In a recent report by CBRE, the Global Occupier Survey 2015-16, they touch on the notions of “growth without growth” and “saving in place.”
CBRE defines “growth without growth” as “expanding business capabilities while limiting spikes in either capital investment or operational expense.”
One way to determine whether your organization can accommodate growth through new headcount – without having to grow your real estate footprint – is through occupancy studies.
Using occupancy sensors that affix to desk and table space, instead of to chairs which can be moved, provides accurate occupancy and usage data on which to base workplace decisions. These types of sensors, can take around 1,400 readings per day, equiping real estate directors with highly accurate data to make instant, logical changes.
A sensor study like this can help you determine where you can fit in perhaps hundreds of additional new employees without having to build out new space or cram in additional desk space. Both require more capital, with the latter creating discomfort for employees and decreasing productivity due to overcrowding.
Case in point: After a significant uptick in business, a leading global advertising and marketing firm was concerned about how they could accommodate 400 new seats. Believing they needed to purchase additional office space somewhere in London, they decided to first try and understand more about their existing employees’ work habits.
Through an occupancy study across 7 locations in two cities, this global ad firm discovered that they did not need to add more square footage to their London real estate portfolio. With accurate and reliable data gathered through a study using 5,400 sensors, the company discovered that they could actually achieve “growth without growth.”
Instead of increasing their real estate footprint, this global agency was able to confidently consolidate their 6 London locations into a single building, saving nearly $12 million in real estate costs annually, while still accommodating hundreds of new headcount!
With commercial real estate cost escalations predicted for most areas of the globe, the need for implementing strategies to support a more efficient use of existing space will be critical to many businesses.
The most effective and trustworthy method to gather the data and metrics required to support these capital-sensitive decisions is through occupancy sensor studies.
So before you make changes to your real estate portfolio, first see if you too can achieve growth without growth.