Nov 14, 2021

Key Principles of a Space Management system

Picture of a large office with glass walls, with multiple tenants.

Are you currently looking to adapt a space management software solution for your office?Well then you are in good luck. The shift towards hybrid work models and flexible work schedules has greatly increased the necessity of having one, and also the number of choices available for customers to choose from.

Behind every successful workplace there is a well-founded space management strategy, often accompanied by a data powered space management system. A space management system is designed to assist facility and office managers to properly handle the control, supervision and management of a business real estate portfolio or physical assets. But what system should you opt for? And what should it have to ensure that you can manage your office space effectively? Let us cover some of the key principles of a space management system, so you can make the best choice for your business.

What is a Space Management system?

Let’s start with some basics, a space management system is often seen as a sub-branch of an integrated workplace management software (IWMS). IWMS is all types of software that seeks to improve the overall infrastructure, maintenance, and usage of facilities. This can include maintenance control and reporting, management av fault reports, and resource supervision. Space Management systems as a sub-branch generally focus on space layout and the resources that are included in that space. Space management systems is thus used as a tool for effective control, supervision, and management of a space which can include single assets like desks and meeting rooms, all the way to entire floors, buildings, or multiple buildings.

What is space management?

Why is Space Management important?

You might be weighing the pros and cons with spending valuable company resources on
a new Space management system. But there are some excellent benefits with using one. With the new hybrid working trend on the rise, many companies are already starting to notice that their office space is no longer optimized for the modern way of using it. It is now estimated that the overall usage of a typical office will drop to 30% - 40%, and collaboration and team building will be the driving forces for using it. It is evident that office space design needs to change to reflect this change, which represents a real opportunity for substantial cost savings. A Space Management system is the best tool at hand to manage these changes without excessive workload.

Why is space management important?

Key Principles of a space management system to look for

When looking for a space management system, it is important to keep some of the key principles of a space management system in mind, o you csan weigh the functions of each system in an effective manner, here are some of the most important.

Clear Space Overview

The key element of your space management system should always be a clear floorplan overview. After all, Space Management seeks to manage, supervise, and control space. This can be done either by using existing floor plans and excel spread sheets, but we all know that this can be a highly ineffective way of managing an office space. A space Management system therefore takes the static floorplans and remakes them to interactive and digital 3D maps of your office space. When looking at different solutions, make sure to evaluate this map after its user friendliness and functions. Many interactive maps can provide a lot of other functions than just supervision, such as fault reporting, wayfinding, and resource booking. Which can give employees many good benefits as well. 

Comprehensive analytics Platform

Another key principle of a space management system is of course analytics. When optimizing office space, it is important to understand how it is used by employees and how the general workflow during a day looks like.

How to measure office usage.

Make sure to evaluate what type of information you can get from the systems Analytics Portal, does it allow for custom views? Does it allow filtering for different buildings, floors, zones, and resources? Make sure to also evaluate what type of descriptive data can be used in the analytics portal, does it allow for you to analyze usage depending on equipment of the resource? If it’s located near windows?  All of this information might be of importance to fully understand why employees use the resources that they use.

Another good thing to keep in mind is whether or not the analytics portal allows for export of data, even if the portal itself can be a good tool to use, you might want to use other statistical programs if necessary.

Sensor data

Depending on what Space Management System you choose, they will be different data available to analyze. For example, if your space management solution only provides booking data, you will only be able to measure to which extent employees book resources in an office. Booking software is generally not enough to get a clear understanding of the usage of your space.

Using sensor technology is generally considered the most effective tool to collect accurate data about the usage of office space. For example, A desk sensor detects presence and gathers data each time someone uses the resource, even if the employee at hand uses it without bookings or just for a short period of time. This can help Facility managers understand how resources are used at a deep level. For example, are people using resources for longer periods of time or short period of times? Can this be due to equipment? Location of the desks?  Sensors are also a good way to gain a better understanding about ghost bookings, and if resources are used effectively throughout the office.

Examples of excellent Space Management

Employee tools for resource booking

Another key element of a space management system centers around employee tools for effective resource finding. Even though space management systems generally cater to facility and space managers, with heavy focus on measurement, supervision, and analytics, it is important to also keep in mind that space management is in essence, made to make employees life better. It is estimated that employees spend over 15 minutes a day in finding available and optimal office resources like meeting rooms, desks, and parking spaces, and not being able to find resources can be of great frustration, especially for larger corporations. By adapting an employee centered space management system, Facility managers can make sure that employees receive the tools they need to find and book resources, while simultaneously receiving effective ways to manage the overall space.

Make sure to opt for a solution that has the ability to also include software for desk booking, room booking, and other types of resource bookings as an option.