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How to Improve Your Space Utilisation


Improving Your Office Layout

Whatever industry you're in, real estate will be one of your biggest costs. For most companies, it's their second biggest overhead cost, second only to staffing. Needless to say, an asset this significant needs to be used as efficiently as possible.

 

You need to make sure that you're getting the maximum return on your real estate investment. However, you can't afford to hamper the performance of your staff through a cramped or under-specified office design. It's a tough balancing act.

 

To walk this tightrope, you need to optimise the way your people use your office. Office space utilisation is the study of how efficiently your office is being used, and the process of improving it. It's not only occupancy compared to capacity, it involves optimising the capacity of your office as well.

 

Every company can benefit from improving their space utilisation. Literally, every company. Improving your office efficiency allows you to fit in more staff to enable growth, or create a sublet space to bring in additional income. It could reduce the size of office you need to move into once, or even allow you to create a breakout area to improve staff satisfaction.

 

A good space utilisation benchmark to aim for is 80-90%. However, most companies operate at about 60%. This means your company could be wasting huge amounts of precious capital on an inefficient office layout.

 

In a recent article, we explained 7 ways most companies can improve their space utilisation. Today, we'll walk you through the process of optimising your office utilisation. As a result, you'll not only know which of the 7 tips apply to you but also how to uncover and resolve issues specific to your office.

 

Space Utilisation Process

Even if you're priority is space utilisation, it's still important to go through the full consultancy process. You don't necessarily need to go through each stage in great detail. However, completing the full process will help make sure you are solving the right problem. It will also allow you to uncover any other issues you may not know you had.

 

While every workspace utilisation process is different, several core phases are the same (or similar) for everyone. Here, we'll go through each stage of the process, explaining what it is, and why it matters.

 

Brief Creation

The first stage is to meet with your workspace consultant. You can go through your brief in detail, and they'll ask you questions about your space utilisation concerns. This will ensure they fully understand your needs and have the necessary context. You can then work with them to refine and finalise the brief and agree on goals.

 

Leadership Engagement

First, your consultant needs to understand how your team operates. They also need a deep understanding of the challenges and goals of different departments. They'll do this by engaging with your company leaders, both in individual interviews and group workshops.

 

Staff Surveys


How your people feel about your office is just as important as the data about how they use it. Your consultant can use online surveys to get feedback from all your people on how they work, and how your office could be improved. This could even be a multi-round survey, using the results of previous surveys to inform the questions for the next round.

 

Utilisation Study

This is the part you've been waiting for: the utilisation study itself. Either in person or using smart cameras, your consultant will take regular snapshots throughout your workspace at different times of the day and week. This will allow them to build up a detailed, quantitative view of how your people use the office, and how efficient it is.

 

While it may seem as if the previous stages are unnecessary, they will have given your consultant crucial context and insight. This will affect how they analyse and interpret the utilisation study data.

 

Data Analysis

Having collected a huge amount of data in the previous 3 stages, your consultant will now analyse it. All this quantitative and qualitative data will enable them to build up a detailed picture of how efficient your office is, and how you could improve your space utilisation.

 

Report

Once your consultant has analysed all the data, they'll prepare their report. This report will contain all of the data collected, as well as recommendations as to how to improve your space utilisation. It will also contain any other opportunities they have identified. Normally, your consultant will also go through their report with you, explain it, and answer any questions you may have.

 

Planning

The most insightful report is useless if none of the learnings or recommendations are implemented. What exactly this stage looks like will be very variable depending on the outcomes of your report. At this stage, you will appoint a designer or design & build company to translate the report into a project plan to improve your space utilisation.

 

Implementation

Finally, you need to make the necessary changes as identified in the report. Most likely, this will involve refurbishing your space to improve its effectiveness and efficiency. Your consultant may also have suggested changes to be made in 2-5 years as your needs evolve, so those cannot be implemented immediately.

 

Improving Your Office Efficiency

Office space utilisation is the process of improving both the occupancy and capacity of your office. By following the process we've gone through today, you can make your space more compact and ensure it reflects and enhances the way your people work. As a result, your workspace will be both more effective and more efficient!

 

To get started improving your space utilisation, download The Ultimate Workspace Consultancy Guide. There, you'll get answers to all your key workspace consultancy and space utilisation questions. From process to outcomes to cost, you'll learn how to decide if workspace consultancy Is right for you.

 

To find out how your office could be made more efficient, read 7 ways to improve your space utilisation. To discover common ways offices waste space and how to resolve them, read How to make your office design more efficient.

 

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