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An office



Listen to Professor Crystal

You know, there are some very descriptive words that come into the language from time to time, and one of the ones that came in the 1990s which really hit me between the eyes when I first heard it, was this phrase "hotdesking".

In fact to begin with, I didn't really know what it meant, and after a while of course, it's become perfectly commonplace now, it's the practice of sharing desks or workstations between office workers, on a sort of rota system. People don't have individual desks, it saves time, it saves resources. The implication of course, that's why the word became so effective, is that it's the high degree of activity that is making the desk 'heat up' as it were: imagine the steam coming off the desk!

Well, it's a noun, "hotdesking", but I've also heard it as a verb: "we're hotdesking tomorrow", "Shall I hotdesk with you?", you might say to somebody. And now of course there are all sorts of derivatives that've come into being: the people who do the "hotdesking" are called "hotdeskers".


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