Finding the right mix of spaces to increase workplace occupancy and utilization

Finding the right mix of spaces to increase workplace occupancy and utilization
May 30, 2023
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Real Estate ROI

83% of employees surveyed by Gensler would spend more time in the office if their ideal mix of work experiences were met.

So, what is their ideal mix of work experiences?

One theme emerged from the 2,000 employees surveyed: the office isn't just about collaboration.

Employees view the office as a catalyst to empower all work styles. They want to be in the office just as much for heads-down work (72% of the time) as they do collaborative work (71%).

This competes with the current narrative that the office is for collaboration and socializing while the home is for focus work.

8 types of spaces to support an ideal mix of work experiences

Employees had very specific ideas of what defined their ideal mix of work experiences:

  • Coffee shop - Casual work cafes for informal meetings, solo work, or relaxation
  • Corporate Traditional, business-like areas
  • Boutique hotel Amenity-rich, hospitality-like spaces
  • Clubhouse Informal spaces for socializing with colleagues
  • Residential Areas with a home-like atmosphere
  • Library Quiet areas for focused work
  • Conference center - Formal collaboration spaces
  • Creative lab - Tech-rich spaces to experiment, either collaboratively or solo
Gensler posed this question to 2,000 employees: what sort of the mix below would best describe your ideal environment for your company's office?

Many workplaces don’t have the footprint or resources to design for all of these spaces. The good news is you don’t have to.

The above is represents what 2000 employees see as their ideal mix of experiences. These insights give you a starting point from which to fine-tune your own workplace strategy.

Identifying your ideal mix

How you implement different workspaces will depend on your employees’ needs and preferences. Suppose your employees spend more time at desks than they do in conference rooms. You’ll want to design your space accordingly to meet this demand.

Workplace analytics, combined with employee surveys, can identify these preferences.

Analytics provide unbiased insights into metrics like utilization, occupancy, critical mass, and supply vs. demand. Surveys add context to the data, helping you to understand the why behind the behavior.

Armed with that data, you can create higher-performing spaces that empower and at tract higher-performing employees.