safety issues even more challenging. You can’t always check in as easily.

You need to keep up to date with workstation assessments

Workstation risk assessments are required for every new workstation setup, onboarding of new employees, and changes to an existing workstation setup. An active population of hot deskers accessing multiple workstations can significantly increase the time and costs related to DSE compliance.

Meeting the challenges of hot desking and DSE compliance

Hot desking can be a great tool if your business is trying to foster a creative and collaborative environment. And, while it can seem like hot desking makes DSE compliance more challenging, there are some simple steps you can take to keep your remote workers safe and comfortable.

Online workstation assessments

Manual questionnaires are time-consuming and an admin nightmare. But a quick and engaging online assessment can ensure DSE compliance in seconds every time your hot desking employees access a new workstation.

Our online workstation self-assessments make short work of DSE hot desking compliance. Easy to complete and keep track of, they're the painless way to support at-risk hot desking employees.

Well-designed workstations

A well-designed workstation is essential for employees' health and comfort. Screens, input devices, chairs and lighting are all critical components of creating a safe and productive work environment. And that protects all at-risk employees, including those without a permanent workstation. It’s important to provide remote workers with the equipment they need, wherever they work.

A thorough, effective and efficient in-person assessment ensures all your employees feel cared for, providing actionable advice to improve your DSE compliance.


To meet the challenges of DSE hot desking, offer workplace health and safety training that helps employees identify and minimise risks. For example, training should look at how to adjust chairs, screens and input devices and angle screens and lighting to avoid glare. In addition, encourage DSE users to take regular breaks and promote good posture and relaxation techniques.

Also, consider training team members with our free DSE Assessor Training. The course enables your hot desking employees to proactively identify risk and learn lessons they can implement immediately.  

Ongoing review

Most workplaces are constantly evolving, so it makes sense to monitor and review your DSE compliance on an ongoing basis. It's a cost-effective way to ensure you minimise risk across your entire workforce.

With our fully managed DSE service, we'll act as assessors and administrators to ensure 100% DSE compliance. In addition, we'll offer full support to your business even as it grows and legislation changes. With less effort and liability, you'll save time and money with the peace of mind of knowing that your workforce is in safe hands.

Workhappy: DSE assessments and support for hot desking employees

Every business needs to achieve DSE compliance to avoid legal risk. This is true in the UK and also various countries overseas. If you need a hand working out how best to support your in-office or remote employees, the Workhappy team can help. From workstation assessments to training opportunities and wellbeing services, we’re here to make life more comfortable for your workforce with professional and unbiased advice. To book an assessment or find out what's best for your business, contact the Workhappy team today.