06 Sep What is an occupancy rate and why should you measure office occupancy?
An occupancy rate is the ratio of used space to the total amount of space which is available. It is calculated by dividing the total number of rooms or space occupied by the total number of rooms or space available. However, this calculation may not always be as simple as it sounds, there are many different aspects to keep in mind. Elements such as operating hours, amount of employees, and types of workspaces are important to keep in consideration. For example, meeting rooms show lower rates of occupancy than workstations; however, the spaces are both used for different tasks, which can explain such a discrepancy.
The largest investments organisations make are usually related to the workforce (employment) and office space. Measuring the impact of a large investment such as changes in office space is of high importance, yet it is becoming more difficult to measure because of increased flexibility and mobility for employees.
There are several reasons to measure office occupancy; the most common reasons include understanding work patterns, cost reduction and determining space requirements. Understanding work patterns can allow managers to realise which parts of the offices are being used and what could be used more efficiently. Knowing and understanding the occupancy rates of the office can lead managers to make more educated decisions about their real estate and workspaces in the office which can result in cost savings. More detailed information about office occupancy can contribute to better distribution of ventilation, lighting, heating and air-conditioning, ultimately allowing for more comfortable and productive employees.
Additionally, occupations within different sectors may have a variety of occupancy rates. Considering the position of a sales executive, for example, who is most likely working remotely and visiting clients often versus the position of an IT employee, usually working from a fixed desk within the office. The occupancy rate within their workplaces will vary greatly due to their different working patterns. Therefore, having a better understanding of working patterns within different sectors can allow for managers to make better estimations in workplace allocation. Additionally, this understanding can allow for employees and managers to have better planning for daily tasks and meetings.