How to Calculate Office Space & Meeting Room Optimisation

Office space is one of the biggest and most important investments that a company can make. But as working patterns change and businesses adapt to meet new challenges, office space can also be one of the most difficult investments to manage. 

A new study has concluded that big businesses in the UK waste £10 billion a year on wasted office space. In addition, the cost of real estate spaces in London is the highest in Europe. Therefore, fully utilizing this expensive commodity is vital for running an economical company.

What is space utilization?

Space utilization refers to how often space is being used, the number of people using it, and how it’s used. This is important for facility managers undertaking office space analysis to understand how efficiently their workplace is being used. 

The 3-30-300 rule of thumb gives a useful example as to why space utilization is so important. This rule gives a rough breakdown of what an average company pays per square foot of office space.

Using a space calculator to calculate capacity utilization is your workplace’s occupancy divided by its capacity. For example, if you have a full capacity of 300 employees but only have 200 people working, then your space utilization is 67%. This could mean your potential output is higher than it needs to be. 

However, this capacity utilization calculation isn’t enough. There are other space utilization metrics you have to consider to paint an accurate picture.

Calculating office space optimization 

Collecting office space occupancy and utilization data allows office managers to better conduct effective space management. By calculating optimization, you gain insight into a number of factors including whether there are enough conference room spaces, what the workspace occupancy is, and whether the office is nearing full capacity. 

Usage

It’s unrealistic to think that meeting space could be fully booked for every hour of each working day, representing 100% utilization. A company should aim to reach 75% meeting space utilization, allowing room for last-minute bookings.

Meeting space usage is calculated by dividing the total number of reserved conference room hours by the total number of available hours within the working week. 

Office space usage = reserved meeting room hours / potential working hours in a week 

Tracking how utilization changes over a period when compared to a target utilization rate of 75% is very useful. It enables you to predict how office size needs to respond to growing or shrinking personnel numbers, or an upcoming office move.

Occupancy 

A room seating capacity calculator measures the entire square footage of office space, before dividing it by 125-250. This figure represents the optimum amount of space for each employee. The number you’re left with is the total number of employees you can fit into your workplace. 

Another key metric is analysing how much available unused square footage there is in your office. The room occupancy calculation takes unoccupied square footage and divides it by occupied square footage. You would then multiply by 100 to achieve a percentage.

As an example, office space with 150 square feet occupied against 50 square foot unoccupied would have an occupancy rate of 66.6%. 

Density

Density provides a slightly more precise room capacity calculation than occupancy calculations. You would take the number of employees you have in the office and multiply them by 125-250 square feet per employee. The result shows how space is suitably occupied. 

It’s vital to look at when the office is busiest to determine whether it’s fit for purpose. This helps to ascertain whether your workplace is reaching breaking point or is merely experiencing bottlenecks at certain times. 

A capacity utilization rate formula can be calculated by taking the utilization data and breaking it down by hours of the week. This should highlight when your workplace is Piccadilly Circus, and when it’s practically empty.  

Fit 

Another aspect of space optimization is ensuring that spaces and events are well matched. Are employees tailoring their choice of conference room to the type of meeting they are hosting? If they are simply choosing any room that’s available, your workplace is not being used efficiently.

You can calculate meeting fit by comparing the room seating capacity with the number of invitees who attended the meeting. A meeting room calculator helps you understand how the spaces you currently have are being utilized. It also shows you whether you have the correct combination of meeting spaces.

RELATED: Complete guide to moving office (with a printable checklist!) 

Optimize your office space

Office and meeting space utilizations are a vital tool in ensuring your business is as efficient as possible. But having a physical office is only one way of housing your employees. Why not explore what you could achieve with a virtual office? With flexible workspace memberships, we can help you get the most from your money in an office setup that works for your business.

Rovva can help you succeed in
the virtual world

Your complete business toolkit

Rovva puts everything you need for your business in one place. From an accountancy helpline to a drop-in business lounge - we've got everything covered.

Your complete business toolkit

Rovva puts everything you need for your business in one place. From an accountancy helpline to a drop-in business lounge - we've got everything covered.