Mind the gap: the missing data which jeopardises space management success

Effective space management is a priority for many, if not most, large organisations. The relentless rise of property and energy prices means that little else can make the same contribution to cost control.

Inevitably, any enterprise which does want to optimise the use of its physical space inventory is going to need plenty of information about how it is currently being used.

And the more ambitious and long-term your objectives, the more accurate and granular your data is going to need to be.

What we need to know

Consider this top-line list:

  1. How many square feet of property does the organisation currently occupy?
  2. How many users need desks, and for how long?
  3. How many desks are available?
  4. What is the average cost of each desk per year?
  5. How efficiently is each desk used?

Not too many problems there then – at least until you get to question 5.

Because it’s when you start to consider how efficiently each desk and workspace is being used that you realise that this is far from being a simple equation.

The way we work today

Unless your entire workforce arrives every day at 9am and leaves at 5.30pm, you can’t just walk around with a quick survey. The reality of modern working patterns is significantly more complex than that, with people all day moving in and out of meetings, on and off site, into shared work spaces and back again to personal or ‘hot’ desks.

Even if you can identify exactly when a desk is in use and when is it not, are you able to drill down further?

Can you analyse utilisation by user? By department? By floor? Nationally? Globally?

All of these could be fundamental to your future space management strategy.

Unsurprisingly then, it’s at question 5 – utilisation – where real estate optimisation programmes most often fail. Incomplete, inaccurate or out-of-date data at this stage can all reduce the best space management intentions to mere guesswork.

Fortunately there is a new generation of IP-based toolkits which can help you find this data quickly, simply and affordably.

For more information on space management and the toolkits you can use to create a rich, real-time picture of desk and workspace utilisation, download our e-guide Optimising Desk and Workspace Utilisation: unlocking the potential of your real estate.