Why are so many people concerned with space usage?

I recently found myself discussing space management challenges with Realcomm attendees.

Strikingly, I recall it was the Qube Space software screen – specifically a CAD drawing with heat map that clearly illustrates space usage – that most caught the attention of attendees. At a glance, they could see where office space was put to good use and where there were opportunities to make improvements.

So why exactly is space usage such a hot topic? I thought I’d explore some of the questions and topics that came up the most to try to get to the bottom of this issue.

How much does a workstation cost?

You may be surprised to hear that your annual rent or mortgage payments are likely to be comparable to the cost of a single desk in the area you live.

When you factor in associated costs, such as ground rates, applicable taxes, service charges, FM, data comms and electricity, you could be looking at more than $20,000 per desk per year in big cities such as London, New York and Chicago.

What impact does underused space have on the environment?

When you consider the energy use of a building and pro-rate down to a more granular level, a single desk can contribute as much as one ton of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year. So this is a serious problem for many businesses.

What is a good level of space usage?

This was the subject that came up the most. In the US and Europe, office space usage ranges from between 40-60%. This means that offices are half full and space is wasted. This cost of this wasted space is approximately worth $100 billion /year.

Why are so many desks empty?

There are many reasons for empty desks in office hours. They include:

  • Mobile workers
  • Temporary workers
  • Sick days
  • Vacations
  • Meetings
  • Breaks
  • Forgotten spaces
  • Beach towels (grab a desk for your own use – “jacket over chair” and leaves)
  • Undesirable locations

The good news is that while these problems are common for any employer based in an office, there is a better way. An effective space management software solution can help you ensure your space is used effectively as possible (e.g. appropriate deployment of desks and staff, implementing hot desking etc.) and reduce your lease costs.

If you would like to find out how, want answers to your space management questions or are looking to discuss your challenges in more detail, get in touch (contact details below).

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