U.S. CBP Complies with Federal Mandates to Freeze the Footprint

Following the US Government’s 2013 “Freeze the Footprint” mandate requiring federal agencies to maintain or reduce leased square footage, the Department of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) launched an extensive hoteling program that saved millions of dollars in rent and other costs, while boosting productivity among employees.

THE GOAL

Of the nearly 14,000 square feet and 83 individual workstations on two floors, the Department of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) had limited collaborative space, assigned seating and over 200 feet of “usable space” per person. Successfully meeting the guidelines of the “Freeze the Footprint” mandate to eliminate wasted desks, cubicles and offices would require a radical change.

THE EXECUTION

CBP launched an ambitious project that consolidated two floors into one, smaller, 8,700 square-foot floor with just 27 desks. The space contains a mix of offices and collaborative workspaces that support a mix of work styles by employees who are encouraged to work at home two days a week. CBP utilized AgilQuest’s OnBoard Workplace Reservation software to study the needs of the staff by collecting usage data as employees reserved spaces.

THE RESULTS

After a first-phase space reduction of 5,300 square feet, CBP generated an annual rent savings of $287,000, 98% of employees reported that communication and collaboration improved, and the department reported a 102% increase in worker productivity. The success of phase one funded an even more ambitious second phase in which seven floors in three buildings containing 550 employees coalesced into three floors in one building. Phase two resulted in a 46% reduction in square footage and a savings of $3.3 million per year in rent and operational costs.

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