When it comes to office space, it can be easy to think areas are more used than they actually are. Conference rooms, private offices and even individual desks may be less utilized than you expect. Conducting a space utilization study gives you the tools needed to make money-saving, real estate decisions.

If you are contemplating moving, downsizing, adding a larger staff or remodeling, it can be beneficial to conduct a space utilization study before making plans. This will allow you to more accurately prioritize needs and discover important cost-savings.

There a few technological solutions that companies can use to track space usage. One, simple way is to employ a scheduling program for conference rooms. However, the best option is to place sensors on chairs in the rooms you are evaluating. They will then wirelessly transmit and log data on how long and often a space is used.

Typically, sensors and analysis can be rented from a third-party vendor, like Herman Miller Performance Environments or Condeco Sense. Then, a consultant will work with you to develop a strategy and determine the data you need. Together, you will identify where and how long the sensors will be placed. When the project is complete, they will issue a report.

The analysis can take two to three weeks and allow you to find the optimal size of rooms and office configurations you actually need. For example, you may find your conference rooms are too big, as meeting sizes are small. Or, if your company offers flexible schedules, you may discover a free address approach makes sense for your office.

The key, however, is to plan ahead. Many of the companies offering these services are doing a wide-variety of projects. Book early to ensure there is time left to complete your analysis before you make your next move.

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