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Thread: Hotdesking and laptops

03-Nov-17, 14:38
by rewt
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posted about 2 weeks ago

I have just started a PhD in engineering in a UK university. Over the summer the department changed policy from all PhD students having a fixed desk to hot desking, so they are still figuring it out.

I have no issue with hotdesking except most of the desks are just a desk, monitor, keyboard and mouse, no actual computer. With the expectation that we bring a laptop. There are some high-end workstations available however priority is given for people doing high-end simulations. So if you want to work in a quiet area at university you need to lug your laptop (and mine is rather heavy) to and back from uni every day. Is it usual to have hot desks without workstations?

The students that started before September were provided with a laptop from a central fund. On my first day, the PhD coordinator said that all the new starts are getting laptops. However, it is becoming more likely (from many internal rumours) that if the new starts want a laptop it is coming out of their bench fees, as they dont have the money to give new starts a free laptop. Were the previous students just lucky to get free laptops? I know I can use my laptop in PhD hot desking area but I am without the full range of software that is on a university workstation/laptop. And using communal undergraduate workstations is possible, I lose the advantage of working with colleagues.

I dont see the point in giving previous students a free laptop, then not buying workstations and then expecting us to use bench fees for a laptop so we can effectively use the PhD hot desking area. They could have bought workstations with the laptop money and everything would be easier and fairer.

TL;DR Is it common for hotdesking areas to be without workstations and what is the laptop policy with bench fees for you?
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