CFO Perspective: Mastering Workspace Efficiency KPIs

In an era where workspace flexibility and efficiency are paramount, the right occupancy metrics are crucial for understanding and optimizing workspace usage.

With office space typically representing the second-largest expense within a company’s operating expenses after employee salaries, effective management of this asset is essential. Leveraging data from industry leaders like CBRE, we explore the most effective Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for measuring occupancy that not only enhance operational efficiency but also improve the overall employee experience.

  1. Utilization Rate

The utilization rate, which measures how space is actually used versus its capacity, is a critical metric. According to CBRE’s 2023 Global Occupier Sentiment Survey, average global office space utilization stands at approximately 35%, a significant decrease from pre-pandemic levels. This metric is vital for identifying underutilized spaces that can be downsized to cut costs and improve efficiency.

  1. Occupancy/Vacancy Rates of specific spaces and space types

Monitoring occupancy and vacancy rates offers valuable insights into the effective utilization of the workspace. This is particularly crucial in hybrid work models, as it aids in customizing office layout and functionality to meet today’s fluctuating needs. The key performance indicator (KPI) for this metric is calculated by dividing the total number of unassigned seats by the capacity of assignable seats. Currently, the average vacancy rates in both EMEA and America range from 25% to 30%. However, the aim is to reduce these rates to no more than 15%, ensuring optimal workspace efficiency.

  1. Peak Occupancy

Peak occupancy metrics inform resource and amenity planning by pinpointing the most intensive use periods. Understanding peak occupancy times, which often reach 60-70% of total capacity during core business hours according to CBRE’s 2024 Hybrid Work Models Report, helps in planning for peak energy usage, staffing needs, and amenities. In most cases, this KPI determines the limits of the floor reduction potential.

  1. Cost per Occupied Space

This financial KPI assesses how cost-effectively are utilized spaces. By analyzing costs associated with actively used areas, managers can pinpoint cost-saving opportunities or potential areas for investment. Unfortunately, there is not enough updated research that can allow us to determine the world average for this important KPI, and it can range significantly based on usage.

  1. Energy Consumption Per Occupied Area

Energy management in relation to occupancy is crucial for sustainability and cost control. While specific savings can vary, reducing energy usage in low occupancy periods or adjusting energy settings based on real-time data helps in achieving more sustainable operations. CBRE reports that typical reductions in energy usage from such practices can range from 10-30%, depending on the building’s initial efficiency levels and the implementation of smart systems.

  1. Additional Common KPIs

Although numerous KPIs are available for measuring occupancy, there are a select few that are more commonly utilized, such as People Density KPIs. These include metrics like Square Feet (SF) per seat, which typically falls between 150-277 SF according to the CBRE survey, or SF per Person 137-393 SF. Another commonly used metric is the Sharing Ratio, which calculates the number of employees to the number of capacity seats over time. This ratio varies, ranging from 0.7 in America to 1.09 in the Asia Pacific region.

Importance of Sensor Data in Occupancy Measurement

The integration of deep real-time data from occupancy sensors is essential for accurately capturing these KPIs. Sensors provide an unfiltered, continuous stream of data, reflecting actual usage that complement other data sources like booking systems and access control . This layer of real-time, actionable data enhances decision-making and resource allocation, making it an indispensable tool for CFOs.


Navigating modern workspace management scenarios requires more than just a commitment to efficiency—it demands a resilient and flexibleapproach. In this era of uncertainty, where high interest rates, shifting work models, and technological advancements redefine our work environments, the role of the office workspace and its’eficiency KPIs becomes ever more crucial. Achieving and monitoring these KPIs, underpinned by real-time data from an advanced sensor systems like those offered by PointGrab, are not merely operational metrics; they are essential tools for future-proofing our workspaces.