Office Occupancy Falls

Office Occupancy Falls After UK Gov’t Tells Staff To Work From Home

UNITED KINGDOM – The occupancy level of office buildings across the country declined significantly after the authorities told employees to resume working from home (WFH), statistics from workplace technology provider Freespace show, reported Facilities Management Journal (FMJ) last week.

In fact, the average occupancy rate of UK office space plunged by 15 percentage points to 12 percent on 14 December 2021 compared to the prior Tuesday after the WFH directive came into effect on 13 December. The 12 percent occupancy level was also the lowest since March 2021.

Versus the average Tuesday office occupancy throughout November 2021 which reached 33 percent, the office occupancy declined sharply by 22 percentage points. This also marks 2 straight days of decline. On 13 December, occupancy fell by 10 percentage points compared to the previous Monday.

“Our data clearly shows that more workers have returned to working from home since the government’s announcement. However, the time of year must be taken into account as some of the workforce winds down for the holidays and uses this opportunity to spend time closer to their families,” said Freespace Chief Executive Raj Krishnamurthy.

“The workforce has already shown that it can adapt quickly to working from home. This lull in office occupancy gives business leaders and department heads another opportunity to revisit exactly what they need and want from their buildings.”

He explained that predictable office occupancy trends can help companies to lower costs. By limiting occupancy to designated levels during times of low occupancy, businesses can minimize elevator usage, slash heating and ventilation load, cut cleaning chemical demand, and boost worker productivity, while making significant contributions to the green agenda.

“As we enter 2022 and office doors hopefully reopen, organisations should reconfigure their floors to become flexible and dynamic,” Raj added.

Notably, Freespace has installed more than 120,000 workplace sensors in corporate offices across 130 cities in 80 countries across the globe.

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