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Assessing the Performance of Office Space –The New Metrics

Assessing the Performance of Office Space –The New Metrics
05 November 2020

As companies look to reassess their corporate real estate amid the rise in remote working, are the old metrics used to measure how well workplaces perform still fit for purpose?

A research report from JLL suggests that new metrics are needed to answer key questions such as, whether the workplace design or location helps attract and retain top talent and whether the work environment aids innovation or productivity.


“An accelerated effort is required to move beyond the status quo and ensure a broader and deeper understanding of how the real estate function contributes and adds value to the organisation.” 

–Neil Murray

Global Chief Executive Officer, JLL


What’s Wrong With the old Metrics?


Historically, corporate real estate (CRE) managers and FMs have tended to measure performance from an operational efficiency perspective – factors such as operating and maintenance costs and cost per square foot.  

The vast majority (72 per cent) of real estate teams use financial metrics such as total occupancy costs, and JLL argues that when taken alone these encourage too much of a focus on cost savings at the sacrifice of other important goals.

Increasingly FMs are charged with demonstrating value to the enterprise in ways other than by saving money. As the report states: “Although financial objectives remain prominent, these must now be balanced with other, more strategic goals and value-add activities which cannot be captured by traditional metrics alone. “

They also face pressure to demonstrate CRE’s impact on a range of enterprise-wide objectives including achieving higher degrees of innovation, flexibility and agility and contributing to talent attraction and retention agendas.

This shift, together with powerful performance insights made possible with new data and analytics is prompting a radical rethink of metrics. Identifying measures that clearly show the added value CRE creates for the enterprise and how it contributes to the overall business has become crucial.

JLL proposes a new framework for selecting and calculating new metrics that matter, drawing on the experience of more than 100 CRE professionals in over 60 organisations. 


Wellbeing and HR


Contributing to HR and talent agendas is one area where current metrics fall short despite this being a key priority for CRE teams. 

Although almost half (49 per cent) of firms track human resource metrics such as absenteeism, few deploy broader employee-orientated metrics such as workforce wellbeing (26 per cent) or employee fulfilment (36 per cent). Nor do they gather meaningful insights on how workplace decisions impact the workforce. 


What Metrics Matter for Facilities Managers?


JLL’s framework is divided into three sections: business excellence, human experience and futureproofing:


Business Excellence


These are traditionally-inspired metrics, focusing on cost and space efficiency, capital expenditure or financial performance:


  • Total occupancy cost 
  • Space utilization and under-utilisation 
  • Capacity to plan/ forecast capital requirements
  • Extent of digitisation & automation within CRE 
  • Money saved by CRE cost-saving strategies
  • Cost-efficiency of FM
  • Workplace density


Human Experience


These consists of employee-orientated metrics, focusing on the impact of a range of workplace factors on the workforce and on the human experience:


  • Satisfaction with work environment 
  • Diversity of workspaces
  • Level of indoor comfort
  • Staff encounters and interactions 
  • Empowerment through workplace technology 
  • Employee health and wellness amenities
  • Degree of virtual collaboration




This section focuses on transformation-orientated metrics, gauging CRE’s ability to meet the business need for innovation, change and digital integration:


  • Portfolio agility and flexibility
  • CRE’s willingness to innovate
  • The building’s internet connectivity
  • Smart FM systems or services
  • Predictive and analytical prowess within CRE
  • Affinity for co-working


You can download the full “Metrics that Matter” report here

Picture: a photograph of a view of a desk, with a person writing in a notebook. A paper containing graphs and a laptop can also be seen

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 05 November 2020


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