The most frequently used Workplace and CRE Terms

Short explanations and related links in our resources for the most common workplace and Corporate Real Estate terms.

Activity-Based Workplace (ABW)

Activity-Based Work (ABW) spaces are intentionally designed spaces for particular work or work-supportive activities to take place.


Amenities are areas of the office typically aimed to increased the attractivity of the building as a work location and for convenience of the office users.

Assigned Seating

Assigned Seating allocates one dedicated workstation (usually a desk, chair, computer, and phone) to each employee.

Asynchronous Work

Employees work asynchronously when they collaborate and submit deliverables at different times of day/week on the same project.

Autonomous Work

Autonomous work is referencing the extent of independent authority workers have to decide what tasks they perform.

Average Utilization

Average Utilization is grouping various occupancy figures together during a period of time and taking the average of all of them.

Breakout Spaces

A comfy area separate from the more formal, established working area. A breakout space usually has a more casual look and feel.

Circulation Area

Circulation areas are essentially the walkways on an office floor. They can be split into primary and secondary circulation.

Close-Plan Office Layout

A Close-Plan Office Layout is a traditional type of workplace design characterized by walls, partitions, and closed rooms.

Co-located Teams

Co-located teams are groups of employees that work in or are assigned to the same office.

Collaboration Spaces

Collaboration Spaces can take many forms – from formal meeting rooms designed for working as a group, or informal social spaces that allow staff to come together in a more relaxed, natural way.

Common Areas

Common areas refer to areas and amenities which are provided for the common use of more than one occupier in a building such as staircases, lobby area, sanitary rooms etc.

Cost Optimization

Cost optimization means all initiatives to drive cost reduction, while maximizing business value.

CoWorking Space

CoWorking is characterized by easily accessible office space open to the public as a service with by far the most flexible lease terms in the real estate market.

Desk Sharing

When an unassigned seating model is in place and there are fewer desks than employees this is called desk sharing.

Desk Sharing Ratio

The desk sharing ratio indicates how many people share available seats. For instance if for every 10 employees 8 desks are provided the sharing ratio is 1.25.

Distributed Teams

Distributed teams are groups of employees that work on projects or a job function together, but are located in different offices or locations.

Employee Experience

Employee experience focusses on worker engagement, regardless of whether people are working in the office or remotely.

Employee Satisfaction

Employee satisfaction is a measure of workers' contentedness with their job and work environment.

Employee Wellbeing

Employee well-being is more comprehensive than employee wellness and considers physical wellness, but also focuses on mental, emotional and social health.

Employee Wellness

Employee wellness is focused on physical health and includes things like ergonomics, healthy eating and exercise program.

Flexible Space

Flexible space is a collection of separated office space units with shared conference rooms and kitchens

Flexible Work

Flexible work means any work schedule or workplace location that deviates from the traditional office-based, synchronous work.

Fully Remote

Fully remote refers to the work arrangement of an individual employee, an entire company, or some groups of employees where an employee either doesn’t have to work from the company’s office or there is no company office.

Gross Floor Area

Gross Floor Area is the total area of a building, calculated on a floor-by-floor basis, enclosed by the outer building’s outer walls.

Hot Desking

Hot Desking is a type of desk-sharing arrangement with unassigned seating where employees do not make reservations before using a workstation but chose on a first come first serve basis.


Hoteling is a type of desk sharing arrangement in which workers reserve their workspaces before use such as desks, cubicles, and offices.

Hybrid Work

Hybrid work is a type of flexible working arrangement, within a single company, in which employees perform work both in the company office with other colleagues and remotely.

Meeting Room Ratio

Meeting room ratio is the number of meeting rooms in an office space in relation to either number of work stations or headcount.


In the context of workplace analytics, mobility is the extent to which technology and workplace policies allow workers to untether from their desks and work from anywhere. This applies to both in-office and remote work.

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.


Occupancy, also known as attendance, is the number of people inside of a work space, building, or location at a single point in time.

Office Capacity

Office capacity is the highest allowable number of occupants in a space as governed by local regulations or a company standard. However, many companies define capacity as the highest available seats in a work space.

Office Neighborhoods

A neighborhood is a work area assigned to a particular business unit/team. These are also sometimes called Home Bases.

Open-Plan Office Layout

In an Open-Plan Office Layout the workspace layout is devoid of walls, partitions, and closed rooms.

Peak Occupancy

Peak Occupancy is the highest occupancy reached within a defined time frame.


Pods are partially or fully enclosed rooms within rooms like phone booths for instance.

Portfolio Optimization

Portfolio Optimization is the process of evaluating real estate assets and operations to identify efficiencies, reduce costs, create a strategy, and maximize value.

Remote Work

Remote work is when an employee with an assigned office does not work in that environment. This could mean working from a local coworking space, from home, at a coffee shop, or in a city across the world.

Rentable Area

The arentable are 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.

Shared Office

Shared office space refers to the practice of two or more businesses sharing a commercially leased office.

Space Allocation

Space Allocation is the process of categorizing different areas of the workplace as team-assigned space or common areas.

Space Chargeback

Chargebacks are when business units are internally invoiced by the company itself or other business units for access to space. These transactions are internal only.

Space Cost Allocation

Space Cost Allocation is the process of divvying up the expenses related to occupying both team-assigned space and common area spaces amongst the various business units with the right to use those areas.

Space Density

Density is a quantitative workplace metric looking at space efficiency or crowdedness. Measures can be either Net Floor Area per Headcount, Full Time Employee or work station.

Space Efficiency

Space efficiency refers to quantitative workplace metrics looking at the use of space. They can indicate space consumption or ratios of workplace settings.

Space Optimization

Space optimization is the process of ensuring that your available real estate is being used in the most efficient and effective way possible.

Team Mobility

Team mobility is an assessment of when, where, and with whom entire teams work.

Touchdown Spaces

Touchdown spaces are typically laptop centric, informal settings such as a private concentration room, lounge, presentation room, or a collaborative area.

Unassigned Seating

With unassigned seating employees do not have a specified desk in the office but can choose from the pool of available work stations.

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.


Utilization is aggregate occupancy data points over a given time frame – a year, a month, a week, a day, etc.

Virtual First

Virtual First is a type of remote work where employees primarily work from home but also schedule visits to the office for in person work with teammates.

Work From Home (WFH)

Work From Home (WFH) is a type of remote work that is only done at the home of the employee.

Workplace Experience

Workplace Experience references the effectiveness of physical office space in relation to employee engagement.

Workplace Type Ratio

The Workplace Type Ratio indicates types and proportion of available space types, diversity of space features and the trends in the space mix.

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