The Economics of Integrated Desk Management Systems
Updated: Feb 28
In today's dynamic work environment, facilities managers and health and safety managers in multinational companies face new and unique challenges in managing their office space. With the rise of remote and flexible working practices, the traditional 9-to-5 office environment is no longer the norm. As a result, facilities managers are under increased pressure to find ways to make their office spaces more efficient and cost-effective.
A Desk Management System is a combination of a desk booking system, which allows employees to reserve a desk in advance, ensuring that they have a guaranteed workstation when they arrive in the office, and integrated smart desk sensors that provide seamless check in and out to reservations and monitor the utilisation of all desks (not just hot desks).
Benefits and Opportunities
One of the most significant benefits of desk booking systems is cost savings. By using occupancy sensors and analytics, facilities and office managers can see exactly how much space is being used and make informed decisions about how to allocate resources.
This leads to two significant cost-saving opportunities:
1. The first cost-saving opportunity is the cost avoidance of having to establish more desks. With desk booking systems, employees can reserve a desk in advance, reducing the need for additional desks to accommodate increased demand. This is particularly important in the context of hot desking or desk sharing, where the desk-to-person ratio can be significantly increased, reducing the number of desks required. By maximising the use of existing office space and avoiding the cost of establishing new desks, facilities managers can make significant cost savings.
2. The second cost-saving opportunity is the ongoing cost saving from not having to pay rent/rates, utilities, cleaning, etc. for unused desk space. With traditional office space, there is always a certain amount of unused desk space, which means that facilities managers are paying for space that is not being used. With desk booking systems, occupancy sensors and analytics, facilities managers can see exactly how much space is being used and adjust their office space accordingly.
A Worked Example:
Let's say we want to fit out a new office for 100 employees.
Typically in Ireland, we would allow 100 square feet per workstation, and in terms of capital investment, a rule of thumb for a full fit out might be €200 per square foot. That’s 10,000 sq. ft. x €200 = €2m for the fit out. In terms of annual recurring costs in Ireland, we would expect to allow at least €20 per square foot for rent and utilities; for 10,000 sq. ft., that’s another €200k annually!
These types of numbers certainly beg the question - do we actually need an additional 100 desks?
A common refrain from our clients is “I see empty desks all around me, every day, so how can we need more desks?”.
The truth is, it is incredibly difficult to determine if desks are being utilised efficiently by eye.
Only desk utilisation data can tell you with certainty whether or not your assets are sweating.
For the same 100 desks, an integrated desk management (booking and monitoring) system can cost from €20,000 to establish, with a recurring cost of €20,000 annually.
It's evident that businesses can save a considerable amount of money by implementing a cost avoidance strategy and gaining a precise understanding of how their workspaces are utilised, rather than spending €2m on new workstations.
....For an investment starting at €20k on an integrated desk management system, which represents only 1% of the cost of setting up new desks, companies can address workplace congestion and efficiently manage hybrid office arrangements with a smart, flexible and scalable solution.
SiteIQ is a pioneering Irish systems integrator and managed service provider. We have been deploying smart building technology with multinational clients in Ireland (like Lilly, MSD, Gilead, Depuy Synthes, Janssen, etc) since 2017. Our tech is GDPR-compliant.
Please let us know if you have any questions or want to discuss how our tech can support your organisation. We'd be happy to help you!
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