Space Management is becoming increasingly more important as more companies are adapting to a hybrid work model. 73% of business leaders responded in a recent study that hybrid work will be part of their long-term strategy after Covid-19 lockdowns (CBRE 2020), which in turn creates new challenges for facility managers in their quest to keep office spaces both cost effective and employee centered.
What is Space Management?
The new hybrid way of working creates a long ray of problems for a space manager. For starters, we are already beginning to notice how our office spaces are wrong-sized. Without the complete work force filling the space on a daily basis, our office space now seems empty. This is not only costly for businesses, but also creates an atmosphere of a business where nothing happens, which further disincentives people to come into work on a Monday morning. Space management tools seeks to create optimized workflows for facility managers in order to help them mitigate some of the challenges with a hybrid workplace. Below, we have summarized some of the most common challenges for facility managers today, and why space management tools are essential for solving them.
Insufficient overview of office resources
One common challenge for facility managers regards lack of a clear office overview, or an easy-to-use floorplan that is correctly updated when layout changes are made. This includes office resources, like desks, meeting rooms, lockers, and collaboration areas. The challenge of overview is especially relevant for companies with large real estate portfolios. Moreover, if you also add equipment for each of these resources, it does not take long to understand that managing all of this through tools like excel spread sheets are time consuming work. Without implementing a clear floor plan, it’s difficult to assess where resources are located and keep track of the improvements needed.
No centralized source of usage data
Space Management is not only important for knowing exactly what an office has. It’s also important to understand how an office space is actually being used. Analyzing office usage is space management tools strong point. The truth is that facility Managers often lack the tools needed to analyze the usage of the space they are creating for the employees. Only by knowing how the space is used can a business optimize the space to cater to employee
Lack of Flexibility
Space Managers are now more than ever facing challenges in adapting the office to a hybrid work environment. Going hybrid means more than just working a few days from home, it completely changes the way an office is viewed and used. Individual tasks will most likely be conducted from home, where employees can work without distraction. This in turn means that office space will be completely catered to collaboration and team building. Our offices are not designed like this today and will require substantial changes in meeting these new needs. The current lack of flexibility will be one of the largest challenges for facility managers in the years to come.
Retaining staff and competence
The lack of suitable space for the tasks that will now be conducted from the office in turn creates problems retaining staff. Previous research suggests that employees who work more from home are more likely to change jobs and remain indifferent to the brand. This means that the office space, when people are actually using it, will be one of the most important aspects for employee retention. Designing spaces for people will be more important than ever in the era of flexibility.
Drop in productivity due to insufficient work environment
Changing the office environment to fit the new needs of collaboration and teamwork consequently results in minimizing the number of resources used for individual work. This in turn creates new challenges in efficiently making sure that employees can get the resources that they need. Employees are estimated to lose 15 minutes a day in finding the right resources for then. Space Managers and Facility Managers need to be the leaders in providing employees with resource finding tools to mitigate the problems with a hybrid work environment.
Why Space Management is important for a Business?
Space Management software helps businesses control, supervise, and manage their office space. With all assets it entails. This can include single assets, like meeting rooms and desks, or entire departments, floors, buildings, or multiple buildings. Space Management solutions solves these problems by giving space and facility managers tools to analyze, forecast, strategize, and maintain their property portfolio.
Examples of excellent space management.
Build data-based Space Management strategies
By using sensor technology, Facility Managers can start identifying trends and workflows which can lay the foundation for future office changes. Space Management tools often include statistic modules that can be used to view and analyze historical data about the utilization of various resources in your office. Make sure you choose a tool that works for the size of your real estate portfolio, many solutions offer extended analytic capabilities for multi-office companies and global corporations to centralize property management.
Clear space overview and supervision
An interactive floor map enables you to manage your office space with efficiency and ease. A floor map displays all office resources and gives facility managers, as well as employees, a complete overview of the resources in the company’s real estate portfolio. Instead of keeping track of resources through lists and excel spread sheets, interactive floor plans give the location of the resource directly and helps facility managers understand the layout of the office and how certain resource issues and layout changes affect the overall workflow in an office space.
Make sure that the tool you choose make spaces and resources easy to manage in the admin portal, and that the floor plan is easy to use and displays the office layout clearly.
Collect accurate utilization data of your office space
Wireless battery-operated sensors can be used to collect accurate, granular real-time data about the precise utilization of every single resource throughout the day. Sensor technology is key to produce usable statistics and needs to be taken into consideration when looking for a space management tool.
Increase employee productivity with Space Booking Solutions
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. By adapting an employee centered space management tool, Business owners can make sure that employees find resources with the equipment and location needed for their specific needs. Make sure that the space management tool you choose provides comprehensive booking solutions that make your workplace manageable for the people using it.