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About the event

Gain insight into 2021 survey results on the evolving workspace and the role of CRE managers in the coming years!

Together with Verdantix, Locatee conducted interviews among 50 executives in real estate, workplace, and facilities management roles in the US.

Our Thought Leadership and Research Manager Sabine Ehm is joined by Dayann Charles, Industry Analyst at Verdantix to present the study findings.

Find out about:

  • evolution of the CRE manager’s role in the US in the future
  • increased influence of CREMs in their budget responsibilities
  • business priorities today and in the coming years
  • investment plans in digital tools and data collection


Sabine Ehm – Thought Leader, Locatee

Dayan Charles – Industry Analyst, Verdantix


Date: Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Time: 12:00 EST | 18:00 CET



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Introducing The Workplace Leader Podcast! Join your host, Sabine Ehm, as she takes you behind the scenes of corporate real estate, finding how industry experts are shaping the next generation workplace. 

Using investigations of business drivers, performance metrics, and workplace trends, Sabine and her guests will guide you through making the most important decisions in corporate real estate. 


Meet the host of The Workplace Leader podcast

Sabine Ehm is the Thought Leadership & Research Manager of Locatee, based in Zurich, Switzerland. With over 10 years of experience in corporate real estate, she is highly knowledgeable in portfolio management, leasing, dispositions, and operations. 

Throughout her career, Sabine has worked closely with multinational companies, responsible for both local and regional portfolios. As a former CREM, she pulls from her own experiences to give advice on achieving success in the industry. By providing insight into modern corporate workplace strategy development, Sabine and her invited guests, will give you the tools needed to be successful in the present-day workplace environment. 


This month on the podcast, Sabine interviews three esteemed guests, Liz Burow, Jon Sheh, and Peter Baumann. Each episode provides information and insight into creating sustainable, modern, and functional workplaces for the companies of today. 

Listen to the newest episodes of The Workplace Leader

Building a business case for change with Liz Burow

Liz Burow is a professional Workplace Design and Research Consultant. As the former Director of Workplace Strategy at WeWork, she knows exactly what it takes to create a successful workplace environment. Join Liz and Sabine as they discuss changing the narrative around workplace design, and how to create spaces that cater to the many facets of a business. 


Engineering inclusive workplace experience with Jon Sheh 

As Director of Workplace Strategy at Johnson & Johnson, Jon Sheh is highly knowledgeable in what creates a lucrative, modern workplace. During this episode, Jon and Sabine discuss how companies must adapt with the times. They’ll also dive into creating new and flexible workplace strategies to better support their employees. 


Merging business, people and location strategy with Peter Baumann 

Peter Baumann is the Global Head of Real Estate & Facilities Project at SAP. Peter and Sabine are examining the shift of perception towards a more human-centered workplace. In addition, they’ll teach you how to draw data to prove your findings.


Subscribe to The Workplace Leader Podcast

Listen to The Workplace Leader podcast now to learn invaluable information on corporate real estate management. Whether it’s workplace transformation, designing for culture shifts, or catering to modern times, Sabine and her guests will give you the tools required to be a successful real estate manager, for small and large businesses.


Corporate Real Estate needs to develop new performance measures for office spaces. Looking only at density or cost per square meter is not enough to understand and determine today’s workplace needs.

In this joint webinar together with Cognitive Corp. we dived deeper into the topic of the future workplace and discussed topics such as:

  • The workplace of tomorrow
  • Workplace Leaders roles and how to enable future workplaces
  • Success factors for Corporate Real Estate Managers
  • Tools workplace leaders should familiarize themselves with

The webinar took place on the 9. December 2020, 5.00-6.00pm (CET) during which we answered your questions online. Watch the recorded video below!



Sabine Ehm – Thought Leader, Locatee

James Waddell – Executive Vice President, Cognitive Services


No time to watch?

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Desk booking has become a popular topic with companies realizing that flexible working and hybrid workplaces are here to stay. But is it just a buzzword? Or is this something businesses around the world should be adopting as we adjust to the new normal of the office environment? 

Whether you’re looking for more information about desk booking or are considering implementing a desk-booking system in your office, we’ve compiled a list of important things for you to consider.

If you want to learn more about the changes that are coming to the workplace, take a look at this webinar with Memoori:

Watch the Webinar!

What exactly is desk booking anyway?

The idea behind this premise is that employees are able to reserve their workspace ahead of time. This allows offices to keep their number of desks to a minimum and their rental costs low. During the pandemic, desk booking catered to a new need; companies wanted to comply with safety measures while ensuring the employees who came into the office felt confident that they would have a workspace to use.


You may have also come across the concept of hot desking, which also allows one desk to be used for multiple shifts throughout the day. Employee A could come in from 7am to 10am and attend a meeting outside the office during the afternoon. Afterwards, employee B could use the same desk from 4pm – 6pm. 


Sitting in empty office - Desk booking


In theory, both hot desking and desk-booking concepts sound like appealing and efficient solutions. In practice, the idea is unlikely to work as seamlessly as one might initially think. 


These are some of the questions that you should ask when considering a desk-booking software:


Will desk booking exacerbate an already existing problem?

Think about the utilization of your organization’s meeting rooms. Chances are they’re bookable, right? However, are you aware of how many no-shows your meeting rooms see every day? Employees frequently book a room only to host the meeting in a café or to take clients out to a restaurant. In some cases, people reserve a room, but realize that no one is in the office. In the end, they conduct the meeting virtually. Bookings can even occur by accident without employees realizing that they have reserved a space.

This not only prevents other people from booking the room, but in the end, the space never actually gets used. If these problems already exist within your workplace, you can expect to see similar occurrences when a new tool is implemented, which could be a costly problem for the business.


Will your employees support the use of a desk-booking tool?

An important factor to successfully implementing new technology in the workplace is having the whole team on board with the process. This means that new systems should be straightforward and easy to add into existing routines. More importantly, they should also provide clear advantages for the users. If the employees don’t feel that there is an existing problem or a true need for a desk-booking tool, forcing it upon them will only cause frustration. On top of that, it might even end up wasting the company’s time.  A reservation tool could simply end up being more trouble than it’s worth, if there is no buy-in from the entire team.


Do you believe that users will comply with your desk-booking rules?

With desk booking, a set of rules must be implemented so companies can keep the experience efficient and employees can better understand the systems in use. Unfortunately, people don’t always follow the rules.


It’s possible that employees might find loopholes in the system and try to use them to their advantage. Some staff may book desks for an entire week but only come into the office for 3 days; others may book a desk for 8 hours but only use it for 2. Both scenarios are examples of inefficient space usage. The bottom line is that implementing a desk-booking system may generate more work than value!


Empty room - Desk booking


Are you trying to encourage collaboration and interdepartmental interaction?

A common reason for companies to provide a flexible desk system is to encourage more interaction between departments. The hope is that it can ultimately foster more innovation within the company. 


If this is a goal, then desk booking can be a slippery slope. In theory, the company can encourage people to move around regularly. Realistically, if employees are able to book far in advance, they may always try to take their preferred spot or book desks near the same people every time. The intended result of improved interaction may not happen at all, and by discouraging spontaneity, a reservation tool may make collaboration even more difficult to achieve. The bottom line here is: think about the ramifications of a desk-booking system on your company culture.


Are you considering desk booking as a short-term compliance solution during COVID-19?

Short term, particularly in the face of COVID-19, the option to reserve a spot can be helpful. It helps employees feel confident that there won’t be too many people when they arrive the next day at work. It can also assist an office that is transitioning to a free-desk or flexible work policy. 

In both cases, employees may feel unsure about being able to find desks when they arrive at work. By utilizing a desk-booking tool during the transition, workers have the opportunity to get used to changing desks daily. This period also gives the company a chance to demonstrate that there will be enough workspaces provided to fulfill the office’s needs.


Are you considering desk booking as a long-term solution to measure office occupancy?

If you’re looking to accurately track space utilization, if you’re a CREM wanting to bring data to the table so you can have eye-level conversations with management while removing emotion from big real estate decisions, or if you’re trying to find a software that can help you manage the ever changing workplace: you may want to consider an option beyond a desk-booking tool. 


Desk-booking tools are not an accurate indicator of people actually in the office at a given moment. As you see now, the system can often be misused by employees. A company looking for straightforward numbers to make large decisions like office expansions, consolidations and renovations, will not be able to get them from a desk-booking system. 


Full meeting room - Desk booking


A desk-booking application could be the answer to your needs, but many companies might find more appropriate solutions to their problems using different technology.


In summary

A desk-booking application could be the answer to your needs, depending on what problem you’re looking to tackle. In the short term, it can provide a sense of safety for employees and a level of reassurance for CREMs. However, desk-booking systems aren’t good indicators of actual office utilization. In this case, companies may find a more appropriate solution by using a different technology. So the question is: what do you need a desk-booking tool for?


To learn more about how the workplace is transforming and what tools you can use to help with the changes, watch Locatee’s joint webinar with proptech research experts Memoori here!

This year has been one full of uncertainty. The challenges have not only spanned borders, but oceans. Regardless of your location, education, occupation or generation, we’ve faced 2020 together — physically apart, yet in some ways, more connected than ever before.

Locatee’s mission has always been to help enable a place that people want to work. But we realized: what’s an office where you love to work, if you aren’t on a planet where you love to live?

Rainforest Tree - Orangutans Habitat

That is why this year’s Christmas initiative looks a bit different than previous ones. Instead of a physical gift, we wanted to help lay the foundation of a better future for each and every one of us.

We will be planting 15 trees for each of the 60 countries where Locatee is currently analyzing space utilization in offices. This means that with the help of “One-tree-One-life”, we’re planting 900 trees to help combat deforestation, in turn helping the fight against climate change and protecting the endangered Bornean Orangutan.

Locatee is committed to enabling long-lasting change, so we’re also ensuring that each tree has the proper care to thrive over the next 5 years.



Who is One-Tree-One-Life?

OTOL - Orangutans Rescue

One-Tree-One-Life is a campaign by BOS Schweiz, which aims to reforest destroyed rainforests in Indonesia. This helps fight climate change and save the endangered Bornean Orangutan. BOS employs a holistic approach. They protect and rebuild rainforests, save and rehabilitate Orangutans, and work with local people who previously relied on the controversial palm oil industry.


Why did we choose One-Tree-One-Life and BOS Schweiz?

When choosing an organization to support on this project, it was critical for us that they were not only credible, but had a strategy in place that could help achieve long-lasting results and bring real change to our planet.

BOS applies a multi-pronged approach, to help solve the problem from different perspectives. Below you can see how they achieve their goal to help save the endangered primate by focusing on a variety of aspects.


Orangutan rescue

BOS is able to rescue sick and injured orangutans in multiple areas with their 2 rescue stations. They also support fire rescue efforts to save orangutans from man-made fires. Sadly, people create these to try to wipe out economically “worthless” land in exchange for more profitable crops.


Two orangutans eating bananas


Rehabilitation of orangutans

Rescued orangutans are rehabilitated, and if needed, given medical care. They undergo up to 8 years of education in the BOS forest school. There they learn how to build sleeping nests, identify food, recognize dangers and more. At the BOS forest school they learn everything they need in order to get reintroduced to the wild.


Reintroduction of orangutans

BOS employs a 3 step reintroduction plan for orangutans. BOS introduces the orangutans to secluded river islands during the pre-release phase. Here, they develop their natural instincts like independently seeking food. BOS reintroduces them into the wild once they deem them ready. Post-release monitoring allows BOS to keep up with the rehabilitated orangutans. The team continues to make sure the primates are thriving and adapting well in the wild. If the patterns are abnormal, and the orangutans show signs of illness, they can be retrieved and brought back for further rehab.


Community development

The locals in these areas have previously relied on the palm industry. Therefore, BOS includes them in the whole process. They also give locals the support they need to refrain from re-damaging the rehabilitated forests, which orangutans depend on for habitat. They work with them to find alternative sources of income to protect the families and their economy. BOS does this by creating local jobs and incentives to earn a living beyond poaching and deforestation.



With the One-Tree-One-Life campaign, BOS Schweiz is also able to help fund and carry out reforestation of the Bornean rainforest. Currently, there are 460 680 Hectares of rainforest under the care of BOS.


With the multitude of efforts, One-Tree-One-Life and BOS Schweiz are not only helping rescue an endangered species, but are also helping the environment and creating a better world for us all to live in.


Read more about the campaign or donate to the organization at One-Tree-One-Life and BOS Schweiz.


Happy holidays and all the best in 2021!

The objectives and responsibilities of corporate real estate management are expanding, in no small part due to the developments of 2020. To address the evolving needs of corporate real estate management, we’re introducing a slew of exciting updates to Locatee. Here’s what’s new!


Separate dashboards to monitor safety and performance

Locatee’s latest update is the result of months of research, development, and testing in collaboration with current customers. During this time, we learned that although workplace leaders are still focused on optimizing their portfolio and assets, many have taken on the additional responsibility of ensuring that their workplace setups can react adeptly to fast-changing government guidelines when it comes to social distancing and office density.

Thus, one of the first differences you’ll notice upon signing in to Locatee is that you can now switch between two main dashboards: one for general performance, and another for safety monitoring.

Office occupancy analytics tool Locatee

The Portfolio overview helps you stay informed and make better CRE decisions

We refreshed the main dashboard that you’re already familiar with from the classic Portfolio dashboard. Here’s a closer look at what you’ll find in the new Portfolio overview dashboard.

Locatee Portfolio Overview

  • Configurable metrics. Customize which KPIs and measurements you would like to see in your dashboard and hide the ones you don’t need to monitor.
  • Export feature. Easily keep all your stakeholders informed and export your reports to an Excel file.
  • More options to organize your data. You can now toggle between displaying the geographical hierarchy of your portfolio and hiding it for when you don’t need the information.

The Return to work dashboard helps you monitor safety compliance

Ensuring employee safety and complying with legal health guidelines have been two topics at the helm of 2020. To tackle the most pressing COVID-19-related obstacles facing corporate real estate managers—safety, compliance, and operations—the Return to work dashboard is now a permanent fixture in Locatee. Locatee Return to work dashboard

The Return to work dashboard lets you:

  • Monitor safety targets. Track the custom safety occupancy targets you’ve set for the buildings in your portfolio. 
  • See occupancy alerts. Color markers signify if a site is operating above its target.
  • Focus solely on buildings in need of attention. See at a glance only the buildings operating above their target safety occupancy.

And just like in the Portfolio overview dashboard, you can hide the geographical hierarchy and export your data for further stakeholder reporting.

Peek into individual buildings for a closer analysis

The Building view is an all-new feature that we’re bringing to Locatee. Whenever you want a detailed look at the utilization of a building in your portfolio, click on a building’s name to pull up more information about its usage. Here’s what you can do in when you zoom into the Building view:

  • Monitor an individual site’s performance. View any building’s vital stats such as capacity, the occupancy target set for that building, and the building’s peak utilization.
  • Assess the severity of overcrowding. The Duration of office utilization widget reveals how long your office building has spent at a particular state of occupancy.
  • Compare actual office usage with its intended usage. A utilization timeline shows the spread of your building’s usage over time against the occupancy target set for that building.

Are you ready to try the new Locatee Portfolio Insights? 

Whether your focus is to spot savings potential, plan for growth, or keep your offices compliant and your workers safe, Locatee is here to help you make your most critical workplace decisions and take the risk out of planning your corporate real estate portfolio strategy. 

Speak to a member of the Locateam to learn more about setting up the new Portfolio Insights for your organization today.

Information such as cost per square foot and density have always been at the forefront of driving corporate real estate strategy. In recent years, however, topics like employee satisfaction and company productivity have also emerged as important metrics for determining the overall performance of the office space. As work becomes more fluid and flexible, the analysis of where, when, and how work is being done all bear strong implications on the health and operations of an office space.

Get the “Workplace Leader’s Handbook of the Digital Tools of Tomorrow”

Download handbook

The transition to human-centric workplaces

This shift towards metrics focused on individual employee wellbeing and satisfaction—or human-centric metrics—has shifted attention to a revised set of real estate needs and KPIs. Right now, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, corporate real estate managers need to measure and track performance metrics focused on enhanced occupant safety. But looking to the coming years, the permanence of human-centric KPIs is becoming ever clearer. The true value of corporate real estate space, after all, lies in its opportunity to support human capital.

Woman points to performance metrics on a digital dashboard

The new metrics for corporate real estate management

The advent of IoT technologies has led to improved data capturing and reporting, enabling corporate real estate managers to identify new trends and developments in the usage of their buildings. Coupled with the shift in knowledge workers’ behaviors, this is leading to an increased focus on the topic of occupant experience. 

Based on research conducted together with Memoori, Locatee predicts that companies that adopt technology-enabled workspaces which allow occupants to personalize and control their environment will have the largest competitive advantage in attracting talent and increasing productivity. Below are the new human-centric metrics (denoted in pink) which will further tech adoption and drive CREM digital transformation.

The new human-centric performance metrics for CREM

  • Utilization metrics
  • Meeting room and workstation metrics
  • Workplace engagement metrics
  • Employee wellbeing metrics
  • Healthy buildings certifications
  • Social distancing metrics
  • Employee availability and absence metrics
  • Entry and exit metrics
  • Visitor metrics
  • Location metrics

Curious to find out more about each metric, its use cases, and the digital tools to help? Then download the full Workplace Leader’s Handbook of the Digital Tool of Tomorrow!

Download handbook

With over 2.8 million buildings worldwide already using Meraki, it’s a fact: more and more companies are turning to the cloud to manage their IT network infrastructure. Therefore, integrating with Meraki’s cloud-managed IT solutions for Wi-Fi measurements is not just another way to measure workplace occupancy: it means that rolling Locatee out across your portfolio is now easier if your building is one of the 2.8 million using Cisco Meraki access points and switches. By sharing Wi-Fi data measurements directly to Locatee, you can rest assured that your data flows seamlessly from your networking infrastructure straight to Locatee’s dashboards.

Want to learn more? Speak with one of our workplace consultants today »

How it works

While Locatee has always been able to read data measurements from local area networks (LAN) and pick up signal information from wireless LAN controllers (WLC), it wasn’t possible to retrieve data directly from Meraki’s cloud-managed wireless access points or cloud-based data center—until now. The new API integration with Meraki means that Locatee can now be set up to receive location information directly from the Meraki Cloud in just a few simple steps.

  1. We’ve already prepared Locatee to receive data from your Meraki infrastructure.
  2. In the Meraki Dashboard, your IT admin enables the sending of localized data measurements to Locatee.
  3. Locatee receives, processes, and then visualizes Meraki measurement data on Locatee Analytics.

More ways to measure and make better CREM decisions

Our latest integration with Meraki enables Locatee to continue being the most adaptable solution on the market to measure workplace occupancy across corporate real estate portfolios. So whether your focus is to

  • consolidate your sites, 
  • define budget needs,
  • or reassign current workspaces, 

Locatee’s workplace analytics will surface the data you need from your existing IT infrastructure—no matter how it’s set up— to help you make better corporate real estate decisions. 

If your buildings are currently using Meraki and you’re curious about uncovering workplace insights with Locatee, speak with one of our workplace consultants today.

Contact a workplace consultant

WORKTECH20 Highlight Video (3min)



Locatee at the event

As a silver-level sponsor of the event, we participated in a panel debate for both North America and UK/EMEA.


Panel discussion

This top-class and well-known panel of CRE professionals discussed together various topics surrounding the workplace and explored the return-to-office-strategies not only providing a safe and secure environment but also enhancing the workplace experience for an evolving workforce.

Panelists (both events):

  • Philip Ross, Futurologist & CEO, Cordless Group & UNWORK
  • Mathias Elmiger, Director Knowledge and Data Strategy, Johnson & Johnson
  • Peter Baumann, Global Real Estate & Facilities (GRF) Global Head of Projects, SAP
  • Dr. Susanne Hügel, Director Head of Digital Innovation & Business Acceleration Continental Europe, CBRE
  • Sabine Ehm, Customer Success and Thought-Leadership Manager, Locatee
  • Peter Otto, Chief Product Officer, Condeco

The panelists talked about the tools needed by the Heads of Corporate Real Estate to successfully transition to new models of working in the post-pandemic world. From where people are sitting, to air quality and cleaning regimes, to new technologies for the workplace which can deliver an array of data and transform the user experience.

The virtual panel discussions took place on 14. October (North America) and 27. October (UK/EMEA).

Key takeaways from our panel discussions

    • Health & safety of the employees as well as deploying according to smart tools remains the focus for corporations. Workplace strategists and CRE managers however are starting to look beyond.
    • After a head start into the digital workplace and tools that enable remote work with the ability to fail and learn, employees and companies understand advantages and disadvantages of home work settings.
    • The future will hold more choice for employees in terms of flex-time, flex-location and flex-workspace.  Mindful choices to ensure productivity are being encouraged, but more importantly well-being and collaboration.
    • Corporate Real Estate will be enhanced to reflect a more human-centric approach incorporating workforce aspects such as talent attraction, and a sense of community and belonging.


Prepare yourself for the future of CRE

In collaboration with smart building research and thought leader Memoori we put together a handbook for CRE professionals. This handbook provides you with tips and the guidance you need to tackle the disruptive and volatile world of Corporate Real Estate.

Here’s a glimpse of some of the chapters you can expect:

  • Digital Transformation in Corporate Real Estate
  • Changing Roles and responsibilities of the CREM
  • The Importance of Metrics
  • Mapping of Metrics against Software Tools
  • The Role of Software in CRE Management

“The Workplace Leader’s Handbook of the Digital Tools of Tomorrow”



Join the free webinar

The perfect complement to the handbook.

Don’t miss out on real insight from the inside: join us for a free webinar on 19. November, 17:00 CET on the new metrics, tools, and the key to successful CREM decision-making.

Sign up for webinar


WORKTECH Academy Member

Worktech Academy Membership

As a WORKTECH Academy Member, Locatee is contributing to the education of corporate real estate professionals around the world.


When it comes to the subject of taking up space these days, most of the attention is placed on the occupier, with the space being taken up often relegated to an afterthought. However, in the world of corporate real estate and workplace management, a small misaligned understanding of what “net area” means could potentially lead to catastrophic consequences and costs. 

“Great things happen when the world agrees.” —International Organization for Standardization

What are standardisation organisations?

As globalisation connects people, businesses, and cities around the world, one of the challenges of international business is laying a common groundwork for understanding. Beside the International Organisation for Standardization, or ISO, there are several other organisations that publish guidelines on valuation standards. Some, like European Standards (EN) and The European Group of Valuers’ Associations (TEGOVA), publish standards adopted and approved for use across an economic region such as the European Union. Others, such as the Deutsches Institut für Normung (DIN) and the Asociación Española de Oficinas (AEO), operate with the specific aim of promoting and defining activity in country-specific markets like Germany and Spain.

Although their main aim is to eliminate barriers to business and trade, the different schools of standardisation which exist occasionally confound more than they enlighten. There probably is no better example of this in corporate real estate than the definition of “net area”: depending on which school of standardisation is employed, the same term can be taken to mean two very different concepts.

The difference between EN and BOMA standards

Since April 2012, the usage of the European Standard EN 15221-6 has been mandatory in the European Union. Across the pond, the Building Owners and Managers Association, BOMA for short, is a federation of US associations and global affiliates that have established a standard together with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to maintain floor measurement standards for property types such as office spaces. As the leading association for corporate real estate professionals in the US, BOMA is employed by many organisations based or headquartered in the US.

The European Standard: EN 15221-6

The European Standard uses the following terms to measure office space:

  • Gross floor area: The total area of a building, calculated on a floor-by-floor basis, enclosed by the outer building’s outer walls.
  • Net floor area: Commonly also referred to as “net area”, the net floor area is derived when the construction area, or the outer walls of a building, is deducted from the gross floor area. The space contained within the net floor area falls into one of four categories:
    • Technical area: These are the technical rooms, air shafts, and server rooms of a building.
    • Circulation area: In layman’s terms, these are the walkways on an office floor. 
    • Amenity area: Amenity areas includes toilets and kitchens used by the tenants or occupants.
    • Primary Area: Finally, this is the main usable area which serves to fulfill the purpose for which the building is rented.
The American standard: ANSI/BOMA Z65.1

BOMA standards for office space employ the following definitions: 

  • Gross area: The total area of a building, calculated on a floor-by-floor basis, enclosed by the outer building’s outer walls. (This is more or less the same definition as outlined by the European Standard.)
  • Rentable area: The rentable area is derived when all the building’s common areas such as elevator shafts and staircases are deducted from the gross area. This is the area a landlord typically rents out to a tenant, hence its name.
  • Usable area: The usable area is derived when all the spaces that serve every tenant in the building such as lobbies and toilets are deducted from the rentable area. (Although occasionally, sharing the kitchen and toilet facilities with other tenants can make things slightly more complicated, as the rented space cannot be measured directly using the floorplan. In these scenarios, a common area factor is typically applied.)
  • Circulation area: The ANSI/BOMA standards make a point to further categorise circulation areas into either primary or secondary circulation areas. Primary circulation would be the paths from the entrance door to the kitchen area, desks, elevators, and toilets. Secondary circulation would be the paths from desk to desk.
  • Net area: Finally, the net area is derived when the primary and secondary circulation areas are deducted from the usable area.


ANSI/BOMA Space Definitions

EN vs BOMA space definitions

Herein lies where the main confusion comes from when it comes to talking about corporate real estate in an international context. While the European Standard definition of “net area” includes circulation area or walkways, by most American standards, “net area” does not. Thus, when two workplace managers look at the same building, how they define and measure space depends entirely on the standards they use.

EN vs Boma Space Definitions

EN 15221-6 vs ANSI/BOMA Z65.1
  • EN (European Standard) defines net area as including circulation area, or walkways.
  • BOMA does not count circulation area in net area. Instead, circulation and net area together form the usable area.
  • The EN definition of net area is roughly comparable to BOMA’s definition of rentable area, as both exclude the outer walls or construction area of a building. However, there are still small differences between the two: BOMA also excludes vertical penetrations, or elevator shafts from the rentable area.
  • The BOMA definition of net area is much closer to EN’s definition of primary area.

So should an organisation use EN 15221-6 or ANSI/BOMA Z65.1?

What adds to the confusion is that even within the same organisation, different offices may employ different measurement standards. A satellite office in Germany, for example, may calculate their floor spaces using EN or the national German standard DIN, whilst the organisation’s headquarters may use ANSI/BOMA. A lexical slip-up when talking about “net area” can mean a misunderstanding of hundreds of thousands of square feet—or metres! Imagine what that could mean in costs when misunderstanding the terms of a lease. 

When it comes to talking about net area, circulation area, or any other spaces, there’s no standard which is better than the other. The most important thing to keep in mind is to always clarify terminology and measurement standards upfront.

Whether your organisation uses ANSI/BOMA or the European Standard, Locatee helps you measure your space occupancy. Take a look at how to measure and monitor your entire portfolio’s health with the Locatee Portfolio Insights:


Plan your office return NOW!


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