How to plan for space utilization?

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I recently got this question:

I’m trying to figure out how many seats I would have for open coworking. I’d plan to dedicate some of the space to desks and tables and a portion to more casual couch areas and seats at a bar or round table. Do you think I can count the latter (couches, bar, etc) toward my total capacity? If, for example, I’m imagining that I can (hopefully) get 200% members for my actual capacity, will these non-table seats be useful? If one day everyone shows up at once, will people be okay working from couches?
My response:
This process is delightfully challenging.

To give you a short answer: I think you can approximate that in the way you’re describing. Actual utilization will tell you a lot more, so anything at this point is just an educated guess to give the money people a sense that you know what you’re talking about.
Utilization rates are going to vary by price, membership level, and culture, so knowing how it will actually all shake out is going to be impossible to predict. What you want to do at this point is come up with a model you believe will work, so you at least have a plan to aim for. We’ll make adjustments later.
Hope this helps!


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