New Metrics Define Office Success in Hybrid Work World

CRE increasingly looks to workplace performance metrics over occupancy metrics.

The shift to hybrid work is changing the underlying metrics companies are using to predict how much space they need, address costs and improve the workplace experience. Rather than focusing on how many people an office can accommodate, CRE leaders instead want to understand how employees feel when they are there.

Ninety percent of organizations surveyed for CBRE's annual Workplace & Occupancy Report said they have implemented a hybrid work program, up from 83% in 2021 and 43% in 2015. This shift has put an emphasis on metrics like sharing ratios as organizations seek to optimize their portfolios to address low space utilization. Nearly half of enterprises said they are comfortable with a sharing ratio of 1.5:1, up from 32% in 2021.

For the first time, occupancy metrics based on square footage per person and seat are not among the top five metrics that matter most to CRE leaders, said CBRE. While utilization remains important, planning metrics have shifted toward workplace performance measurements such as employee sentiment and attendance.

Utilization data ranked at the top of the list of occupancy metrics that mattered most to CRE leaders, followed by occupancy and vacancy rates, show-up rate, employee sentiment, target sharing ratio, people per seat, square footage per person, square footage per seat, cost per seat and reservation rate.

To understand space occupancy and effectiveness, many organizations use occupancy sensors, surveys and benchmarking tools to monitor employee engagement and competitiveness of their space. Combining this information with predictive analytics provides actionable data for CRE teams, said CBRE.

Artificial intelligence is emerging as a tool that may help CRE teams understand future space needs by analyzing time-sensitive activities within a building, such as cross-functional team meetings or events. CBRE said AI promises to unlock predictive and descriptive data that will help corporate CRE teams improve data quality, generate insights and recommend actions tailored for specific buildings, workspaces or end users. This includes delivering a positive guest experience by evaluating past interactions; forecasting expected space demand throughout the day using occupancy utilization data, event planning and booking schedules, visitor data and other data sources to ensure team members are tasked and stationed in the right place at the right time; and maintaining occupant satisfaction with timely intervention and recommendations during potential building and service status changes, such as meeting space schedules, catering deliveries and janitorial services.

Source: GlobeSt/ALM