Team Spaces - Alternative Workplace Strategies becoming standard practice


Alternative Workplace Strategies (AWS) - also known as "team space"- is becoming standard practice among space planners and managers. As more employers establish flexible working arrangements, many do away with the model of managing individual employees to specific seats. Instead, space planners set up “team areas,” and assign a set of employees belonging to a specific team to a team area. With team space, zones of space are assigned to teams of people, and only a few staff members, such as executives, have assigned seats.

Space planners do not assign employees to individual seats in the team area; rather, the employees simply pick unoccupied seats within their team's area. Since alternative workplace strategies often include working at home, the space manager can often reduce the number of seats required for a department. For example, if a team consists of 60 members but typically 25 percent of these members are not in the office on any given day, the space manager can assign this team 45 seats instead of 60 seats.

Space planners can optimise space use by setting target employee-to-seat ratios, which are usually greater than one as a result of flexible working arrangements.

Managing space using a team space approach offers several advantages:

  • Save space by utilising the existing space more efficiently.
  • Save space management overhead and effort by managing space for groups, rather than individuals.
  • Enable employees to work more efficiently and productively simply by increasing proximity and affinity.
  • Create a work environment suitable to today’s team-based and mobile-based workforce.


Concept: Teams

A team is composed of a group of associated employees. Teams may be based on function, location, reporting structure, or even some other grouping such as time in office. For example, a team might be composed of employees from different departments who are working together for a month-long project.

Teams are defined in the Team Properties (team_properties) table. The ARCHIBUS Asset Management applications also use teams and the Team Properties table.The Team Members table (team) stores the team members -- the contacts, vendors, and employees who are assigned to a team.


Teams and Occupancy

A team might be the standard method of tracking occupancy. Rather than use an inventory model where each employee has a designated seat, space planners can set up a set of rooms assigned to the team and assign a set of employees to this team. When the employees arrive at work, they simply pick unoccupied seats in a “hotdesking” fashion. This assignment can be indefinite and not project-based.


A team can be linked to area in the building. This area can change over time as the team expands and contracts. The area is a group of rooms, most likely adjoining each other. A room can be assigned to only one team; however, that same room can also hold a permanent occupant. In other words, an employee can be assigned a room that is also part of a team space. If a room that is part of a team space that also holds an occupant, that “seat” must is subtracted from the number of available seats for team members.


Teams have a target employee-to-seat ratio that reflects how seats are shared.



A Team's Employees

Employees can belong to multiple teams, or no team at all. For example, a manager might be part of a corporate-wide employee health project team and also part of the branding team.

An employee's assignment to a team is always associated with a time frame. If the assignment is indefinite, the assignment will have only a start date. If it is for a set time, the assignment will have both a start date and an end date.

In the below image, the user has created the Project 101A team, whose purpose is to focus on employee health. Next, the user has added six members to the team. In this case, all team members work in the SRL building but are from different departments and have different roles within their departments. However, teams often have employees from across locations and business units.



Developing Rooms and Floor Plans for a Team Space Inventory

Team space can work with any type of floor plan. If you know that you will be implementing team space as part of your space inventory, you may wish to develop rooms as sets of seats instead of walled areas.


Developing a Room for a Set of Cubicles or Seats

You might have a set of rooms or seats within rooms that are always dedicated to team space. For example, you might have a set of adjoining cubicles and workspaces that are dedicated to projects and which are managed by team space.

When developing the floor plan, rather than poly lining each cubicle as a room--as you would do for a traditional room inventory--you can polyline a set of cubicles or set of seats as one room. In the sample HQ project, the floor plan for NC05-03 illustrates an open floor plan with few room walls. Instead, the CAD user has created rooms by poly lining groups of seats and cubicles. For example, the below image NC05-03 shows a set of rooms with multiple seats in each.



When creating rooms in this manner, it is important to complete the Employee Capacity field in the Rooms table. For example, room 3301 (upper left corner) has 4 desks and so has an Employee Capacity of 4. When the space planner assigns this room to a team, four seats will be available to the team and these four seats will contribute to the overall capacity of space assigned to the team. As shown in the below image, in this example the room is not assigned to a department or division because the team assigned to the room may be comprised of employees from several departments.


Developing Individual Rooms

An open floor plan might also contain individual rooms. For example, NC05-03 has some cubicles tracked as individual rooms. In this case, the CAD specialist poly lined the individual workstation. Note that Capacity is set to 1.


You can assign individual rooms to teams.


Assigning Division and Departments to Team Space Rooms

When developing rooms for team space, you can choose how you want to track divisions and departments.


    • Assign team rooms to a specific division and department. 
    • This approach is often used for permanent team spaces that is designated for people within that division to use when they’re in the office.
    • For example, Sales staff who are often out of the office might have a set of permanent team space seats where they can sit when they are in the office. In this case, the rooms would be assigned a division and department because they are always used by the Sales department; the rooms are used by different people, but all are within the sales department.
    • Do not assign team rooms to a specific division and department. 
    • Rooms that are temporary spaces for specific purposes, such as a 6-month project on launching a new marketing campaign, do not require division and department assignments. In this case the team may be associated with a division or department, or the team could be cross-functional and associated with just a project (or associated with nothing).
    • For allocating these rooms to a division and department, some organisations use the approach of allocating the rooms to an “overhead” division and department.
    • Another strategy is to associate rooms are with divisions and departments for reporting purposes through their team association. By including an association, you can run the Divisions with Teams and Departments with Teams highlights. With these highlights, you can see rooms assigned to a division or department as well as rooms assigned to a team that is associated with a division or department.



Team Space Statistics

Each time you set an As of Date in the filter of the Space Console, the system updates the team statistics. You can access team statistics from:

  • The top left panel of the Edit Team form presents the Team Statistics panel, which lists several statistics for the current team.
  • When working in the Teams tab, you can examine statistics from multiple teams at once by choosing Compare Room Team Statistics from the gear-shaped icon.


Examine Statistics from One Team (Edit Team form)

The Edit Team form supplies you with a snapshot view of the team statistics and employee membership of the team on any selected day.

From the Space Console, set an As of Date, and choose to edit a team. The resulting form displays key statistics about the team in the upper left panel, and the From Date is set to the As of Date that you set in the Space Console filter. To change the As of Date, enter a new date in the From Date filter field.

The statistics are also automatically recalculated whenever you edit the list of rooms or employees.




Next Change Event

The Team Statistics panel includes the Next Change Event field. This holds the next date (after the As Of date) when an employee starts or ends a team assignment or a room starts or ends a team assignment. If events will occur on this date, the panel lists them, such as “8 employees end” or “4 rooms start.”

This provides an easy way of seeing when the team will change, which may require you to add or remove rooms from the team.


Examine Statistics from Multiple Teams (Compare Team Statistics form)

When working in the Teams tab, you can choose Compare Room Team Statistics from the gear-shaped icon. This report provides additional statistics that are not available in the Teams tab or Edit Teams form.



The report defaults to the As of Date you set in the filter; you can change this as needed.


You can choose to organise the team statistics by Room Category, Room Type, or Room Standard by setting the View Statistics By option.


Statistic Calculations


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