Is Space Wastage Costing Your Business Too Much?

How can you measure what you can’t see? That’s one of the problems faced by facilities managers trying to measure, justify and eventually cost the way space is used in their organisation.

Many facilities management costs can be easily measured – rent, rates, utilities and energy charges, for example. But relating the cost of space to the way it is utilised is a lot less tangible and more difficult to measure, simply because we often don’t understand how well we are utilising space.

Here’s an example. Let’s say you have a room which can be used for eight hours in a working day with a seat capacity of ten people. If this room is booked for seven different meetings of one hour each with two people present each time, the impression might be that the room has been well utilised all day. But, in fact, the utilisation has only been 14 seat hours, for a room that has a possible maximum of 80 seat hours in a day.

What about desks that remain empty when the designated owner is away travelling on business, on holiday or sick? In an age when hot desking is becoming more popular, could they be utilised better?

Are you using rooms with video conferencing and telepresence facilities for meetings that don’t require those resources, when someone else in your organisation might be putting that room to better use?

Would your business benefit from conversion of some of the available space? Would it prevent people using big rooms for small meetings? Would more available space help cut costs through having to sometimes book external space in hotels for meetings?

The fact is that occupancy level in the average organisation runs at between 40% and 70%. That means you could be paying rent, rates, energy and utilities charges for at least 30% and, at the worst, 60% of unoccupied space. Reduce unoccupied space and you’ll see the impact on your net profit.

Facilities managers need to understand how space within their organisation is used, by examining the culture and psychology of staff and actual space booking processes. Only then can they align the requirements for each type of meeting with the resources available.

How to understand and measure space utilisation, and maximise its potential, is the subject of a new White Paper from NFS Technology Group. Download it here.

Luis De Souza
Luis De Souza Chief Executive Officer Posted on: November 1, 2012

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