Myths and misconceptions follow us around everywhere in life, influencing the decisions we make without having any real basis in the truth – a gut feeling that we tend to trust too often as being right. Unfortunately, this also happens in the workplace. Once in a while, every employer makes a choice based on something that feels like it might be the right call and seems to make the most sense on paper, but in reality is actually counter-productive to their goals.
The good news is that the workplace is becoming more data-driven than ever before – and with that data come the insights you need to dispel these myths and dig out the truth. Here are a few common workplace misconceptions, why they’re inaccurate and what the real truth behind each one is:
Myth #1: “We need to move because we’re growing rapidly.”
Fact: It’s easy to think that the more a company grows – and the faster that growth happens – the greater the need to move into a larger space. Big companies need big offices, right? Well, that only applies when the office is already being used to its peak efficiency – which it most often isn’t. Just the opposite: employers and building tenants could be wasting more than 600,000 square feet of unused space in just a single year, amounting to $198 million in unnecessary real estate costs. Rather than automatically taking a look at more property, employers should use office utilization analytics to determine how much of their current space they’re actually using and what they can do to improve on that ratio – not only averting the need for a big move, but maximizing the value they pay for their current spaces.
Myth #2: “Everyone loves our open-plan office.”
Fact: It’s hard to deny that open-office layouts aren’t becoming more popular, particularly when you consider that more than two-thirds of offices throughout the U.S. include few or no partitions. But while open-plan offices may boast their share of advantages – helping to cut back on real estate costs and better promote collaboration between employees – they also feature a number of potential downsides, such as a lack of privacy among co-workers and constant noise nuisances. That’s why it’s so important to integrate workspace occupancy sensors throughout the office: using real-time behavioral data to determine whether your employees actually do love your open-plan office, or are increasingly spending more of their day in isolated areas like corners and meeting rooms to get some time to themselves.
Myth #3: “Our office is good as-is.”
Fact: Our world moves too quickly for anything to be “good as-is.” The widespread adoption of mobile devices in the workplace, for example, is one such shift that opens plenty of opportunities for insight and improvement, providing employers with more data on how their employees are utilizing space. That workspace utilization data can then be used to identify how to further leverage a workspace to operate at its peak efficiency, whether that’s establishing more private work stations, shifting to smaller conference rooms or consolidating an open-office layout.
There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits all solution to the workplace anymore, and thinking that your office space is good enough as-is is not a mindset that will stand the test of time.