How can space management and planning help with growth?
The way we design and manage the office is more important than ever. Many businesses realized during the pandemic that their offices stood empty and unutilized. Workers requested a more flexible attitude towards hybrid work. Space management is an efficient way to optimize office spaces and the physical space of your business to ensure all available space is being used in the best way possible. Space utilization data helps us understand how employees can be more efficient and thrive in the workplace. But also how it can be used for better strategic planning. This article will explain the importance of space management and space planning and how it can help you grow with the right tools, better understand the office space, make informed decisions, and ultimately have a better workplace experience.
What is space management, and why is it important for office space?
Space management is a part of facilities managementand aims to plan how the office space is utilized. Some space management might also be using an integrated workplace management system to analyze data and reports.The average office worker is probably unaware of this aspect, as maintenance is usually running in the background, and no one notices how important it is until something has gone awry.Space management ranges from physical space, such as retail space and mailroom, to laboratories and loading docks.In the office, it’s usually the HR’s or the office manager's responsibility to ensure that the physical office space fulfills all requirements. Usually, they focus on the daily maintenance, not the actual planning and layout of the premises. Smaller companies or new start-ups don’t have the means and knowledge to utilize the space properly.
Space management strategy for growth
A space management strategy can help improve space planning, the workplace, and space utilization in many ways beyond debating between cubicles or open spaces. Working with strategic space management is important, both from an organizational perspective and the psychosocial environment. Here is the potential of space management at a glance and what can be achieved with the right space management strategies:
- Find new spaces to meet and collaborate
- Increase productivity, satisfaction, and employee wellbeing
- Reduce operating costs
- Make more sustainable decisions
- Scale up or down more easily
These positive impacts of space management are hard to deny. Strategic space planning and space utilization of the office space will most likely benefit the company in the long run.
Increase workplace productivity
The office is more or less the employees’ second home since they spend so much time there. The office building is oftentimes full of disturbances, and a noisy and cluttered workspace can really take a toll on productivity. Many companies have therefore adopted a clean desk policy.
We believe it is possible to have a flexible approach along with strategic space planning and, simultaneously, design an office according to the company’s needs. Do your employees prefer to book smaller meeting or conference rooms with their closest colleagues? Would they like to work in a relaxed environment on a bean bag instead of in the same corner every day? For ergonomic reasons, it is helpful to move around and sit on different chairs, sometimes a bar stool or a sturdy office chair. If people are able to switch to a different room or area, their creativity will most certainly be sparked since the new setting will bring a fresh perspective, which can be a great business strategy.
Employees that work on their own terms and also find the office space inspiring will most likely increase their productivity. It allows them to get into a flow state and handle their tasks more efficiently. Setting up a solid and good space management system makes it easier to involve employees in the decision-making process.
Get a simplified work-life
Knowing where to find everything and using it when needed is key. Employees don’t want to walk in endless office corridors that remind them of a maze. An organized workplace improves time management; as we all know, time is money. Don’t leave it solely to the employees to navigate the office landscape.
Everyone should have easy access to proper equipment, such as printers, electrical outlets, or photo gear. Plan the setup according to the day's busiest hours and crowded areas.
Build a stronger brand
Due to the growth of social media and especially LinkedIn, it is essential that the employees can be ambassadors for your company. They can make your products and services more attractive and visible. If they appreciate the office and can work productively there, chances are that they will highlight and promote it on those platforms. Here’s the silver lining: the staff will be more willing to share their positive experience at network meetings and conferences.
Brilliant people prefer working with other brilliant people, and with satisfied employees, it will be easier to recruit other skilled professionals. Let your company vision reflect in the design and management of the office.
Reduce costs with space management
A large office in the city center or conveniently located close to public transport usually has expensive rent. Not to mention all operation costs such as heating, electricity, and automated security systems. Nevertheless, the office is the business's flagship, where business contacts and other stakeholders are welcomed.
Space management enables you to slim down costs. When employees can book a desk or office space, the office size can be reduced since not everyone will be present simultaneously. It gets easier to streamline office management and track and measure how the office is utilized. No excess space, no excess costs.
Also, when fewer resources are wasted on large, empty offices with wasted space, greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced. Space management is a sustainable choice for the future. By positioning yourself as a climate-conscious company, your brand will be strengthened. A choice that fits the (electric) bill.
Adopt an agile mindset
You never know what the future will bring. When circumstances change, it is essential to react quickly. Space management makes it easier to deal with unexpected changes, such as company growth or stagnation. It is also useful when the premises need to be renovated, or any other incident occurs outside of your control.
How can space management be improved?
Luckily, space management can be improved, and the easiest way is to hire a space manager who can better take care of facility management as well as property management. Space management software is a good complement or even a replacement, depending on your goals and budget. Would you like to do a thorough inventory of the physical workspace?Space planning software is the way to go. It can lay the groundwork for new interior design and operational aspects such as ventilation, heating, and machines.
You can also track information about the space and how it is used. Are some rooms booked more frequently than others, and are several never used?Let’s take a look at a few benefits you get from using space management software:
- Map out and optimize every room and how they are utilized with real-time data
- Identify unutilized spaces
- Categorize rooms and office environments into single, shared, and much more
- Track daily and monthly activity for better workplace efficiency
- Generate reports to visualize and compare data easily
- Create extensive reports for informative presentations and space data
- Visualize costs to save money
- Offer guidelines to employees for maximum flexibility
Don’t think twice about basing your business decisions on accurate data. By having a strategic space management plan and choosing quality over quantity, the company can actually invest in the office where it matters, such as more ergonomic furniture, better light, or other great technologies that will help the business become more productive and cost-effective.
Flowscape offers a solution for everyone who wants to simplify workplace navigation with a practical app. The visual and real-time overview lets you plan the day at the office or set up a long-term strategy. You can also gather insights based on sensors, which benefits the modern, hybrid office.
Take a leap into the future with effective and strategic space management
All in all, space management has great potential, both for employees and managers running facility management.It can be very beneficial for a business to introduce effective space management and be more mindful ofstrategic space planning to reduce the risk of empty rooms and high operational costs.