Utilization data can identify high-traffic areas per business group.
By Jeffrey Josephson

4 rules for developing a complete building space utilization measurement plan

To respond to the challenge of ghost offices and building space utilization continuing to hover around 50% of pre-pandemic levels, more organizations are rethinking their entire approach to measuring space.

Their aim is to evolve their space measurement plans into a multi-faceted program that better reflect the specific needs of their portfolios and aligns their operations with the latest utilization measurement best practices.

At JLL Technologies, we regularly support clients in optimizing space by partnering with them to create a complete utilization measurement program. To ensure that organizations obtain the value they’re looking for from this process, we recommend they take a similar approach to the one we recommend for our clients.

1. Create defined, ambitious goals for your measurement program

A clear set of goals will be necessary to guide any utilization conversation from beginning to end. Typical measurement plans aim to capture takeaways like office attendance or meeting room usage, but a strategic utilization measurement program allows organizations to go even deeper.

For example, organizations can create a utilization program based around IOT and badge technology to capture metrics like foot traffic peaks, space type preferences, and individual business unit usage trends.

These detailed views allow organizations to easily identify what type of space should be shed and which type should be replicated. Additionally, they can uncover which sections of the business need more space and which ones that could be just as productive with less space.

Fully realized space utilization measurement programs can also do more than react to recent hurdles. When properly developed, they can continuously uncover innovation opportunities as the needs of the business and utilization goals change.

2. Align space utilization data sources with the organization’s goals

It’s not uncommon for an organization’s measurement plan to revolve around security badge data. While badge data is a very powerful resource, it may not be enough to answer all of the questions and uses cases that need to be addressed when creating a utilization measurement program.

When building a comprehensive approach to measuring space utilization, organizations are best served considering every data source at their disposal. Measurement programs can draw from sources like meeting room & seat reservation data, along with occupancy sensor data, to help answer questions about how long, when, and why people use spaces in a building.

Depending on the use case an organization is attempting to solve for, it may be that information from multiple data sources will be necessary to find a solution. Organizations must be as intentional as possible when selecting the data sources that they will use as part of their utilization measurement program.

3. Focus on immediate value adds instead of extended timelines

The perceived complexity of developing a space utilization measurement program can be a deterrent for organizations with other competing priorities. However, there are iterative opportunities to build up a utilization strategy, and these opportunities should not go overlooked.

When building your program, don’t feel pressured to stand up everything at once. Many teams find a level of success by creating an easily implementable foundational plan that generates actionable insights in the present.

We recommend focusing on value stakeholders identify that can create ROI in the shortest amount of time. As utilization data begins to demonstrate its value, it won’t be long before momentum builds around deploying a full-fledged utilization program.

4. Use the right analytics platform to drive the space utilization program

While many utilization analytics platforms offer similar features, they will differ significantly in terms of performance, reporting, and their ability to uncover insights.

Before selecting a utilization analytics platform, organizations need a clear understanding of what level of performance they will need to answer their utilization questions.

For example, organizations should know the type of reports and analytics that competing analytics platforms can deliver. Options can be ranked by how easy those are to digest and if they provide the necessary details or insights needed to guide the measurement program.

Answering these questions before investing in a space utilization analytics platform will help teams to avoid additional investments down the road.

Do more with help from utilization experts

The new realities of the workplace are putting pressure on organizations to rethink the way they approach space utilization. JLL Technologies has a long history simplifying this process for our partners, whether they need help with technology, best practices; or a bit of both.

Connect with us today to learn more about utilization measurement platforms like VergeSense or to learn more about the latest trends in space utilization affecting office environments nationwide.