In an article for workdesign.com, publisher Bob Fox examines the changing nature of workspaces and how this effects our measures of efficiency in those spaces. Fox argues that square feet per person, the long-standing measure of workspace efficiency, is no longer the most relevant factor when considering modern work environments. “Today, SF/person is a measure that has lost much of its value and doesn’t really give us a clear picture of what we need to know, which is how well the workplace is performing,” Fox writes. Flexible spaces, communal work areas, non-traditional work hours and remote commuting are just some of the factors that affect our measures of space optimization.
Think of a company that has employees who work remotely 50% of the time. The same company has collaborative meeting spaces, teleconferencing capabilities and easily customizable seats. Is the best way to determine if this company is using their space efficiently to take their total square footage and divide by the number of employees? Probably not.