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Unlocking Potential: Optimizing Empty Office Spaces with Desk-Sharing Software

Gina Schumacher

The modern work landscape has undergone a profound transformation, notably accelerated by the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic. As we navigate the era of hybrid work, where remote and office-based work coalesce, it's essential to explore innovative solutions to prevent empty offices and maximize the utility of commercial spaces.

How has office attendance changed since the pandemic?

The pandemic has ushered in a new standard of working—hybrid work. According to the Münchner Ifo-Institut, this flexible model has become the norm, allowing employees to balance remote and office work effectively. Even before the pandemic, achieving 100% office attendance was rare due to factors like holidays, sick days, and business trips. "Currently, 12.3% of all local workplaces are underutilized on an average day due to people working from home. Before the coronavirus pandemic in 2019, this figure was just 4.6%," says ifo expert Simon Krause. "The proportion of unused workstations in offices has therefore roughly tripled." Hybrid work acknowledges the need for flexibility, and the conventional idea of everyone in the office simultaneously is evolving.

Effects on the property market

The shift towards hybrid work has not only altered the way we work but has also reverberated in the property market. The demand for traditional office spaces has seen a paradigm shift. Companies are now reevaluating their spatial needs, with a growing emphasis on flexibility and cost-effectiveness. This evolution has implications for commercial real estate, influencing leasing trends and property values.

Space optimization with desk sharing

Enterprises are turning to innovative solutions to optimize office space utilization, and desk sharing has emerged as a game-changer. Desk sharing allows employees to use office space as needed, preventing the scenario of empty offices. Flexopus, as a cutting-edge desk-sharing tool, proves invaluable in this context. Here's why:

  • Dynamic allocation of workstations: Flexopus enables dynamic allocation of workstations based on actual occupancy requirements. With the Live Plan, employees always have an overview of the current occupancy of their office.
  • Resource efficiency: By sharing desks, companies can significantly reduce the need for surplus office space, resulting in considerable cost savings. Flexopus' Smart Analytics feature monitors the utilisation of the property to enable informed decisions on space optimisation.
  • Seamless integration: Flexopus integrates seamlessly into existing office infrastructures, enabling a smooth and efficient transition to desk sharing. For example, Flexopus can be integrated into MS Teams and MS Outlook.
  • User-friendly interface: Flexopus' user-friendly interface optimises the desk sharing experience for employees and management alike. No time-consuming onboarding is required - you can get started straight away.

Turning empty offices into living space

A good case of space optimisation is shown, because they turned empty office space into a cafeteria.

One innovative consequence of the desk-sharing trend is the potential transformation of empty offices into versatile living spaces. The reduced demand for large, dedicated office spaces allows for repurposing commercial real estate. Cities are already beginning to capitalize on this opportunity, converting underutilized office spaces into dynamic co-working hubs, community centers, or other essential facilities. 

  • Adaptive Reuse: Empty offices can be transformed to meet the evolving needs of the community, fostering a more dynamic and responsive urban environment.
  • Community Collaboration: Coworking spaces created from former offices encourage collaboration, networking, and the cross-pollination of ideas among diverse professionals.
  • Sustainable Urban Development: Converting vacant offices into multifunctional spaces aligns with sustainable urban development goals, promoting resource efficiency and reducing the carbon footprint associated with traditional office spaces.

Empty spaces can also be used to improve employee experience within the company, there are numerous examples of how these office spaces can be transformed. Creative and great solutions include: 

  • Dedicate the space to sport and well-being
  • Set up a kitchen or coffee corner
  • Areas for team-building activities (e.g. climbing wall or board games)
  • Open a learning and training centre, etc.
  • Sofa corner with smart TV and games console for relaxing

Conclusion

In navigating the evolving landscape of work, the optimization of office spaces through desk sharing emerges as a key strategy. Flexopus stands at the forefront of this movement, offering a powerful tool to streamline desk-sharing processes, reduce costs, and enhance workplace flexibility. As we witness the repurposing of empty offices into vibrant communal spaces, the potential for dynamic and sustainable urban development becomes clear. The future of work is dynamic, and by embracing innovative solutions, we can transform challenges into opportunities, ensuring that office spaces remain vibrant and purposeful in the years to come.

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Markus Merkle
Sales manager