What percentage of offices are unoccupied?

The answer to what percentage of offices are unoccupied will varies depending on which of the following questions is being asked.

1. What percentage of the desks in an office are unoccupied?

2. What percentage of an office's floor plate is not used for work?

What percentage of the desks in a typical office are unoccupied?

The below graph details the percentage rate of unoccupied desks in traditional office based working environments.

What percentage of offices are unoccupied

As the graph above shows, a typical desk occupancy rate is 73%, assuming the desk is used at least once per day. However, at any given time of day, the maximum number of desks occupied will be around 48% (at approximately 2:30pm). This differnce is caused because at any given time employees are out to lunch, using the washrooms, working in meeting rooms, or working in collaborative spaces.

Hybrid working environments, which support hot desking, will typically see a higher occupancy rate as they can provision fewer desks per employee (referred to as a desk to person ratio). They make use of the 27% of space which is typically unoccupied and use it for additional collaborative spaces, or reduce the size of their organisational footprint through sub-leasing, or simply renegotiating tenancies to lease less space.

What percentage of an office's floor plate is not used for work?

To answer this question we need to understand the difference between the Gross Internal Area of a building and the Net Office Area of a building. The definitions for which can be found here.

Typically a Net Office Area will make up 80-85% of the Gross Internal Area of a building. So the space "not used for work" will be approximately 15-20%.