Understanding how office space is used has always been essential to properly managing a workspace, but with footfalls continuing to plummet, this data has become priceless.
Now, knowing just when and why employees come into the space can make all the difference in actually encouraging a return to the office.
“If most of your meetings are three to four people, and most of your conference rooms are eight to 10 capacity, you’ve ineffectively designed the space for what people are actually using,” said Lenny Beaudoin, executive managing director and global head of workplace and design at CBRE.
This has become critical in the transition to hybrid and distributed workforces. With employees more likely to split their time between the main office and home, real estate firms need to have a variety of insights to determine the most cost-effective way to operate their space.
CBRE data showed that 79% of companies use badge swipes, 46% use Wi-Fi connections, and 26% use sensors to track office use. But in order to get a thorough read on utilization, the source of data must be diverse.
For instance, office building owners can use sensors to measure how often people are coming into the space, which areas are most (and least) utilized, and how often workers are using private areas, collaborative spaces, and conference rooms.
“Insights are gathered from multiple sources including employee productivity and environmental data, covering heat, noise, humidity and power usage to shape the office of the future, while minimizing [a company’s] environmental impact,” said Mark Dixon, CEO of IWG.