What Methods Exist for Tracking Actual Space Utilization

by James McDonald on March 5, 2020

As the workplace has evolved, so has the importance of tracking actual space utilization.

It used to be enough to understand your company’s space utilization trends over time. You could look at occupancy and vacancy rates from the previous year and make an informed decision about how much additional real estate you might need, based on growth trends.

However, traditional space utilization metrics assumed a one-to-one desk ratio. In the modern, agile work environment, employees may not be in the office every day. And when they are, they tend to move around a lot. To make the most of your space, you may need to move away from assigned seats in favor of shared desks. Real-time space utilization data becomes more important. Here’s a closer look at the most common space utilization methods and how they are implemented. 

What Are The Benefits of Tracking Real-Time Space Utilization?

Knowing exactly how every space in your workplace is being used day to day and minute by minute has many benefits, including: 

  • Maximizing real estate with agile working
  • Reducing costs
  • Improving the employee experience

If your organization wants to achieve serious improvements in these areas, here are six ways to start tracking real-time space utilization. 

How Can You Track Real-Time Space Utilization?

Badge Data

Using ID badge systems are a common way to ensure workplace security. Badge data systems can be set up to track entry only, entry and exit, entry into secure areas or entry onto specific floors. You can use this data to identify space utilization trends. 

PIR Sensors

Passive infrared (PIR) sensors detect body heat and movement around a certain parameter and can trigger an alert when someone passes the threshold. They are small, battery powered sensors that can be affixed to seats or desks and are among the most common types of IoT sensors on the market. Examples include Relogix, CoWorkr, OccupEye and GE Current, a Daintree company.

BLE Beacons

Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons are a form of short-range wireless communication. They are ideal for applications where long battery life is more important than data transfer.

Image Sensors

Image sensors are larger, anonymous sensors that track entrances and exists through doorways. They are ideal for identifying occupancy patterns throughout the day. Examples include VergeSense and Density

Lighting Sensors 

Designed to optimize energy consumption, lighting sensors are occupancy sensors that send signals to lighting systems. These are typically among the most expensive IoT sensor solutions to implement. 

Wi-Fi Triangulation

Wi-Fi triangulation uses wireless access points to take occupancy tracking a step further, allowing workplace leaders to identify exact positions. It has typically been used in environments with complex resource management needs, such as hospitals, airports and shopping malls. For instance, a Wi-Fi triangulation system within a hospital may keep track of medical equipment. 

Make The Most Of Sensor Data With Space Management Software 

When IoT sensors are connected to space management software, you can interact with space utilization data like never before. You can see real-time and historical occupancy data right within your digital floor plans, from a single platform.

This allows you to: 

  • Identify underutilized spaces and make adjustments as needed
  • Identify how other organizations are using your resources, especially in multi-tenant buildings
  • Ensure your workplace has the right mix of collaborative spaces and quiet spaces 
  • Forecast and plan for future growth
  • Empower employees to easily reserve space anywhere, from any device
  • Move away from assigned seats in favor of an agile workplace

No matter what you want to achieve by improving space utilization, iOFFICE’s space management software should be the backbone of that strategy. Our software offers the most robust reporting capabilities around key space utilization metrics, which enables intelligent space planning, smart maintenance and more.

It also integrates with mobile workplace apps employees can use to find people and places, reserve rooms, request service and receive mail or visitors. 

Ready to learn more about how iOFFICE can help you achieve your space utilization goals? Request a live demo today. 


James McDonald

James McDonald is a sports enthusiast, brother in Christ and once swam in a tank with the infamous TV sharks.

Capterra Ratings: ★★★★★ 4.5/5

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