Guides and Whitepapers

Measuring Actual Use of Space

Guides for Workplace Strategy and Management

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 4 of 6

5 The report now provides a direction for managing the workplace. We can see how much the company spends for facilities and how much money is wasted by the "under-utilization" of each space. By simply sorting this report by "Cost of Underutilization," we can identify the work spaces that are the most underutilized and identify the people who effectively work at locations other than their assigned workspace. These are the mobile workers. Now the question can be answered on a person by person basis: "Does J. Jones, who averages a half day per week in his office, really need a dedicated office?" More broadly, do people who utilize workspace less than 50% of the time actually need a dedicated workspace? 

 The report now allows facility and real estate managers to make intelligent decisions of how much shared space the organization needs versus how much dedicated space does it need. It's only possible by measuring the Actual Use of Space. Real Life Examples

 Let's consider two examples: the first being an organization that has an upcoming lease renewal, and the other an organization that needs to add more employees to a facility that is fully allocated. 

 Company A (too much empty space) Company A houses 750 people on six floors of a high rise building. The lease on the six floors expires in 18 months. The company is faced with three choices. Should it: a. renew the lease on the six floors b. consolidate onto fewer floors, or c. move to a new facility? 

 People have noticed that on a day-to-day basis many desks go unused. A study, performed using security-card entry data for the previous twelve-month period, showed that employees could be categorized into three groups: Anchors, Shared, and Mobile. The 50 Anchor people were assigned to workspaces that are not shared; 450 Shared people use their desks more than 50% of the time); and 250 Mobile workers use their desks less than 50% of the time. The study showed that the Mobile workers actually used their workspaces 30% of the time. Rather than allocate dedicated workspaces to the mobile workers, the company could designate a pool of shared desks. Roughly 85 desks are needed to satisfy the housing needs of these 250 people. In other words, 165 desks are not needed. Renewing the lease for 5 floors would more than suffice, while the company would save over $2 million annually.

 The study also found that the Shared People use their desk 75% of the time – meaning that on any given day roughly 110 desks are unused. These desks can be used by the mobile workers, if needed, or could accommodate an expansion of the workforce. 

Articles in this issue

view archives of Guides and Whitepapers - Measuring Actual Use of Space