Make Better Decisions With Actual Space Utilization Data

January 18, 2017

Having accurate and reliable data is crucial in making meaningful and impactful business decisions. Figuring out how much office space is really needed is critical for the organization to thrive. But to calculate actual use of space (AUS), how do you quantify the seemingly unquantifiable?

For a long time it has been difficult for facilities managers and space planners to calculate actual use of space. Perception rarely matches reality; most of the time when employees are surveyed and asked about their space utilization, they perceive they are using their space more than what the reality of the data actually shows.

The value and need for data-based decision making is extremely important, not just for making sustainable and cost-saving office space changes, accurate data also helps in communicating the benefits of workspace changes to employees. Data driven actual use of space analysis can help drive decisions like optimizing real estate use, supporting multiple work styles from resident to mobile, increasing workspace choices for employees and supporting growth.

The numbers are compelling - a company with 20,000 workers reducing shadow vacancy by 20% would save $40M per year. Business units with 300 desks eliminating 20% unused desks would increase their profit margin by $600,000 per year. Those are great numbers, right? So how can you not only gather, but also accurately analyze data about the utilization of office space?

Space utilization software, like AgilQuest's Commander BI, can help answer the big questions like - what answers can utilization and occupancy data provide, and how can this data be used to change the workplace and related business strategies? This technology is essential for collecting accurate data daily and across the entire portfolio to confirm actual space use, calculate effect of utilization on real estate and operating costs, reveal opportunities for optimizing space efficiency and support the business case for new workplace strategies, such as office hoteling.

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