BIFM South region CPD event - Is workplace utilisation a waste of space?

BIFM South region CPD event - Is workplace utilisation a waste of space?

30-01-15 16:14 BIFM

Over 50 members signed up for the BIFM South Region January event to learn about the latest techniques in managing occupancy and workspace and how it will save millions of pounds when West Sussex County Council (WSCC) replaces some of their aging office portfolio.

Mike O’Horan, Corporate Facilities Manager explained that traditionally WSCC had too much space and it was not used efficiently. After introduction of an innovative programme called ‘The way we work’ encompassing improvements in technology, change management training, record management and a focus on space management, improvements were achieved. Flexible working technology was vital and allowed an ability to work from any location, including Wi-Fi in libraries and children’s centres.

Gaining an accurate picture on space utilisation was also key to achieving reductions in the estate. The use of electronic sensors to gain data proved the most effective way and overcome union objections as the data captured was not people specific but recorded time spent at workspace. The data demonstrated workspaces were only being used 50% and that significant saving might be made in space, technology and lower running cost.

Neil Steele from Cad-Capture explained how they had supported WSCC with their technology saying that with traditional manual ‘flat cap and clipboard’ walk-around surveys were no longer fit for purpose, due to their inaccuracy and reliance on physical manpower, and existing software ‘log-on’ based monitoring tools having already proven fallible….a new approach was required. Cad-Capture provided a passive space utilisation sensor device that can be portably mounted to monitor individual desks and/or rooms to track accurate space utilisation patterns.

The third presentation of the evening was given by Alan Rose from CAD Management, and reinforced the need to capture irrefutable data and agreed that whether you use ceiling sensors, passive electronic sensors or telephony log-on systems, reducing space saves money. He related saving to the cost of house and showed benchmarking that the cost of one work space in London could be equivalent to the annual cost of an employee’s mortgage or rent (circa £14500/annum). He followed this up with statistic that proved London offices workplaces were only occupied 60% of the time. The cost of heating these empty spaces is the same as heating every house in Stevenage! All speakers agreed that managing space and changing employee’s attitudes drives significant saving and are well worth doing.

BIFM South committee would like to acknowledge West Sussex County Council for hosting the event and providing refreshments. All presentations are available here.

Before the event, the regional AGM took place and the existing committee was re-elected with the addition of Alison Longdin (Hays) and Hilary Gulliver (Specsavers).

For further details please contact Ian Fielder at

BIFM South Region is supported by Hays Southampton and

Related topics