New Research: Space Planning Professionals Lack the Data They Need to Optimize Use of Today’s Corporate and Education Campuses

Armored Things Survey reveals 9 out of 10 struggle managing work and learning spaces in more fluid, hybrid-use environments

BOSTON, Sept. 08, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- As businesses and higher education institutions continue to adapt to changes in the way space is used on their campuses post-pandemic, they are running into critical blind spots when it comes to collecting and analyzing the information they need to adjust. That was one of many important takeaways from new research conducted by Armored Things, a leading provider of AI software for smart space planning.

Armored Things interviewed 255 space planners in the United States to better understand their challenges and needs related to how they optimize their use of space and inform their real estate planning decisions in the current environment. 175 of the respondents were from companies with at least 500 employees, and 80 were from higher education institutions with at least 500 students.

“Getting a handle on the best use of physical space is really difficult in the current hybrid environment, yet it has a tremendous impact on the productivity and efficiency of businesses and schools,” said Richard Scannell, CEO, Armored Things. “You can’t do it without the right data. A lot of the spatial intelligence available today is point-in-time data that doesn’t provide space planners with the analytics and insights they need to make the right decisions about facilities today and for the future.”

Space Planning Needs Are Evolving and Businesses and Schools Are Struggling
Almost 90% of the space planning professionals surveyed indicated that return to “normal” operations on their corporate or education campus have been a struggle. And they find themselves at the center of many challenges related to space allocation:

  • 85% have had to help manage day-to-day seating challenges.
  • 80% have had to resolve disputes over space issues.
  • 75% feel people are asking for more space than they need.

At the same time, they are scrambling to address the changing needs of their constituents. On the corporate side, space planners are focused on trying to create effective hybrid work environments that balance the use of hoteling with cubicles and create equitable workspaces for different groups and teams. Additionally, they are trying to reallocate extra space for new needs.

For space planners in higher education, coordinating space for online versus on-campus instruction has been a significant effort. Schools are also looking closely at their real estate footprint and trying to balance what they should own, lease and rent to best meet their needs. Leaving enough space for social distancing is also still an important consideration.

Space Utilization Data is Severely Lacking
Almost all of those surveyed reported a lack of effective space planning data for specific needs.

  • 95% indicated the importance of accurate data related to space utilization.
  • 94% said it was important to have data that presented an accurate and unbiased view of how space was being used.
  • 94% believe that smart space planning helps employees be more effective.
  • 93% say knowing how many people are in a room, and/or building is important to the organization.

Planners are currently cobbling together data on space usage from a variety of moment-in-time data points such as survey data from service providers, entry badging data, occupancy sensors that track utilization, and various homegrown people-counting tools. Unfortunately, none are providing the strategic data space planners need to meet their organizations’ goals.

Intelligent, AI-Based Space Planning Can Close the Data Gap

Those space planners surveyed indicated a strong interest in tools that could: accurately track space utilization (95%), support and track the use of new workspaces and learning environments (94%), centralize all usage data (93%), offer a way to share data with multiple stakeholders (92%), and scale according to their organization’s needs (93%).

There was also a high degree of comfort in using AI to achieve their space planning goals. 90% of corporate space planning professionals said they would be interested in using AI to provide, capture and analyze the occupancy data, and 76% of space planning professionals in education said the same.

“There is clearly a need for a more modern approach to space management and that’s exactly what Armored Things is focused on,” added Scannell. “Our AI-powered software helps space planning professionals see their physical spaces in entirely new ways by surfacing powerful insights for decisions related to utilization, workplace and student experiences, leases, and maintenance.”

To view an infographic on Armored Things' research, visit:

About Armored Things

Armored Things is a Boston-based software company for smart space planning. Its SaaS platform leverages AI to deliver occupancy analytics for space optimization at corporate campuses and colleges. Armored Things leverages existing data sources such as Wi-Fi, cameras, and sensors to provide anonymous and predictive analytics. The software delivers actionable intelligence so facilities professionals and space planners can make better use of the spaces they have. For more information, visit


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