The term ‘Workplace optimization’ has gained a new meaning in recent years. It isn’t just about a fancy office interior or a trendy and new desking arrangement, anymore. Effective utilization of the office space from a functional stance has become the core principle of workplace optimization. We can all agree that the design of workspace and desking strategies are important matters of consideration but if they do not accommodate efficient space utilization then it’s like a half-baked cake.
Why is space utilization important?
Over the past decade, office concepts have had a major overhaul. With stiff competition in the global market and a fluctuating world economy. Businesses are increasingly looking at ways to optimize their expenditure on real estate and optimize office spaces with lesser finances. Effective space usage is one of the best solutions to the problem and is becoming an important part of facilities management.
Space utilization metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) are using by businesses to determine the best possible way to optimize the workplace. It helps in increasing productivity and business growth. Quantifying and calculating space utilization is a very difficult process as it involves the consideration of many factors.
The success of your space utilization strategies largely depends on the usage of the correct space utilization metrics and the proper interpretation of the data. Read further to understand more about the various space utilization metrics and their calculations.
Calculation of space utilization metrics
To be able to understand space utilization effectively require several different ways of calculations. Depending on the relevant metric chosen based on your objective. For example, if there are not enough collaborative workspaces or there are too many desks, you might need to consider occupancy rates. Peaking workstation usage needs to determine if you are intending to employ a few workspaces and a mobile workforce.
Most commonly using space occupancy calculation metrics and how they are calculating.
- Occupancy – Occupied square footage divided by unoccupied square footage (multiplied by 100 to convert to percentage) gives the space occupancy. The results convey the information about how much unutilized, available square footage area is present. The utilization rate can found by taking the inverse.
- Workstation occupancy – The same calculation of general occupancy can be used for calculating workstation occupancy by replacing square footage with workstations.
- Point-in-time occupancy – Automated data collection software is used for the calculation of point-in-time occupancy. Measuring the total time of occupancy across each workstation and dividing it by total hours in a workweek. It can help you determine the details regarding when and how long a workstation was in use and also at what percentage of total available capacity.
- Peak usage – Identifying the trends regarding when and where employees use specific workspaces is the value of measuring point-in-time occupancy. Peak utilization conveys the facility manager information regarding how valuable a specific space is at any given point in time.
- Density – A more precise form of occupancy tracking is given by density. The sum of, the number of employees multiplied by an average of 125-150 square feet per employee shows how a given space is approximately occupied. This needs to be measure against overall occupancy.
- Desk-to-employee ratio – 1:1 desk to employee ratio is the standard workplace configuration. In the present scenario, this ratio doesn’t mean optimal space occupancy. A 100% occupancy shown for a house employee working 40 hours a week and five remote workers using the desk once per week at a 1:5 desk to employee ratio is to be considered analyzed separately.
Consider the following to correctly calculate the space utilization rate.
- Is total workplace utilization or individual workspace utilization to be measure?
- Which spaces in the office are not generally using? Which of them can eliminate?
- What’s the basis of utilization for you? Occupancy or usage?
- What’s your objective in understanding the utilization and usage of your space?
- Which conference rooms are frequently using and what makes them more preferable over others?
- How are the workstations using by your employees?
Measuring the above-mentioned space utilization metrics against questions like these can provide better context for measuring space occupancy.
Incorporating utilization data
Space utilization data from relevant metrics can provide decision-makers with valuable information. So it is using to bring positive changes in the workplace. An open-air plan can transform into desk neighbourhoods. Static desks can convert to hot desks. Examining space occupancy by employing various metrics is the best way to optimize your workplace. An efficient office space management software can help you with your space utilization woes with ease.