Optimising Workspace Efficiency: Unleashing the Power of Space Charge Back Modelling

office space planning

The modern work ecosystem is undergoing a significant shift. The advent of hybrid work models, spurred by technological advancements and the lessons of the pandemic, has fundamentally altered the dynamics of our workspaces.

While modern working models offer unprecedented flexibility, the presence of fewer employees in physical spaces raises a pivotal question: what to do with the surplus space? The reluctance to let go of office real estate often leads to inflated costs and reduced efficiency, and asking departments to volunteer to give up space is rarely as successful as it could be.

Maximising performance demands that organisations take charge of space utilisation, redefining how square footage is allocated and managed. This necessitates a fundamental shift in mindset.

Central to this transformation is a focus on transparency. By collecting and disseminating space utilisation data to teams, a culture of accountability is fostered. This lays the foundation for valuable insights and usage trends, empowering businesses to optimise everything from space allocation to energy consumption and Facilities Management priorities.

The Key to Achieving Efficiency: Space Recharging

Traditionally, space allocation relied on metrics such as square meters per head, with budgets for office space, cleaning, and energy centralised. This inadvertently shields individuals from the true impact of their space usage, leaving teams without a clear incentive to use space more efficiently. This creates a culture where underutilised space goes unflagged.

Increasing transparency and accountability is vital for businesses to harness the benefits of improved space usage. Space recharging has emerged as a powerful tool to achieve this. It involves assigning a cost to a department’s office space, energy, and facilities management usage, and integrating this into its overall departmental budget.

This not only provides businesses with an understanding of how space utilisation varies across departments, but also gives teams a clear view of the cost impact of their own space usage, serving as a motivation to optimise their footprint. Departments could offer to reduce their space allocation to free up resources to invest in other areas, improving performance whilst achieving cost savings.

Maximising Space Efficiency

For many businesses, space recharging can drive considerable efficiencies when lease renewals are due. It allows them to commit only to the office space their operations truly require. Even where leases are set to run for some time, small amounts of unused space across multiple departments could be combined, and layouts redesigned to allow for an entire floor or building to be closed down, saving on energy bills and cleaning costs.

However, the drive for efficient space utilisation goes far beyond downsizing. It extends to the strategic optimisation of space usage across departments, offering benefits even to businesses who own their office space or who are not currently in a position to renegotiate leases.

A strategic approach to space usage lays the foundation for the creation of collaborative zones, where departments with similar usage requirements can work together. Identifying areas of synergy helps businesses move away from rigid, department-centric layouts, fostering greater engagement and innovation. Underutilised areas can be repurposed into shared spaces, well-equipped meeting rooms, and dynamic collaborative spaces.

Effective space management also supports businesses in achieving cost savings over the long term. With detailed information on how and when space is used, teams can maximise the efficiency of facilities such as cleaning, HVAC, lighting, and maintenance. This ensures a comfortable and safe working environment while minimising waste.

Incorporating data from meters or IoT sensors helps building management teams achieve a real-time view of building usage. This allows for precise cost optimisation and aids in the pursuit of energy saving or sustainability goals.

Build future-ready workspaces with MRI Software

Unlocking the potential benefits of workspace optimisation requires a robust focus on data and transparency. The more data departments have at their disposal, the more successful a space recharging initiative is likely to be. It’s vital that organisations can not only quantify space allocation across departments, but also accurately apportion energy and facilities management costs in a way that’s accessible and easy to understand.

MRI Software’s innovative space management solutions are revolutionising how businesses measure and manage their physical workspace. MRI’s solutions offer powerful functionality, equipping businesses with the ability to visualise, meticulously plan, and seamlessly execute efficient space utilisation strategies.

The software is capable of handling space recharging for collaboration areas such as meeting rooms, breakout areas, hybrid hot desking neighbourhoods and other common areas like restrooms, lobbies, boiler rooms, elevators, stairs and kitchens. The larger percentage of space a department has at a site, building, floor or even zone level, the bigger the cost apportionment they are typically charged for these areas. The solution will automatically calculate the space charges they need to be allocated based on the fixed space that the relevant departments have adopted such as desks, offices and other fixed spaces.

Through the simulation of floor plans and the exploration of diverse scenarios, businesses can embark on a transformative journey to redefine their workspace efficiency. This yields not only immediate quick wins but also longer-term gains across broader strategies like energy efficiency and facilities management resource planning.

To discover more about how MRI can assist you in implementing a transformational space management strategy, contact us today.

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