Identifying Mobility Types In The Workplace

September 16, 2015

Did you realize that understanding the different mobility types in your organization could potentially save you hundreds of thousands of dollars in real estate? Each different style will have different workspace needs and with strategic space planning, an organization could cut real estate and improve operational sustainability. For example, business units with 300 desks, eliminating 20% unused desks could increase profit margin by $600,000 per year.

So how do you figure out the mobility types that exist in your office? The 'big data' gained from an accurate actual use of space (AUS) analysis measuring occupancy, total seats in private offices or open workstations, utilization, head count and capacity can tell you a lot about the ways in which people really work and their mobility levels. Employees may be out on the road, telecommuting or traveling more often than just a sample bed check or manual survey could reveal.

Once you learn how your office space is actually being utilized, it's important to support mobility levels as suggested by the space utilization study by creating scenarios that describe the way people work based on mobility patterns.

Mobility types can be classified as (or some version of):

  • Resident - assigned, conventional size workstation or office
  • Flex - assigned and unassigned (for split flex scenario), smaller workstation or office with less storage
  • Mobile - unassigned, uses touchdown workstation or office in departmental neighborhood when at work, or use other team, meeting or social areas

Collecting data that is accurate and reliable, as well as gathered continuously, consistently and systematically, is vital to understanding the mobility levels that exist in the office. Different offices, floors and departments may have different space utilization, so you can't do just a simple survey.

Workplace management systems like AgilQuest's Commander BI know when a particular desk was used because it ties actual seat assignment to usage and to the person. Commander BI collects presence data from every location, every day instead of a few locations, once or twice a year. You get not just volume of use, but actual use of every resource down to workspace, cost center and person. The Commander BI presence detection methods don't rely on expensive, one-time or one-location surveys and walk-arounds. Data is collected systematically via devices that already exist in your office, from data sources already in place, and through our patented Industrial Product Price Index (IPPI) product for VOIP phones.

Classifying employees into mobility types based on accurate and true data gathered daily creates true actionable knowledge that can create greater efficiency and operational savings. The actual use of space data generated from your study can inform how to classify employees in terms of 'mobility type,' so that space planners can then accurately assess the needs of the organization.

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