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Inconsistent Occupancy Has Changed Portfolio Evaluation Standards

January 17th, 2023 | 4 min. read

Inconsistent Occupancy Has Changed Portfolio Evaluation Standards


VergeSense is the industry leader in providing enterprises with a true understanding of their occupancy and how their offices are actually being used.

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As businesses continue to navigate the uncertain state of the economy into 2023, it's more important than ever to carefully evaluate and optimize the spaces in your portfolio. 

Having too much space is a financial risk, especially in times of economic volatility. On the other hand, not optimizing your spaces to fit the way your employees actually work can create a poor employee experience, leading to reduced productivity and even employee turnover.

The stakes are higher than ever to get your portfolio right.

Divide Your Spaces

Static and consistent occupancy is never coming back. The world we live in where occupancy is ever-changing and dynamic is the new norm. The first step to workplace success in 2023 and beyond is accepting this change and shifting your mindset away from static occupancy.

The new way to approach a world of dynamic occupancy starts with a new way to look at portfolio optimization.

First, bucket your portfolio into two groups, "spaces to evaluate" and "spaces to optimize". Spaces to evaluate may require shorter term and less detailed analysis. Entryway sensors are a great technological solution for this bucket. Spaces to optimize, however, may require ongoing, in-depth analysis of employee behavior and interactions with the workplace.

Change naturally occurs in a workplace over time, whether those changes are in employee behavior, space types, partitioning, or amenities, ongoing attention is needed to future-proof your workplace. Open area sensors are the solution to optimizing these spaces.

As occupancy enters unprecedented territory, consider the value of each space in your portfolio and how it can be optimized to support the needs and preferences of your employees. By taking the time and purposefully investing in workplace technology to carefully evaluate and optimize your spaces, you can create a better employee experience and position your business for success in the long run.

Spaces to Exit

Spaces to exit are straightforward. These are the buildings and offices that you know are not worth maintaining without the help of technology. Spaces to exit can often be identified from simple observation and they may even be known company-wide as being vacant. These spaces are likely about 25% of your portfolio if you have not cut them already.

Spaces to Evaluate

Spaces to evaluate are the workplaces in your portfolio that you need to better understand and evaluate their value. These spaces compose about 50% of your portfolio. Is this office really being used? How is it being used compared to its potential? Is it worth keeping? These are some of the questions that this bucket aims to answer.

Entryway sensors or WiFi data is especially helpful in this category to ensure that large-scale decisions like portfolio right sizing are made based on fact and data rather than guesswork. By having this data at your side, you can make these decisions with confidence without paying for more data than you need.

Spaces to Optimize

Spaces to optimize are those that you know are valuable prime assets, but you need to understand how to continue investing in them to maintain their quality and to adapt to ever-changing employee needs.

A common example of this type of space is a company headquarters. These spaces are often in great locations and serve thousands of employees, but without continual analysis, they can slowly devolve to not serve as a productive, collaborative space that employees enjoy.

The insights that technology can gather and the processes that it can automate cannot be done otherwise. Open area sensors, room and desk booking software, and kiosks are a few examples of workplace technology that help keep your prime spaces continuously optimized. 

The Stakes Are Greater Than Ever

It is no secret that the workplace is facing unprecedented circumstances. Since COVID-19, it has been a struggle to get employees back into the office, maintain a strong employee experience, and manage the costs of your portfolio. As 2023 bring economic volatility into the mix, portfolio right-sizing is vital.

Uncertain State of the 2023 Economy

The workplace and commercial real estate industry will feel the effects of the looming economic downturn more than many other industries. With 72% of business leaders wanting to reduce their real estate footprint, most workplace leaders have been tasked with portfolio right-sizing. Large, irreversible decisions like eliminating real estate space can seem daunting without data on your side. This is where the "spaces to evaluate" bucket is so vital. In order to save money and reduce unnecessary spending to help outlast the looming economic downturn, you must uncover the millions of dollars of hidden savings in unused or underutilized spaces. 

Drastic Consequences of a Poor Employee Experience

Employee experience is key to a productive and happy workplace. Your spaces need to constantly evolve with your employees to ensure that they are able to work how they want to with special attention being paid to how they actually work day to day, hour by hour. Without ongoing, data-backed optimization of your spaces, employee experience can decline quickly and drastically, resulting in difficulty gaining return-to-office traction, reduced productivity, and even employee turnover. 

Workplace Balance Determines Success

Workplace success is a constant balance between employee experience and resources. This balance puts increased pressure on workplace leaders to evaluate what spaces they don’t need to save money and actively make investments into their remaining spaces with portions of the recovered spending.

Take Action

Dedicate a few hours to bucketing your spaces into two buckets: spaces to exit, evaluate, and optimize. From there, start looking into workplace technology to help you meet your goals. Consider entryway sensors for your spaces to evaluate and open area sensors for your spaces to optimize.

If you don't know where to start, please feel free to contact us at VergeSense and we will help you find the best solution for your organization, even if that is not us.