In response to a growing interest from businesses that are searching for strategies to reduce or optimize underutilized office space, as well as businesses that are running lean on space and searching for efficient ways to accommodate staff and manage demands, Asure Software, Inc. (Nasdaq: ASUR), a leading provider of workplace management software solutions, offers 10 tips to help business leaders optimize office space.
“Research shows workspace utilization rates often are 40 percent or less due to business travel, off-site meetings, vacations, leaves, telecommuting, and other factors,” said Steven Rodriguez, Asure Software Chief Operating Officer. “Through careful analysis and planning, many organizations can reduce their excess real estate or reconfigure existing space to improve workspace density without negatively impacting staff members.” Asure’s team outlines the following workspace planning tips:
1. Ask questions: Survey employees on their usage patterns and preferences, and solicit their feedback for enhancements. Remember, responses are subjective, and the information provided is anecdotal. It does not have much meaning without being cross referenced with hard data.
2. Understand desk utilization: “Bed checks,” a common approach to measuring workspace occupancy, only provide a snapshot of use. The data can be inaccurate because it does not present the whole picture. Automated presence detection sensors at work stations provide more accurate data on when, how long and how often workspaces are being used over periods of time, which helps to account for natural variations such as holidays, peak vacation times, business travel, etc.3. Measure meeting room usage: Conference and meeting spaces frequently are not used efficiently. Rooms in prime locations or with better amenities may be in high demand while other spaces sit empty. Automated presence detection sensor systems can measure how, when, and to what extent meeting spaces are being used. 4. Understand actual vs. planned utilization: Just because a meeting or workspace was booked doesn’t mean it was actually used. Combining reservation system and presence detection data can help to determine actual space needs. 5. Hibernate under-utilized space: Using room scheduling software to make space unavailable can help reduce energy costs required to light and heat or cool the space. 6. Use data analysis for better decision-making: Workspace utilization data is more valuable when combined with robust analysis capabilities. A Business Intelligence system that provides real-time, interactive dashboards and drill-down functionality can provide more insight than static spreadsheets to support better real estate decision making. 7. Consider variable workspace options: Organizations with small satellite offices or those that have taken on additional real estate as a result of acquisitions should consider their entire real estate footprint and how those remote spaces are used. Selling or sub-leasing underused spaces and moving to variable workspace options such as co-working facilities can be a more cost-effective way to accommodate staff in those locations. 8. Integrate workspace applications with IT: As technology becomes a driving force behind workspace utilization systems, it is essential to involve the organization’s IT staff to ensure proper system integration and optimal deployment. 9. Consider the mobile workforce: Shared workspace models are gaining traction as a more efficient and cost-effective alternative to traditional assigned space designs. Workspace and meeting space scheduling technologies can help ensure mobile workers can locate and reserve the space they need for meetings and drop-in work time. 10. Communicate with employees: Any major workspace change – whether it’s an expansion, reduction, reconfiguration, redesign, or new approaches to how space will be booked or used – requires careful and thorough communication with employees. Remember that employees’ views may be influenced by the more anecdotal planning measures like interviews and bed checks, so make sure to also share hard data that has been collected. The numbers can help tell the story. For more information on workspace and workforce trends, including free white papers, briefings and webinars, visit www.asuresoftware.com. About Asure Software Asure Software, Inc., (Nasdaq: ASUR) headquartered in Austin, Texas, offers cloud-based time and labor management and workspace management solutions that enable businesses to control their biggest costs – labor, real estate and technology – and prepare for the workforce of the future in a highly mobile, geographically disparate and technically wired work environment. Asure serves approximately 6,000 clients worldwide and currently offers two main product lines: AsureSpace™ workplace management solutions enable organizations to maximize the ROI of their real estate, and AsureForce® time and labor management solutions deliver efficient management of human resource and payroll processes. For more information, please visit www.asuresoftware.com