Asia-Pacific businesses are under increasing pressure to boost workstation density, but is this really the best way to optimise your workspace and cut costs? According to a recent study conducted by CBRE: Space Utilization: The Next Frontier, Australia & New Zealand have the lowest office utilisation at 40%. Singapore follows with 38%, while China (including Hong Kong) has an average of just 27%.
The lower average of China (including Hong Kong) is not surprising: their working culture practice, known as “presenteeism”, is prevalent. This refers to the practice of working long hours and being seen in the office by the manager is essential for career progression.
For Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, meeting room space is an issue. The average meeting room is designed to accommodate between 6 and 15 people, yet survey results show an average of only 3 people taking part in meetings in these countries, meaning space is severely under-utilised.
The survey clearly tells us that instead of simply condensing space, clever workspace utilisation gets better results. When implemented well, it can potentially save business expenditure and improve employee performance. Conversely, poorly planned and haphazardly executed space can be detrimental to a company, resulting in lower levels of productivity, performance and engagement, along with difficulties in employee morale.
How can you get started on optimising your workspace?
Firstly, you may want to consider gathering data that will help to achieve your most effective outcome. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What kind of data will be most helpful?
- How often do you want to capture information (intermittent or real time)?
- What is your budget?
- Are you researching to inform a business case for change; or is it for ongoing space management?
Once you’ve reviewed these points, you will need to find the most suitable tools and methods to gather the relevant data. For example, you can survey how many people use shared spaces with devices such as infra-red people trackers. If desk usage is one of your concerns, you can monitor levels with occupancy sensors.
Collating this data will enable you to make informed decisions about your new workplace optimisation strategy, including layout, technology and policies.