Case Study

One financial institution had been struggling with complaints from its employees all across campus, specifically with the need for more collaboration space. The real-estate and facilities groups were constantly hearing that no conference rooms were available when needed. By observing current meeting spaces carefully, however, the company discovered that the total percentage of space dedicated to collaborative space was not that far off. Rather, the floors had the wrong mix of “scheduled and unscheduled” spaces, and conference spaces were the wrong sizes. The average size of collaborative areas was seven people, whereas the size of a typical meeting was only three people. In general, they needed more, smaller, impromptu meeting spaces to do their work.

An overview of the financial institution’s collaborative area density.

Typical Floor Measure

Total Floor Area (sq. ft.) 39,096
Collaboration Area % of Total Area 17%
Total Collaboration Area (sq. ft.) 6,373
Total Conference Room Seats 257
Average Meeting Room Capacity (people) 7.14
Actual Meeting Size 2.78
Collaboration Room Size per Person (sq. ft.) 24.8
Ratio Collaboration Seat per Person 1:1.11

To help planners avoid these and other pitfalls, and to provide the best solutions, here is a simple checklist for asking the right questions and right-sizing collaborative space. Considerations fall into three categories: