How To Do A Pre-Occupancy Survey

  January 5, 2012

Today's tip is about why facility managers should do a pre-occupancy survey before moving into a new space. Most facility managers are familiar with the concept of a post-occupancy survey — that is, asking occupants a number of questions regarding their impressions of the new space.

However, a pre-occupancy survey can be an important tool that can help normalize data about occupants, as well as finding out how attitudes about the space change as the organization moves from the new to the old, whether to new leased space or to a newly constructed building.

Before moving out of a space, ask the occupants about whether they're generally too hot or too cold, about how productive they feel in the space, whether the space is too bright or too dim, and how empowered they feel about changing something that disagrees with them. By engaging the occupants before the move begins, they'll feel like their opinion is respected and you can also discover some trends about how they feel about facilities as a population.

You can use this data, then, to determine if there are patterns — i.e., if the percentage of men over 50 who are too hot most of the time in the new space is about the same as in the old, it may be less indicative that you have a problem with your space, and more that you just have some cranky old men. But if the percentage is a lot higher in the new space, you may have a problem on your hands.


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