Do You Know What 1 Vacant Workstation Costs Your Company Each Year?

by Elizabeth Dukes on February 25, 2015
The Next Generation of IWMS: iXMS

While office workstations are necessary for in-house employees and managers to complete daily tasks, these spaces can prove costly when such workstations are left vacant. These ‘workplace pockets’ can negatively affect the bottom line for businesses, making it crucial to manage space effectively. With an increasing number of employees becoming more mobile and working remotely thanks to the advancements in wireless and cellular technology, facilities managers need to take actions to help minimize the costs associated with such vacant workstations.

Vacant office workstations can cost a company thousands of dollars a year.Real estate costs are the second largest expense on the books of businesses, after salaries. A workplace that doesn’t support the work that needs to be done is a waste of space.

Thankfully, there are ways for facilities managers to more effectively utilize the space within the workplace to reduce wasted space, and therefore cut down on costs.

How Much Money Does it Really Cost to Leave a Workstation Empty?

Even one empty workstation can be incredibly costly for a company. To illustrate the impact of leaving just one workstation vacant, consider if just one employee in a company works outside of the office twice per week. Assuming that an average annualized workstation cost to a business is approximately $18,000, this will total 104 days that this particular employee’s work station will remain vacant.

The average number of possible working days of the typical employee for an entire year is 242 days. Using this number, the cost associated with this potential yearly wasted capital amounts to $7,735 for the year (104 workstation days ÷ 242 possible working days x $18,000 annual cost), just for that one employee. Multiply this by 100 employees, for example, and this number amounts to a whopping $773,500 in costs associated with wasted space.

Saving Space to Save Money

Facilities managers within all sorts of organizations are looking for ways to save money by saving space. This is particularly important for companies who have many employees who are working remotely more than half the time.

One way that savvy FMs are doing this is by simply not assigning dedicated workstations to certain employees who are typically working outside of the office a few times a week. Instead, these employees simply reserve a nondedicated workstation when they do work in the office.

The ever-increasing mobile workforce is making space management more challenging.Alternative office strategies are increasing, as well as the use of drop-in work centers. Such offices allow the workforce to continue to be more mobile. The business itself is more adaptable by improving productivity and lowering the costs associated with largely unused office space.

Many companies have implemented such programs in order to achieve a zero-vacancy goal. Businesses can realize millions of dollars in cost savings each year by adopting such programs that are aimed at reducing or even eliminating vacant workstations.

Cutting edge offices don’t just shrink – they rethink their space.

Space Management Software Can Help FMs Manage Vacant Workstations to Reduce Costs

The idea of rethinking the office space is one thing, but implementing an effective strategy is quite another. Luckily, there are tools available to the facilities manager to help make space-saving a reality. Space management software, such as iOffice’s space manager, offers FMs floor plans that are published on-line, as well as accurate data regarding how the space is used. Such information can be instantly viewed to give FMs a clear picture in real-time about what space is being used, and what space isn’t at any given moment.

Facilities managers are able to quickly and easily modify any of the information within a particular floor plan, and perform complex tasks in a simple manner to optimize the time spent managing the workplace space.

Cost savings is always at the forefront for businesses. While there are many aspects associated with this, real estate plays a huge role. With the implementation of space management software, facilities managers can effectively manage and reduce vacant space, which will ultimately reduce wasted costs.


Elizabeth Dukes

Elizabeth Dukes' pieces highlight the valuable role of the real estate and facility managers play in their organizations. Prior to iOFFICE, Elizabeth was in sales for large facility and office service outsourcing firm.

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