The Agile Workplace Blog

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Flexible/Mobile/Alternative/Agile/New workplace strategies (pick your name) don't inherently reduce carbon footprint or energy consumption. To do this, one must match the physical infrastructure to the way it is used. Current vacancies (space not leased) in many real estate markets are estimated at 17%. This does not include "shadow space", estimated by real estate brokerages at 1 to 5%. Anyone that actually talks to real estate executives will know that shadow space could easily account for 20% of all rented/owned real estate in the US. That puts vacancy at closer to 35% to 40%. Add to this vacancy the fact that the ACTUAL occupancy of the space that IS allocated to individuals might reach 50% on any given day, one starts to comprehend the waste, unnecessary energy consumption and CO2 production represented by commercial office space in the US.

In a question posted by the LinkedIn group, Occupiers Journal: discussing performance with the Property Occupier, one member asks, "Which elements of Property & Workplace performance actually get reported, and discussed, at Executive Committee (or 'Group Board') level in corporations?"

Here is AgilQuest CEO John Vivadelli's response:

In a report released on April 5, 2010 by the real estate research firm Reis Inc., the U.S. office vacancy rate in the first quarter has reached its highest level in 16 years. The U.S. office vacancy rate rose to 17.2 percent, a level unseen since 1994, as the market lost about 11.6 million net square feet of occupied space during the first quarter.

Here is what AgilQuest CEO John Vivadelli had to say in response to this report:

President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisors just released the Work-Life Balance and the Economics of Workplace Flexibility , a timely look at the American workplace. Finally we have recognition from the highest office in the nation of the fundamental shift in the composition of our workforce and a dramatic shift in when, where and how people perform work.

The advancement of technology enables this societal changing truth: Work is an activity, not a place or a time.

Once we free ourselves from the old view of “going to work” and “nine to five” and replace these with just “work”, tremendous possibilities arise: Physically handicapped people aren’t forced to commute to an office, and can prove productivity dependent on their minds; a global talent pool becomes available, not just those within a 90 min commute; a mother can now work when it suits her family, not during some artificially prescribed “work day”; we start measuring results and stop measuring effort; we start becoming leaders of geographically distributed teams and stop managing by walking around.

Workplace Flexibility, and all this term stands for, provides a tremendously positive economic impact. The report mentions several important benefits, including reduced absenteeism, lowered turnover, improved worker health and increased productivity. I submit there are additional, measurable benefits based on another fundamental truth: Workplace Flexibility creates Office Vacancy. So much so that the average actual occupancy of office space between the hours of 8 am and 5 pm is 30% to 50%, resulting financial, energy and sustainability benefits:

  • 12.5 B sq ft of office space in US at 50% vacancy leaves 6 B sq ft of unoccupied space every day.
  • At $60 per sq ft, this leaves $360 B wasted on unused real estate
  • The 2007 US Dept of Energy Data Book equates this to an annual energy waste equaling 1.5 Quadrillion BTU’s (1015) and the annual carbon released totaling 48M Metric Tons unnecessarily

All these benefits come when Workplace Flexibility is managed and measured properly. Read more about Why Now is the best time to think about a Flexible Workplace. Then visit our website to find out how we can help you leverage Workplace Flexibility to improve productivity, profitability, sustainability, and business resiliency. 


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"Our Youth need economic heroes, in addition to those provided by athletics and the entertainment industries. American's future depends on ethical, hardworking and service-oriented young men and women to create the economic wealth so vital to our strength and freedom.. Junior Achievement's unique Empowered Through Ethics programs brings together two groups that rarely interact, high school seniors and business leaders, into a forum that can create the magic of new ideas, new insights and new futures. Business leaders who participate uniformly agree to the enjoyment and sense of optimism they experience when interacting with these smart, intense students. We receive more than we give."

- John Vivadelli, CEO AgilQuest Corporation

As members of the industry, we know how important measuring and managing actual utilization is in an agile workplace. However, it can be daunting with so many different technologies and approaches. That's why I am excited to help address your concerns. The video seminar will help you understand why you should be measuring workplace utilization, what approaches and technologies exist to enable measurement and what you should do with measurements to manage improvements in workplace utilization.

- John Vivadelli

To maintain safety for employees and comply with the law, phone systems must support emergency response and E911 legislation. What, if anything, will organizations have to do to meet these requirements when they replace handsets on desks [as part of traditional or VoIP phone systems] with soft phones [voice over laptops] or cell phones?

Here are some of our replies and clarifications to some previous questions about this topic:

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