Desk Sharing and flexible working are the ultimate key to a more useful and profitable utilization of the modern workspace. Deutsche Bank wants to go one step further, by evolving the productivity of their workspace so that it is 100% efficient, with their ‘Building Utilization’ model.
Georgios Lazarou, Corporate Services Real Estate Management at Deutsche Bank, has a dream; an algorithm which predicts today how much space he will need tomorrow. Lazarou presented his ‘Building Utilization’ concept at the German Facility Management Association (GEFMA) conference in November 2016.
The approach is based on the optimization of workspaces, while Deutsche Bank focus on flexible working styles and encourage their employees to bring their own smart devices to work.
For Lazarou, the following applies:
No. of desks
--------------------- = Building Utilization
Here, utilization measures user behavior and complements sustainability with quantitative appropriateness.
Deutsche Bank provides every employee with their own desk. Though desk sharing was sometimes forced in the past, the ratio of employees to desks was well-balanced. However, upon counting employee entries to the building, it was found that peak utilization of desks was no more than 70% total. This means that 30% of workspace-related costs could be either saved, or invested into future workspace development.
Building a utilization model aims to reduce, or rather to eliminate the space not being used, since the modern workplace is becoming less dependent on standard fixed desks. Rental strategies can be developed using traditional methods, to realistically raise the percentage of utilization up to 85%. However, according to Lazarou, this is still not the optimum number. For the future, he would consider renting offices on a daily or hourly basis, in case the demand fluctuates due to temporarily present colleagues.
Such thoughts and attitudes are being fueled through the changing employee requirements in the modern workplace, not only in Germany, but worldwide. 70% of so-called Generation Y workers have a critical attitude towards traditional working models. By 2020, there will be 65 million Americans who are freelancers; 40% of the total workforce. Today, 13.9% of the UK’s working population already work from home on a permanent basis. The Netherlands are the first country to have applied for the development of a Home Office Programme; by the end of this year, 50% of the businesses involved will have introduced the BYOD – ‘bring your own device’ system.
Lazarou derives the following concepts from the traditional workplace and its changing shape: “from my space to any space” and “one size does not fit all”. Based on these two approaches, he is seeking to develop further steps towards workspace flexibility considering employee wellbeing, as well as the efficiency aspects. However, this path will be a rocky one; the use of sharing offices, for example, will generate completely new cooperation models with corresponding providers, and this will inevitably challenge Facilities teams to keep adapting.
Source: Der Facility Manager, January/February 2017, Issue 1/2, Vol. 24, “Building Utilization” by Robert Altmannshofer, pp. 12-13