An article by Lara Stancich, Workplace Strategy and Design Specialist

You’ve heard the stats: most desks are only used round half the time, according to the vast majority of utilisation studies. Does this mean that people are slacking off or do workplaces contain more desks and space than they need?

In today’s world of accelerating change and millennial workers, you may be thinking the office is dead anyway – a waste of money. Let everyone work from coffee shops and their kitchen table!



So why do desks seem to be under utilised? Instead of just waving those utilisation studies at property managers and advising hot-desking, hoteling or Activity Based Working (ABW) models for all, we think it’s far more important to sit down and have a conversation with staff about what they do, how they do it, and how they think the environment can help them do it better. 

Talking to people about how they best work, what they need to support them provides valuable insights. More over the process really can help to engage staff in linking the workplace to the delivery of business strategy, and the role they play.



In this Leesman article for example, asking the right questions revealed that a major problem in their building, the root cause of some of the space utilisation data, was in fact found in the car park.

The surfeit of under-used desks can be linked more to the outmoded default concept of an office, where everyone is provided with standard kit, regardless of their role. Finding answers to the right questions always provides valuable insights, ensuring your future workplace will stand the test of time.

If you have questions about your workplace design, please get in touch.




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