In a tough economy, one of the first places that businesses look to in order to cut costs is their real estate. Here are a few factors to consider when trying to maximize space efficiency, as suggested in the article “Office Space Density: The New Workspace Metric”:
It is possible to cut down real estate costs by simply eliminating extra space–a more appealing option than reducing staff. One of the first way that companies typically try to deal with extra space is through subleasing or terminating some leases at other branches and consolidating their locations.
Occupancy Cost Calculations
Companies typically calculate occupancy costs in terms of a few different measurements:
- Employee per square footage costs
- A percentage of revenue or sales that goes toward occupancy costs
- The cost of occupancy per staff member
So a company’s first step might be to downsize space based on new revenues or new employee counts.
After cutting down space to reflect the number of employees or the revenue the business is generating, the next step is to make sure that the remaining space is being utilized to maximum effect. Some studies show that businesses only utilize about 48 percent of their office space throughout the day. A poor economic climate has prompted companies to reevaluate this wasting of space and to try to do more with less space.
Office density is calculated using the square footage per workstation, not including support spaces. This number is then translated into a net rental price. A lower office density means workstations have more space, whereas a higher density means less space per workstation. This measurement allows companies to more easily evaluate the efficiency of their office and to implement new techniques for maximizing space usage.
Office Space Trends
One common trend developing in the workplace is the open space plan. In this layout senior employees leave their private offices, joining the entire workforce in a more open, social, and collaborative environment. Open plans have the benefit of not only saving costs, but increasing space flexibility and promoting teamwork, communication, and even productivity.
Different plans work for different businesses based on their activities. However, all offices can benefit from taking a little time to reevaluate the efficiency of their spaces and seeing where they can reduce surpluses without sacrificing productivity.