Whilst organisations need some space to accommodate staff typically they do not know how well it is used and often have too much. In an era of scarce financial resources there is a stark choice to be made between the amount of space occupied and other competing needs such as staff numbers or service delivery. In the future every organisation will need to track office space utilisation as costs and environmental pressures rise. There is no benefit from having poorly utilised office space.
Many organisations have not measured how well their office space is used but rely on anecdote and perception about utilisation The age of agile working will force organisation to constantly reassess space needs.
As staff benefit from better access to information and systems outside the confines of the traditional fixed office base so under-utilisation of office space will signify unnecessary spending. Making the case for workplace re-configuration can be difficult without evidence.
Typically overall desk occupancy in public buildings is less than 50% - this represents poor use of an expensive resource - space.
Before embarking on new office layouts or the implementation of agile working practices it is important to quantify the opportunity by building a definitive picture of the way space is currently used. This can be done through an Occupancy Audit.
We use an observational methodology over a two week period to provide a weekly average of space usage. This can be varied to meet specific client needs; for example focusing on particular aspects (such as meeting room use, space allocated to storage) as well overall desk usage. This approach has been well tested in the field; is easy to undertake and provides a robust body of data to underpin decision making.
What you get
The outcome from an occupancy audit is data – facts and figures (rather than anecdotal evidence or perception) about how space is being used. This provides the evidence base to support decision making on space use and implementation of agile working.
The evidence can be used to counter arguments that we are over-crowded; or that there are no meeting rooms etc. It also helps identify individual work styles in use across the organisation – particularly at a team level.
Results are reported in simple to understand tabular and graphic format using text, graphs, pie charts or a traffic light system. Reports can identify occupancy at an overall building level, for individual floors or parts of floors, for individual teams and across days of the week and times of the day.
NPS is uniquely placed to allow comparisons of your occupancy against like organisations using a growing database of office metrics
The Benefits of an Occupancy Audit
• Gives a baseline of current utilisation
• Helps build a business case for change
• Identifies scale of savings possible
• Underpins work-style analysis
• Contributes to workplace strategy
• Helps detailed space planning