Inaugural Report Uncovers Critical Shifts in Global Workspace Occupancy as Hybrid Work Takes Hold
OTTAWA, ON, Nov. 15, 2022 – Relogix, a leading occupancy analytics provider for hybrid workplace monitoring and performance, today announced its premiere benchmarking report, revealing the current state of global workspaces in 2022 and key areas to watch in 2023. Using data from over 250 office spaces across banking, technology, and consumer goods customers in North America and Europe, Relogix’s report delves into how spaces are being utilized during defined business hours and the significant cost implications revealed in workspace usage and design.
“Hybrid work is here to stay, and it’s critical for enterprises around the world to make sense of what it means for their businesses and their employees,” said Sandra Panara, Director of Analytics, Insights & Innovation at Relogix. “The goal of this benchmarking study is to illustrate that empirical data is available and fills the gaps that traditionally consulted data sources have exposed. Workplace technologies like sensors and people counters enable deep analytics that reveal actual workspace demand and changing employee preferences. With these insights, organizations can make more confident decisions as they continue to make sense of hybrid work.”
While the concept of hybrid work models has become a norm over the past few years, Relogix’s data reveals that workspaces were under-utilized by 35-40% even before the onset of the pandemic. This trend has only continued to grow to the current day as occupancy levels drop further.
Relogix’s report found that for offices based in North America, the average occupancy in 2019 was 64.37%, equivalating to 3.2 days out of a 5-day work week. This compares to just 29.74% or 1.49 days per week in 2022. Office spaces within Europe also witnessed a decrease in average occupancy, revealing average occupancy levels in 2019 were at 70.77% or 3.54 days in the office, compared to 51.12% or 2.56 days in 2022.
When looking at data from April 2022, Relogix found that the average occupancy of 34% remained exactly the same in September of the same year. This was despite companies’ strongly encouraging employees to return to the office. This trend supports the large-scale resistance to return-to-office mandates by employers, and also a leading indicator for just how valuable the freedom and flexibility of hybrid culture are to employees.
Occupancy is the most conservative metric when measuring space use. On its own, occupancy ignores hours of use and instead only tracks presence which can be categorized as either true or false. For example, whether or not a space has been used at all on any given day. Therefore, even if a desk is used for 30 min or 1 hour, it is tagged as occupied, which can have a vital impact on overall space planning and can demonstrate potential issues like storage.
The difference between occupancy and utilization comes in the granularity of time analysis. In a review of distinctions by space type, desks have a total average utilization of 8%, indicating that overall hours of use per day for the desk category, assuming a standard 8-hour day, is 38.4 minutes.
- Desk and private office occupancy remained consistent month-over-month with little change in the previous six months, but overall usage was down.
- Private office occupancies were slightly higher each month in 2022 when compared to desk occupancy. Similarly, the average monthly difference for desk occupancy in 2022 vs 2019 was higher than the average monthly difference for private offices.
The workspace and financial impact of the findings is significant. For example:
- The existing 1.3M square feet required for just desks and offices to support pre-pandemic work patterns in this sampling could be reduced to 358K to support new hybrid work patterns post-pandemic.
- The 901K square feet difference, determined by actual seat-level occupancy metrics, presents opportunities to either exit existing workspace leases, and/or re-purpose some of that excess space. This would allow employers to create new workspaces that support changing utilization preferences and behaviors, which ensure hybrid space planning programs can be successfully implemented.
- The total current associated spend of $44M could be reduced to $12.5M, yielding a savings and/or avoidance opportunity of $31.5M per year.
These savings are substantial and enable the opportunity to fund improved technologies, tools, and infrastructures to drive business growth without requiring real estate expansion.
“From this data, we have received a better indication of just how varied occupancy levels can be depending on location,” said Andrew Millar, CEO at Relogix. “When considering occupancy analytics to unveil gaps and areas where organizations need to be more agile to support the work-from-anywhere world, it’s key for workspace assessments to go both wide observing trends and deep, to understand differences in-use by segmented data sets. The nuances found within the data of this benchmarking report can help organizations better develop and align their workplace strategy programs.”
To read the full report, visit: https://www.relogix.com/books/hybrid-work-benchmark-study-in-global-workspace-usage/
The data in this report was collected using various agnostic sensor technologies installed at various customer corporate office locations around the globe. The period for this benchmark analysis compares data captured between April 1 to September 30, 2019, inclusive, to the same periods in 2022. Customers are grouped by industry to maintain data privacy.
Relogix empowers productive work from anywhere. Relogix provides insightful, actionable, and predictive workplace analytics so companies can create better experiences for their people. Founded in 2010, Relogix is focused on solving customer outcomes by combining data and technology.