Government efficiency standards on workspace February 25, 2009

It may have escaped many Public Sector employees attention last year but
in March of 2008, the government, specifi cally through the OGC (Office of
Government Commerce) announced new efficiency standards regarding
the amount of space or square meterage that it is recommending for
government departments.

The new standard is 10sqm for all new builds and 10-12 for refurbished
properties. This may sound a large area for an individual, but bear in mind
that this area includes all common working areas like break out space and
canteens; it in fact becomes quite onerous in the practical real world.
In fact most existing office environments, public sector or not, typically use
today between 15 and 20sqm per employee, so the shift is a big task for
most offi ce managers.

The logic of course is simple, OGC reckon that by reducing the space
occupied by their staff to these levels, they can save up to £1.25bn a year,
yes that’s right Billion, not million. With offi ce space in prime locations
costing up to £900 per sqm per year, I guess these numbers make sense.

The argument extends outside the public sector of course; average office
space costs around £500 per square metre per year before rates, one
square meter saved can have an impact on any businesses bottom line.

The challenge of course is how to achieve these space savings. Better
offi ce design, smaller desk space to refl ect the shrinking computer even
new benching systems to consolidate employees environments are great
mechanisms. Moving sole office occupiers out into the main areas also can
free up good areas of space.

Once of the best methodologies which help to avoid the staff feeling like
sardines in a can is to optimise offi ce storage. The introduction of a simple
high density storage system can reduce the square meterage required
for storage by 70% against conventional storage. In the battle to achieve
10sqm per employees this can have a dramatic impact.

Rackline who have a framework agreement with OGC buying solutions offer
a free service to all public sector organisations that are looking to optimise
space. We will visit your site, perform an audit and make recommendations
as to how your organisation can meet the government efficiency standards.

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