Oct 20, 2021

What is IWMS?

An Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS), is software that seeks to improve the structure, usage or maintenance of an organizations facilities.

In short, an integrated workplace management system, sometimes called IWMS, is any type of software platform that seeks to improve the structure, usage, maintenance, or infrastructure of an organizations facilities.

There is no question that this can entail many different things. For example, IWMS can be anything from managing office resources, like desks or meeting rooms via a booking system, or streamlining office maintenance such as repairs and solving resource issues, all the way to analyze overall office usage and make strategic choices of where to keep facilities, what areas should be increased or reduced and even changing facilities completely.

Just from this short list, it is clear that Integrated workplace management solutions, that is also computer aided, can do a lot for a business. After all, property costs are one of the largest expenditures for a business and finding ways to optimize the handling of these resources can on one hand be price effective, and on the other increase the employee experience and employee retention. After all, IWMS solutions are increasingly moving towards being more employee centric, focusing on creating positive experiences for employees as they return to the office and adapting to a hybrid workplace model.

This sound all good and dandy, but what practical problems can computer aided workplace management system actually solve? Let’s take the complexity of IWMS and break it down to 4 applications that are useful for any business in any size.

Space Management

One key benefit of IWMS is that is allows for effective management of office resources. Resources like desks, Meeting rooms, lounge areas, lockers and parking spaces are entering the hoteling era, meaning that they are shared between employees instead of ‘owned’ by a specific person. A computer aided IWM system can act as a booking system, making it possible for employees to book resources in advance, always making sure that they are guaranteed the resource they need when coming into the office.

An IWMS system can also work as a team planning tool, displaying when colleagues are planning to work at the office, making it easy for others to plan collaboration time, or book meeting rooms for meetings if necessary. Read more about different types of booking solutions here.

IWMS and Facility maintenance

An integrated workplace management system can also assist in keeping the overall real estate maintenance on track. We all know that there can be struggles with keeping the maintenance of an entire office up to date. Things break, rooms need to be refurnished and resources cleaned. This becomes even more of a problem if a business has multiple facilities to keep track off.

IWMS systems can be used as a fault reporting and communication tool across different subdepartments. Workplace management systems are excellent tools to use to enable streamlining between fault reporting and job execution. Building messaging can be used to send out tasks to pre-defined groups, with easy accessible information about what
type of work needs to be done. IWMS software can also produce usage reports of office resources, helping cleaning staff to prioritize cleaning depending on resource usage. Fault reporting like broken cables, chairs, screens and more can all be sent to one single source, making progress easy to track.

One other key benefit is that a building messaging system can act as a messaging board towards employees, giving notifications about renovations that are about to occur, fire drills that are going to be executed or newly found problems that can affect their daily work. Overall, IWMS systems are an excellent tool to handle facility maintenance and increase overall productivity. Read more about building messaging here.

Create a sustainable facility

Another key talking point within IWM is optimizing facility usage and creating sustainable buildings. Sensor technology is an important part of space management and can measure anything from energy consumption, temperature, resource usage, movement across buildings and Co2 levels within a building.

Most commonly however, Integrated workplace management system generally focus on measuring office usage. Sensors can easily be installed in meeting rooms, collaboration spaces, desks, and parking spaces to analyze how often these resources are used. The statistics produced can later on lay the groundwork for strategical facility changes, like rebuilding desk areas to collaboration areas, or sublease certain parts of the building to other

All of this makes IWMS especially beneficial from an environmental and economic standpoint. For example, A business can use sensors to only turn on lights when someone is present in a specific zone or make better use of an area they have in place, hence further motivating employees to come to the office. Needless to say, every step taken to further optimize office usage is a step towards a more sustainable future. Read more about Workplace Analytics here.

Even though we have only covered four benefits with an integrated workplace management system, it is clear that it can provide highly beneficial solutions to common problems property owners face on a day-to-day basis. Much more can of course be included in the broad definition that IWMS actually is, contact us to find out more about how Flowscape’s solution can help your business achieving its goals.  

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