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What is IWMS Software?

By Aleks Sheynkman
Director of Engineering
SpaceIQ

Integrated Workplace Management System, also called IWMS software, is part of a next-generation of solutions to Facility Management (FM) responsibilities in the workplace. Though facility management, itself, is not a new component of business management, the real estate infrastructure, maximizing real estate portfolio management, accounting firms, and physical asset management business processes, IWMS software is a somewhat new development in the field. With IWMS software, corporate real estate management software, maintenance management (or lifecycle management) and lower-level employees in a variety of different departments can take charge of real estate expenditure and cost savings. They can also plan for future moves, analyze current space utility data and even perform basic administrative tasks, such as assigning desks to new employees or locating coworkers within a large office space. Move management and seating scenario planning for future premises are also on offer with well-designed IWMS programs like SpaceIQ. Let’s explore what IWMS programs can do for you and why SpaceIQ is the right choice for your growth, cost savings, and management needs.

Breaking Down IWMS: Who, What, When, Where, and Why

To understand exactly what IWMS software is and how it can make itself useful in your organization, it may be best to break it all down into minute detail. When you understand the basic elements of who uses IWMS software, what it does, when it is useful, where it works, why you should use it, and how you can implement it the value of IWMS software will become quite clear.

Who

Some businesses even employ specialist computer-aided facility management (CAFM) professionals whose jobs are dedicated to the use, administration and deployment of IWMS programs like SpaceIQ. However, if your organization isn’t large enough to include a dedicated CAFM or facility management staff member, you can still use an IWMS program. In fact, SpaceIQ is designed specifically for use by a wide range of employees within a given organization. From office managers to department heads and even part-time, junior-level employees, team members in a wide range of departments and roles will make use of SpaceIQ’s IWMS functions such as seating scenario planning, employee finder tools, Slack integration, and scenario analysis. These functions are all part of the work of managing and planning the physical space in an office, and the use of software to complete these tasks makes life easier for everyone involved.

IWMS software can also be useful to individuals in your office space who aren’t necessarily part of your team. For example, if your company hosts a startup as part of an incubator or if you share your facilities with another organization, you can use IWMS software to keep physical boundaries clean and clear without conflict or awkwardness. It can even be useful for maintenance and janitorial staff to get plugged into an IWMS system to plan their activities around the business function needs of your core team.

Other people that can benefit from IWMS software include corporate and real estate managers and directors, and environmental energy and sustainability directors. The reports gained from IWMS software allows the business to make better and more informed decisions regarding maintenance operations, space utilization, and energy efficiency analytics.

What

What will these individuals do with IWMS software? There are so many different ways to answer that question and, in truth, the way an IWMS program gets used may vary quite dramatically from business to business and even user to user. For example, a multinational manufacturing business can use IWMS software to maintain a central database relating to all their different real estate and physical assets across different continents. That way, facility management professionals and other high-level managers in the home office can stay abreast of how space is getting used without having to physically visit the office or get a regular report from employees on the ground. Main office facility management staff and managers in this situation can track when desks in foreign satellites are getting too full and interface with managers in those locations to find out whether their employees are still comfortable in the current facility and discuss the idea of potentially expanding out into a bigger space.

IWMS software is also useful for tracking expenditures and utility usage as part of an effort to lower operating costs. If you have current management systems in place for keeping track of this kind of data, you may want to see how much better it is to integrate your approach with an IWMS software program. The IWMS software program has the power to bring all your data points together for a synthesized analytical approach that makes the pursuit of efficiency more efficient.

When

There are several special event points at which the use of an IWMS software program becomes something of a requirement. Moving is never a fun undertaking, but it’s an especially big job when the moving you’re doing involves hundreds of employees, thousands of expensive pieces of tech, and a whole lot of new furniture coming in via delivery to your new location. Luckily, SpaceIQ’s IWMS functionality includes move management features that make it much easier to keep all these balls in the air as you make the big step from a small old office to a more spacious new facility.

However, you shouldn’t just stop using your IWMS software once the move is over. If your business is growing rapidly, you will need to keep track of how the office space gets used so you can tell when the time is right to expand or make another move entirely. These days, it’s not unheard of for rapidly growing companies to uproot and find new office space every few years. This is especially true for startup businesses that find funding, skyrocket in popularity and then either succeed through IPO or acquisition.

There are other day-to-day benefits to using IWMS software. When an organization is successful enough to occupy a large warehouse space or a multi-story building, it becomes more difficult for employees in different departments to find and interact with each other in person. SpaceIQ uses Slack integration to allow for convenient use whenever your employees need it.

Where

The fact that IWMS programs are completely digitized means they can be used just about anywhere, at any time. If you have your IWMS software loaded up on your laptop, you can even check in with the office while you’re away. This locational flexibility means that move management is simpler than ever before. You don’t need to be physically inside your new office space to get a view of what floorplan layouts are like. It’s even possible to use an IWMS system to plan seating charts and furniture layout design without physically moving the pieces into place.

SpaceIQ’s locational functionality is even more flexible thanks to the inclusion of mobile app connection. A worker who mostly telecommutes but occasionally comes into the office can use their SpaceIQ mobile features to check up on their coworkers as they’re on the train into the city, so they know exactly where to go for meetings or quick chats before getting down to work at a workspace checked out on the go.

Why

So, why do all this? There are several practical benefits, including the digitization of your physical and space assets for superior inventory control and analysis. SpaceIQ is a particularly employee-focused IWMS program as well, making it possible for your organization to include team members in major space-related decisions and get input on where certain teams would work best in relation to other within the office. You can use SpaceIQ to quickly allocate, assign, and analyze your available space and plan for the future. This is an especially smart move when you have new employees coming in; SpaceIQ can make the workspace-related elements of the onboarding process much quicker and smoother, giving you the ability to impress your new employees and show them how smoothly your business runs from day one.

Though IWMS systems like SpaceIQ offer a benefit to everyone in your organization, ultimately, these programs make life so much easier for facility management staff, office managers, and other administrators who concern themselves with how your office environment functions. IWMS software makes it easy to track issues, and with SpaceIQ’s one-click portfolio reporting and analysis, your FM and admin staff can turn their attention to other job functions rather than spending in inordinate amount of their time collecting, organizing, and analyzing data.

SpaceIQ’s Reach and Utility

Clearly, IWMS software programs, in general, have something to offer for a wide variety of industries and employees but SpaceIQ, in particular, is a versatile tool that can be made useful across a variety of different industries and office setup scenarios. While many IWMS systems focus on specific industries or enterprise applications at a very large scale, SpaceIQ can be tailored to work in organizations that are as small as a startup. Getting on board with IWMS software early in your business’ life cycle can help establish a culture of responsibility, planning, and financial caution that will serve you well as you move on and up through each step of the ladder. If you have enough employees or enough of an agile work culture that it’s not always clear where people are in your office, SpaceIQ is likely the right IWMS software solution for your organization.

Still, though we can be useful to the new kids on the block, SpaceIQ is a powerful, useful tool for large businesses to use as well. After all, facility management problems don’t diminish with growth. Problems with space allocation, resource utilization and employee satisfaction can only multiply as a business grows. With SpaceIQ on your side, you’ll have a more effective way to tackle these issues without resorting to old-school techniques or sacrificing any of your style and efficient finesse.

Uses of IWMS Software

Real Estate and Lease Management is one practical use of IWMS software. The software is used to help manage the real estate assets of the company and includes elements such as leasing agreements, planning, and proposals, property management, and tax management.

IWMS software can also help facilitate an organization’s space management optimization.

Environmental Sustainability

IWMS Software allows a business to maximize all of their resources and assets by way of an integrated software platform in which information can be shared. IWMS Software is designed to help save a business money and time in order to increase efficiency and productivity.

Environmental sustainability is one benefit linked to the use of IWMS Software, and it allows a business to measure their energy usage and track other energy-related costs to identify areas in which they experience more waste. The environmental sustainability application can be integrated with the buildings management systems so that the facility gains the control over the systems like the air conditioning, lighting, and ventilation. Benchmarks can be established using this information to analyze the energy consumption of the business.

Analayzing the energy consumption can help a business determine in which areas they need to provide additional maintenance or attention to ensure that their energy costs are reduced, and all planned preventative maintenance is being done as it should be.

Green energy is becoming increasing popular among businesses because green energy is derived from renewable sources and does not negatively impact the environment. When integrated with a Computer Aided Facility Management System, the IWMS can collect all web-based facility management solutions (read more on how to select the best facility management software for your organization)  regarding energy and sustainability for the complete lifecycle of the facility, rather than just during the construction phase of the property. The information can help a business effectively plan and manage their portfolios and building operations to reduce their carbon footprint and see reduced energy costs.

Capital Project Management

Capital Project Management helps maintain and improve assets management and the infrastructure of the business. Capital project management is typically reserved for newly constructed facilities, expansions, renovations, or replacement facilities. The biggest advantage with an IWMS concerning capital project management is the fact that all of the tools are maintained within the same platform and have all of the same data accessibility. All activities are coordinated when it comes to the planning and execution of projects, document management, and financial accounting.

Increased Productivity and Efficiency

Implementing IWMS Software can also be beneficial in gaining awareness and increased productivity within the workplace. All the systems within a facility work in conjunction and interact with each other, and the IWMS Software allows the business to make better decisions using the data that the IWMS software provides.

The industrial elements of a business are taken into consideration, and the operations and facilities management professionals will be able to visually assess these elements to see how compatible they are so that more informed decisions can be made regarding the space and asset management of the facility.

If the business cannot utilize IWMS Software then the reports, forecasting, and benchmarks may be inaccurate or may show outdated information which can negatively impact the efficiency and productivity within the workplace. IWMS solutions allow businesses to replace the traditional methods used in generating these reports. There is no longer the need to enter any information manually. The information will be more accurate and become accessible to the right people. When the information is able to be shared among the people that need it, it cuts down on the time the users spend trying to locate the information they need and instead they can view real-time data conveniently and easily.

With IWMS, users can also schedule maintenance during the times that won’t pose an inconvenience for the business or workplace. Being able to schedule maintenance at the best times for the business means causing fewer distractions for the employees which in turn increases workplace productivity.

Space Utilization

Space utilization and management is another significant benefit that can be gained from IWMS Software. It can sometimes be difficult for a facilities manager to determine how well the space in the facility is being used. The IWMS Software gives these facility managers the ability to identify new and existing opportunities and solutions to increase the efficiency within the workplace environment. The IWMS Software provides real-time data regarding space utilization for the facility

When a facility implements successful IWMS Software, then the business has the chance to see increased workplace productivity and efficiency.

Lifecycle Management

Integrated IWMS Software is a strategy a business should also employ for the planning and management of their real estate portfolio and assets. IWMS Software implementation can provide effective organization concerning all of a businesses resources which can help maximize the lifecycle of their resource management while also finding effective ways to reduce the total cost of occupancy or TCO.

The total cost of occupancy or ownership is the financial estimate that helps buyers determine all of the costs that are associated with a product or system. It is management accounting that can be applied with full cost accounting. Integrated IWMS systems are beneficial because they can adapt to the changing needs of a business which is important when you consider data that is relevant for facility management, project management, and real estate management. Standard IWMS solutions can help to reduce the costs of TCO and provides flexibility. The integrated software will also ensure compatibility with newer software versions.

Lifecycle management is a flexible approach that was designed to draw on the elements of principle life cycle thinking to help businesses. Application lifecycle management involves the development and maintenance of computer programs and includes all aspects of the programs including the software maintenance, continuous integration, and project management.

Implementation Planning of IWMS Software

The implementation planning of IWMS Software should include a defined direction and strategic goal of the business. The planning phase should also include an objective analysis of the current methods and systems of the facility and the required resources that are needed to achieve the best results from IWMS Software.

The plan is beneficial in providing a clear understanding of the project management and systems and their overall goals. It can also help the business steer clear of repeating responsibilities and tasks and provides the foundation for a focused implementation strategy. The implementation planning of the IWMS software will ultimately increase the functionality of the system being used and process productivity.

Phase 1 of the planning process includes a preliminary assessment and analysis of the resources that will be needed. Resources include data requirements, training requirements that will be needed for the new software, and the data access and flow. Next, a system design and standards system will be developed, and then the software installation and data development, integration, and report production will begin followed by training for the users that will be utilizing and managing the IWMS software.

Finally, a technical support team should be set in place for review and evaluation of the IWMS software and maintain system enhancements while following through on any additional training that may be needed to increase the effectiveness of the integrated workplace management system software.

Another benefit of the planning process is the chance to determine priorities concerning the level of information system and data that will be needed. All of the facilities’ current systems and data sources should be reviewed so that additional areas that will benefit from improvement with the IWMS software can be located and integrated with the management system. Users will need training on the functionality of the new management system, and end-users may require additional training on these services.

IWMS Opportunity Assessment

The IWMS Opportunity Assessment takes into consideration the Needs Analysis Assessment. It also involves cross-departmental data flow and will help determine which departments are going to require access to the system. Integration of the systems also provides a more efficient way to share information and quickly locate the information each department will need.

The opportunity assessment will also offer the business the chance to analyze the existing workflow and systems to best determine and identify all risks and benefits that will be associated with the IWMS software. It will analyze all individual processes as well as all the operating processes and functions.

Opportunity assessments are beneficial when determining which functions need to be merged and which asset management functions should be more defined in order to achieve optimal performance, ease of use and functionality, and improved and managed productivity.

Magic Quadrant

Magic Quadrant is simply the series of market research reports that provide quantitative analysis into a specific market. Several analyzed markets are broken down into magic quadrants. Some of these markets include application performance management, business process analysis tools, data integration tools, IWMS software, and IT service management.

With the Magic Quadrant for IWMS, quantitative and qualitative criteria were analyzed for vision, strategy, organization, products, services and performance. It also analyzes sustainability as a core functional area concerning IWMS software.

Management of a facilities life cycle is one of the biggest expenses that a business can face. It requires strategy and functionality in order to achieve optimum performance within an IWMS system. According to the magic quadrant, and IWMS system is comprised of five of the core competencies. These competencies include capital project management, real estate management, space and facilities managemen, and sustainability and compliance.

When all of the core competencies are addressed, and all data is correct, the IWMS software can help employ strategic solutions for any problems and increase workflow and productivity so that the business can make informed and knowledgeable decisions concerning space utilization, management and lease administration, and facility optimization.

Implementing IWMS software in your business is an overall good decision that will help alleviate future problems, ensure that all the information is up to date and accurately portrayed, and it will help offer ways in which the business can improve productivity and increase workplace satisfaction.

CAFM Software Versus IWMS Software

CAFM is more of a space planning tool that can monitor space utilization and asset management within a facility. IWMS software supports all of the elements of facilities management. If your business is just looking to find ways to optimize space and plan and execute the use of the space and track preventative maintenance, then CAFM software may be sufficient enough.

However, if you are looking for software management that will cover a variety of other platforms and enable the facility to monitor everything with just one system, then IWMS software is the ideal solution. IWMS software offers the facility space management features as well as the technology and tools to monitor every other aspect of the facility including energy, construction, management, lease management, and project management.

An IWMS software solution is a convenient and straightforward way to track and manage every element of the facility and business with the use of a single facility management system and is easy to use and flexible enough to adapt to the growing and changing needs of the business. While there is nothing wrong with computer aided facilities management software, your business may require a bit more which is where IWMS software steps in to offer a way to track and manage workplace management more effectively.

Keep reading: What is CAFM?

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Why is Facility Management Important for Productivity?

By Reagan Nickl
Enterprise Customer Success Senior Manager
SpaceIQ

Facility Management (FM) is a multi-departmental business evidence-based management discipline and software productivity that focuses on efficiency efforts and long-term success in areas like real estate, operational finances, human resources, maintenance and information technology (IT). Generally speaking, anything having to do with a facility manager, business’ facility or space and physical assets is part of facilities management and productivity growth, and it’s easy to see why.

When it comes to productivity, having all these elements in order is an essential recipe for success. A business can’t run properly when its facilities and physical assets aren’t in working order. However, beyond that, a well-run FM program can be a key factor in facilitating productivity for individual employees on a day-to-day basis in the workplace.

A facilities management professional should be in charge of these operations to ensure improved productivity within the company by using the information from maintenance and daily operations reports to determine the best solution for any problems that may arise that can ultimately negatively affect productivity within the workplace.

Basic Productivity Considerations in Facility Management

From broken computers to burst pipes, there are plenty of facility-related issues, errors and accidents that can bring productivity to a grinding halt for any number of employees in an office. When there isn’t a proper reporting system or chain of command for dealing with facilities-related issues, productivity is derailed not only for the employees directly affected by the issues but also for many of their colleagues, subordinates, counterparts and managers. Even simple problems like a broken desk chair that won’t be replaced for two weeks due to bureaucratic slowdowns can have a ripple effect throughout the office.

But when businesses pay proper attention to FM, they make it easier to move past these inevitable breakdowns in functionality and get productivity back on track as soon as possible. An office space that functions properly in a structural sense is better placed to function properly in a work outcome capacity as well. While this is a not insignificant benefit to incorporating FM techniques or even creating an FM department, it’s not the only way good facility, space and physical asset management can make efficient operations more common. Solving problems efficiently when they arise and giving employees a way to report these problems is a good first step, but it’s not the only way to make productivity a major focus of FM efforts.

Dimensions of Digitalization of Facilities Management

There are four different dimensions concerning the digitalization of facilities management. Technology has fast become a vital element of business, and increased digitalization may pose new challenges for facility management.

End-to-End digital facility management services allow the customers or employees to interact with the business on a digital level and it is a safe and secure way to aid in improving employee management. Digitalizing the facilities management aspects of the business can provide updates that can be accessed in whatever location they are needed, at whatever time they are needed. For example, if there is an emergency maintenance issue that arises, the facility manager will receive this information quickly and be able to provide the business with updated resources to ensure that processes are maintained and functioning while being able to go from facility to facility to take care of any other potential issues as well.

Digitalization means an increase in productivity and tracking and assigning maintenance requests are easier to do and can be tracked in real time. It offers the maintenance management team the ability to prioritize maintenance issues based on their priority status so that the management team can accomplish what needs to be done right away while being able to track other issues as they come. The real-time data that digitalization allows can also help foster collaboration from other team members across all departments so that work orders are assigned and tackled efficiently and easily without having to disrupt any other processes.

Workplace productivity and retention will also see vast improvements because the facilities management, IT, and HR departments can all become integrated with the digital system in order to maximize each department’s potential.

Energy and sustainability can be translated into reduced costs and improved savings which will show an immediate return on the investment. Finally, compliance management in regards to the FM can be effectively monitored including the preventative maintenance aspects of the company as well as strategic management, completion schedules and predicted costs of each job.

Digitalization does, however, include a small investment but the potential is there, and the ROI can increase productivity and find cost reductions which will take functionality to a new and improved level of strategic management.

Competencies of Facility Management

There are several core competencies concerning facility management. Some of these core competencies include communication, finance and business, human factors, leadership and strategy, operations and maintenance, quality, technology and property management.

Communication is one of the most important aspects of any type of management position. Effective communication can help increase the company’s effectiveness and timing as well as the understanding of the processes that are involved concerning facilities management. Messages within a business need to be clear and concise and easy to understand. To achieve effective communication when sending out messages, be sure that the message is broken up into smaller sections and the purpose of the message is clearly defined.

Operations and maintenance are also critical elements of a successful facilities management system. In addition to the normal maintenance and procedures, the facilities manager will also be responsible for effectively allocating space, ensuring compliance with government regulations, and developing a continuity plan so that the business can quickly recover after an incident or problem.

Facilities management ensures that the business remains in operating order, the employees are safe, productivity is increased, and the workplace remains a friendly and inviting environment for both employees and clients.

Facility management software and other computer aided project management solutions are often employed as a way to help keep track of goals and helps everything run smoothly while being more manageable. Facility management software is a web-based solution to help reduce the costs of maintaining the facility, improve the flow of information throughout the departments, and boost operational efficiencies.

How Facility Management Relates to Human Resources

The people who work in an organization’s facilities are also part of FM, which means that human resources (HR) concerns and FM concerns often overlap. As a matter of fact, HR professionals working for businesses with significant FM programs may find themselves working with the facilities department’s employees and tools more often than you might assume. While FM doesn’t necessarily deal with HR functions like dispute resolution, legal compliance or payroll concerns, it can relate to things like employee satisfaction and recruitment. Think of it this way: If you showed up for a job interview and the receptionist couldn’t tell you whether your interviewer was in the office and where your interview was to be held, you wouldn’t be very impressed with the business, would you? Similarly, no candidate wants to feel a sense of chaos when they walk into a prospective employer’s office. FM can absolutely help to keep these parts of the recruiting process under control.

Beyond recruiting, the synergy of FM and HR functions can mean smoother day-to-day operations for employees in all departments and leadership levels. Considerations like desk assignments and even seemingly minor things like deciding who gets to use which conference room when might not have a huge impact on the grand scheme of business operations. However, on a micro scale, these matters can make a dramatic difference in the way individual employees experience life in the workplace, which, in turn, has an effect on how well they work and how much they produce.

Without the dual function of FM and HR in concert, these details can slip through the cracks as leadership in each individual department assumes that someone else in the organization is taking care of it. This kind of buck-passing is always detrimental to productivity, even when the focus of the task is something that seems like a relatively minor point of concern.

What FM Technology Means for HR Professionals

The old-school solution of using spreadsheets and other static tools for FM tasks is gone, and useful Computer-Aided Facility Management (CAFM) programs like SpaceIQ’s workplace management software have taken their place, providing FM professionals and their colleagues in departments like HR the ability to use simple, user-friendly technology to quickly and efficiently carry out various facility-related tasks. This in—and of—itself is a major productivity breakthrough; downloading a PDF of data aggregated by a software program is a lot simpler than hand-copying selected results tracked down one by one in an analog ledger.

FM technology allows HR professionals to quickly take care of simpler job tasks like desk provisioning, leaving more room in the schedule to take care of other FM-related tasks such as employee satisfaction analysis. Efficiency is always good for productivity and on the HR side of FM, tech tools are key to facilitating quick completion of routine tasks. But that employee satisfaction analysis your HR team is performing with data collected by FM tools does more than just make HR’s jobs run more smoothly. It can also increase overall job performance across the board on your team.

Exploring the Ways FM Can Increase Employee Comfort and Motivation

Why is an a facilities management system a productivity savior? It’s all about data, reporting, analysis, and action. The right tools will make it easy for HR and other management staff to take a look at the conditions of their office environment, which itself has a significant impact on how workers feel in their workplace. That may sound too “touchy-feely” from an old-school business management perspective, but all evidence points to the fact that happy employees are well worth the investment.

It’s a sensible approach, and while it’s borne out by data, it’s easy to see how employee comfort in the workplace can actually have a lot to do with how well workers are able to do their jobs. Spending each day in the office bundled up and shivering isn’t exactly going to help an employee feel excited about showing up to work each day and the fact of the matter is that the pain of being cold is distracting. It makes good sense, then, to find a temperature that works for your office but the challenge there is that each employee tends to have their own ideal operating temperature.

Sensor integration can actually be a great way to address this issue from an FM strategy point of view. While, in theory, employees can just adjust the temperature in a conference room when they walk in, they’ll have to remember to adjust it back down or up when they walk out of the room again in order to leave it in a better place for the next employee. Smart sensors installed in conference rooms and unassigned office space can recognize an individual employee and draw from an FM profile detailing their preferences to make immediate adjustments as soon as they enter or check themselves into a room. Tools like this make FM an essential element in the quest to make employees feel comfortable and satisfied at work so they’ll repay your considerate treatment with the best work they can possibly do.

The tools you select for this task are important, though. SpaceIQ has powerful analytical and reporting tools that allow for one-click PDF generation. That in and of itself is a productivity win, but it’s what’s contained within those rapidly generated documents that are really important for long-term performance gains across the board. If you’re experimenting with different office arrangements and workspace sharing approaches, using SpaceIQ throughout the process can give you the ability to track precise locations and conditions to measure against quarterly financial reports and other productivity data. The guesswork era is over in FM and HR. Now you can have cold, hard data to back up your decision making, allowing you to choose an objective best scenario for employee productivity.

Productivity-Focused Tools

A good Facility Management solution makes optimal productivity an easily achieved goal through the use of specific tools and functions for an entire enterprise to make use of. Ultimately, this means that the program provides relevancy across all tiers of an organization’s leadership structure. Even entry-level employees can get plugged into the system and use it on a daily basis to make logistical and collaborative parts of their job easier, resulting in more time spent doing and less time spent taking care of administrative mundanities.

Space Utilization Visualization

The space utilization visualization components of a program lays out the floor plan of your office to scale, including desks and even seat markers designating where employees are currently sitting. It also shows you where there are empty seats in the office at any given time. This record of unassigned desks is useful for management, who can determine whether they’re wasting money on overhead costs relating to space and physical asset management based on the ratio of unassigned desks to the workforce in the office at a given time. Having a high-level view of this tracked in the system—again, not requiring independent tracking effort from an employee—allows management to perform quick, productive analysis and take this information to higher-ups for decision-making that’s backed by data and illustrative examples. This also allows for on-demand provisioning of reserved desks and workstations in agile workspaces that take an open, modern approach to seat assignments.

Systems Integrations

Having to click around between multiple different browser tabs or application client windows takes time out of everyone’s day. These seconds add up to minutes and hours over time. As more and more useful systems get plugged into facility management programs, employee attention will be much less scattered, which is always best for productivity. Even the most dedicated, efficient workers find that splintering their focus can have a negative impact on how much actual work they get done in a day. Fewer programs mean fewer distractions and more beneficial work output in the long run.

Employee Profiles

As an organization grows, it becomes increasingly cumbersome to keep track of individual employees in both a general and literal sense. Employee profiles inside a Facility Management program allow everyone with access to the program to do both. You’ll be able to onboard your new employees more quickly, which is something HR will certainly appreciate and, after the initial onboarding into the system is complete, you’ll be able to see what workstation an employee is currently occupying or where they are in the office. This can be helpful not only for those times when one team member is trying to track down another in an expansive workplace but can also give you a better idea of where an employee does his or her best work.

For example, if you happen to notice that a team member seems to have her best ideas when she’s in the lounge area of your office, you may want to see whether working from home a few days a week allows her to reach peak productivity. This kind of optimization is only possible when you have the kind of on-demand reporting and observational tools that a CAFM program has to offer.

Fostering Productivity with Tech

Tech developments are usually heralded as the best new solution for productivity but, as we all know, a program has to actually work as intended to really make a difference in how easy it is to complete a given task.  A good CAFM solution takes a multifaceted approach to the very concept of productivity.

Learn more on what is CAFM?

To improve productivity, technology should increase workplace productivity, rather than distract people. The technology should provide the users with ease and flexibility that can also adapt the changing needs of the business. Technology applies to the overall infrastructure of the business down to the applications that are used as well as the phone systems.

The best technology is the technology that does not take a lot of time to set up and learn. It should also not require a lot of additional time to maintain. While it may work, the facilities management professional should analyze the available tech to determine if it is increasing productivity and providing the employees with a more comfortable and suitable working environment.

What is the International Facility Management Association?

The International Facility Management Association, otherwise known as IFMA, was founded in 1980 and is one of the most recognized associations for facility management professionals in the world, boasting over 24,000 members in over 104 countries worldwide.

The International Facility Management Association offers development through different credentialing programs and conducts research to strengthen the skills of facility management. They also produce industry-leading magazines and newsletters.

Facilities management is important for productivity, and the IMFA has come up with eleven core competencies concerning facilities management.

Communication, Quality, and Technology

Through communication efforts, the facilities management professional team can develop plans of communications to effectively deliver the proper messages and recommendations to the workers, the public, senior management and even the customers. The facility manager will also develop and oversee the application of standards for the business and review performance records including benchmarking, KPI’s, service response times and other measurable events. This information can help devise a plan of strategy to further improve productivity and also measure the quality of the services that are given.

The facilities manager also has the responsibility of auditing and documenting compliance codes, regulations, and other policies and standards to ensure everything is being followed.

When workers in an organization feel that they are working in a positive environment with open communication standards, then you will see improved performance and increased productivity. There are many factors to consider regarding a facilities management system. Not only should the maintenance issues be addressed and the easy measurements of the input and output of energy, rent, and wages, a facilities manager should also consider disruptive workplace factors that could increase the negative input and dampen productivity.

Productivity Blockers

Several factors can cause loss of productivity. The loss of productivity can ultimately lead to lost time and resources. Many of these issues can be rectified with the employment of a designated facility manager that is trained in reducing wasted productivity.

Sometimes it is required to review the amount of equipment and machines you have in the facility as well as their placement. The number of printers, fax machines, and copiers you have and where they are located, for example, can play a leading role in limiting productivity within the facility. Are there enough printers to handle the increased traffic the facility may be experiencing? How far do the employees have to go to get to these machines?

The design and space allocation of the facility is a vital element of workplace productivity. It is best to ensure that all services and machines the employers utilize are within a good distance of the relative working area. An efficient layout will fix operational adjacencies and will ultimately maximize workplace productivity.

Examine the amount of workplace accidents that exist. The facility manager can determine if any additional safety training is needed to avoid losing productive workplace hours.

Communication and an employee’s self-worth and value are also critical elements of workplace productivity. The facility manager ensures that proper communication is available so that the employees can effectively communicate with each other. Social interaction is also appreciated within the workplace environment and is essential for valued relationships among the employees and the customers alike. Facilities management can examine the meeting and conference rooms for functionality and effectiveness and consider an updated design if needed to promote a more open and inviting environment with improved telecommunication processes as well.

The facility manager should have the skill sets, knowledge and abilities that are required to effectively perform and ensure that operations and maintenance run smoothly and efficiently. Planning and scheduling are daily tasks a facilities manager is presented with to support the facilities operations.

Having a cloud-based facilities management program at the root of business operations will also ensure that you are equipped to evolve with the times and also thrive in an agile, unpredictable environment.

Daily Operations and Soft FM

According to the IFMA, Facility management is the practice of coordinating the physical workplace with the people that are employed there and the overall work of the organization. Principles of business are being integrated with factors such as administration, architecture, and behavioral and engineering sciences.

Soft facilities management is another aspect of FM that is essential to the success of the business. Soft facility management services are those services, or elective, that are geared more towards the people that work for the company. Soft services include electives such as window cleaning, general cleaning services, security, mail management, waste management and even catering. These services ensure a comfortable and secure environment for the employees, which can, in turn, lead to improved productivity.

Facility management professionals can conduct a Facilities Needs Assessment to help them determine which of the above services are needed and which may be unnecessary. To complete the assessment, the facilities manager will consider if the needs are sufficient or efficient and if the facility needs maintenance or duplicate services can be eliminated. Security and sustainability are also objectives and require organization and the delivery of the services by the facilities manager to make the workplace safer, more efficient, and compliant.

Hard FM services are those services that are a physical part of the facility and cannot be removed such as heating, lighting, plumbing, fire safety systems, air conditioning, and building maintenance. These services are required and are typically required by law to be available in the workplace.

Under the Workplace Regulations 1992 for health, safety, and welfare these are regulations that the facilities manager must always consider and ensure are properly maintained and remain in working order.

These daily operations and maintenance services are performed and overseen by the facility management professional, and they may also handle the responsibility of the maintenance staff, payroll, of the maintenance staff, and the budget available for these services.

Overall, facility management is important for workplace productivity because it is an easy and efficient way of managing and tracking all the vital information concerning how the business is operated and maintained. Without these services and the lead of a facilities manager, then the business can experience increased downtime due to maintenance issues, lower employee morale, and decreased productivity which can result in the loss of revenue and the additional costs of maintenance due to the operations and systems that were not being managed and examined.

Facility management software helps the company reduce space and maintenance costs while increasing the efficient use of their other assets, as well as increases productivity. Computer aided facility management is an effective solution that allows a facility manager to plan, execute, and monitor all activities. These activities include planned preventative maintenance involving the services, space and move management, asset management, standard services, and even long-term planning needs concerning these services and the budgets required to align with the needs of the business.

Computer aided facilities management can also reduce the amount of inaccuracies that are reported and can help provide the most up to date information that is available. All of these factors can lead to reduced costs and greater efficiency in the workplace as well as improved customer service.

Once you’ve taken the time to understand the various facility management software advantages outlined here, it’s time to learn how to select the right facilities management software system that will benefit you, your staff and your business.