Millions of observations gathered for international Optimaze Workplace Review

Jun 7, 2017 10:59:09 PM


Over the past several months, our workplace team has been working hard at compiling space utilization and survey data for our yearly benchmark report, to provide readers like yourself with some useful workplace insights. The findings are detailed in a report just released entitled “Optimaze Workplace Review – insights from 2016”

How we made the report

Workplace professionals around the world use Rapal’s Optimaze Measure software in hundreds of space utilization measurements each year, and our database increases every day. With the consent of our customers, we try to form interesting insights from this data. The review keeps evolving every year. In the latest review, the analysis covers 2016 measurement data collected from 15 countries and is to our knowledge by far the largest observational workplace study conducted in 2016 globally, if not ever.

The 2016 data gathered for this review covers 330 observational studies in 111 buildings and 378.900 m2 around the world. The space utilization studies, of which 13% are from the public sector, explore the workplaces of more than 23.000 people. Each observational study consisted of at least two observational walkthrough rounds per day during a typical 2-week period. This means that there were at least 6600 walkthroughs made using the Optimaze Measure tool to collect the data from 53.600 seats.

What’s in the report

The 50-page report begins by presenting findings of general metrics in different office types, geo-locations and industries, such as Headcount per Work Seat Ratios, Area per Work Seat Ratios, the Individual Workspace to Formal Collaboration Seats Ratios, and ‘Dynamic Workplace Density’ i.e. Area per Person Ratios. However, the findings on Utilization Rates of assigned and shared workstations, temporary seating and meeting room seating present some more interesting reading. For example, at peak use, there were on average always at least 30% free work seats available - at any given time. The availability of constantly unused seats is even higher when it comes to temporary seating and meeting seats. Clues to why this is so, can be found in the section where group sizes, meeting culture and work activities are analyzed, and where room sizes are compared to meeting sizes and utilization rates.

Reading the Review, it appears that commercial real estate and future office spaces are about to undergo revolutionary change towards a sharing economy and a more resource efficient flexible model. Workplaces are impacted by trends such as increased mobility, remote work and working from home, changes in meeting cultures, coworking, activity-based working, flexible work schedules and cultures, telecommuting and other new company workplace strategies that seek to enhance productivity, well-being, innovation in business and employee experience while lowering fixed costs from unused space.  In our upcoming blog posts, we plan to dive deeper into the review results and discuss our findings.

The contents of the report cover:

  • Introductions, background and notes for the reader
  • Key findings and Summary at a glance
  • A look at the data: geography, industries, office types and seat types
  • Space use KPI’s: people and area per seat, area per person
  • Work seat utilization by office type, seat type, sector and weekday – separating peaks from averages, and reserved from occupied.
  • Meeting room frequency rates by office type, room size and sector– separating peaks from averages
  • Meetings and how typical different group sizes are, and what rooms they typically occupy
  • Observed typical work activities, and survey data from our 2015 employee survey
  • Explanations of methodology & terminology

 Who is it for?

The benchmark aims to provide comparative data in a wider context, to help your organization assess the efficiency of your own space use and to provide insights to support your workplace strategy. It also serves as general material for those who are curious about understanding trends in the workplace. We hope the readers will find the results and findings within the report useful, whether it is to find points of comparison or to make a case for conducting space utilization studies of your own. As leaders are increasingly putting workplace strategies higher on their agendas, and a greater understanding of Workplace KPI’s is in demand, the report might spark some good conversations with the leadership team about developing a more future-proof workplace strategy.

For more information:

Whether you need more information about our solutions, studies or you are interested in co-operation with Rapal, please contact us:

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