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Wasting money on excess office space?

The Building Code of Australia requires a minimum of 10 sqm per person based on the total floor area, divided by the number of employees.

In a benchmark report[i] released by Grosvenor (and showing adherence by State in the following graph), the country as a whole is well below advised utilisation levels, demonstrating inefficiency as a national issue in regard to office space utilisation. 

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* Workpoint refers to an office as a workstation or similar work environment that is designed to be used in a permanent or semi-permanent fashion

Are you using your space as efficiently as possible?

Average office square footage across Australia decreased from 35% to as much as 75% in 2012 and was projected to decrease by another 15% in 2017.[ii]  According to Richard Kadzis, CoreNet's Vice President of Strategic Communications, the reasoning behind this overall decrease is a collective response to a poor economy, enacted through opting for "smaller but smarter" spaces which favour a collaborative and team-oriented approach.[iii]

Reinforced by the lingering effect of 2008’s GFC, the mandate to all is to achieve more with less, essentially stimulating production whilst restricting formerly bloated overheads.

Leading the way are workplace innovators like Commbank and Medibank who have readily pioneered applauded global strategies in Australia and now boast the enviable cocktail of increased workplace productivity alongside reduced real estate costs and associated expenses.

What did these companies discover and implement to gain such magnificent results?

Enter, Activity-Based Working (ABW)

Activity Based Working is very much a self-descriptive philosophy.  Whilst workers may have smaller spaces, their environments are tailored to specifically supports individual activities.

An ideal ABW office would be composed of complimentary zones, including quiet zones for focused work along with both casual and formal meeting zones, the latter equipped with the technology to facilitate remote employees.  There would also be Team Zones, designed for collaboration, and throughout the entire space, areas designed to facilitate the multitude of conflicting tasks workers will confront during their days. 

The rising advent of Activity Based Working forces us to ask the following vital questions if we are to partake of the demonstrated benefits:

  1. What is the trajectory of my business? Are we expanding, shrinking or stagnating?
  2. What is the demographic of my staff? How does that makeup impact on our office environment?
  3. What technology do we requirement to remain viable? What about in 3, 5, 10 years’ time?
  4. Where should our data centre be located? Offsite or in a co-location facility?
  5. Is there the likelihood or potential of restructuring?  (Whether through acquisition or merging with other firms).
  6. What are our brand values? Are they being communicated effectively?
  7. What is our vision?  Is it compatible within the current and future marketplace?
  8. What do I want my workplace to look like? Can I better facilitate the unique needs of my workplace?
  9. Can we improve the tactile settings through targeted measures such as non-assigned seating or alternative desking options?
  10. What impact do I think the new work environment will have on clients and staff?

Get your business thinking about workplace strategies to boost efficiency and stay ahead of the curve.

Need help assessing your business and its potential? 

ABW Australia can help. Speak with us today.


[i] http://apo.org.au/files/Resource/bcm077_gro_whitepaper_a4_fa3.pdf

[ii] http://www.payscale.com/career-news/2014/02/the-incredible-shrinking-office-space-infographic

[iii] http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/money/workplace/story/2012-06-05/tech-creates-workplace-everywhere/55405518/1

Other Sources:

http://apo.org.au/files/Resource/bcm077_gro_whitepaper_a4_fa3.pdf

https://www.grosvenor.com.au/resources/workplace-density-is-the-size-of-your-office-impacting-profitability

http://www.ccim.com/cire-magazine/articles/10-trends-office-design/

http://support.google.com/plus/?p=link_page_to_website&hl=en-GB&authuser=0