How many technicians do I need per square foot of space?
I’m going to preface this with a caveat: square footage is not the only item to consider when staffing your facility. In fact, its importance isn’t as great as others more specific to your industry.
That said, nationwide, facilities employ a median of one full time maintenance worker per 50,000 square feet. However, that estimate includes numbers from all different industries, and it won’t necessarily apply to yours.
To get a rough estimate of how many maintenance technicians you need per square foot, it might help to see what similar companies are doing. If there is any published data on how many maintenance staff the average company in your industry employs, you can compare that with the their average square footage and get a ballpark figure to work off of.
Of course, you have other factors to look at as well. When determining your staffing needs, answer these questions:
- What level of safety and functionality do you need in the area?
- What types of maintenance tasks typically need to be fulfilled?
- How many assets do you need to maintain?
- How old are those assets?
- How many work orders do you receive per asset?
- What is your average response time for fulfilling those work orders?
In most cases, these questions will figure more into your staffing levels than square footage alone, so be sure to take a look at them. Tools such as CMMS software can track that data for you and help you make information-based staffing decisions.
Now, in scenarios where you have an especially large facility to cover, space becomes more relevant. The more time your technicians spend getting from one asset to the next, the less they’ll be able to accomplish in a given workday.
In this case, you’ll want to look at how work order completion compares to your maintenance plans. Assuming your maintenance planning is where it should be, you may have travel time issues if your technicians struggle to get to everything on their daily list of tasks, especially if they otherwise complete tasks in a timely manner. On the other hand, if they complete everything too quickly, you might be overstaffed.