Calculating Your Office Space Utilization

man calculating office space utilization with 4SITE dashboard

Efficient office space is a workspace in which your employees have the room they need to be productive. But as we're confronted with the aftermath of a pandemic, new technology, and a more global workforce, office space utilization is changing at unprecedented rates. Employees are working remotely, maintaining hybrid schedules, and using options like hot-desking and hoteling for more flexibility.

For this reason, your staff probably has more than enough room — potentially too much. Chances are you have office space that isn't used as efficiently as it could be or isn't even being used at all.

Over the last year, we’ve listened as our customers have shared their experiences with us around trying to understand the future of the office and learning how it’s used by their workforce. 4SITE’s sensor-based workplace occupancy and utilization platform helps guide the discussion around all of these topics and more.

If you’re looking for more understanding on how to calculate your office space utilization and what it means for your bottom line, keep reading. 4SITE’s utilization and occupancy sensors provide the data and insights that could be the innovative solutions which your workplace is looking for.

How to Calculate Office Space Utilization Rate

Knowing how your employees use your office space is critically important to limiting your exposure to unproductive real estate and providing an efficient office space. Doing so can help you optimize your real estate portfolio and provide savings on your lease, utilities, and energy bills.

It can also better prepare you for the future by helping you see past trends and anticipate future needs. Going forward, flexibility will be key. Over the last year and a half, many business leaders learned the hard way that a lack of flexibility within the way they manage their workforce can be detrimental to their operations.

For this reason, many companies are turning to a hybrid workplace — one that allows employees to split their time between the office and remote work. When employees do come into the office, they can spend time where they want and work at their own pace. This typically leads to increased production and a lower turnover rate, but it can also lead to wasted space.

How you calculate your office space utilization largely depends on what you want to know, but these are some of the most common metrics used by most companies:

  • Workplace occupancy: To find this, you'd need to simply divide the square footage occupied workspace by the square footage of unoccupied workspace.
  • Workstation occupancy: This is like workplace occupancy, but instead of using the general square footage of your workspace, you'd use workstations.
  • Workspace usage: This is the amount of time people spend in the office. You'd divide square feet occupied by the number of square feet within various categories, like cubicles, private offices, and collaboration spaces.
  • Point-in-time occupancy: This one is difficult to do with a typical occupancy study. You'd need to know how long a workstation is occupied each week and divide it by the total number of hours in your workweek. Not only does it show you how much a particular workstation is used, but it shows you what percentage it is of your total occupancy.
  • Peak workspace usage: This is a basic analysis of your point-in-time occupancy that allows you to pick up on trends throughout the workweek.
  • Workstation to employee ratio: This is the number of employees you have compared to the number of workspaces you have. For example, if your ratio is 1:1, and you have a hybrid workplace, you probably have too many workstations.
  • Meeting space utilization rate: Find this by dividing the number of reserved meeting room hours by the number of hours in your typical work week.

Keep in mind that these metrics just touch the surface. There are several other metrics you may want to use, depending on your unique needs.

What Goes into an Office Space Utilization Analysis?

Once you've started calculating your office space utilization, there are several ways to analyze it. Again, it depends on what your company's needs are, but there are some general aspects that most business leaders look to. They include:

  • Do you have enough meeting space or conference rooms? A 50% utilization rate is the typical goal for this type of space.
  • When are your peak hours? Are there certain times of the week when your office is so busy it's hard to find a place to sit but other times that you barely see any employees? Keeping an eye on peak hours can help you make schedule changes, implement efficient flex work policies, and prevent such an imbalance.
  • Do employees prefer one type of space over another? Perhaps you've provided an open workspace, but your hybrid employees are always heading for a room where they can shut a door and work alone. This can help you make changes to your office workspace layout.
  • Are employees using the workspace the way they should? If one employee is booking a conference room that seats 20 so they can work alone, this can also help you make changes to the layout if you find it to be necessary.

Creating Optimum Space Utilization with 4SITE Sensors and Data

Conducting a proper office space utilization study requires time and effort, and it requires a bit of self-awareness. Unfortunately, it's difficult to determine how a person interacts with a space or object without potentially falling prey to human error – unless you use sensor technology to capture that data. The data and insights provided by 4SITE’s sensors, as compared to looking at badge swipe data or conducting an observational study will help you make informed decisions which will save you time and money and create a more positive atmosphere for your employees.

4SITE’s workplace sensors allow you to measure how efficiently you use your office space without collecting any personally identifiable information and in a manner that eliminates the potential for human error. Placing these sensors in highly used spaces like conference rooms, meeting areas, and desks allows you to collect data quickly so that you can make empowered decisions with the flexibility needed in today's workplace. You'll have access to tailed daily, weekly, and monthly reports about your workspace usage, which you can put to work for you immediately.

Additional benefits that we’ve heard from our customers are:

  • Creating optimal office environments that work for your employees
  • Reducing a company’s exposure to unproductive real estate
  • Increasing employee productivity
  • Visual reporting that aligns business leaders’ opportunities clearly
  • Attracting and retaining talent
  • Reducing CAPEX and OPEX

Ready to get started with sensor technology that will capture data for your workspace utilization study? That's where 4SITE by CORT can help. Contact us today to set up a demo or to get started transforming your workspace with actionable data.