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Companies rent 2.5 million m² too much office space

A substanstial part of the rented offices in the Netherlands are vacant. Even with peak periods, on average, one of the three workplaces is not used by an employee. As a result, companies rent too much office space with a total of 2.5 million sq m. Although this is a bad thing from an economic perspective, it is even more so from a social and sustainability perspective. This is evident from the office market report of real estate consultant Colliers International.

No optimal use of the office
Many companies mainly look at the number of full-time employees to determine how large an office should be. This gives a distorted picture, because part of it is not always present. During the busiest period of the week, an average of 68% of workplaces are occupied. Nationally, this leads to almost 2.5 million square meters of surplus office space. No other means of production of an organization can be profitable with such a low capacity utilization.

Harold Coenders, Director Occupier Services at Colliers says: “Companies can no longer afford to continue like this. If we compare the occupancy rate with that of aircraft, these are shocking figures. Time for a different approach."

Optimization helps sustainability
To increase the occupancy rate and to get better use office space, new forms of flexibility are needed. An option is to rent office space based on peak attendance and to open parts of the office to self-employed persons, customers or social institutions during off-peak hours. This is how companies create their own flex office.

A more radical alternative is to let employees work in shifts. Simply entering a schedule for continuous occupation provides a direct solution. In addition to the distribution of the workload at the office, the useful life of offices is extended. This approach also helps to reduce the pressure on the road and rail during rush hour.

No structural vacancy
Less demand for office space can lead to a short-term rising vacancy rate. In the large cities where most of this vacancy will arise, the battle for space is so great that alternative realization by living space, hotel or logistics hotspot can be realized fairly quickly. This optimization process does not lead to a structurally higher office vacancy rate.

By disposing of surplus office space, companies can make a major contribution to the reduction of CO2 emissions. More companies fit into one office building, the half-empty office no longer needs heating or cooling and ultimately fewer new offices are needed.