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Fully Occupied Offices

Empty office with view of skyline
Empty Office

The hotel industry has it right; they proudly display the 'fully occupied' sign when fully booked on their website, third-party listings, or on signage outside the establishment. Offices can learn from their example.

Hotels understand that different travelers have different needs. During weekdays, they cater to business travelers and conferences, while on weekends, they cater to leisure travelers. By understanding these alternating calendars, they can achieve full occupancy. The same applies to when work is in session versus holiday times.

Today many offices are occupied 3 days a week, from Monday through Thursday. What can they learn from the hotel's calendar strategy to attract more occupants? The future of fully occupied offices lies in rethinking the calendar and associated offering.

The workweek is a hangover from an age before the always-on internet, where office workers squeezed work into a five day workweek with set hours.

Many people elect to freelance because of the flexibility it affords. Working outside of the 9-5 M-F has been embraced by freelancers but not yet fully adopted by large corporations.

Too often conversations about the office forget its original purpose. An office is meant to be a place purpose built for work. As the nature of work changed, the office space should have evolved with it. However, work has changed while the office has not kept pace. I previously proposed a two-team system, with Team One working from Monday through Thursday and Team Two from Friday through Monday. Outside of office work, many industries operate seven days a week roster, such as hospitals, call centers and hospitality.

It's time to think of the workweek as seven days, and the calendar as 365.

Another area where hotels excel in achieving high occupancy is through anchor events. By hosting functions like conferences or weddings, they not only fill hotel rooms but also utilize other facilities like on-site catering. Can offices adopt a similar approach? What could be an anchor activity to draw people into the office, waiting for occupancy? Perhaps a more structured and fixed corporate calendar is needed.

What if we rethink the office as a place we get to go, rather than a place we have to go?

This shift in perspective could make going to the office feel like a privilege, similar to going on vacation or dining out. What if people looked forward to going to the office because it offered a unique opportunity for them to come together? It's about viewing the office as a desirable experience, not something taken for granted. What if we reconceptualize the office in this way?


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