Informing government decision makers through research & industry insights.

How To Make the Most of Underused Space

60% of workstations today are empty, along with 77% of private offices and 50% of conference room seats, said Margaret Serrato, Senior Workplace Strategist at Herman Miller, Inc., at Tuesday’s Excellence in Government event. Yet, as she quickly explained, employees tend to overestimate the time spent in these locations.

In “Using Technology-Driven Utilization to Optimize Space,” Serrato gave the federal audience some advice on how to build a business case to find more space. First, she offered, it’s imperative to decide which question you’re trying to answer: How much headcount can my space support? or How much space does headcount require? Each question requires a different approach backed by space utilization data.

For those trying to fit headcount into a fixed space, agencies can consider adopting one of three scenarios: high mobile, high flex, or split flex.

1. High mobile (for organizations that contain highly mobile employees) - Mobile workers will not be assigned a assigned workstation, but space will be provided for them to sit in conference rooms or other shared spaces, should they be in the office. Flexible people (those there certain days of the week) and residents (those there every day) are assigned workstations that fit their needs.

2. High flex (for organizations with many flexible workers) - Flexible workers will be assigned to workstations for a specified period, while residents receive assigned seats commensurate with their tasks.

3. Split flex (for organizations that have flexible workers of varying workweeks) - Highly flexible people are assigned to flexible workstations, but flexible people who are in the office less get unassigned workstations. As always, residents receive assigned workstations.

For those lucky few that are dealing with the second question (How much space does headcount require?), workstation sharing ratios will be the key determiner.

-Zoe Grotophorst, Manager, Research & Strategic Insights

For more from 2014 Excellence in Government, check out GBC’s EIG2014 recap series.

Image credit: mrdorkesq


This post is written by Government Business Council; it is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Government Executive Media Group's editorial staff. For more information, see our advertising guidelines.


Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.