While many of us still love working from the comfort of our couch or home office, 2023 saw a steep decline in fully remote work. According to an EY survey, full-time remote work dropped from 34% in 2022 to just 1% in 2023. The study also found that flexible, hybrid work is here to stay—nearly 99% of survey respondents said their employees are encouraged or required to come back into the office at least twice a week.
With more people back in the office, often with varying schedules of in-office days, accurate space utilization data is increasingly important. Your workplace team is likely looking to better understand how your office space is actually being used for two key purposes. First, gathering accurate data can help you navigate the tighter budgets many companies are experiencing moving into 2024. And second, you can gain insights into which amenities your employees need to be most productive in the office.
Why measure office space utilization data?
Office space utilization metrics give you visibility into how efficiently your workplace is used. It involves tracking key data points, such as occupancy rates, desk or meeting room utilization, and patterns of space usage over time. Visibility into this data is critical for growing organizations or companies implementing an in-person office policy. Armed with the right data, you can optimize your office layout, reduce costs, and improve employee productivity.
Technology plays a crucial role in collecting space utilization data—occupancy tracking systems and workplace management software can provide real-time insights, helping you make informed decisions about lease agreements, space design, resource allocation, and more. Learn more about the four key metrics to measure to optimize your space.
Identifying areas of inefficiency in your workplace
Are there areas in your workspaces that aren’t used and taking up unnecessary space? Once you’re able to accurately track metrics like occupancy rates for different areas of your office, you’ll be able to get better visibility into which spaces aren’t being used to their maximum potential.
Perhaps you’ll see that meeting rooms without video conferencing equipment typically remain unused compared to the rooms that have those equipped. Or you might notice that the one-person phone booths on a particular floor are consistently empty, meaning you might want to replace them with more multi-person meeting rooms or desks. Space utilization data will help you identify:
By measuring how often meeting rooms and desks are booked, you can pinpoint areas that may be occupied far less frequently than anticipated. Use this information to consider alternative uses or even opportunities to consolidate floors.
Peak usage times and patterns
Recognizing patterns in your space utilization allows for better allocation of resources, such as meeting rooms and shared workspaces, to cater to the actual demand rather than maintaining excessive capacity.
Redundant or unproductive areas
Identifying unused storage rooms or oversized common areas can lead to space optimization efforts that result in significant cost savings.
Optimizing your office layout & reducing operating costs
By leveraging the insights derived from office space utilization data, you can strategically reconfigure your office layouts and operations to eliminate inefficiencies and make more informed decisions that positively impact your company’s bottom line.
Ultimately, the goal of collecting this data is to understand what your people want and create a workplace that empowers their best work. Your data should help you answer the following questions:
- Do our employees have the ideal layout for productivity?
- Does our office offer a variety of workspaces to cater to different needs?
- Are these workspaces flexible enough to be used for multiple purposes?
- Are our workspaces set up to support our office policies (i.e., hotel desking for fully flexible environments vs. assigned seating with set schedules of onsite work)?
- Do we need to adjust resourcing, such as cleaning and catering services, based on our employees’ peak usage times/patterns?
How one consumer goods company saw real ROI with workplace analytics
Equipped with the right tools and data, you’ll get visibility into what’s working and what’s not in your workspaces. How does this translate into actual cost savings? One global consumer marketplace company shared: “After reviewing the data, we'll close our Connecticut office, saving $100K per year. We're rightsizing our New York office, which likely will save us another $500K per year.”
Thanks to Envoy Workplace, they were able to identify which of their locations were driving the most value for how their teams want to work and reinvest those budgets in other, more impactful ways. See how other companies are using Envoy to improve their workplaces here.
What to read next
Ready to learn more about optimizing your office space with Envoy? Read our “Ultimate guide to proactive space management” to get actionable ideas to manage your office space more efficiently.