It can be hard to determine how much space your organization actually uses. As a company, you may look for ways to save on facility costs or you may just be in search of other options to create a work environment that is conducive to meet everyone's needs.
As your organization evolves, you may find yourself at a crossroads about how to best take advantage of the space your organization currently uses. This concept is called space utilization.
Space utilization isn't new, but as we transition into a more mobile workforce, it's something most organizations should seriously consider reviewing.
For example, if your organization is growing, you may want to configure your area to accommodate additional headcount in staff; if your organization wants to tighten up its footprint, there may be options for that as well. Whether you're growing or just looking for ways to keep costs down, the fact is, unused or underused space can both impact your business.
Here are some things to consider as you review space utilization:
1. Too much or too little space can cost you, not just financially. If your space is too big, you're potentially paying too much in real estate costs. If the space is too little, your employees may feel claustrophobic and somewhat restricted. This impacts productivity, and it can inhibit creativity and collaboration among associates. By having the right amount, you reduce overhead, increase your bottom line and increase employee job satisfaction rates.
2. Evaluate your mobile workforce. So many jobs in today's marketplace don't actually require a permanent workstation. If that's the case, figure out how you can mobilize portions of your workforce to be just that- mobile. No assigned seats, just enough space to plug in and get to work, wherever and whenever. Through this exercise, you may actually be able to identify additional cost savings and space savings opportunities by reducing the need for permanent workstations.
3. Reconsider departments. It may be a radical idea, but think about it- does your organization really need to be grouped by departments? If most people work independently throughout the day, and you have groups that don't need to constantly collaborate, can you take advantage of this? By removing the departmental mentality, you figuratively and literally break down walls that can free up space.
While space utilization may seem like a trivial topic to address in larger organizations, the impact it can have on your bottom line can be significant. It may be worth taking the time to evaluate how it fits into your larger operational plan as your organization grows or stagnates.