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Making Offices Agile With Real-time Space Utilization Data

3/01/23 -

Not that long ago, many companies relied on a 1:1 employee-to-desk ratio to allocate office space. This approach was often seen as the most efficient and cost-effective way to manage office space and support employee retention. But as businesses evolve and work styles change, this approach is becoming less effective.

Office occupancy rates in North America have reached 47.5%, according to a September 2022 World Economic Forum report, but that's still only half of pre-pandemic occupancy levels. For employees, walking into an empty office space is unmotivating and depressing, especially for companies that work to promote a social corporate culture.

To optimize office space and get more employees to show up, companies need to break away from using employee-to-desk ratios and start dynamically allocating space to departments and groups based on real space usage. Forward-thinking companies are making the shift to neighborhood-based office design strategies to bring employees back to work in environments that are proven to increase productivity and decrease the operational costs of maintaining unused office space.

So how do companies reallocate spaces when they don't know when and how often they are being used?


Time to Think About Actual Space Use In the Office, Not Butts in Seats

Using new sensor-based space utilization technology, business owners and operators can more accurately evaluate when office spaces are actually being used. Occuspace foot traffic monitoring technology detects how many people on average spend time in spaces, providing actual data, not guesstimates, to drive office planning and organizational decisions.

When departments ask for more space, real utilization data can help determine if the space is warranted. For example, an Occuspace customer evaluated how often office space was used by a specific department. They were only seeing on average 11 people per day and peaks of up to 25 people in the office during the workday. The customer was able to reduce the office space by half and consider redistributing that space to another department. By doing this across departments and portfolios, corporate customers are cutting their need for space by 25% to 60%.


Occuspace Space Analytics


Another advantage of using real space usage data is the ability to create more flexible workspaces. It's becoming more important to have an office space that can adapt to different needs. By understanding how space is being used, companies can create flexible workspaces that can be easily reconfigured to meet changing needs. For example, if a particular department is only using their space a few days a week, it can be converted into a hot desk area that can be used by employees from other departments on the days when the space is not in use.


Make An Investment in the Right Technology

To effectively use office space utilization data, companies need to invest in the right technology and tools. This includes sensors and software that can track how space is being used, as well as analytics tools that can help companies make sense of the data. Also, companies need to establish clear policies and procedures for how space is allocated and managed. This can include guidelines for how often space is reviewed and reallocated, as well as policies for how employees can request changes to their workspace.

Contact us to learn more about how Occuspace is helping businesses across North America better understand and control their physical spaces while providing employees a more enjoyable and productive experience on site.


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