It won’t shock you to know that U.S. office absorption has plummeted during the COVID-19 pandemic, but recent data from Colliers International suggests a trend that may be permanent.
In Q4 2020, national office absorption totaled negative 40.9 million square feet. That is the second-lowest total ever recorded. Major metro areas lead the loss, with New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco totalling over 20 million unoccupied square feet. Colliers suggests this trend will continue into the first half of 2021 as vaccine rollouts and pandemic countermeasures take hold.
We think there will never be a return to standard office use, but we think office absorption will increase because of the rise of flexible workspace. Although Colliers says that, as of January 2021, there is no appreciable reduction in asking rates, there is widening gap between asking and effective rents. This white space in CRE is where Upflex provides value to our clients and providers.
In this article we’ll show you how the data we collect and monitor through the Upflex app can be used to make more informed decisions about your flex space strategy.
From testing a flexible workspace plan, to growing your flex space portfolio, with a tech partner like Upflex in your corner, it’s easy to turn data into actionable insights.
Upflex Makes Consumption Data Easy
Transitioning into a flexible office space can be easier if you’re using consumption data to make decisions about the move. This article will help you to start using consumption data to ease your growth into a flexible workspace.
Upflex offers fair pricing for flexible office space because our pricing model is based on paying just for what you need. With flex space, of course your workforce is never all in the same place at once, so why pay for space you don’t need?
While we track how our spaces are used, that data is also visible to our members – empowering you to forecast demand, utilization, and occupancy planning as it relates to flex space. Managing this without a technology partner is possible, but due to the nature of flex space, it will be imperfect at best. Upflex gathers and monitors this data through our app, aggregates it across your organization, and makes it easy to access – simple and efficient.
Most of our clients use consumption data from the first three to six months to forecast their work space needs. That’s typically enough time to learn the critical info about your workforce. Starting with a desk membership or private office membership is a great way to initially monitor consumption. As you learn more about how your organization is using flex space, you can consider different plans.
Here is how you can use this data:
- Forecast future space needs to align with your organization’s growth plan.
- Understand which location amenities are important to your workforce.
- Map your flex space’s impact on your workforce and community.
Most importantly, consumption data lets you know when you should change up your flex space plan by adding new seats to the plan, adding new locations to your portfolio, or by finding specific amenities or office space.
What Flex Space Data Should You Track
What flex space data should you monitor? It really depends on what your goals are. Startups and smaller organizations use this data to primarily know how their spaces are being used – and if they should change their membership plans to optimize real estate spend.
For larger enterprise organizations, Upflex’s data can help make more complex decisions about staffing, talent acquisition, regulatory compliance, and demand forecasting. No matter the size of the company, everyone wants to save money and ensure employee happiness.
Here’s the data you should monitor.
Consumption. How are your employees using the space you’re paying for? Are they coming to the office on certain days more than others? Are they using private desks to do focused work, or primarily using the space for team meetings? What type of space are they using and why? This is the data that will directly impact your forecasts about office use and how to manage your membership.
Employee demographics. Layering demographic data into flex space data paints a complete picture of how your teams use their workspace. If you have a workforce centered in a few specific suburbs, consider adding nearby spaces to your portfolio. Upflex data can show you how often those spaces are being used, and by which employees. Your HR department may be interested in knowing whether certain roles are attracted to certain types of spaces, or if they perhaps prefer to work from home.
Employee happiness. Upflex can’t directly measure happiness, of course, but we can give our users a good idea of which amenities employees like. Combined with employee surveys, you can learn what amenities your workforce wants.
Using consumption data from Upflex, you can understand how to adjust your portfolio of flexible space. With our global network of offices, it’s easy to find the perfect mix of work space to keep your employees happy, motivated, and energized. When you start to layer this consumption data into other demographic data, you can easily connect real estate strategies to larger business objectives.
Upflex offers a single solution for flexible corporate real estate that provides instant access to thousands of desks, meeting rooms, and private offices in over 5,500+ locations in 75 countries, all while costing up to 40% less than traditional office offerings. We are committed to using a data-driven approach to reduce the cost of flexible workspace. We even notify our members when consumption data suggest a more affordable plan. Further, we create efficiencies for businesses to improve employee productivity while reducing their carbon footprint.