On this page, you can find all the definitions of the terms and words that we use when conducting an Observation Study.
Glossary – Observation Study
Used as designed
The function this type of space is designed for; is it regarded to be used for individual work/ collaboration/ miscellaneous/ educational/ study?
The total number of seats in a space (eg. if there are 10 rooms with 4 seats in each room, the total capacity is 40 seats).
A space that is planned for but not installed or without any equipment or installation yet, or a set desk but currently not occupied as a team has yet to move there.
Percentage of occupied spaces where the users are physically present. Therefore excluding the activity “signs of life”.
The average of how often a space is being occupied versus the total amount of times it could have been occupied (eg. 100 workstations, and only 20 are occupied each day, the occupancy is 20%).
The average of how many people are using an actively occupied space versus the total number of seats in the space (eg. if there is a room with 10 seats in total but only 5 seats are taken, then the utilisation rate is 50%).
The average of how many people are occupying seats inside the building versus the total number of seats present inside the building (eg. if there are 20 workstations out of which 10 are occupied, and there is 1 room with a total capacity of 10 where 2 are occupied. We have a building utilisation of 40%, whereas the space utilisation of the meeting room would be 20%).
Average peak occupancy
This is the sum of the peak occupancy of each day measured, divided by the total number of days measured. It provides a more representative peak as this on average is reached daily. (eg. if there is a peak occupancy of 90% on Monday and 80% on Tuesday, then the peak occupancy is 85%).
Average peak utilisation
This is the sum of the peak utilisation of each day divided by the total number of days measured. It provides a more representative peak as this on average is reached daily. (eg. if there is a peak on Monday of 60% and a peak on Tuesday of 70%, the average peak utilisation is 65%).
Next to providing insights based on all individual activities observed, we also categorise them as pre-defined groups to allow for easy comparisons between projects and benchmarking. These groups are a match to the used as designed metric; Individual work / Collaboration work / Miscellaneous / Educational / Study.
Normal allocated workstation.
Small (semi) enclosed area for individual concentration work. Supplied with a desk.
Cubicle / workstation with a desk screen, meant for individual focus work.
Unassigned, normal/fixed workstation.
Workstation inside an enclosed office.
Small (semi) enclosed area used for individual calling, sometimes supplied with landline phone.
Project desk, Lap desk, desk connected to specialised equipment.
Height adjustable workstation.
Flexible workstation, different furniture (e.g. high table), mostly provided with sockets.
Semi-enclosed sofa/seating, used for meetings, breaks or individual work.
Seating, used for breaks, informal meetings or work.
Cafe/Restaurant used during breaks/lunch.
Larger meeting rooms, often provided with white boards/projector, different furniture settings.
Meeting table, used for meetings or work.
A space that is designed for formal or informal meetings.
A fully enclosed meeting area.
A room with a meeting table, used for meetings or work with multiple people.
Tea point / Kitchen.
A room with a printing area.
Drawing tables or tables used for meetings/creative work.
Small room for multiple people (Max 4), used for meetings or personal work/calls. Usually informal furniture.
Rooms with multiple PC’s for training purposes (theatre layout).
Chairs at the reception, used for waiting clients/visitors.
A large room (>150 seats) meant for common lessons or meetings, with an elevation/stage or chairs placed on a slope and technical equipment.
A room where lessons are given by a teacher, usually in a 2-by-2 setup.
Education specific practice room
A workplace for students where they can learn to carry out work in practice
Group project space
A smaller closed room, equipped for group work.
A single room where sports activities are performed.
A larger education room, often with an ascending floor, fixed furniture and technical equipment.
A space with computers and/or a library. Often it is also decorated as a study area.
Other practice room
A practice room that is suitable to learn practical skills, with or without a teacher and that does not belong to another category.
A hall consisting of several areas for indoor sports.
A (soundproof) room where students can concentrate on work, usually suitable for <5 students.
An environment where different learning activities can take place, openly and flexibly.
Touch and go
A fixed computer with a network connection for short use.
Individual, immobile based computer work. Either on PC or docked laptop.
Individual calling through electronic means (telephone, headset).
Collaboration (social interactions, discussions, presentations, meetings).
Other, personal and/or private usage (relaxing, thinking, typing on phone, eating).
Mobile computer work
Individual, mobile based work (laptop, tablets).
Unoccupied, no signs of life.
Focus work (reading, writing, paperwork).
Signs of life
In use but unoccupied, multiple signs of life.
Virtual collaboration through electronic means.
One or more small groups of students are working together. This can be with or without a teacher present.
Students are taking their exam individually, the classroom is set up for exams.
The teacher teaches a class to all the students in the room.
Eating and/or drinking, relaxing, texting, listening to music, watching movies, etc. No teacher is present.
Students are working on their own, without the help of a teacher, with the help of books, laptops, etc.