Nobody can predict the future, but project sizing tries. There is a delicate balance between too much and too little space. Get it wrong, and you’ll see noticeable long-term effects on profitability, productivity, and employee satisfaction.
Rightsizing is all about properly orienting the physical footprint requirements of the professional office with both the current and future requirements of the organization. Most businesses were already doing a poor job of this pre-pandemic… how can you make better sizing decisions? Let’s find out!
Start With Meaningful Metrics
To uncover how much future spaces you’ll need, begin by looking at the existing data. Some people discard historical sizing data. While making decisions on past data alone is not enough, companies armed with historical metrics will be much better off than those without. This process includes aggregating and understanding data on key indicators like:
• Office size (square footage)
• Lease terms
• Usage information (utilization, headcount, space types/layouts/quantities)
• Running costs
Making Sense of the Numbers
From here, you must seek to understand the correlation between these data sets. You need to compare each data point with the others to understand the dynamic between them. It’s far too easy to dispose of an office merely because it seems expensive, or because it feels too small or too large. Companies that do this without knowing the whole story may walk away from their most valuable office spaces. Instead, run calculations like:
• Square footage vs. running costs
• Square footage vs. utilization
• Headcount vs. running costs
• Lease information vs. running costs
With this information, your company can make much more intelligent sizing decisions based on the real merits of the space. This exercise will often reveal some surprising information about your workspaces! Once the relationship between influential factors is understood, you can start to plan for the changes that must eventually be made to address the hybrid work model.
Optimizing for the Future
A recent PwC study found that 87% of executives expect to make changes to their real estate strategy over the next 12 months! It also found that 61% anticipate consolidating office space into at least one premier business district location, while 58% are expecting to open more locations like satellite offices in the suburbs. One thing is for certain: moves and changes are going to become part of the new norm.
Our advice? Approach these changes with an iterative process and be prepared to pivot as you gain new information. No one really knows how the post-COVID office will operate, but with the right data you can start making educated sizing decisions for the future success of your company.