“The recession has been great for business,” says IT entrepreneur

"Most office spaces in the UK are running at around 45 per cent occupancy," says Paul Statham, who launched RNM Systems in 2000. "That is unacceptable in a downturn."

RNM Systems has designed a workspace management software tool called Condeco to help businesses, from SMEs to blue chips, manage their real estate more effectively.

"Some of our SME clients are making the switch to flexible working," explains Statham. "This can mean huge savings but the problem with hotdesking is that sometimes people simply don’t know where to sit. Colleagues will arrive at work, finding that they can’t sit together and collaborate. With our software, teams can plan their diaries and book desks in advance. Otherwise you end up with the age-old "beach" problem – having to turn up at 5am to get a good spot!"

It costs an SME from £6,000 to implement the technology with a small retainer. Big corporations looking for a national system pay between £60,000 – £100,000 to roll out the software across multiple sites.

RNM Systems’ clients have seen real results since implementing the technology. "We have a global bank using our new ‘interactive signage’ system, which shows which areas are booked in real time," says Statham. "This has led to an extra 5,500 meeting hours becoming available in their building."

Blue chips are also using the software to "mothball" whole areas of their sites during the downturn to cut energy bills. And, while the system is exclusively internal, it can help firms lease out free desk space without affecting existing staff.

Turnover at the technology firm hit £2.5m this year and Statham is looking to reach the £5m mark within three years. "We’re currently looking at the health service as a potential new revenue stream," says Statham. "Bed shortages could be a thing of the past." The firm is also lookin to break the lucrative US market.

"There is huge scope for global growth," says Statham. "And the technology is evolving all the time. Eventually I’d like to float the company. But I’ll always stay involved with the business."

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