In our clients’ efforts to reduce costs, space remains high on the list of targets. According to a CoreNet Global survey, space allocation has gone from 500 square feet per person in 1975 to 200 square feet per person in 2010. It is predicted to be at 100 square feet per person in 2017.
This survey also quotes square footage per person shrinking 25% from 2010 to 2012. Most at least address the issue of shrinking their overall footprint during the planning process.
Our clients are hovering between 150-180 square feet per person on average. We’re finding that a lot of companies who like the idea of better utilization, are using shared space or “flex time” concepts to reduce the number of seats they need for the same number of people. Some of our clients are moving to a 3:1 ratio of seats to employees, and are still evaluating if it’s working.
Technology, while advancing, still doesn’t allow for the amount of control over reserving and managing adjacencies in flex space, for example. “Free reservation,” or sitting at any open seat for one’s time in the office, remains the norm. A seat is always available, but not always near the people a flex worker needs to interact with at key times.
These trends have created new problems as well as new opportunities. Furniture manufacturers are responding with solutions that fit smaller individual workspaces, such as “benching” and furniture suited for collaborative areas. There has been a resurgence of workstations that allow adjustability for seated and standing work.