What is Space Optimization?
By Reagan Nickl
Enterprise Customer Success Senior Manager
Optimization is all about making the most effective use of something. In the case of space optimization, it often happens incrementally. It’s hard to go from zero to 100% optimization, especially when the variables begin to add up. It’s easy to put one person in one desk and call it space optimization. But what about when there are a hundred employees, two locations, and 10 different types of desking arrangements? What is space optimization in this case?
Understanding space optimization is about context. How much space is there? What are the demands for that space? Optimization comes from proper utilization, and utilization is a product of extensive review.
Space optimization defined
Space optimization is about making the most effective use of real estate. If you’re leasing an office that’s too big and paying for unused space, that’s not good space optimization. But, if your workplace is carefully configured to include in-demand types of workspaces and accommodate everyone, it’s well-optimized.
Optimized workspace is efficient. It’s productive. It’s comfortable and welcoming, not to mention supportive and inclusive. This is to say that optimization goes beyond paying attention to occupancy. True space optimization creates the best possible workspace for business success. Take a look at your business’ objectives and principles. If the way you’re using your space aligns, it’s safe to say it’s properly optimized.
What does space optimization mean for…?
Modern workplace optimization is a multifaceted concept. You can excel in one way, yet come up short in another. Staffing 20 employees in an office meant for 20 may equate to great occupancy optimization, but if the correct types of workspaces for these 20 employees don’t exist, your efforts fall short of true workplace optimization.
For commercial real estate, consider what optimization means from a variety of perspectives.
- Culture: Is the workplace inclusive and welcoming? Do people like spending time in it, or does it frustrate them? Do employees see their workplace as part of the company and their job? Do visitors get the right impression about your business from the workplace you’ve cultivated?
- Productivity: Does the workplace provide employees the types of spaces they need to do good work? Is there a diverse range of workstations? Do employees have enough space to work and the right type of space to accommodate different tasks or expectations?
- Finance: What’s the cost-benefit analysis of your lease? Are you paying for more space than you need or making the most of existing space? What is the cost-per-head of your current workspace design and is there room to improve it?
- Comfort: Do employees have enough personal space vs. accommodations to collaborate comfortably with peers? Is there enough space to navigate easily in your office? Is accessibility a priority?
- Growth: Are you at peak space utilization or is there room to maneuver in times of growth? If your space needs to change and evolve, can you support it with your current facilities? Is there an action plan to address new space requirements?
True space optimization comes from considering as many variables as possible. Satisfying them means creating a space that boosts business operations and future success.
Optimization = Control
Think of space optimization as control over two of the largest assets your business has: The workplace and your workforce. With the right space utilization plan, you can transform facilities into a support system for the people working within them. Whether it’s lowering costs or improving efficiency, different levels of space optimization yield benefits worth considering.
Choosing to optimize the workplace is the same as developing a hiring framework. You vete candidates and hire with the intent of adding a professional to your team who can contribute to your business’ success. In optimizing the workplace, you’re vetting space usage and utilization to create a floor plan that supports operational excellence. Both examples are controlled processes aimed at facilitating success.
Emphasize space optimization
Space optimization leverages the workplace to its fullest potential. It’s about employee experience, cultural development, and maximizing leases. These are markers of good space optimization and a workplace that adds value to the company.
Keep reading: How can space optimization software help your workplace grow?