Driving CRE Strategy with Space Utilization Metrics

modern office building

At the very least, a good commercial real estate (CRE) strategy should:

  • Align with the overall goals of your organization
  • Aim at reducing operational costs
  • Allow your workforce to maximize productivity
  • Allow your workforce to deliver products and/or services consistently
  • Drive innovation and creativity
  • Help your organization remain flexible for the future

But that's all easier said than done, right?

Unfortunately, many organizations have yet to understand that to do this without falling prey to human error or making costly mistakes, you must build your CRE strategy around objective data. Brokers and CRE managers have caught on. They're using data on topics like demographics and location traffic to make precise, informed decisions.

Let's look at how certain types of workplace metrics can drive your CRE strategy and how 4SITE by CORT can ensure you have the right data to understand how your office is being utilized and where optimizations should take place to align with your company's present needs and future goals ahead of your lease renewal.

Space Utilization Metrics: Why They Matter Within a Corporate Real Estate Strategy?

The pandemic changed everything. You're probably tired of hearing those four words, but COVID-19 had such a global impact on how we all work, and that's changed the way organizations look at commercial real estate. Once upon a time, space utilization was all about maximizing real estate — fitting the most people into the smallest possible space. Now, there is more to take into consideration. After over two years of a pandemic, not everyone is comfortable working right next to their coworkers and many other employees have begun working on a hybrid schedule.

So, how do you make huge changes without fear of making bad decisions? It all starts with space utilization metrics. In the past (and, sadly, sometimes even now), organizations attempted to gather data through methods like surveys, interviews with employees, badge studies, and simple observation. While those methods offer an organization an idea as to how their workforce uses their space, they all leave room for error.

Today, there’s a better option: occupancy sensor technology. 4SITE specifically assists organizations with measuring how their office is being used and the best areas to optimize. While other occupancy sensors on the market use cameras, ultrasonic waves, or even Bluetooth, 4SITE technology utilizes passive infrared (PIR) sensors. These non-invasive motion-activated sensors are installed throughout the workplace and measure occupancy by detecting movement as well as heat signatures whileprotecting your employees' privacy.

These sensors provide insights to business leaders on how to make smart, data-driven, and actionable decisions based on unbiased numbers.

What are the Ways Occupancy Sensor Technology and Data Can Positively Impact Space Utilization Metrics?

Your office plays a central role in the overall ecosystem of your organization. This physical space does more than provide a hub for employees to gather from 9-5. It’s a place where individuals come together to innovate, collaborate, connect, grow, and embody the culture of your organization.

“The pandemic has prompted a profound and long-term reconsideration of what the office is for and how it should perform for an organization going forward” shared Allison Ballard, Vice President & Executive Director of 4SITE by CORT. “Employees want flexibility and variety, and employers want to limit the expense of unproductive real estate.”

Starting from day one, when 4SITE sensors are added throughout a workplace — either on desks, in conference rooms, or within collaborative areas – they begin measuring and collecting data instantly as people come and go from those spaces. Leaders can access and report on this information and start making decisions on how to provide the best environment for the work at hand.

When your space is optimized to perform on behalf of your workforce and their needs, productivity increases, engagement increases, and employees will choose to work in proximity with each other and develop more loyalty to the culture. These employees will do more than speak positively about the organization. Being aligned and ingrained in culture fosters healthy collaboration amongst teams along with a dedication to the mission that can lead to higher employee retention.

Head Count, Seat Count, Mobility Ratios, and Dwell Time: 4 Key Space Utilization Metrics within your CRE Strategy

So, now you have all of this data. Where do you start? Four of your key space utilization metrics will be head count, seat count, mobility ratios, and dwell time.

Why Understanding Head Count and Seat Count Matters?

Head count and seat count are two of your most important workplace analytics. They essentially measure how many people your current space supports and how they're using it at any given point in time. That said, given the big changes we're seeing in how employees want to use the workplace, for many organizations, these may also be two of your most fluctuating analytics, at least at the present time. You may have hired employees over the last couple of years who haven't stepped foot in your office but will eventually. You may have downsized the number of employees who even work on site. How often to your employees float around multiple types of work areas in any given day? These numbers will help you understand your most basic space needs.

Why Understanding Your Mobility Ratios Matter?

So, what about those people who aren't in the office every day? The ones who work remotely most of the time or have a hybrid schedule. Perhaps they come in for meetings once a month or to spend half a day a week at a desk using office technology they can't access at home. This is your mobility ratio. It doesn't include those people who are at the office daily, and it may even include clients and visitors who enter your space on a daily or weekly basis. If you downsize too much, you won't have room for these people who come and go.

Why Understanding Dwell Time Matters?

Dwell time has to do with how long an employee is using a space versus how long they claim they use a space. For example, an employee may book a conference room for three hours, but their meeting only lasts for 30 minutes. If you didn't know that you might be inclined to think you need more conference room space when you just need a better booking system or policy.

Where Do These Workplace Metrics Fall in Your Ongoing CRE Strategy and Why 4SITE Makes a Difference

Why even bother with these metrics? To name a few reasons:

  • They impact your bottom line
  • They impact your company culture
  • They impact productivity and creativity
  • They impact your CRE strategy
  • They impact employee engagement
  • They impact employee retention
  • They impact operation costs
  • They impact your customers
  • They impact your future…

You get the idea. When you choose to incorporate sensor technology from 4SITE, you take control over your CRE strategy.

Embracing Flexibility within Your Ongoing CRE Strategy with 4SITE and CORT

As we mentioned, your CRE strategy needs to be many things, but one of the most important going forward is that it'sPermanently Flexible™. That means that no matter what changes within your organization — or what changes in the world — in the future, you need to be prepared to take it on without disrupting your operations. You need to put together a CRE strategy that will allow your organization toExperiment, Measure, Modify, and Repeat.

Use our 4SITE sensor technology to begin gathering data that leaves no room for human error.

Take that data and apply it toCORT Space360™, where you can visualize changes to your existing office space or start planning a new one.

Finally, when you have a plan in place, rely onCORT's Furniture-as-a-Service™ (FaaS) to help you implement these modifications in a timely and cost-efficient manner.

To learn more about 4SITE,Furniture-as-a-Service,Space360,and every toolCORToffers to help you come up with the best possible CRE strategy for your organization, visit our website or call us today to set up a demo.