Workspace Optimization, can enterprises reduce their rental space in a driven data way?

We are living in the coworking spaces and flexible work era, and this era is arriving at companies too. It is a must changing the way they plan workplaces for their employees.

Recent studios show that 9 of each 10 offices are changing the ways of working enabled by technology. New generations are far away from “presenteeism” rules and they are looking for more flexible and self-managed workday: remote work, flexible schedules, job done instead of hours spent, etc It is a new paradigm and a radical new mindset that are shaping the way in which companies choose their workplaces, set their designs and manage their employee’s needs, desires and expectations.

This is a challenging situation for facility and space management departments. Sometimes they don’t have the resources, sometimes they don’t know the tools. But in any case, there is a leakage of money because the underperforming spaces that is “hidden”. Costs that area assumed as part of the operational expenditure that must be optimized.

Money lost every year

According to the office metrics studio made by Cushman & Wakefield, it is possible to find out the Total Occupancy Cost per Person and per Year (TOC) depending on de location of the office and the company size. Considering an average occupancy rate of 45%, as it is usually showed, the different enterprises lost annually:



SIZE EMPLOYEES TOC in Madrid TOC in London TOC in Paris
6,500 €/ year person 15,500 €/year person 11,000 €/year person
MICRO 10 35,750 € 85,250 € 60,500 €
SMALL 49 175,175 € 417,725 € 296,450 €
MEDIUM 100 357,500 € 852,500 € 605,000 €
249 890,175 € 2,122,725 € 1,506,450 €
LARGE 1,000 3,575,000 € 8,525,000 € 6,050,000 €
3,000 10,725,000 € 25,575,000 € 18,150,000 €
10,000 35,750,000 € 85,250,000 € 60,500,000 €

If companies don’t want to lose even more money every year they must take action, change the way they plan and design their offices spaces to figure out the real needs of workplace area. In addition, if they don’t want to be blind in planning and optimizing them, they need to find out their own KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) that show the real use of spaces to drive good decisions.

Adding metrics to management

First, it is necessary to get the raw data: how employees behave with the workplace. There are many IT solutions to do that. Always keep in mind choosing the proper one because raw quality data is key for having a right outcome. After the solution deployment, data will start to be gathered and so, companies will be able to set first KPIs according and to analyze how space performs. In this second phase, it is basic to make an exhaustive analysis of data, to get the information that drives decisions which are going to impact in the company results.

The main KPI for Facility and Space Management are office utilization, occupancy and dwell time (time that people are using their workstation), combining in different ways: peaks, average, median… View the article about KPIs meaning. 

How to reduce the rental space in a driven-data way?

Let’s see it with an example:

Imagine that the graphic above is the resume data from the last three month, KPIs show that:

  • Average occupancy is over 59%.
  • Peak occupancy is 82%.
  • Peak hours are from 11 to 14 occupancy is higher than the rest of the time.
  • Employees prefer the workstations located in the middle and the one in the upper right corner. And they use less the lower right corner and the upper left corner.

Based on data, managers can take different actions:

  • reduce the rental space needed that can impact directly in the cost rent.
  • redesign the layout to improve the space performance.
  • plan energy consumption or lighting based on the real use of the space.

If you are interested in analyze meeting rooms occupancy, you could read the article about it here.