Why should I use geospatial technology when planning my office relocation?

    Finding new talent can be time consuming and expensive. When considering locations for your office move, staff retention is an important factor. The move will most likely affect staff commute times and costs. Geospatial technology can help you plan for these changes.

    By mapping your move using geospatial technology you can:

    • Visualise your employees’ home addresses on a map
    • Analyse commute times to different locations by different modes of transport
    • Layer other important information onto the map, like amenities
    • Discover the best location for your new office

    How do I use geospatial technology to plan my office relocation?

    Geospatial technology allows you to visualise the office locations you are researching and the impact of the move on your staff.

    Let’s take a look at an example using the TravelTime Analytics tool.

    Using TravelTime Analytics to plan an office relocation

    Tom runs a creative agency in London. Business is going well and he has recently hired five new members of staff to meet the demand. This brings the total number of people in the office to 25. His current office only seats 20.

    Tom needs to move. But he is concerned that changing location might disrupt his team. Tom can minimise this disruption by finding a great location for all his staff.

    1. Map staff postcodes

    Tom has a list of his team’s postcodes.

    Employee Name  Employee Postcode
    Andrea EC2N 2SF
    Phil EC3N 4DH
    Ellis EC4Y 7HR
    Deepak EC1R 0EX
    Shane EC1M 5TX
    Jamie EC1V 4NW
    Olivia EC1V 7HU
    Tom SE6 4UR
    Fiona SE7 7RN
    Ben SE19 2RP
    Kate SE16 5UN
    Idris SE5 7RQ
    Michelle SE9 5DR
    Katya WC1X 9EA
    Maureen WC1H 8LG
    Francesca WC1H 9RA 
     Arnav  WC1H 0JW
     Erica WC1N 1DX 
     Matthew WC1X 8QH 
     Gabriella WC1X 8QH 
     Julie WC2H 7JS 
     Peter NW1 7ST 
    Darnell  NW1 9AH

    Tom can plot his employees’ addresses on a map using geospatial technology. The image below shows all employee locations plotted on a map.


    2. Analyse staff travel times

    Now that Tom can visualise where his staff live, he can start to explore potential office locations.

    Tom sent out a survey to his staff to help him decide the search parameters for his analysis. Looking at the survey he can see that most of his staff would like to commute for no more than 45 minutes.

    Tom sets the maximum travel time to 45 minutes and sets the mode of transport to ‘driving’. He sets the time of day to ‘ARRIVE by 9am’, as this is when his staff get into the office.

    The heat map below shows all the areas that staff that can reach within the maximum travel time by driving.


    Tom can see that 100% of staff can reach the yellow area within 45 minutes driving.

    3. Compare modes of transport

    Tom reviews the survey again and realises that most of his employees prefer to travel by public transport. So, he keeps the arrival time as 9am, but changes the mode of transport to ‘public transport’.

    The heat map below shows the areas that staff that can reach within the maximum travel time by public transport.


    4. Layer the map

    Tom can now export KML files for these areas so that he can view the layer on Google Maps or another mapping provider or GIS software. This will allow him to analyse the area in relation to other factors, such as:

    • Average rent
    • Proximity to amenities
    • Proximity to existing clients
    • Proximity to potential clients

    After taking everything into account, Tom decides that the best location for his office is Barnsbury, which falls within the pink area on the map.

    5. Plan for negative impact

    Tom checks the effect this location will have on staff. He realises that his preferred location will suit almost everyone. But it will mean that Michelle, Ben and Idris will have to travel for over an hour to get to work.

    Tom looks at their surveys again. He notes that all three have listed ‘cost of commute’ as their primary concern. Tom decides to implement a season ticket loan scheme to help with payment.

    He also notes that Michelle and Idris don’t mind travelling for over an hour, but Ben does. Tom runs the analysis again but changes Ben’s start time to 9.45am. With the new start time, Ben can get into the office in under an hour. So Tom decides to offer Ben the option to start work later.

    In addition to visualising staff commute times using geospatial technology, you can analyse the change in commute times and costs using TravelTime.

    To try TravelTime for yourself, sign up for a free API key.

    Office relocation

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