A drop-in desk is:

a workspace that is set up to handle unscheduled visits by workers who don’t have a long-term desk in the facility, but need one for that day.

What's the translation of a drop-in desk in French? Google Translate and Linguee weren't helpful.


5 Answers 5


The best term is bureau de passage answered in comments.

Otherwise, you might hear, bureau en libre service, bureau flexible or bureau volant.

  • 1
    @Personne It means this answer is more collaborative than usual and jiliagre won't get any reputation points from it. meta.stackexchange.com/questions/11740/…
    – Stef
    Feb 8 at 10:45
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    @Stef … merci, les questions de score ne me concernent plus :-)
    – Personne
    Feb 8 at 12:37
  • 2
    @Personne Je vois dans ton profil "Comme j’ai passé l’âge de courir après les récompenses, je me contente de commentaires"; note que si un jour tu veux poster une réponse et que la seule chose qui te freines c'est la récompense, tu pourrais choisir d'écrire une réponse et cocher la case "community wiki" avant de poster la réponse, justement pour refuser cette récompense, comme jiliagre l'a fait ici.
    – Stef
    Feb 8 at 12:41
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    @Stef c’est jlliagre, pas jiliagre ;-). Feb 8 at 22:12
  • 2
    @Personne It's what None should have done instead of posting an answer in the comments. But they didn't, leaving it up to someone else to do it.
    – ikegami
    Feb 9 at 14:14

L'expression flex office est très utilisée en entreprise (il peut d'ailleurs s'agir d'un faux anglicisme).

Voir les définitions et explications :

Le terme désigne cependant plutôt l'organisation "flexible" (pas de bureau attribué), que l'objet bureau ou le poste de travail physique.


The ability for people to work on a different site than their usual one is sometimes called "nomadisme", so such desks are sometimes called "bureaux nomades" / "postes de travail nomades" / "positions de travail nomades".

Note that "nomadisme" itself is also sometimes used to include any form of work outside of their usual work site, including at home. But a "position de travail nomades" is of course on a site.

Note that there is a lot of confusion around the words for the "desk" itself, regardless of its use:

  • "Bureau" can be the desk itself, or it can be the office (room). It is equivalent if there is only on desk in one room, but quite different in shared offices.
  • "Poste de travail" can be the desk, or it can be a computer (either a desktop PC at the desk, or the user's laptop)
  • "Position de travail" is the least ambiguous. Often abbreviated "PDT".

A given desk can have any of the following uses:

  • "Fixe", "Attribué", "Assigné" for desks which are permanently assigned to a given user
  • "Flex", "Flexible", "Partagé" for desks which are not permanently assigned. It is usually used in a context where regular users on a given site do not have a permanently assigned desk and can pick (or be temporarily assigned) a desk on a day-to-day basis in their usual work site, but depending on the company's organisation and policies, it may be open to visiting users from other sites as well.
  • "De passage", "Nomade", "Visiteurs", "Mobilité" are desks for users from other sites who come for a few hours or a few days at a time. Sometimes the english "Hot desk" is used as well.

That gives you quite a number of combinations :-)


https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sans_bureau_fixe uses the following terms:

  • bureau à temps partagé
  • bureau à la demande
  • free seating
  • desk sharing
  • flexoffice (as XouDo mentioned in their answer)

According to the same Wikipedia page, workers using drop-in desks are referred to as sans bureau fixe (SBF).

  • 4
    I never heard free seating or desk sharing used in French. Flexoffice is commonly used but refers to the policy, not the desk (as already stated by XouDo). SBF is a funny play of words but I don't remember having heard it before.
    – jlliagre
    Feb 8 at 22:24

Simplement un bureau partagé (Vitrine OQLF).

  • 1
    J'utilise moi-même ce genre de bureau quand je suis tanné d'être au mien, en plus sa hauteur est ajustable. Des employés de passage l'utilisent aussi. Parfois j'utilise la salle de conférence. L'avantage du présentiel quand tout le monde veut être en télétravail : il y a en masse de place ! Feb 9 at 2:38

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