Gathering Workspace Utilization Data

April 20, 2014

By Mike Kinney, Vice President Sales

Mike Kinney, is back with another post for the Asure Software Executive Series on the blog. In this installment Mike takes a look at the metrics used to measure how workspace is used along with the tools used to measure them.

Read more about Mike

What To Measure When Gathering Workspace Utilization Data?

If you examine the landscape of how to measure your organization’s workspace – and whether or not conference rooms and cubicles actually get used – you’ll find many cloudy theories and suggestions.

Choosing the right metrics is critical to success, but the road to good metrics is littered with potholes, dead-ends, and warning signs.  Some say tracking security card entry data during a defined period of time will help you determine if available workspace is used. Others believe they can identify workspace needs with the occasional “bed check” – walking through the facility at various times and days of the week. And, unfortunately, some organizations feel a basic workspace inventory/cubicle assignment list tells an adequate utilization story.

The fact is this: If you don’t conduct workspace use studies based on hard data (presence of employees and frequency of cubical and conference room utilization), you don’t know how your valuable workspace is truly being utilized.

Business Intelligence Means Data Collection

Whether the data you hope to capture is used explicitly to influence behavior, to evaluate future strategies, or simply to take stock, it will affect actions and drive decisions.  Make sure your Business Intelligence (BI) tool has a comprehensive dashboard that measures the right “presence” vital stats.

A study from Boston Consulting Group suggested only 40% of all corporate real estate is actually used by employees at any given time. If this figure is applied to your office space, imagine how your CEO might react!

So what can you legitimately measure to get accurate workspace utilization data?

Enter workplace business intelligence (BI). Workplace BI converts and optimizes space utilization data from a variety of sources to create the customized, interactive business intelligence visualizations you need to maximize the value of your existing office space investment.

A workplace BI solution lets you collect and analyze the data you simply must have to make good workspace decisions. Consider the data collected using a basic occupancy detection system, for example.

You know employees who enter today’s workforce don’t want to isolate themselves in a cubicle. Instead, they choose to work in collaborative workspaces.  Occupancy detection systems will capture actual use data on workstations, meeting rooms, collaborative spaces, and workstation areas. It tracks the facility resources your employees use and helps guide you to better decision making on future space needs.

Workplace BI, including occupancy detection systems, can be deployed to gather data from centralized conference room and resource bookings, security badge scans, occupancy detection and motion sensor information, video teleconferencing logs, and touch panels usage.

Combined, this information provides you with details – down to the chair if you want it – and shows trends by location, by person or by department. And the information helps you identify the space being underutilized as well.

As I talk to clients, one of the questions I hear frequently is this: “But isn’t workplace BI designed exclusively for large, global businesses?”  The answer is always an emphatic, “no!”

With a small investment in workplace BI, you will capture and analyze data and obtain endless possibilities to more effectively measure and analyze utilization patterns for your businesses – small, medium or large. Some organizations have reduced facility space by as much as one-third after measuring workspace utilization with the proper tools. Imagine the savings! Imagine your CEO’s response when you tell him or her that you can save the organization 30% on its real estate spend next year.

Changes to workforce trends aren’t about to slow down but rather are breaking the speed limit. In order to move your organization the fast lane, it’s imperative to effectively measure workspace utilization. The results will not only surprise you, they’ll help keep your real estate budget manageable for years and years to come.

About Mike Kinney

Mike Kinney, Vice President Sales, AsureSpace

Mike Kinney joined Asure Software in May 2011 as Vice President of Sales. He provides Asure with more than 16 years of sales and marketing experience in the human capital management business services industry. Mike also offers expertise in Software as a Service (SaaS) and hardware solutions to existing and potential Asure clients. Before joining Asure Software, he served Ceridian Corporation as Regional Vice President, HR Payroll Division and held leadership roles at KForce and CFS. Mike earned his BA in Political Science with a concentration in Economics from the University of Texas, Austin.