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January 21, 2016

The problem of “too easy”

Have you ever heard of anyone complaining about it being “too easy” to get a meeting room? Probably not. 

But if people did complain, companies might have already realized they have some under-utilized space. Instead, they get surprised by the kind of numbers that came out in the HOK Benchmarking Report. The study analyzes the utilization of workspaces within the financial services sector across New York, London and Toronto. If I were, say, a CFO or a VP of Real Estate for a financial services company and I saw these statistics, I would immediately reevaluate my use of space and facilitate a change to save money.

Calculator - Is your meeting room capacity sufficient?

New ways of working, innovative communication technologies, and changing business models have changed the way people use meeting and collaborative spaces. How can you really know whether your meeting room capacity still suits your business needs?

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For example…

  • While 53% of conference rooms are medium to extra large spaces, more than 70% of meetings happen between two to four people
  • 48% of assigned desks are unoccupied throughout the day
  • Perhaps even more startling is that meeting rooms in this industry have a 29% occupancy rate—they are empty over 70% of the day

Because these organizations tend to have a ton of space, they aren’t used to having to maximize it. They are accustomed to walking into an open conference room and claiming it. But if they had the right tools in place they could simultaneously increase that 29% occupancy rate to around 75%, and reduce their overhead by eliminating excessive space—turning it into flex space or even consolidating offices.

Moreover, there are so many meeting rooms, yet a lack of space for focused work or private calls. By increasing these types of rooms while still providing larger conference spaces for collaboration, innovative organizations can increase productivity with activity-based workplace concepts and services, allowing people to decide where, when, how and with whom they want to work. Workplace management and effective space planning is becoming more and more vital to organizations. 

Between having nearly half your seats empty, a mobile workforce, and evolving technology, the question becomes: Isn’t there a better way to configure?

Because all of this unused space is costing you a fortune.

Antonia Eshbaugh
Former Sales Manager Planon North America