World-leading business event organiser UBM needed to find new London offices for their 550 staff. They wanted a little flexibility for growth, however, with London property prices being among the highest in the world, they didn’t want to waste money on space they weren’t going to use.
They came to SmartSpace Software to find out exactly how their old office was being used, so they could use this information when sourcing and setting up their new premises.
To understand how their staff behaved, the desks and meeting rooms they used, we carried out a comprehensive time utilisation study. The analysis showed that desk occupancy was as low as 50% – accounting for a huge amount of office space being paid for that wasn’t being used. Armed with our desk and meeting room analysis and predictive model we ensured UBM chose the best new home for their London team.
Using SmartSpace OS, our powerful office management system, we helped UBM maximise their desk and meeting spaces utilisation.
Rather than employees having a single, exclusive desk – which was vacant much of the time – staff can visit the touch screen kiosk when they arrive and choose a free desk. SmartSpace’s single profile record understands the staff and their roles, automatically grouping departments together in the relevant area of the office. Plus, SmartSpace OS helps staff find their colleagues, give real time information of desk occupancy and generates energy savings by cutting the power to desks that aren’t being used.
To prove SmartSpace OS could deliver the efficiencies promised and the impact on staff, we ran a pilot project on 20 desks over six months. The trial included integrating into their existing access control systems – so when they swiped in, we could tell which desks were being used.
The trial was so successful and well received by the staff that UBM decided on a full deployment of SmartSpace OS in their new building.
The roll out
With average desk space in London costing £15k per year, the capital savings added up to around £3m. Plus with average fit out costs in London at £70 per sq. ft. there are further potential saving of £1.5m.
By allowing staff to work more flexibly, the need for supported desk moves was reduced to near zero. Plus the reduction in desks allowed for more meeting rooms (which were in high demand) and nimble working spaces, whilst eliminating unoccupied space.
The system was so effective, that once UBM were in their new offices, they discovered they could save even more space. They emptied a whole floor of their new building and sub-leased it – generating an income of around £1.5m per year over the 25-year lease.