Almost two-thirds of organisations are actively trying to reduce the office space they occupy by increasing the density of the occupiers it houses, according to the BIFM’s (British Institute of Facilities Management) post-recessional Workplaces Review.
Just a few weeks after confirmation of further cuts in public sector spending, the poll conducted amongst BIFM’s members and workplace industry insiders, indicated that 58% of respondent organisations are actively trying to condense the office space they use.
The study also revealed that two-thirds of organisations (61%) are ‘actively encouraging’ remote and flexible working for all staff. This shows that increasing numbers of employers are looking to displace their teams away from expensive corporate environments, perhaps as a further way of releasing yet more space.
“We are clearly seeing a trend amongst those organisations responding to our survey. Each square metre of the workplace is having to work harder,” says Ian Fielder, BIFM Chief Executive.
“It will have to both house increasing numbers of staff and act as the ‘mother ship’ to those nomadically displaced to home or elsewhere, when they do need to return for face-to-face activities or a simple corporate re-charge.”
“Businesses are quite obviously looking at ways to reduce expenditure on office space. But compressing occupant densities and/or dispersing teams with remote or flexible working strategies bring with it new challenges in terms of infrastructure and workspace design” says Tim Oldman, Managing Director at Leesman.
“At Leesman, we have seen whilst most employees accept the trend for the loss of their solo office, or the increase in occupant densities, they expect a range of other spaces that they can seek out to support their varying work. Therefore it is patently no longer acceptable to throw in some unallocated desks to a plan and refer to them as the ‘hot’ or ‘hotelling’ desks and think your dispersed teams will be catered for.”