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Top Ten Commercial Space Planning and Design Features

By Jeff Revoy

Chief Operations Officer

SpaceIQ

Before cloud-based space planning platforms, facility managers were stuck performing repetitive, laborious admin tasks. Templating was the extent of automation and each insight gleaned was the product of intensive data review. Workplace innovations were slow to come as a result, and measuring change to improve performance was, at best, another time-intensive task.

Modern space planning software is intuitive and feature-rich, taking much of the heavy lifting and time demands out of workplace planning. The top ten commercial space planning and design features revolve around artificial intelligence (AI), shared data, and drag-and-drop design. They deliver time-saving results and actionable insights. Modern platforms eliminate redundancy, improve efficiency, and unlock new capabilities conducive to workplace optimization.

Consider how these ten features contribute to space planning and design in an era when workplace optimization is a cornerstone of operational efficiency.

1. Lease management tools

Real estate management is the largest variable in office space planning. Businesses need to optimize space to avoid burdening their balance sheet with an unnecessarily large lease. Lease management tools allow space planners to see what they’re paying for their space vs. how they’re using it. Common features include:

  • Real estate forecasting models to show projected facility costs
  • Occupancy insights like space value, density, and cost per employee
  • Customizable with embedded graphs or raw data export
  • Renewal tools for directly reviewing and managing lease cost and terms

2. Robust integrations

Well-designed space management software circumvents obstacles between users, third-party apps, and the greater office ecosystem. Processes and protocols necessary for building governance should be easy to connect and integrate. From user-submitted support tickets to integrated data streams from office sensors, good software support is imperative.

  • Support ticketing systems
  • Shared space reservations
  • Networking and chat app support
  • Cloud app integrations

3. Data aggregation and record-keeping 

The best space planning software automatically aggregates important data and securely stores it . Then, it compiles data into preformatted, easy-to-read reports that outline the core metrics important to facility management. Modern space planning software consolidates processes, instead of forcing FMs to manually export, organize, review, and generate reports.

4. Insights and reporting

Through a dashboard system, space planners have access to both raw data and preprogrammed insights. This allows them to spot trends, examine data sets, capitalize on opportunities, and better understand facilities. Every data point captured, stored, and displayed further clarifies the goals of space planning. Trends and calculations are actionable information, and having them available through pre-scheduled reports or on-demand calculations is meaningful in crafting the right space:

  • Utilization analysis
  • ROI calculations
  • Real and projected capacity
  • Cost by employee, department, or space type

5. Move coordination tools

Modern offices are agile. Move management features help facilitate relocation planning, execution, and evaluation. Specific tools make easy work of space allocation, arranging the move itself, and communicating changes about relocating individuals, groups, or entire businesses. The result is less confusion about the move, its objectives, and the responsibilities of participants.

6. Graphical space planning

Grid paper and pencil polylining is a thing of the past in modern space planning and office design. Software gives space planners the tools to create a digital floor plan that’s more than a scale drawing—it’s a visual data interface. Easily render space into a CAD-based floor plan without polylining individual objects. Every object links to pertinent info within a real-time database, updating dynamically as objects move and relocate during the planning process.

7. Collaboration tools

Facility managers aren’t the only ones with a stake in workplace optimization. Multi-user, tiered access to space planning software enables easy sharing and collaboration across teams and departments. Interactive floor plan interfaces let department managers participate in arranging their teams. CEOs can log in to get figures and reports about workplace cost. Maintenance techs can configure support ticketing preferences. Workspace improvement remains a joint effort, with few barriers to collaboration.

8. Iterative floor planning

Space planning is a puzzle—one you’re not likely to solve in one try. Creating the ideal floor plan means trying different scenarios. Space planning software can build a digital twin of your facility, then use it to test ideas. Plus, FMs can see potential changes to cost per square foot, per employee, space utilization, and more before any physical changes occur.

9. Directory information and stack planning

The workspace is as much about the people in it as it is the physical surroundings. When allocating space, it’s crucial to know who’s sitting where. Directory information helps space planners visualize individual seats  for granular adjustments to the workplace. On a macro level, stack planning highlights distribution, enabling smarter workplace organization by department or business sector.

10. IoT compatibility

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a rapidly growing sector of business analytics that provides an accurate picture of space performance through IoT-fed usage statistics, efficiency reports, and maintenance history. IoT devices automatically integrate with core space planning software to provide continuous insights sans human intervention. Businesses can also link space planning applications with an integration like Tapdn, which acts as a hub for device-generated data.

Planning physical logistics and managing workplace information was tedious and redundant before the rise of digital applications. Now, user-friendly programs streamline the space planning and design process, allowing admins to focus their time and energy on understanding how the company uses space. This software is the foundation for crafting the ultimate workplace design.

Keep reading: Office Space Management Software Tips and Guidelines

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The Importance of a Visitor Management System

By Aleks Sheynkman
Director of Engineering
SpaceIQ

We’ve all gone through some form of workplace visitor experience. You may have signed a check-in sheet with the date and time or been handed a keycard and escorted to your destination. Whatever the fanfare (or lack thereof), there’s more than a few good reasons for companies to install a visitor management system.

Businesses should prioritize visitor protocols for clients, partners, consultants, remote workers, interns, and others not considered full-time employees. A well-defined visitor management system sets the tone for a positive visitor experience and minimal disruption for employees. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but it does have to work.

Keeping a record of visitors

The fundamental purpose of a visitor check-in system is to be a system of record. You need to know who’s in your facilities, when they’re there, and for what purpose. The most essential of all visitor management system features is a check-in point, which serves to:.

  • Create an archive entry. Visitor records are always available, since no one passes into your facilities without checking in.
  • Trigger the next phase of visitor handling. That could be an instant alert from a mobile wayfinding system or an interaction with a front desk person.
  • Build protocols. Do visitors need badges? Does an employee need to be notified a visitor has arrived? Check-in is part of a systematic process that helps visitors meet their objective.

Check-in and the subsequent record it creates are the primary triggers in visitor management systems, no matter how simple or robust. They’re the first domino to fall.

Directing facility traffic

The second step in visitor management is recognizing the needs of the visitor. Most often, that’s providing directions. Simple instructions substantially improve the visitor experience by grounding it. Visitors know where they are and how to get to where they’re going.

For businesses with a web-based visitor management system, the possibilities become even more robust and helpful to visitors. They may receive SMS messages or push alerts via your mobile wayfinding app. Such tools are especially useful for campuses, where reaching a destination may take more than a few simple steps.

Give good directions and you’ll create a great visitor experience—whether it’s their first time at your facility or if they’re a frequent flyer. Keeping visitors on track to their destinations also prevents disruption to others when they’re forced to stop employees and ask for directions.

Improving visitor confidence

People don’t like the unfamiliar, and it can be scary walking into a new building, talking to someone you’ve never met, and trying to navigate to a place you’ve never been. Alleviate this unease and you create an experience that improves visitor confidence. Consider the following stress-free example:

Jake walks into the lobby and approaches a clearly marked Visitor Desk. He checks in on a tablet by entering his name, the date, purpose for his visit, who he’s seeing, and a contact number. After checking in, Jake receives a personalized text with step-by-step directions to his destination, as well as the phone number for the person he’s meeting. Jake follows the directions—reinforced by clear wall signage—directly to the meeting.

Jake has all the information he needs to feel confident and his experience is seamless, from the time he walks into the lobby to the time he arrives at the meeting. As a result, Jake has a positive feeling about his surroundings and a better mood during his visit.

Creating a safety framework

A visitor management system affords visitors, employees, and anyone else within the facilities a sense of security. Take a look at some examples of how visitor management solutions mitigate uncertain, unsafe events:

  • The second floor is under construction. Instead of walking through a hazard area, visitors are rerouted to an unobstructed secondary path, preventing accidental injuries.
  • A customer is upset at the service received from a specific employee. The company’s visitor management check-in system prevents the person from marching directly to an office and confronting the employee.
  • The fire alarm goes off. Because visitors checked in for their visits, each receives a text with directions to the nearest fire exit based on their last location within the building.

These examples illustrate the importance of control when it comes to visitors. A visitor management system creates accountability, which emphasizes safety for all involved.

Controlling the visitor experience

Think about your visitor management system not only as a framework for control, but also as an opportunity to deliver a great customer experience. It’s a welcome mat for someone coming to your office. It’s a reprieve for employees who don’t have time for disruptions. It’s the assurance that your facilities will continue to run smoothly. Visitor management sets expectations and assures a defined, repeatable, reliable process for welcoming people into your environment.

Keep reading: The State of the Facility Management Market

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Who Should Sit Where in the Office?

By Tamara Sheehan
Director of Business Management
SpaceIQ

It’s a question that occurs in businesses of all sizes: “Who should sit where in the office?” On the surface, it seems to be a simple question, albeit one that’s usually motivated by people with their own ideas of how things should be. And, it’s often followed by a barrage of negativity. Why should Jim get the big office? How come Karen gets a window? Does Marketing really need all that space?

The office seating arrangement doesn’t have to be a divisive topic. Everyone will have their own preference and ideas about how things should be. Businesses shouldn’t ignore the individual voices—but also shouldn’t be held hostage by them when it comes to optimizing seat allocation.

Developing a seating arrangement that works for everyone takes a top-down approach, macro to micro. Businesses that consider seating from a hierarchical standpoint will have a better understanding of who should sit where and why.

Full-time employees vs. variable workforce

The first consideration of any sitting arrangement in offices is who, specifically, is “in the office.” Plan for the variables you know and can control: the people who come to work each day and consistently occupy space. Planning around contractors, remote workers, consultants, and other variable workers is fruitless. Their in-office capacity can change on a whim. While these folks still need space, their needs are secondary to in-house employees.

Accounting for in-house workers looks different depending on your general office concept. For assigned seating, each person needs a desk or workstation to call their own—a 1:1 desking ratio. In flexible, collaborative work environments, it’s better to look more at general capacity—10 seats to accommodate 10 people.

Once you guarantee a seat for each in-house employee, turn your attention to figuring out the balance between remaining space and an acceptable number of flexible seats.

Consult your stack plan

Once you know the total number of needed seats, consider where to locate them. It’s the best way to see, on a macro scale, where groups are, how many seats they occupy, and where within the building they can be accommodated is through your stack plan.

Stack planning informs more granular decisions. There’s no sense planning space for 25 Marketing employees on the third floor when there’s only space for 15. Likewise, before you designate seats for 25 Marketing employees in their current space, you might decide to move them to the fourth floor, where there’s seating for 30.

The key: Place groups before you place people. Groups demands more space, so avoid breaking them up. Organize the stack plan in a way that promotes cohesiveness within groups and synergies across departments.

Seating by floor

With each group relegated to the correct floor, it’s time to arrange departments by floor. This is where seat allocation software is useful.

Look at a complete plan of a specific floor. Then, determine how many seats are in each business group on that floor. Try to place business groups in spaces conducive to how they work. For example, Marketing may be better suited for a benching concept in an open office, as opposed to Human Resources, which may require more conference rooms or traditional office space. Balance this with finding areas large or small enough to support the entire department’s seating needs.

The final piece of the puzzle is determining proximity to amenities. Put departments where it makes sense, not just where they fit.

Seating by space

Seat allocation in office happens at an individual level. Decisions will make the greatest impact on office morale and address individual concerns.

Seating by space is easier once you’ve established floor and area plans. But it’s still difficult because individual spaces have their pros and cons: Lots of natural light, but located near a fire exit; Room to stretch out and sprawl, but in a highly trafficked area. Balancing positives and negatives is the key to appeasing staff.

Office concepts also impact seat allocation. An open-air concept has less seat diversity than an agile environment. It’s best to commit to a desking concept first and let it predicate seating options. In most cases, employees will gravitate to seating that supports their workstyle. From there, it’s up to space planners to recognize what works and what doesn’t, then adjust the seating plan or seat allocation.

Make seat allocation a strategic priority

Seating matters whether you’re a handful of people in a tiny workspace or a multinational corporation occupying most of a skyscraper. Where people sit impacts how they interact with their workplace and coworkers.

Placing desks, groups, and individuals is a puzzle, but not an impossible one to solve. Follow these steps and look at seating from a broad-to-narrow perspective. Most importantly, make sure each group and every person has a seat conducive to helping them succeed.

Keep reading: Planning Your Workplace with Office Space Software

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Five Problems Solved by Office Floor Plan Software

By Jeff Revoy
Chief Operations Officer
SpaceIQ

The most challenging aspect of workplace optimization is finding a floor plan that meets the demands of all employees. It needs to enable employees without hindering management. It should be cost-effective, without being detrimental to culture. It has to be flexible, yet defined. There are numerous push-pull relationships involved in space planning, which is why modern businesses use office floor plan software.

Space modeling ensures minimal disruption until everyone agrees on a floor plan that works. Office space planning software gives facility managers the tools they need to address common issues of balance. Software makes it easy to identify problems in a current seating arrangement, as well as understand options for improving them, including the following:

1. Cramped office seating

Cramped seating is often the product of growth—companies grow larger and add staff to existing space to put off a larger lease for as long as possible. It isn’t until employees are quite literally tripping over each other that more space is added or the company moves.

Office seating plan software not only helps businesses recognize when they’ve reached the need for expansion, it can also unlock more creative solutions—aside from adding space. Space planning software might show that workbenches can accommodate more staff in the same amount of space, while still offering opportunities for some flexible and private workspaces. Or, it might show disproportionate seat allocation in the stack plan. That can help the company better use existing space .

Cramped office seating eventually correlates to a drop in productivity, friction, and other negatives. Space planning software helps address issues more quickly, so these problems don’t have time to fester.

2. Lack of workspace flexibility

When building an agile workplace, individual workspaces need to be as agile as the people using them. This means instilling flexibility throughout the work environment by looking at current spaces and their context within the office.

By providing a top-down view of the workplace, floor plan software helps facility managers see opportunities for flexibility. Some examples include partitioning a breakout meeting area, adding hot desks to a specific floor, or relocating departments or groups nearer to the facilities they use most. Space planning software pairs known needs with new insights, bridging the gap between the two through proper workspace realignment.

3. Too much unused space

As much as having too little space can affect productivity, having too much space impacts the balance sheet. The workplace is the largest fixed cost for a business, making it imperative to cut back on unused or unnecessary square footage.

A digital floor plan creator can help space planners consolidate seating into a smaller footprint without affecting productivity. From macro to micro changes—stack planning to individual seat allocation—it’s easy to understand necessary space vs. total available space when it’s all laid out in front of you on screen. From there, it’s a jigsaw puzzle of fitting people, desks, and spaces together to trim away the excess space.

4. Declines in productivity 

If employees don’t have the types of space they need to work efficiently, productivity can suffer. An office layout planner is a great tool for looking at what types of spaces are available, where they’re located, who’s using them, and how they’re used. Combined with sensor data or usage statistics, there’s no better way to evaluate potential changes to the workspace as a way to bolster productivity.

Space planning software also helps determine why inefficiencies arise. Cramped workspace? Lack of a certain space type? Distractions or poorly designed workspaces? These issues are easier to fix when they’re part of a comprehensive picture.

5. Lack of space oversight

Even when changes aren’t required, it’s important to understand the space you have. A common problem is not having a clearly defined picture of facilities or understanding how they function. Space planning software improves direct oversight of space management, which highlights what the workplace needs to function and grow effectively.

At some point, every business will face one or several of these problems. When they do, office floor plan software may be the optimal solution. The right approach will please all parties, alleviate constraints, and enable maximum returns. The beauty of using software to model the solution is not having to constantly try and retry concepts in practice. Minimal disruption and a smart solution is a winning combination for solving common space allocation problems.

Keep reading: Solve These 7 Problems with Workspace Management Software

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Create Harmony with Office Space Software

By Reagan Nickl
Customer Success Senior Manager
SpaceIQ

When people clash in the workplace, sparks can fly. Friction leads to everything from toxic culture to a drop in productivity. It takes many forms—conflict among peers, territorial battles, or resistance to business processes. Resolving employee friction is leadership’s responsibility. Addressing how the workplace itself contributes to issues is a facility manager’s job. That’s where shared office space software becomes invaluable.

Office space software allows facility managers to get a handle on the main drivers of friction and make accommodations to avoid them. Here are five examples of shared workplace friction and how shared office space management software solves them.

1. Moderate open-concept floor plans

Open office floor plans only work if they’re well-managed. Without order and structure, benching and other open-air concepts can devolve into an amalgam of noise and distractions. A shared office space management system can help prevent this.

Space design and floor planning tools allow facility managers to create workstations that complement open-office concepts. Private workstations, group collaboration areas, and agile spaces parallel to the main workplace provide quiet spots for employees to escape. Properly managed options create a pressure release valve for friction that can come with communal desking.

2. Automated ticketing for timely maintenance

Nothing bothers employees more than a problem that goes unresolved for days, weeks, or —especially once it’s reported. Imagine the frustration that mounts when the bathroom hand dryer isn’t fixed after three weeks, or the light bulb in the hallway isn’t replaced for a month. Facilities can hardly serve occupants if they’re not maintained.

Shared office space software allows anyone to report maintenance needs, wherever and whenever issues arise. The system automatically processes tickets so tasks get done quicker. Employees don’t need to worry about what information to send where; the ticketing system streamlines the process. When maintenance is addressed faster, problems don’t have a chance to grate on people. Minor inconveniences stay minor.

3. Personal space through hoteling and desk booking

Shared offices are a breeding ground for contention when desks are up for grabs. Coworking space software is integral to creating law and order, and subsequently squashing friction. Using a system of record to arrange seating and book desks all but eliminates confrontation among employees and ensures there’s no frustration or confusion about where to sit.

Shared office space software even goes one step further by eliminating the anxiety of getting situated at a temporary desk. Instead of wandering around for a workstation and trying in vain to get vital login information, good software automates confirmation emails and help desk functions. Reducing anxiety and uncertainty ultimately reduces the potential for friction.

4. Organized movement without disruption

Whether permanently switching offices or temporarily accommodating groups, office moves can be contentious for employees and workplace managers. Employees are jilted from the norm and not always certain about where they’re going or what they’re doing—and they may take time to adapt. It’s a high-tension scenario that can make people feisty. Like most situations, however, the more people know, the calmer they’re likely to be.

Office space software makes it easy to generate detailed move plans and provide them to employees ahead of time. Instead of clashing over the unknown, they can collaborate on next steps. Office space software demystifies moves and dismisses friction on all fronts, including between employees, processes, and the workplace itself.

5. Add flexibility to accommodate diversity

Nothing sparks friction like constant interruptions. Shared office space software is key to coordinating agile facilities in a way that avoids disruption altogether. Move people between spaces fluidly without interrupting other groups. Make it easy for people to come and go according to their personal schedules. Accommodate the needs of your multigenerational workforce.

Space planning software helps you run shared facilities with the broad needs of individual employees in mind. The less people have to contend with their workplace, the more they can embrace it. It’s a simple way to foster harmony on an everyday basis.

Don’t let friction start fires

Let gears grind together long enough and they’ll become red-hot and spark fires. All it takes is a little adjustment to eliminate friction and the problems that come with it. It’s the same in a shared office. Use office space software to identify and remediate points of contention to take friction out of the equation. That lets employees work in peace. Whether it’s their peers, workplace, or processes, understanding the friction that grates on them is the first step in finding a solution.

Keep reading: Office Space Management Software Tips and Guideline.

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What is an Agile Work Environment, Really?

By Jeff Revoy
Chief Operations Officer
SpaceIQ

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” -Ferris Bueller

When he said those words back in 1984, Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick) was trying to justify skipping school for the day. Little did the world realize how prophetic that statement would become. In 2020, the world moves so fast that even in workplaces, employees bounce from place to place, hardly standing still long enough to appreciate their lunch. The corporate term for this beehive level of activity? Workplace agility.

What is an agile work environment? By definition, it’s a workplace that accommodates the changing demands of employees. A single space might serve 10 different purposes at 10 different times for 10 different groups of people. The ability to quickly move in and out of these spaces is what makes them agile.

But the concept of an agile work environment goes far beyond simply adapting space to employee needs. A truly agile work environment gives employees the means to stay productive—and, if they choose, to stop and look around for a minute so they don’t miss what’s happening around them.

Tools to stay agile and productive 

The main concept of an agile work environment is flexibility. Namely, employees need to be flexible enough to adapt to the tasks they’re given. In a single day, they might answer emails at their desk, sit down with a group in a meeting room, meet with clients in another room, attend a lunch-and-learn in the café, and participate in a brainstorming session—all before heading back to their workspace. In agile environments, work happens everywhere and it’s rarely uniform or stationary.

Based on these notions, the biggest variable in employee agility is workspace. In the example above, an employee moves throughout the building, utilizing different spaces for different purposes. Each space must support the task at hand. When you factor in five, 10, or 100 employees, it’s evident that few spaces need to play many roles.

Giving workers the tools to stay agile and productive means giving them the right space. They’ll bring their own technology and purpose to every space they visit—what they need is an environment that’s as agile as they are.

Characteristics of an agile environment

What makes a workspace agile and flexible? Surprisingly, the characteristics are simple and easy to understand:

  • Access: Agility equals flow. Employees need to seamlessly move into and out of spaces. Doors, walls, and other elements may create barriers to flexibility. People don’t like being confined, especially when their workstyles are dynamic.
  • Comfort: Work tasks vary, but comfort is universally required to get work done. Employees who are uncomfortable, on-edge, displaced, or jarred by their temporary environment will spend more time adapting than working.
  • Peace: Providing a level of privacy, peace, and quiet is difficult in open, agile spaces. The lower the level of interruption you can bring to a workspace, the easier it is for workers to stay on-task.
  • Adaptability: Can someone rearrange the furniture, if necessary? Is there room for a standing desk? Are there enough electrical outlets? Understand the common needs of employees and you’ll ensure the space can accommodate them.

Attention to design can enhance these fundamental attributes. Good lighting and greenery promote peace. Smart technology supports access and adaptability. Good furniture lends itself to comfort. The details matter in an agile space.

Agile workspace types

An agile work environment is made up of many smaller, flexible workspaces, but there’s nothing to say they need to be the same—or even similar. There’s broad variance in what an agile workspace looks like and how it functions, and diversity of space types is a boon for workers whose tasks become more varied by the day. Some examples include:

  • Breakout meeting spaces
  • Experiential spaces
  • Open plan spaces
  • Quiet work zones
  • Resource spaces
  • Touchdown and overflow areas

While they may look different, these spaces function in the same way—they account for on-demand needs and conform to diverse expectations. They are what they need to be, when they need to be.

Is your workplace agile?

Just because people are constantly in motion—bounding from space to space and task to task—doesn’t mean you operate an agile workplace. Agility isn’t measured solely in speed. It’s also measured in flexibility and accommodation. If you want an agile workforce, you need to support them with flexible spaces. Give them an environment that adapts to their needs and the business will reap the benefits of a workforce that’s engaged, enabled, and efficient.

If we learn anything from Ferris Bueller, it’s not how to skip school, but rather how to adapt to whatever the day throws at you.

Keep reading: How Agile is Your Real Estate?

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Planning Your Workplace with Office Space Software

By Reagan Nickl
Enterprise Customer Success Senior Manager
SpaceIQ

Changes to the physical workplace and the evolution of commercial real estate is prompting many companies to take a closer look at their facilities. Specifically, workplace managers are scrutinizing square footage through the lens of office space software.

What is office space software?

Like the sales team might use a CRM platform or human resources may rely on payroll software, facility managers need a way to manage tasks with powerful digital tools. Office space software delivers with resources like space planning, move management, real estate forecasting, and workplace analytics tools. The software provides facility managers with insights and abilities necessary to plan for and improve the workplace.

Quantifying the workplace

The primary role of office space software is to quantify the workplace. Facility managers can use quantified data to measure performance, then apply that information to office space planning. Software tools collect, store, and make this data available across a broad scope of workplace elements:

  • Seat distribution through a stack planning diagram
  • Daily peak utilization using aggregated occupancy sensor data
  • Cost per head via lease admin tools
  • Average workstation size through space planning tools

Access to tangible data about the physical workplace gives facility managers better control. Without software, it’s hard to make even simple workplace calculations. Imagine trying to measure room occupancy over the course of a week without occupancy sensors feeding real-time data into a platform that can process them.

Office space software helps facility managers better understand the physical workplace, then develop a better floor plan and desking arrangement. Ultimately, quantifiable data is the key to good decision-making.

Realizing the possibilities

As trends in the data make themselves apparent, facility managers can use them to shape the workplace in a meaningful way. For example, if data shows low utilization for a particular type of workspace, that’s space can be repurposed. Likewise, if a stack plan shows broad distribution of departments, consolidating them might improve synergy and productivity.

Informed decision-making about the workplace also helps facility managers align their actions with company goals. If the business plans to move to a new location, add new employees, or consolidate the workplace, facility managers need to know how to act. Good data and tools through which to plan and view the workplace make business planning much easier.

Perhaps the most important aspect of using office space software is the potential for general improvement. As the office Internet of Things (IoT) becomes more prolific, so does the potential for efficiency in office space planning. Even well-run workplaces now have the ability to examine granular details and make simple tweaks that add up—whether it’s altering a single workstation or making smarter decisions about desking for remote employees.

Instituting the ideal floor plan

Recognized opportunities deliver no benefit until they’re enacted. The workplace can’t improve until facility managers take data and trends, and combine them into a floor plan that capitalizes on them. For this, they’ll need office seating plan software. From concept modeling, simple drag-and-drop tweaks, or sharing floor plans among stakeholders, office space software is an encompassing medium for realizing opportunities.

Here’s a look at how a new solution culminates through such software:

  • Problem: The stack plan shows opportunities for consolidate employees spread across four floors.
  • Opportunity: Work teams can be grouped in ways that eliminate space on an entire floor.
  • Goal: Improve departmental synergy and reposition workgroups nearest the amenities they use most (conference rooms, phone booths, break areas, etc.)
  • Approach: Using office space software, the facility manager creates several stack plans and revised seating arrangements to meet consolidation and cost-saving goals.

This example is broad, but represents the inclusiveness of office space software as a problem-solving tool. Software collects and analyzes data, helps managers recognize opportunities, delivers tools to plan solutions, and visualizes the best approach and execution path. It’s a daunting prospect without office space software backing the process.

Understanding the dynamic workplace

The workplace of old is gone. It’s not about packing as many people as possible into one space or giving everyone their own office. Today’s workplaces are much more dynamic, which means they need a greater level of oversight to manage and optimize. Workplace planners need to consider variables like cost, employee needs, facility type, and utilization trends. Using them to create the perfect workplace requires help.

Office space software has changed how we do what we do. Managing facilities is now a digital balancing act—one made possible by office space software. It’s the driving force behind most modern workplace transformations.

Keep reading: Office Space Management Software Tips and Guidelines

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Workplace Management Solutions For Your Business

By Jeff Revoy
Chief Operations Officer
SpaceIQ

Managing facilities is becoming more complicated. It’s more important than ever to use integrated workplace management solutions, not platforms driven by siloed data. An inability to holistically evaluate your workplace and facilities, you won’t see the relationships between individual segments of the business.

How does maintenance affect space utilization? Will better vendor management reduce facility costs? How is your lease administration impacting your balance sheet? These questions and a thousand others need answers, and the only way to find them is through a top-down, encompassing view of your facilities. Nothing provides this level of objectivity quite like an IWMS.

An IWMS Solution

What’s an IWMS? To get integrated workplace management solutions, companies need an Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS). An IWMS digitally connects the dots between business processes and how each affects operations as a whole. It’s the dashboard system facility managers use to collect and interpret data, recognize trends, plan changes, execute processes, and generally manage the workplace.

An IWMS shows workplace managers how to capitalize on its digital tools and resources. Take a look at some of the core tools of an IWMS:

  • Portfolio management—Portfolio management is among the core IWMS solutions any business can capitalize on. Whether you have one location or a dozen, it pays to have macro insights about real estate. How much are you paying in leasing and building maintenance? What’s the capacity of each building or floor? Is it time to move?
    Portfolio management is particularly crucial for companies expecting growth or looking at consolidation. It provides good data for big-time decision-making about facilities and affiliated costs of operation.
  • Lease administration—Lease administration is a complex process, beginning by identifying need and relying on constant cost evaluation. Having tools to manage the process is imperative to controlling this costly facet of facilities.
    Have your occupancy expectancies changed? What’s your total facility management budget? Are there cap-ex improvements to consider? Are you coming up on a renewal and a chance to renegotiate rates and terms? IWMS tools give managers access to the resources and planning tools to account for these questions and any others involving leasing.
  • Workplace allocation—Workspace management software is a must-have in today’s agile, flexible offices. Knowing how to divvy up the workplace, what types of desking concepts are viable, and what utilization levels look like are all variables in maximizing workplace efficiency. IWMS puts facility managers in control of the physical workplace in ways like never before.
    Use integrated occupancy sensor data to determine peak utilization by workspace type. Look at stack plans to understand workforce distribution across a building. Use utilization trends to understand the types of workspaces most in-demand. An IWMS brings insights to the tangible workplace, so managers can shape it to the needs of the business and its employees.
  • Maintenance planning—Buildings need upkeep. A lot of it. From a simple hole in the drywall, landscape improvements, and remodels,someone has to make sure it all gets done. Maintenance planning involves budgeting, identifying need, and coordinating projects—all things an IWMS platform can do.
    An IWMS streamlines service requests for the everyday maintenance items. It has tools for project planning and budgeting, including creating proposals and reviewing bids. It offers a holistic view of how maintenance affects the business at large. An IWMS simplifies maintenance planning by taking it out of spreadsheets and documents, and putting it into a dynamic dashboard where it offers contextual insights.
  • Service management—Many companies have begun the shift to integrated facilities management. They’re consolidating service partners and vendors, and negotiating better rates for more inclusive services. To do this, facility managers need data for contract leverage.
    An IWMS archives service contracts and invoicing records to show how much the business pays for certain services or to certain vendors. It details contracts and agreements, showing the full benefit of working with specific companies. The platform can even schedule and remind managers of maintenance, allowing them to coordinate them more efficiently. Having all this data and capability through a single platform is the path to integrated facilities management.

It’s all available through an IWMS

Facility managers are swimming in data and tasks—so many that it’s impossible to manage everything without the right software. An IWMS rolls everything into one, manageable place. Not only does it provide the insights and data for decision-making, it automates and streamlines processes to execute on those decisions.

Regardless of the types of workplace management solutions your facilities may benefit from, an IWMS is the path to unlocking them. From holistic facility management comes broadly beneficial initiatives that power business success.

Keep reading: What’s the Difference: IWMS, CMMS, CAFM and EAM?