Skip to main content

✨ Meet the AI-powered Workplace Assistant from VergeSense, with enterprise-grade security and privacy ✨

«  View All Posts

You’ve Identified Space Shortages, Now What? Strategies to Address Office Space Constraints

May 2nd, 2024 | 7 min. read

You’ve Identified Space Shortages, Now What? Strategies to Address Office Space Constraints


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

Print/Save as PDF

As companies adapt to new ways of working, the challenge of addressing space shortages has become more prevalent. Knowing how to tackle office space constraints head-on and maximizes workspace efficiency and enhances the workplace experience.

It’s imperative to immediately address space shortages once you know they’re an issue in your office. When employees consistently run out of space, it can have a detrimental impact on productivity and their overall workplace experience. It can even deter them from coming into the office at all — leading to wasted resources and money. 

Efficient space management isn’t just about fitting more desks into a room. It’s about creating an intelligent office design that supports employees in their tasks, fosters collaboration, and enhances their overall experience. Here are some tips to eliminate space shortages in your office, so you can increase space availability and improve employee experience.

Understanding Space Shortages

A space shortage occurs when the capacity of your workplace is reached, leaving employees without access to available meeting rooms, collaboration spaces, or desks. It's the tangible realization of an imbalance between demand and supply within the office environment.

Space shortages primarily occur because of: 

  • Rapid Growth: Expanding companies putting pressure on existing office space. 
  • Changing Workforce Dynamics: Rising of remote work, flexible schedules, and collaborative work environments leading to changes in how the office is being used. 
  • Inefficient Space Utilization: Having underutilized areas or inefficient layouts that don't support new ways of working.

Strategies to Address a Space Shortage

There are several ways to address space shortages. Some options are more expensive, while other options can be done easily in house. Once you've identified a real space shortage vs. a perceived one, consider the following options to improve space availability:

1. Leasing More Space

When faced with a space shortage due to rapid growth or increased demand, one option is to lease more space. Before committing to this, it's crucial to consider several factors:

  • Location: The location of the additional space should be convenient for employees and aligned with your organization's operations.
  • Cost: Evaluate the financial implications of leasing more space, considering both the immediate costs and long-term commitments.
  • Long-term Scalability: Ensure that the leased space offers flexibility for future growth or changes in space requirements.

Leasing more space is undoubtedly the most costly solution. We also find it’s rarely our customers’ best option. It’s vital to analyze space usage data first, as this will allow you to identify and address underutilized areas before opting for more space. By understanding usage patterns and real-time occupancy data, you can make informed decisions about whether to lease more space or maximize existing resources.

2. Redesigning Unused Space

Underutilized workspaces also represent an opportunity to optimize existing space without having to pay for more square footage. 

VergeSense data shows that 71% of the global space mix is dedicated to desks despite them being used just 8.4% of the time. On the other side of the spectrum, there are fewer collaboration spaces, even though they’re used much more frequently by employees. To build a more productive office layout, organizations can repurpose desks into meeting rooms or flexible collaborative spaces to better align with employee needs and usage patterns. 

Here are some strategies for redesigning and repurposing unused space:

  • Space Assessment: Use the Occupancy Intelligence Platform to identify areas with low utilization rates. Occupancy data can highlight spaces that could be repurposed for more productive use.
  • Functional Optimization: Consider how underutilized spaces can be redesigned to better serve employees' needs. For example transforming individual workspaces into collaborative work areas or converting empty corners into quiet zones. 

Collecting employee data through surveys can also help you identify what needs to be changed in your design. Gather input from employees, so you can better understand their needs and preferences. This feedback can guide the redesign process to create productive office layouts that enhance satisfaction.

3. Adjusting Conference Rooms

Speaking of redesign, conference rooms are often at the center of space shortages, as they are in high demand for meetings and collaborative activities. While many offices are filled with larger conference rooms, we know that regardless of meeting room capacity, on average, 1.93 people occupy a room. 

This means leaders have an opportunity to redesign conference rooms and free up more space. If this could be your situation, consider:

  • Usage Patterns: Use the Space Usage Timeline to understand how conference rooms are being used. Identify peak usage times and patterns if adjustments are needed. 
  • Size Requirements: Evaluate whether existing conference rooms are appropriately sized for the number of attendees.
  • Flexible Configurations: Explore options for flexible conference room configurations that can adapt to varying group sizes and meeting formats. Creative space-saving ideas include modular furniture arrangements, collapsible partitions, and movable walls that can be adjusted to accommodate different meeting needs and maximize space utilization.

Leveraging Occupancy Data for Efficient Management

To make these decisions, you must first understand which spaces are being underutilized. Let’s dig deeper into how the Occupancy Intelligence Platform captures this data by analyzing what’s happening in every workspace. 

Analyzing Occupancy Trends

One of the primary benefits of collecting occupancy data through the Occupancy Intelligence Platform is gaining insights into how spaces are being utilized. By analyzing occupancy trends, you can:

  • Identify Peak Usage Times: Understand when certain areas of the office are in high demand and adjust accordingly.
  • Identify Underutilized Areas: Pinpoint spaces that are consistently underutilized, such as empty desks or unused meeting rooms. 
  • Space Allocation Needs: Determine the optimal allocation of space for different functions based on actual usage data. Making Informed Decisions

The Occupancy Intelligence Platform ultimately enables organizations to make confident data-driven decisions related to space optimization, leasing, and intelligent office design.

  • Space Optimization: With accurate occupancy data, organizations can optimize their space layout to better suit employee needs. This might involve redesigning layouts, adjusting furniture, upgrading amenities, or creating more flexible workspaces.
  • Leasing Decisions: Understanding how existing space is utilized can inform decisions about whether to lease additional space or optimize existing resources. For example, if occupancy data reveals that current space is underutilized, investing in more square footage may not be necessary.
  • Workplace Design: Occupancy data provides valuable insights into how employees interact with their environment. This information can guide decisions about intelligent office design, ensuring that the layout supports productivity and collaboration.

Making the Most of Unused Space

Once you understand how employees are using space, you can create or repurpose new spaces to better meet their needs. Here are some ideas:

Coworking Spaces

Design open and collaborative areas where employees can work together on projects, share ideas, and foster creativity. These spaces encourage collaboration and provide an alternative to traditional desk setups.

Smaller Meeting Spaces

Introduce smaller meeting rooms or huddle spaces for quick discussions, brainstorming sessions, or one-on-one meetings. These spaces offer privacy and flexibility for small group interactions without the need for larger conference rooms.

Phone Booths

Install phone booths  for employees to make private calls, participate in video conferences, or focus on tasks without distractions. These enclosed spaces provide acoustic privacy and support productivity in open office environments.

Quiet Zones

Designate quiet zones or relaxation areas where employees can retreat for focused work or moments of relaxation. These spaces are equipped with comfortable seating, soft lighting, and minimal distractions to promote concentration and well-being.


Effective space management is vital for creating a productive and engaging workplace environment. We've explored strategies to address office space constraints and maximize workspace efficiency, here are several pointers to consider moving forward:

  • Understanding Space Shortages: Space shortages occur due to rapid growth, changing workforce dynamics, and inefficient space utilization. Identifying underutilized areas is crucial before considering leasing more space.
  • Addressing Space Shortages: Workplace leaders can explore options like leasing more space, redesigning unused areas, and adjusting conference rooms to optimize existing space without additional costs.
  • Empowering Space Design with Occupancy Intelligence: Collecting and analyzing occupancy data provides insights into peak usage times, underutilized areas, and space allocation needs. This data informs decision-making processes related to space optimization, leasing decisions, and intelligent office design.
  • Repurposing Unused Space: Creating or repurposing spaces like coworking spaces, smaller meeting spaces, phone booths, and quiet zones maximizes the use of underutilized areas and supports diverse work needs.

Ready to maximize workspace efficiency with occupancy intelligence? Explore our comprehensive guide to neighborhood planning with occupancy data here and start transforming your workplace today!