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Eight Millennial Workplace Trends

By Nai Kanell
Director of Marketing
SpaceIQ

Millennials are forces of change. In the workplace, they’ve innovated on what work is and how we accomplish it. These eight trends show how Millennials—the workforce’s largest generational group—views their careers, the jobs they’re doing, and how the workplace is adapting to their specific needs.

  1. Remote work. The emergence of global workforces is driving new job trends. The days of 9-to-5 are gone. Companies operate across multiple time zones, making remote work a lifestyle choice for Millennials who are attached to their mobile devices. In fact, remote work has ushered in a new era of coffeehouse occupants, gig workers, and work-from-home parents.
  2. Experiential spaces. Millennials demand engagement opportunities in the workplace. White-walled cubicles and fluorescent lighting are taboo. Millennial workers want experiential spaces, like a game room with a foosball table where they can bounce ideas back and forth or a kitchen where they can make a snack to refuel their creativity. The more engaging the space, the more attractive Millennials find it—and the more committed they are to working in it.
  3. Work-life balance. Don’t expect Millennials to work themselves into a coma at a desk. They take pride in drawing a line in the sand between work and health, or anything else standing in the way of happiness. Millennial-focused workplaces understand this dynamic and offer dynamic solutions. Examples include alternative seating arrangements, flexible hours and scheduling, experiential spaces, and workplace wellness initiatives.
  4. Tech-driven workplaces. Millennials are the tech wizards of our multigenerational workforce. They’re old enough to have typed command lines into DOS, but young enough to use apps like Slack and Dropbox. Millennials see technology as the gateway to making work easier. Giving them broad access to cloud computing systems, productivity apps, and even social media guarantees a workforce enabled to do its best work.
  5. Flexible hours. PEW Research statistics about Millennials in the workplace indicate they wait longer to have children—choosing to establish relationships and careers first. When they do have kids, they’re also less likely to take time off due to concerns about falling behind professionally or being unable to support themselves while on leave. The rise in flexible work hours is a stopgap solution. Millennial parents working around child care and school schedules have driven flexible work hours into the mainstream.
  6. Collaborative floor plans. Work is a social place. Historically, the water cooler has been the only real social outlet. Millennials are bringing the social element back to work through a demand for collaborative floor plans. From Silicon Valley to Everytown, USA, open offices, hot desks, flexible workspaces, and agile environments are the new norm. This trend creates camaraderie and a culture that springs from it. People working together are more likely to bond, which fosters a stronger attachment to work and company.
  7. Automation. Technology and automation go hand-in-hand in the Millennial workplace. Whether it’s creating rules to sort email or programming weekly work tasks into project management apps, Millennials use technology to its fullest advantage by delegating as much as possible to AI. It’s a trend facilities managers now mirror in processes like hot desk assignment or access control.
  8. Respect culture. Social revolution has hit the workplace. In the wake of movements like #MeToo and the mass backlash against hostile work environments, Millennials take a hard line on respect. They don’t just ask for respect from peers and superiors—they’re demanding it. Smart companies are engineering workplaces that emphasize this, whether it’s seating superiors with subordinates in an open floor plan or encouraging positive stances on emotional and mental health.

Millennials make up 35% of today’s workforce, according to PEW Research. The sway they have in determining workplace trends is evident. When a third of workers demands some or all of these standards from their workplace, businesses feel the need to comply on some level.

The secret to capitalizing on a Millennial workforce that’s vested and engaged isn’t to merely conform to these trends. It’s about listening and evolving as their workplace needs change.

Keep reading: millennials in the workplace – what do millennials love?

 

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Workplace Thought Leadership

Accountability and Acceptance for Remote Employees

By Jeff Revoy
Chief Operations Officer & Co-Founder
SpaceIQ

Remote work is increasing in popularity, capitalizing on an independent workforce that wants to be trusted and own their work. But the rise of out-of-office work doesn’t mean employees are any less interested in camaraderie and collaboration. With remote options comes a new remote employee management challenge: making remote workers accountable and feeling accepted by colleagues.

Connected communication

A 2016 Gallup poll revealed that 43% of the workforce telecommutes at least some of the time—a 4% increase since 2012—and that number is rising. Studies show remote workers are more productive and less likely to quit than in-office employees. Managers need to adapt their leadership styles to help virtual employees achieve their goals.

Any great leadership style starts and ends with communication. The blossoming office Internet of Things (IoT) makes it easy to stay connected with remote employees across town or across several time zones. Cloud storage options allows instant access to digital files and information regardless of time and day. No more waiting for files to be updated and emailed to co-workers for further revisions.

Collaborative information sharing isn’t the only IoT tool for connected communication. Voice and video meeting systems like Zoom and GoToMeeting provide personal connection between remote workers, their teammates, and managers. A Forbes/Zoom study found that half of executives surveyed found video conferencing improves understanding of information and issues. Among high-growth companies, 73% of leaders agreed that virtual connectivity increases communication quality.

But beware of over-communicating with remote employees. Just because you don’t physically see someone doesn’t mean following up on every task via phone, email, and IM is acceptable. A Harvard Business Review article calls this “digital dominance, a relentless and uncomfortable form of harassment.” Many companies create remote communication norms that use acronyms (NNTR for no need to respond) to streamline messaging and reduce unnecessary back and forth.

Create a virtual water cooler

Video conferences aren’t just for meetings. Some offices host a continuous video livestream to create links between offices in different cities. SpaceIQ has a portal between its Mountain View, Calif., and Salt Lake City, Utah, workplaces. These “virtual water coolers” provide a channel for remote workers to engage in idle chatter, share ideas, or simply say “Hi!” to colleagues. If a rolling live feed isn’t workable, carve out time for “online social hours” using a tool like Zoom. Remote workers connect via a webcam and join peers to talk about family, the latest movie, or  what’s happening in the world. To keep things equitable, rotate connection times between time zones. While the cameras are off, encourage employees to use tools like Slack channels to stay in touch.

Not just email, but real mail

Someone in the office celebrating a birthday? There’s no slice of cake for remote workers. Did an off-site employee land a huge account? They won’t hear an office-wide round of applause. Video conferencing is one way to make those connections, but you can’t shove birthday cake through the Internet. Or can you?

There’s nothing stopping a great manager from using delivery services to send a birthday cake or present to a remote employee’s home. Coordinate the delivery with a video celebration to make the most of the moment.

In addition to a “Happy Birthday!” singalong, studies show regularly recognizing a person’s achievements is a critical component of team building and employee engagement. Sending remote employees real mail—even a handwritten note—goes a long way in reinforcing a person’s worth to the company.

SpaceIQ makes an effort to bring all of its employees together twice a year for team-building exercises, financial updates, and product overviews. It’s a cost well worth the connection it creates between team members who may only engage through email or chat. We also hold a quarterly “Gong Ceremony” via our portal to celebrate new business wins.

Ultimately, the way to make remote employees accountable and accepted is to treat them as you would any other worker. However, the steps you need to ensure they’re treated the same requires consistent oversight, scheduling, and personal diligence. The extra effort can result in improved productivity and happy employees.

Keep Reading: spotlight: slack for work-life and real-life

 

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Blog

Facilities Management Training Goes Digital

By Tamara Sheehan
Director of Business Management
SpaceIQ

When hiring a new mechanic, a garage doesn’t just say “Get to work.” Before touching a torque wrench, the new tech has to prove they’re ready. It’s the same for facilities management training. But it’s not about learning the nuances of the physical workplace. Today’s facility managers (FMs) must learn and understand an entire digital ecosystem.

Executing on facilities management theories and concepts is key. That requires access to and understanding of the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing, and integrated software—digital tools at the forefront of facilities management. Educating yourself on them is a natural first step in facility management training.

The Internet of Things (IoT)

The IoT is hands-down one of the most complex and immersive parts of FM training. It covers hardware and software, philosophy and execution, and integration into just about every aspect of facilities management. Using our auto mechanic example, learning the ins and outs of the IoT is akin to learning how to rebuild a transmission.

Few companies are immersed in the IoT. The technology is new and quickly maturing for early adopters, while “wait and see” companies are dipping their toes in gradually. This offers a natural educational starting point: Get familiar with the philosophy of the IoT and the role of the specific devices and systems available to you. As your company’s involvement in the IoT grows, so will your knowledge.

It’s also a good idea to train yourself on the IoT from the top down. Learn broadly about it, then refine your understanding as it touches other aspects of facilities management. For example, learning how your access control system works to limit access is a good starting point. In the future, once you understand the premise and capabilities, you’ll be able to leverage it into different aspects of facilities management.

Finally, pay attention to IoT trends. FM training is an ongoing task, which means keeping on top of emerging trends. Tomorrow’s technologies may easily displace today’s optimal solutions.

Cloud computing systems

Almost everything you do as a facility manager will in some way touch the cloud. It’s no surprise that IFMA training, for the last several years, has focused on cloud computing.

Training should start by getting up to speed on your business’s critical cloud systems—software and services essential to everyday operation. It could be as simple as Slack and Dropbox, or as robust as Salesforce and NetSuite. Gain better understanding of messaging apps, file sharing platforms, conferencing software, and workplace collaboration applications.

No FM training is complete without an introduction to facility-specific software like an Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS) or a Computer-Aided Facilities Management (CAFM) platform. If your business has one, get familiar with it. If not, lobby for one and learn. It’s a must-have in the modern workplace.

Explore workplace integrations

Training yourself on various software and applications isn’t enough. You need to understand the ecosystem they represent. How do these programs intertwine? It could be as simple as sharing a Dropbox file to a Slack channel. Or, it might be as robust as connecting various apps to a central IWMS, which connects to your IoT—enabling end-to-end interaction.

As a facility manager, it’s your job to understand the framework of the workplace. This framework is increasingly digital. It’s crucial to recognize the bridges from the physical to the digital, and how various digital interaction govern the workplace.

In addition to job duties…

A facilities manager’s job description may look the same as it did a decade ago, but the duties and responsibilities are far from unchanged. In fact, in addition to traditional responsibilities, there’s increasing responsibility to pioneer new office initiatives largely rooted in technology.

Maximizing space utilization is still a priority. But now, that means integrating occupancy sensors, dissecting data, presenting key findings to stakeholders, and proposing improvement solutions. Much of this is done through the IoT, cloud systems, and integrated technologies.

Technology is disruptive and has been a catalyst for change in many professions. Facilities management is no exception. For facilities managers entering the field or striving to stay relevant, this is where current and future education should focus. Ask yourself: What technology is available, how does it work, how can I use it, and what problems does it solve?

 

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Blog

The Importance of CAFM System Training

By Katherine Schwartz
Demand Generation Specialist
SpaceIQ

Modern Computer-Aided Facilities Management (CAFM) software is feature-rich and powerful—highly effective in managing the fast-paced environments of today’s workplaces. However, it’s not a “pick-up-and-go” software you can learn on your own. Facilities managers need CAFM training to make the most of this resource.

But where exactly do you get CAFM systems training? Spending a few hours tinkering with the software may familiarize you with the UI, but there’s more to learn than what’s on the surface. There are several options for computer-aided facilities management software training:

The development company

Who better to teach the fundamentals of CAFM system training than the program developers? There are a couple of ways to get yourself up to speed on CAFM software with the developer’s help:

  • Demos: Most companies (SpaceIQ included) offer varying degrees of product demos. If you’re vetting new CAFM software options (learn more about CAFM), you might only need a high-level capabilities overview. Paying customers may want a deep dive. Demos are great teaching tools and one of the fastest ways to learn about the platform.
  • Formal training: Enterprise and paying customers turn to developers for formalized training seminars. These are often available as modules, webinars, tutorial videos, and in-person sessions. Formalized training from the developer is the best way to unlock CAFM software potential. It teaches you how to use the software and ways to leverage it into your goals.
  • Troubleshooting: If you have a specific question, troubleshooting is the way to go. Asking pointed questions and learning from the answers is its own form of training. Resourceful facility managers use these opportunities to build their personal knowledge of CAFM systems.

A knowledgeable user

Someone on your facility management team already using CAFM software? Tap their expertise. This person can give you a foothold as you learn the new system through more formalized channels, while sharing a few tips and tricks they use.

Learning in-house, at your own pace, through a familiar channel is beneficial in getting acclimated quickly. Plus, there’s someone around to help in real time if you encounter obstacles.

Professional forums

Ask your fellow facility manager for help! Hit facility manager forums or online business networking sites to see what advice other professionals have to offer. They can recommend resources and materials to help you brush up on your particular CAFM platform. Many can even offer specific solutions to problems.

A word of caution here. Circumventing developer advice and materials isn’t always advisable. Someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing can cause you many more problems—everything from messing up preferences to altering understanding of the program’s capabilities. Most professional forums are helpful—stick to those. Avoid the amateur message boards and general search results.

The right training is important

Getting yourself trained and up-to-speed on CAFM software is imperative. The quicker you can use your CAFM software properly, the sooner you can put it to work for facilities management. Another benefit is cost-savings. Powerful software makes cutting facilities management costs easier.

Finally, good training sets the bar for better action. Confidence in CAFM software is another step in integrating new technologies for identifying improvements and solving problems. The question quickly goes from “How can I solve this problem?” to “How can I use CAFM technology to solve this problem?”

Keep reading: what’s the difference between IWMS, CMMS, CAFM and EAM?

 

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Blog

What is Facility Management Without the Right Software?

By Aleks Sheynkman
Director of Engineering
SpaceIQ

What is facility management in today’s modern, digitized workplace? Great question. It wasn’t that long ago polylined floor plans and manually submitted maintenance tickets were the norm. Facilities management now requires integrated software ecosystems.

Hardware, software, and the physical workplace

For many workplaces, connected technologies are must-haves. Hardware is the cornerstone of next-generation facility management for collecting and storing data. Occupancy sensors and beacons shed light on space utilization. Temperature sensors help manage building HVAC. Access control systems centralize building security.

If hardware is the cornerstone, then software makes up the rest of the foundation. Software’s primary function is to turn electrical signals, activations, strings of code, and communications into readable, useable datasets. From there, it’s up to facility managers to use data—and analytics from it—to improve facility management.

Facilities management software tiers

Facilities management software varies depending on the application. You might have a basic program to automate ticketing requests. On a larger scale, you may rely on an Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS) to aggregate and display data from an array of networked devices.

Essential facilities management software, at the least, should centralize information for high-level insights. An individual room sensor shows usage for that space. Sensor systems provide deeper insights into overall workplace utilization. How deep you want to focus dictates data demands.

Software makes managing and improving facilities easier

The best facility management software enables a facility manager to do their job better. Check out a few examples of exactly what this means and the role software plays:

  • Software feeds aggregated sensor data from 10 occupancy sensors into your IWMS (learn more on IWMS). Using that data, you determine utilization rates for each space and build models on repurposing under-utilized rooms.
  • Hand-drawing floor plans is over. Facilities management software that lets you quickly create, tweak, and deploy floor plans is infinitely more efficient than polylining. Digital floor planning software provides features like drag-and-drop desking, dynamic scaling, and instant design comparisons.
  • Data compiled in facilities management software calculates the cost per employee against the total cost of facilities leasing and upkeep. Information can be used to measure sales, budget, and manage cash flow.

The more data available, the more insights you have to drive improvements. It doesn’t matter if you manage 100 sensors spanning 20 unique data-collection applications—without the right software to deliver that data, there’s no clear path to improvement.

Integrated software is important, too

Beyond the programs and software ecosystems collecting and displaying data, integrated programs are also critical. Just like every facet of your workplace is connected, so are the many applications used in managing them.

Messaging apps like Slack, cloud systems like Dropbox, and task management apps like Basecamp rely on facilities management software to work right. Share a floor plan on Slack to get feedback from key stakeholders. Upload and indefinitely save that floor plan to Dropbox. Assign employees new seats by linking the floor plan to Basecamp. Each action is critical to facilities management and fully dependent on the technology behind it.

Facilities through a software lens 

Facilities management has and always will be a discipline grounded in operational stability. It may seem like that mission is more difficult as workplaces become more digital, but it’s actually getting easier.

Software does what humans can’t: find intricate patterns, process huge datasets, and organize complex information in seconds. Software simplifies the traditionally difficult parts of facilities management. It automates ways to better understand a facility’s inner-workings and how facilities managers can make the most of available workspace.

Keep reading: how to select the best facility management software for your organization.

 

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Blog

What is Integrated Facilities Management?

By Jeff Revoy
Chief Operations Officer
SpaceIQ

No one likes having 10 different systems for a single task. Why should facilities management be any different? That’s the idea behind integrated facility management. But what is integrated facilities management and how can it help your business consolidate its FM efforts?

data-driven-workplace

What is IFM?

Integrated facility management (IFM) is the consolidation of facility management efforts under a single, unified team. This includes contracts, vendor partnerships, space management, and real estate planning.

IFM isn’t a radical idea, although it may feel like one. Think about the transition to today’s facility management mindset. Data isn’t siloed anymore—it’s organized and aggregated across the spectrum. The same goes for managing facilities. Separating management tasks, duties, and resources isn’t the answer. IFM brings them together.

Taking the IFM approach

If IFM’s meaning has roots in cohesion, it also has rippling effects of the same caliber. Depending on your current facilities management strategy, making the move to an IFM approach means closing process gaps and controlling costs. Here are a few IFM transition examples:

  • Terminate small-vendor contracts in favor of consolidated services with a larger vendor
  • Consolidate facilities management duties by delegating oversight to key team members
  • Upgrade technologies to reduce manual tasks
  • Outsource facilities management operations to a single company or in-house team of qualified experts

The level of IFM varies in scope, but the concept remains the same. The goal is to reduce and eliminate costs, barriers, mistakes, and redundancies.

Focus on what matters most

Higher-level goals govern everyday facility operations. Facilities managers should focus first on big-picture goals, then efficiently manage day-to-day tasks.

Don’t renegotiate contracts across multiple vendors and coordinate their varied services. Instead, rely on one company with one contract. Then, use saved energy and time to focus on improving facilities. Instead of working from the bottom up, good managers work from the top down. Less involvement is a good thing. It means things run properly without direct oversight.

IFM controls costs

Cost is one of the biggest drivers behind an IFM transition. IFM is a great example of economies of scale. In the same way you shop at a bulk retailer for a lower cost per unit price, IFM ensures lower operating costs through consolidation.

IFM also highlights operational cost-saving opportunities. It’s easy to pinpoint where you’re spending too much, being wasteful or inefficient, or not properly budgeting.

Making the move to IFM

Shifting to an IFM approach can seem drastic. Consolidate and streamline FM functions to build confidence. Here are four actionable, practical steps:

  • Research current processes—Who’s responsible for the broader facilities management tasks? What vendors are you working with? What are your costs? Outline the current state of facilities management to gauge an IFM starting point .
  • Communicate with stakeholders—Why are you making the move to IFM? Identify and explain the return on investment and how it justifies changes in processes and responsibilities. Without good communication, stakeholders may not support change.
  • Benchmark goals—Use initial research data to determine how IFM processes compare with legacy practices. Is ROI what you expected? Are you reducing costs and eliminating waste?
  • Integrate technology—Make IFM the platform for expanding your office Internet of Things (IoT) and software capabilities (read more on IoT for Facility Management).

Like all things transformative, the move to IFM takes time—and the patience to make it incrementally. Avoid chaos and disruptions by making gradual changes. Identify facility management pain points first, then jettison lackluster vendors, scale back on redundant tasks, and use integrated data to continue tightening processes.

Most importantly, believe in the proven power of IFM. Consolidate the major moving parts of facilities management and watch as crucial tasks and processes streamline themselves. The benefits of an IFM approach will quickly and continually make themselves apparent.

Keep reading: how to select the best facility management software for your organization.

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Blog

What is Hoteling and Should You be Using it?

By Nai Kanell
Vice President of Marketing
SpaceIQ

Non-traditional desking options are on the rise as companies race to maximize workplace potential. Among them is hoteling, a simple concept that’s easy to implement. But hoteling requires a little foresight to maximize its benefits.

Here’s a look at what desk hoteling is, how it maximizes office space potential, and what types of businesses benefit most from it.

What is hoteling?

Hoteling for desks is named for its similarity to booking a hotel room. An employee needs a desk, so they message the admin to book one. The admin checks desk availability and coordinates the reservation. When the employee arrives, they’ll know what desk is set aside for them and for how long.

Like an actual hotel, office hoteling solutions are subject to scale and nuances across different accommodations. For example, you can book a single-bed room or a penthouse suite at a hotel, and there’s a big difference between what you pay and what you get. Likewise, for office hoteling, desks can vary in location, size, accommodations, and occupancy lengths.

Let’s not forget about the most important factor in hoteling: the concierge. You can’t just book a hotel room, stroll in, and go right to that room. There’s a check-in process. You need to confirm the booking, get access permission, provide your personal information, and arrange any special accommodations. Again, hoteling in the office mimics this process. A central admin—usually the facilities manager—is the point of contact for check-in and check-out, ensuring a controlled and well-facilitated process.

The similarities between office hoteling and actual hotel room booking aren’t coincidental. The latter has been a proven model for centuries. Office hoteling takes the finer points of a streamlined system and puts them to work to reap the benefits of a flexible workplace.

What benefits does hoteling offer? 

Workspace hoteling is becoming more common because, when done right, it affords big benefits to the company and its workers.

  1. Remote workers. Hoteling supports remote employees by giving them the option to conveniently work in the office. The absence of a dedicated desk may deter off-site workers from regularly coming in—there’s the fear of  working in “any available space.” Hotel desks provide an adequate place to work, one that’s comfortable and unobtrusive. Read more on how to use hot desks and office hoteling for contractors and part-time workers.
  2. Space utilization. Hoteling reduces the number of required desks without restricting employee workflow. These flexible workspaces preserve order and organization at a fundamental level. The right balance of hotel desks, traditional workspaces, and other dynamic areas results in efficient space utilization—especially when backed by workplace metrics showing improved usage trends.
  3. Collaboration and teamwork. Giving employees the choice of where and how to work unlocks their full productivity potential. This affects individual work and contributions to various projects and teams. A good hoteling process ensures collaboration is easy and fluid, regardless of where people work in relation to their coworkers.
  4. Improve productivity and lower costs. It’s a winning combination. Accessibility and choice influence worker productivity, while more effective space utilization keeps the balance sheet in check.

Hoteling is a great intermediate option between traditional desk environments and an open office concept. For many businesses, it’s the ideal solution to maximizing workspace and offering flexibility to their workforce.

What businesses benefit from hoteling?

The benefits of office hoteling are particularly enticing for several types of businesses, regardless of industry or locale:

  1. Growing businesses: Businesses on the precipice of growth, but that can’t yet afford to scale their facilities, are hotel desk candidates. Hotel desks are an optimal way to increase workforce while maximizing available space.
  2. Consolidating businesses: For larger businesses trimming the fat and consolidating facilities, hotel desks offer a way to shrink the workplace footprint without downsizing employees.
  3. Businesses with remote workers: Businesses already embracing a remote workforce need to provide physical workspaces in some capacity. Hotel desks are a step down from dedicated workstations and a step up from makeshift areas.
  4. Coworking spaces: The coworking model relies on hoteling. Without check-in and coordination, coworking spaces quickly become chaotic and disorganized.

Any business can benefit from offering hotel desks to remote workers, visitors, or general office staff who want a change in pace. It’s up to facilities managers to determine at what scale hoteling is effective.

Keep reading: a quick guide to office hoteling best practices.

 

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Blog

The Ins and Outs of Flexible Workspace

By Jeff Revoy
Chief Operations Officer
SpaceIQ

There are infinite ways to design your workplace. But no matter the layout, designs must address the needs of the modern workforce. That’s why you’ll find flexible workspaces in most contemporary offices.

Flexible workspaces conform to the needs of whoever is using them at any given time. It’s a space ready to support employees as their tasks and focuses change.

What are the types of flexible workspace?

Companies of all sizes have found ways to create flexibility for workers through creative desking options, space structures, and workspace design. Here a are flexible workspace types:

  • Hot desks: Hot desks are available as-needed by individual workers. They’re placed around the office and used to support in-house staff, remote workers, temps, and visitors who don’t have permanent workspaces.
  • Coworking spaces: Hot desks on a grand scale—that’s the idea behind coworking spaces. Coworking is a prime example of flexible office space as a for-profit model. They’re popular with remote workers, giggers, and traveling professionals.
  • Open offices: The open office floor plan offers structure and familiarity, yet quickly accommodates the needs of daily work. It’s conducive to collaboration in whatever form it takes. (read more on the cubicle vs open office)

The similarities between these spaces involve scalability and adaptability. They conform to the needs of employees at any scale.

Hallmarks of flexible office space

There’s more to a flexible workspace than just flexibility. The sum of its parts is what enables that trait. Here’s what determines how adaptable and accommodating a workspace is:

  • Furniture: Desks and chairs are essential, but need to accommodate how employees work. Ergonomics and mobility are must-haves, which makes pieces like standing desks and rolling chairs with lumbar support popular furniture options in flexible areas.
  • Architecture: Design impacts workplace flexibility. From a small space for a few employees to collaborative space larger workforces, architecture should support space that’s easily accessible, plenty of light and depth, and built for comfort.
  • Control: There’s a fine line between flexibility and chaos. Flexible spaces require governance and order—a “bend, don’t break” approach. Govern check-ins for workspace users. Create rules for maintaining the space. Make flex spaces easily accessible. Established processes guarantee flexibility.
  • Technology: Ensure flexible workspaces are supplied with power and data—accessible outlets, ethernet cords, computers, televisions, device chargers, AV carts, or whatever else workers may need.
  • Agility: Flexibility and agility go hand-in-hand. A flexible workspace is ready for the next employee almost immediately. Make these spaces easy to turn back to baseline and build in expectations for a reset after each user.

Roles flexible workspaces play

Office design isn’t just about the work—it’s about how that work gets done. That means giving employees the spaces they need to do good work on their terms.

Space is too precious and costly to serve a single purpose, and talent is too valuable to pigeonhole workers into a certain type of work. Flexible workspaces are a compromise and an asset.

Flexibility means your conference room is more than a space for quarterly meetings. It’s an ideal space for a freewheeling brainstorming session. It’s the staging area for a mass marketing campaign. It’s where a consultant will work for the next three days. And, between these uses, it’s still a conference room when you need it. In fact, it’s any space you need to get work done.

Flexible workspaces make a company more adaptable to the challenges it inevitably faces: workplace costs, occupancy, operational demands, and worker support. Because a flexible workspace is whatever it needs to be for whomever is using it, it instantly becomes an asset.

Keep reading: the many benefits of flexible work arrangements.

 

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Blog

Streamline Desk Booking with Office Hoteling Software

By Nai Kanell
Vice President of Marketing
SpaceIQ

Like it’s namesake, office hoteling relies on great concierge service. It doesn’t matter how many desks there are, how many employees use them, where they’re located, or what their differences are. What matters is the order and organization that govern them—and it starts with office hoteling software (read what is hoteling).

Office hoteling software is the contact and control point for reservations. It’s also a system of record, a reference guide, and an insightful tool for recognizing utilization trends.

But like a good front desk manager, not all office hoteling management software offers the same capabilities. To make the hoteling experience seamless and controlled, you’ll need software that offers a few integral features. Here’s how the best office hoteling software streamlines desk booking:

  1. Remote check-in: This is all about autonomy. For example, checking in while on the train allows an employee to get seating instructions and head right to their desk. No more waiting to register with a live person (who may be busy).
  2. Flexible check-in: Running early or late? Configure flexible check-in with a time buffer. If an employee doesn’t check in during the flex period, it’s likely that desk will go unoccupied. Flex time accommodates employee schedules while allowing facilities managers to open the space to others when it goes unclaimed.
  3. Transparent options: Take the guesswork out of hoteling by providing employees with options. Is this a sitting or standing desk? What floor is it on? Natural or overhead lighting? What are desk dimensions? Is there nearby access to amenities? Employees looking for specific types of desks can vet their options and choose the workspace most enticing to them. Not only is this an added convenience, usage data will show which workspaces are most popular based on features and amenities. Read more on using office hoteling for contractors and part-time workers.
  4. Process automation: Hoteling is rife with end-to-end automation opportunities. Automating check-ins and check-outs reduces manual oversight. Top-tier hoteling software automates the entire concierge process: employee booking, confirmation, check-in, check-out, and available space management. The smoother the automation, the fewer errors and less need for human intervention.
  5. Booking confirmation: Good communication is an important part of the hoteling process. It centers on the confirmation email employees get when they book a desk. Immediately after booking a desk, the employee should get an email confirming the reservation, along with pertinent details: desk location, check-in and check-out times, booked hours, directions, phone extension, workstation login, Wi-Fi password, and admin contact information.
  6. Integration: A great feature of many hoteling platforms is robust integration with other workplace apps. These apps connect all employees (in-house and remote) to the company at large. Being able to integrate hoteling through them ensures continued connectedness. For example, a remote worker may book their hotel desk through Slack. Or, the digital company directory may update depending on a hotel desk check-in, for real-time insight into where someone is or how to contact them.

The convenience and benefits of hoteling become more pronounced through proper system management. Office hoteling software that includes the above features ensures a smooth experience for any employee booking a desk. Moreover, it makes offering this convenience easy for companies.

There’s more to hoteling than check-in and check-out. Paying attention to the critical in-between steps and perfecting granular details takes the concept of hoteling to another level. When the process works as quickly and smoothly as your workers expect it to, they’ll be more inclined to use it. Perfecting the process is the first step in gaining support for hoteling and the best way to keep employees using it.

Keep reading: a quick guide to office hoteling best practices.

 

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