Space Planning Job Market Sizzles

In Minneapolis, Wells Fargo, Inc. wants a Space Planner who is able to review and resolve all space requests in the queue. 

In Massachusetts, Moderna, Inc. wants a candidate to act as a MAC (Move, Add, Change) lead for employee moves. 

And global real estate management company CBRE is looking for a Space Planner to predict future space needs based on changing workplace needs.

In a wide range of industries across the U.S., the hunt is on for strategic Space Planners who can help the corporate world save money and time and improve the return-to-office experience. Titles may range from Space Planner/Data Analyst to Designer/Space Planner and Advisor, Workplace Spaces – but the task is generally the same: help plan the smartest spaces possible.

And more and more, space planning roles reference occupancy analytics. For example, Wells Fargo requires that candidates for a current Space and Occupancy Planner position have strong experience with “office space and occupancy planning either as an occupancy consultant or as an employee in a corporate real estate department.”

And much of the activity in this career sector is about returning to campuses and offices. Candidates for the job title Space and Occupancy Planner at Hasbro, Inc. are required to support “the business with its current space planning needs as well as strategically plan for future hybrid working arrangement.” 

As Molly Glasgow, executive vice president at the commercial real estate management giant JLL, told WRAL Techwire, “Companies are still investing in space. Even hybrid and “fully remote” companies.”


The main responsibility is to make efficient use of space while also keeping costs low. This can include everything from determining where to place cubicles to deciding whether to sign multi-million dollar leases. Many companies require Space Planners to have 4-year degrees in interior design or architecture, but requirements range from 5 years of work experience to a few years of training to a high school degree. Other than education, most of these space planning positions require candidates to be creative, organized and have advanced communications skills. 


Through the collection of occupancy data, they can determine how to set up offices or classrooms, and project headcounts and utilization over time. Many Space Planners are tasked with creating plans for short and long-term occupancy needs through utilization strategies and real estate decisions. They also produce and develop daily occupancy reports in order to communicate space utilization in office spaces. 

These Space Planners are then obligated to distribute the data that they gather to stakeholders. The data is used for project proposals for office buildings and many corporate Space Planners are required to report to the C-suite for space design reviews. 


As we enter a post-pandemic world, the way office space is used has changed drastically. The Space and Occupancy Planner at Wells Fargo, Inc. in Minneapolis is now expected to understand shared and flexible seating and workplace strategies as well as concepts such as desk sharing. Many corporations are also beginning to invest in technology to accommodate their hybrid work model which can be costly. Senior Space Planners at CBRE are responsible for developing opportunities to decrease costs while increasing process efficiencies. 


By using AI and combining it with other inputs, Space Planners can generate valuable data and insights previously unattainable such as collaboration scores. Planners can use this data in order to create next action recommendations for office spaces and solve disputes over space – all while adding long-term value to leases. Smart planning can also help organizations avoid the high costs of deferred maintenance.

To learn more about how Armored Things helps facilities teams deliver on priorities like this, schedule time with one of our experts today.  

Alex Trotto contributes to the Blog and Social Media channels for Armored Things. She is currently a Northeastern University student in her sophomore year.

Deferred Maintenance: Costly, Risky, and Common

Deferring maintenance and repairs may appear to save corporations and organizations money in the short term, but the long-term costs are significant and disruptive, even resulting in complete shutdowns of facilities. 

Strategic Space Planning teams need to know the risks and consequences associated with delaying building repairs, and that starts with understanding the basics of deferred maintenance. 

How costly is it? In a recent Higher Ed Facilities Forum article, the University of Missouri announced that they’re reducing their campus size by one million square feet due to an $881 billion backlog in deferred maintenance. That price tag was part of the university’s motivation to shrink its footprint. 

The University of Missouri announced that they’re reducing their campus size by one million square feet due to a $881 billion blacklog in deferred maintenance.



Deferred maintenance can be described as the postponement of building maintenance and repairs from an organization’s normal operating budget cycle in order to save money. Although deferring maintenance may seem like a feasible cost-saving practice, months and even years of neglecting building repairs can result in significantly greater costs and damage in the long term. Additionally, the collective cost of maintaining facilities greatly impacts an organization’s overall budget, especially as the building ages. To make this even more complicated, Facilities.Net reports that many budgets for new construction rarely include the ongoing costs for maintenance. 


One of the main reasons for deferring building maintenance is inadequate funding. Facilities managers may not be aware of all the duties and money that are required to properly maintain building assets. Additionally, they may not take into account the expenses of deferred maintenance when creating budgets. Another cause of deferred maintenance is insufficient staffing. When understaffed, there aren’t enough technicians to address every maintenance issue that emerges. 

Overall, deferred maintenance occurs when facilities management teams don’t enforce regularly scheduled maintenance repairs and improvements. These include periodic adjustments, cleanings, and parts replacements that ensure that equipment is up to code and reduces the chances of its failure.

Then, there’s the relocation and placement of people. One of the big reasons operational teams wait to close buildings is because they would be faced with relocating building occupants. How do you continue operations when a building is shut down for maintenance or repairs? Space Planning teams would be forced to find new places for employees to work or new areas for students to learn while facilities are under construction or repair. 


When a repair is delayed, properties are still used and, yes, abused by employees or students every day. This can cause a minor repair to turn into a complete replacement or even collateral damage. An organization will have to pay for fixing the original repair, but they will also have to pay for replacing all other assets damaged due to the delayed maintenance. This means that managers can lose access to multiple facilities while materials are ordered and assets are repaired, another additional cost. ​​Reactive maintenance, sometimes called corrective maintenance, is an obvious problem. Allowing facility or system fixes to linger until they are urgent can mean major disruptions during peak occupancy periods. 

Along with the disruptions, when the asset controls the timing of its repair or replacement, costs will always be exponentially higher. Studies have shown that for every dollar saved by deferring building maintenance, there comes a four-dollar increase in future capital renewal costs

Deferred maintenance can pose physical risks – from air quality to water damage and aging exteriors. Indeed, in a 2022 Higher Ed Facilities Forum (HEFF) article titled 10 Trends That Will Reshape Facilities Managementcondition-based maintenance – proactive not reactive – tops the list. 


If Space Planning teams can understand where space is underutilized, then they can reassign and relocate employees and students, and get creative with multi-purpose space. By tracking space utilization, these operational teams can deliver data for solving space disputes, and bring long-term operational plans to the C-suite.

At Armored Things, we help higher education and corporate campuses like the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and Boston Scientific make decisions by delivering deep insights about how and when to make repairs and routine maintenance. Using space analytics, we are able to aid Space Planners in making data-driven decisions by showing them where underutilized spaces exist based on usage over time.  

Want to learn more about Armored Things Space Analytics Solution? You can visit our website or reach out directly to for a quick demo. 

To learn more about Space Planning teams, read our Spotlight on Higher Education Space Planning Teams blog.

Alex Trotto contributes to the Blog and Social Media channels for Armored Things. She is currently a Northeastern University student in her sophomore year.