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Companies should take a wider view of office space as London pushed off top ten list for property investment

Companies gain from combining occupancy surveys with workplace tech to understand their offices.


London has been pushed off the list of top ten European cities ranked by property investment prospects, highlighting the increasingly perilous risks to businesses expanding their office space in London. This comes hard on the heels of the report last week naming London as the most expensive European city – and the second most expensive in the world – in which to build. In this market, businesses must properly analyse the usage of their current workplace before unnecessarily rushing into costly new premises, Condeco Software warns.

Vacancy rates in London are dropping as demand surges, with the vacancy rate in the West End falling to a 26-year low. However, Condeco Software, workplace technology experts, have found that companies are, on average, only utilising 39 per cent of their office space – meaning that some firms may be making the decision to move to bigger premises when in fact they aren’t making the most of their existing real estate.

Paul Statham, CEO and Founder of Condeco Software, comments: “Manual walk-through studies and qualitative research methods such as occupancy surveys are one of the ways in which businesses currently analyse how space is being used. On their own, these surveys are effective, but it is increasingly possible to support this single data set and gain multiple angles on the same issue. Workplace technology, such as sensors, provides a harder set of data which can help companies to gain a fuller picture of their office utilisation.”

Condeco have been working in collaboration with Future of Work specialists Unwork in order to provide this complete picture. Condeco’s sensor technology, Sense, provides accurate real-time occupancy data. When amalgamated with the traditional method of occupancy surveys, these combined qualitative and quantitative measurements enable businesses to make informed decisions about their office space.

Steve Jarvis, Commercial Director at Unwork, comments: “The key thing is having evidence based analysis of workspaces in order to inform workplace strategies. The issue can be quite emotive for employees and we have found that it is important to back up people’s perceptions of how they work and how their office space is being used with some hard statistics and solid utilisation information. It is good to have a range of options available in order to return different kinds of data.”

Paul adds: “Companies who utilise the expertise of the surveyors along with the technology at their disposal can begin to produce effective strategies based on up-to-date data, and pinpoint what needs tweaking, in order to yield cost-effective results. This is essentially the future of workspace management and companies need to hop on board or risk not reaping in the benefits. Not only does it make for better efficiency in the office but allows companies to arrange their space to make collaboration easier, thus boosting productivity.