Why You Need A Space Utilization Analysis

May 13, 2015

Do you know on how much unused space you're sitting on? Do you know what that's costing your organization?

Knowing how much space is actually being used on daily basis can really help you cut out a great deal of excess cost.  The goal of an actual space utilization analysis is to establish a baseline of current utilization, reveal opportunities for efficiencies, and then use that data to build a case for optimizing the use of space to maintain productivity and competitive advantage.

It is extremely important for business operations that facilities managers and space planners be able to accurately calculate actual use of space (AUS). Most organizations struggle to reach even 50% utilization because they can't get the right data on how much space they really need. Having reliable, accurate data gives managers and planners the power to maximize utilization, and it gives executives the strategic insight to best manage their real estate portfolio, the company's second largest expense item.

Actual use of space data can help organizations reach cost management and sustainability goals. But how do you prepare for a space utilization analysis? You will want to be clear about what you're measuring. The two biggest questions are - how many people do we really have in-office on a regular basis, and how much space does that level of occupancy truly require?

The steps to reducing unnecessary occupancy costs are to start with understanding how much and what types of space you are using today, progress through workplace change and continue ongoing measurement every day.

Prepare to think about the workspace in terms of:

Desks or Workspaces - The number of individual total seats (whether private offices or open workstations).
Occupancy - The percentage of desks that are assigned to a person or dedicated to a function.
Utilization - The percentage of occupied desks (or conference room seats) that are "in use" at any moment during the workday.
Head Count - The number of people to be accommodated, but not necessarily at same time.
Capacity - The seat count or number of people that a space can support at one time.
Worker-to-Workspace Ratio – the number workspaces to the total number of employees who may need to use them at any time

AgilQuest's Commander BI delivers actual use of space data on a daily basis and assesses human presence events throughout the organization, badge swipe data from the front door, turnstile data from the street entrance, login events and virtual private network (VPN) packets from the network, keyed entry from VOIP phones and more. Different offices, floors and departments may have different space utilization, so you can't do just a sample bedcheck or manual survey.

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