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Work Experience Gleaned from an Agile Environment

By Tamara Sheehan
Director of Business Management
SpaceIQ

When you vet résumés for potential job candidates, the skills section can be telling. Your company might look for industry-specific skills or mentions of commonly used software or equipment. But what about experience working in an agile environment? Is that a skill you’re looking for? Is it even worth mentioning on a résumé?

In the era of agile work, experience in free-assign and flexible workplaces is important. Like any other trait in the skills section of a résumé, it speaks to that person’s ability to thrive when put in certain situations. Workplaces play a big role in how people do the job they’re hired for. Just because they have the qualifications doesn’t mean they’re equipped to do a good job in an environment they’re unfamiliar with. Conversely, someone who knows what it’s like working in an agile environment might not have any trouble getting up to speed.

Not only is experience with agile working a skill, it’s one worth looking for on incoming résumés. The newest addition to your team is likely someone familiar with the work styles and culture already present in your agile environment.

Why is prior experience important?

Consider someone who’s only ever worked in a traditional office. They have their own desk and personal private space with a phone extension and computer. Now, imagine taking these things away from that person and telling them to do the same job they’ve always done, only in an agile environment. It’s apples vs. oranges; Mac vs. PC. Say goodbye to what they know.

For most people, adapting to a new workspace is stressful enough. Change the entire dynamic of what a workplace is and your new hire may feel even more out of their element. This isn’t to say they can’t learn to embrace agile working—they’re just at a disadvantage.

What does agile workplace experience say about someone?

Experience working within an agile workspace translates into many other traits. Think about what an agile workplace represents, then track these traits back into skills:

  • Workplace agility teaches a person to adapt quickly to new situations.
  • Using different types of workplaces imbues workers with strategic understanding.
  • Collaborating in agile environments develops strong communication skills.
  • Self-managing in free-assign workplaces teaches accountability.
  • Familiarity with agile workplace systems promotes critical thinking.

All these traits come secondary to working in an agile work environment, but come with real ramifications when it comes to developing productive habits. Agile work experience shows a person’s ability to function at a high level, in an environment that’s ever-changing. This type of person is an asset to the business and someone who can continue to adapt to the demands of a growing, changing business.

If it’s not on the résumé, ask about it

Not every employee will think to put “experience working in an agile environment” in the skills section of their résumé. Employers shouldn’t overlook it during interviews and applicant surveys. Like any other skill a candidate brings to the table, agile work experience is an asset.

If your company hiring process involves a questionnaire, focus one or two of the questions on workplace experience or willingness to adapt to an agile workplace. For in-person interviews, ask pointed questions about it. “How do you feel about working in an environment that changes every day?” or “How do you adapt to environments that force constant change?” Make it clear that you operate an agile workplace and talk about what it means for your company.

Workspace conversations are much more productive in the interview phase, as opposed to after a hire. The last thing you want to do is hire the perfect candidate, only to find they’re incompatible with the workplace culture of an agile environment.

Make the transition into agile work simple

Every agile workplace has its own degree of dynamism. A workplace with 10 employees has a much different feel than one with 100 coworkers. Likewise, adapting to different types of breakout spaces, a new floor plan, and different workplace protocols is all part of easing into a new environment.

Whether they have agile work experience or not, take time to ease a new hire into your workplace. Immersion time is often lower for workers familiar with agile workspaces, but a well-run workplace will foster inclusion for anyone, experienced or not. The smoother you make the transition, the easier it is for your new hire to integrate.

Keep reading: Understanding Agile Workplace Pros and Cons

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Should Your Company Embrace the Open-Office Trend?

By Nai Kanell
Director of Marketing
SpaceIQ

The open-office trend has been a subject of controversy for as long as corporate workplaces have existed. Open-office iterations have come and gone throughout history, each one dismissed for some reason or another. The struggle has always been the same: difficulty in balancing worker productivity and performance with space utilization and cost.

This balancing act continues today with the newest version of the open office. The difference is today’s open-concept floor plans come backed by extensive data that quantifies effectiveness through many lenses. Analytics are pushing more companies to reassess their stance on open offices and ask the question: “Should my company join the open-office trend?”

Open office origins

Open-office spaces date back to the early 20th century with a concept called Taylorism. Conceived with optimal space efficiency in mind, these open offices had people elbow-to-elbow, noses to the grindstone for 10 hours a day. The emphasis was on efficiency, with little thought to how it might affect employee happiness, morale, and company culture. Needless to say, Taylorism didn’t last. But the open office didn’t die there.

The next open-office trend was Burolandschaft, which debuted in the 1960s. It introduced everything Taylorism was missing—social interaction, democratic layout, and room to breathe. Burolandschaft loosely translates from German to “office landscape.” It introduced the concept of “space design” as opposed to space maximization. This trend became the “action office” in the 1970s, which was characterized by alternative workspaces and partitions for privacy in the otherwise open-concept plan.

In the 1980s and 1990s, cubicle farms ruled the office landscape. Most tenured employees in the workforce today remember cubicles and the reasons they’ve fallen out of fashion. Cubicles embody all the negative traits of an open-concept floor plan—noise, lack of privacy, and dull monotony—while maximizing square footage. Great for space utilization; bad for morale.

What is an open office today?

As cubicles fall by the wayside, the modern open-office layout looks much different—almost a tribute to Burolandschaft. It offers clear lines of sight and few obstructions between workspaces, which are diverse and varied. Today’s open office is, in a word, agile.

Open offices today give employees the type of on-demand spaces they need to be productive. Working alone? There’s a hot desk for you. Need a quick meeting? Breakout spaces can accommodate your team. Getting a big group together? Reserve a conference room. Need some privacy? Find a quiet workspace. The modern open office answers the call for productivity—no matter what form it takes.

Industries that have embraced the open office

Want to switch to an open-office concept, but still aren’t sure if it’s right for you? It’s smart to consider the industry you’re in and the track record of similar companies.

  • Tech companies prominently embrace the open-office concept, led by global brands like Google, Facebook, and Microsoft. The fast-paced nature behind tech startups and growth-hacking companies demands fluid, collaborative environments.
  • Food and beverage companies thrive in open-office spaces. Whole Foods, Bacardi, and Coca-Cola are just some of the big brands that’ve made the shift to open concepts and reaped the benefits of collaborative workplaces.
  • Advertising and marketing companies need open-office concepts to maintain collaboration between various production teams. Voyage Group, WPP, and Ogilvy all inspire teamwork in offices that are fluid and creative-evoking.

Media, publishing, architecture, consulting, and countless other industries have experienced success with open-concept offices. The reason? The free-flowing, laid-back nature of these spaces is conducive to collaboration, creativity, and productive communication—all traits of successful companies.

Open office pros and cons

The pros and cons of open offices are constantly debated. Like any office space layout, there are arguments for both sides. The best way to evaluate the efficacy of the open-office trend is to stack up the pros and cons against each company’s unique culture, workforce, and work habits. Here’s a quick rundown:

Pros

  • Better communication
  • Cost-effective space utilization
  • Space flexibility and agility
  • Fewer barriers to collaboration
  • Fast-paced workplace feel

Cons

  • More distractions and noise
  • General lack of privacy
  • Prone to friction if mismanaged
  • Common hygiene and illness concerns
  • Potential for low space utilization

Should you join the trend?

Companies today need to look at their workplace and ask if it’s optimized for efficiency. Is your workforce operating at peak productivity? Is the cost of your lease adequately offset by the revenue generation of your workforce? Is space utilization at an appropriate level across all areas of the workplace? These questions and more need quantifiable answers. Thankfully, we have the modern tools to gather and assess data to support or refute them.

Whether or not your company should transition to an open-concept floor plan depends on your unique situation. Whatever choice you make, make it confidently knowing you’ve got decades of examples to measure up against.

Keep reading: The Cubicle vs The Open Office

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The Ins and Outs of Desk Sensors

By Noam Livnat
Chief Product & Innovation Officer
SpaceIQ

Of the many sensors enabled by the office Internet of Things (IoT), few deliver the capabilities of desk sensors. Though they’re a simple example of on/off (I/O) triggers, desk sensors are practical and versatile additions to any expanding office network. Configured properly, desk sensors play an important part in everything from simple cause-and-effect automations to crucial triggers in mission-critical workflows.

For companies expanding their IoT framework or venturing into office automation for the first time, desk sensors are a practical investment. Here’s a quick overview of desk sensors, how they work, what they’re capable of, and how to leverage them to great effect.

How do desk sensors work?

Desk sensors use a type of technology called a passive infrared (PIR) sensor. This is the same type of sensor used in motion detection equipment. It’s triggered by motion and movement, and activates when there’s a status change.

Most office desk sensors sit discretely atop a desk, with a PIR range of just a few feet. An unoccupied desk is the baseline (O). When someone stands in front of the desk or sits down to work, the sensor triggers a change in status (I). That trigger relays a status change to any integrated systems. A simple example would be changing the desk’s status from “available” to “occupied” in a desk allocation program.

There are also some desk sensors that are pressure-enabled. They can detect when someone sits in a chair or rests their elbows on the desktop, and they trigger the same type of off-to-on response.

Practical applications for desk sensors

While workplace sensors are great for on/off triggers, they’re even more powerful as part of broader automations. Desks sensors, in particular, support complex workflows. Here’s a basic example of the role desk sensors play in workplace automation:

  • Jeff needs a desk. He checks in with Sally, the hot desk manager. Sandy sees a real-time picture of available desks and assigns one to Jeff. When he arrives, he triggers the sensor, which shows the desk as occupied in Sandy’s program. The trigger also notes the average time Jeff stays at the desk and what time he sits down.

In this example, the I/O trigger from the desk starts a domino effect. When the desk becomes occupied, it triggers an algorithm that generates important data about total desk use. Sandy can get the information she needs to manage hot desks at a glance, thanks to the initial desk occupancy trigger.

Now let’s look at desk sensors in a free-assign workplace, without a central check-in point. How does a desk sensor become part of a more dynamic workplace?

  • Fatima wants to meet with Leon and Phoebe for 20 minutes to go over some revisions to a project. She brings up a live office floor plan and sees two open breakout spaces with tables. She messages Leon and Phoebe to meet her at the nearest one. But, after 10 minutes, the group realizes they need to involve Sam and John. Fatima finds an open bench big enough for five, and the original three meet the newcomers in that area.

Here, desk sensors allow employees to make real-time decisions and adjustments. Flexing into and out of these workspaces takes only minutes, because it’s easy to look ahead and see what’s open. Desk sensors bring visibility and certainty to even the most dynamic spaces.

Even assigned spaces benefit from desk sensors. Traditional offices can make use of desk sensors for tasks like wayfinding or employee location. Here’s a look at one more example:

  • ABC corporation has 75 employees spread over six floors. Shelly should be in a meeting on the third floor, but she’s late. Matt, the meeting leader, checks the company directory to see if her desk is occupied. If it is, he can quickly call and remind her about the meeting; if not, he can assume she’s on her way.

Simple conveniences like this are possible through desk sensors. A quick look at active vs. inactive gives someone the information they need about a specific workspace. In the same way Matt can check on Shelly’s desk occupancy to plan for her arrival, the front desk can check to see she’s there to receive a visitor. It’s a simple convenience with major benefits.

Does your workplace need desk sensors?

The broad adaptability of desk sensors makes them applicable in many workplaces. Coworking spaces and offices ruled primarily by hot desks will see immediate benefit from desk sensors. Flexible work environments and agile workplaces also need the instantaneous reports from workplace sensors. Really, any workplace with real-time seat changes and agile desk management benefits from desk sensors out of the gate.

For companies easing into flexible work or an agile floor plan, desk sensors will quickly become essential. Take a proactive approach to understand how they work and realize their capabilities as you develop the infrastructure that’ll eventually support your flexible environment.

Keep reading: What are IoT Sensors?

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Ten Open Office Space Ideas

By Dave Clifton
Content Strategy Specialist
SpaceIQ

Open-concept workplaces take a little while to adjust to. The lack of a “home base” and the commotion of people always in motion is jarring for some employees—especially if they’re used to a traditional workplace. Infuse a new-age workplace with key open-office space ideas to help ease the adjustment period. The quicker employees adapt to their environment, the quicker they’ll develop productive strategies.

While the spatial layout of an open floor plan is relatively simple, there’s ample opportunity to create functional features. Sure, the space is open, but there’s nothing to stop you from creating a mingling area here and a breakout area there. Take a look at 10 open office space planning ideas that facilitate collaboration in free-assign workplaces:

  1. Breakout spaces: Every open workplace needs quick, unstructured areas for collaboration. Breakout spaces make it easy for pairs and small groups to peel off from the general workplace for an impromptu meeting without disruption to others. Meetings only need to last a few minutes, and can be highly productive ways to collaborate on-the-go.
  2. Benching: Benching brings traditional structure to open-concept workplaces, to put people side-by-side so they can work without barriers. Whether you’ve got specific groups staffed to certain areas or project-specific pods, benching fosters collaboration by proximity, without forcing it.
  3. Zones: Use space planning software to break an open office into zones, conducive to specific types of work. Breakout areas over here, hot desks over there, and semi-partitioned group spaces in the back. Zones push employees into the right area, where they’ll find the facilities they need to work fluidly alongside their peers.
  4. Mingle areas: Every office needs the proverbial watering hole—a place where employees congregate for banter and off-topic conversation. Provide these spaces within a greater open-concept office to offer a quick break from the busy workflow, for employees to connect in a personal way.
  5. Functional spaces: Some of the best opportunities for employee collaboration come during other activities. A cup of coffee at the in-house café or yoga in the on-site studio gives people a chance to interact at work, without the focus being on work. This not only improves rapport between peers, it improves staff morale.
  6. Pass-through areas: Open workplaces still need clearly-defined thoroughfares. As you plot these areas, pay attention to opportunities for new workstations along the proverbial trail. People will naturally bump into each other as they walk around the office, and it’s nice to have a place where they can stand to the side and talk through things.
  7. Work-free zones: A rec room or a social area brings coworkers together without the implication of work. These spaces improve morale and get people talking, and build stronger workplace cultures. The openness and comradery translate into a willingness to collaborate in a more formal capacity out in the open office space.
  8. Natural lighting: Lighting has profound effects on everything from morale to energy. Let the light in on your open concept workplace to improve the atmosphere of the office. More light encourages employees to use their entire workplace—not just the “window seats.” Likewise, it eliminates those dim corners.
  9. Comfortable furniture: Comfort affects how people collaborate. Comfortable furniture makes people more eager to sit down and contribute to a discussion. It also improves relaxation, which can jumpstart the creative juices and lead to more productive conversations. Comfortable people are collaborative people.
  10. Experiential workspaces: Connect your open office with purpose and watch as employees embrace it. If employees connect parts of the open office to specific tasks or activities, they’re much more likely to use them appropriately. Not only does this promote cooperation among peers, it increases individual and group productivity.

Some of these ideas are spatial concepts, while others involve workplace design. The open-office space concept goes beyond the space itself—it needs to focus on bringing people together in an environment created to promote teamwork. Marry form and function to build an open office concept that fosters collaboration.

It’s best to start by looking at a basic open floor plan through your office space planning tool to identify areas for improvement. Where is there underutilized space? What does the flow of your office look like from a top-down view? Are there ample areas for groups of all sizes to converge and converse? Look at an open concept floor plan not as one big space, but many areas rife with opportunity for bringing groups together.

Keep reading: The Cubicle vs The Open Office: Which Is Better?

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Tips for Effective Conference Room Management

By Aleks Sheynkman
Director of Engineering
SpaceIQ

Closed-off meeting areas play an important role in workplace functions. They provide privacy, accommodations for larger groups, and isolation from an otherwise buzzing office environment. Like any other facet of facilities, these vital spaces need proper oversight and management.

Good conference room management ensures employees use these spaces as intended. Without some form of management, conference rooms might be unavailable or improperly utilized, causing bigger disruptions to the workforce.

Thankfully, conference room management isn’t complicated. A few simple practices, rules, and tips for meeting room management can go a long way in making things work.

1. Adhere to a centralized booking system

Conference room scheduling software is a must-have in the modern office. Though the workplace is more agile than ever, conference rooms still need structure. The ability to reserve these spaces is what makes them useful.

A centralized reservation system should operate in real-time, with scheduling capabilities far into the future. It needs to support the agility of the greater office while still treating conference rooms as bastions of structure and stability. Some features of a good booking system include:

  • Real-time availability and next availability metrics
  • Multiple reservation resources (email, Slack, intranet, etc.)
  • Email confirmation, cancelation, and rescheduling options
  • Integration with room-level technologies

The process needs to be simple and uniform for everyone. Jim submits a reservation request and gets a confirmation email. When Jenny looks up the next available time, she sees Jim’s request and can book around it or choose a different conference room. When Jim and Jenny get to their respective rooms at the reserved times, they’re greeted by a digital display telling them they’re in the right place, at the right time.

2. Abide by min-max occupancy levels

Not every conference room has the same capacity. A 12’x12’ space may comfortably accommodate four or five employees—too big for two people and too small for a group of 10. Each room has minimum and maximum occupancy levels to ensure occupants can function effectively in the allotted space. It’s up to facility managers to determine these levels and employees to respect them.

Abiding by min-max occupancy levels accomplishes two things. First, they ensure the right-sized space for different groups where and when they need it. For example, if a three-person meeting occupies a conference room rated for 10, a group of eight might find themselves in a conference room meant for four. Second, it provides insight into what size spaces are optimal. If utilization metrics show the 10-person conference room is rarely utilized, but there’s huge demand for smaller spaces, a company may repurpose it.

3. Delegate where necessary

In larger facilities with several core business units, space becomes a hot commodity. Conference rooms can become territories as different departments jockey to stake a claim. In these situations, it’s often best to intervene and delegate spaces for specific needs.

Marketing, Accounting, and Sales might each get conference spaces only they can use. Or, facility managers might designate room levels to keep non-essential meetings out of spaces where mission-critical planning happens. Conference rooms become task-specific: sales meetings, performance reviews, project planning briefs, visitor meetings, and more.

Splitting up conference rooms by business unit, task, or priority creates accountability for how they’re used. This type of rigid structure may seem like overkill, but it can prevent the territorial mindset from causing real friction in the workplace.

4. Use digital displays outside conference rooms

Technology brings convenience to most office applications—conference room management systems included. Digital displays outside conference rooms are yet another way to make management of these spaces simpler—for both facilities managers and employees.

Digital conference room signage acts as a point of confirmation. The details of a reservation make it apparent that the room is in-use, by whom, for how long, and the nature of the meeting. When they check the screen, someone will see that John is indisposed for the next hour, or that they shouldn’t disrupt an important budget meeting.

Digital signage also helps coordinate booking. Whether they book directly from the screen or use a different reservation method, employees will have the information they need to secure the space they want.

5. Educate staff on best practices

Best practices and rules mean nothing if your employees aren’t aware of them or don’t adhere to them. Make proper conference room utilization part of office policy and create systems that make it easy for employees to conform to it. Good management ensures there’s a conference room available for the people when they need one.

Keep reading: Six Pillars of Conference Room Etiquette

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What are IoT Sensors?

By Aleks Sheynkman
Director of Engineering
SpaceIQ

The future of building automation is powered by the Internet of Things (IoT)—specifically, IoT sensors. What are IoT sensors? They’re catalysts for cause and effect; action and reaction. If automation is a series of triggers based on actions or variables, IoT sensors are the gauges that capture these stimuli and facilitate action.

Though they’re set up to perform the same fundamental action, the mode by which IoT sensors work differ. We measure different stimuli by different means, which facilitates the need for all types of IoT sensors. The motion sensor that activates the lights doesn’t serve the same purpose as the temperature sensor that kicks on the A/C.

Take a look at the different types of sensors, as well as some examples of IoT sensors at work. It’s easy to see how and why buildings are evolving to meet more complex demands.

Condition-monitoring sensors

Condition-monitoring sensors are the most diverse types of sensors for IoT. Condition changes take many forms and are caused by many variables. Think of your basic senses: sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell. Condition-monitoring works in the same way. You can tell if something is hot or cold, or if it tastes sweet or sour. The stimuli elicits a reaction from your body. These sensors work the same way, only the building is the body.

Building condition-monitoring sensors deal with changes to workplace conditions. They’re primarily used to set, control, and maintain climate. Some examples include:

  • Temperature sensors linked to the building’s HVAC system
  • Humidity sensors used to keep moisture levels under control
  • Pressure (gas) sensors to ensure safety in the event of gas leaks
  • Parts per million (PPM) sensors to detect air particulates

The purpose of these sensors ranges from employee comfort to protection from immediate danger. They tend to be passive sensors—not critical to everyday facility processes or oversight. Instead, their importance comes at a macro level. Are we properly controlling our HVAC costs? How long was the gas leak present before detected? Are employees comfortable?

Motion, detection, and proximity sensors

Motion, detection, and proximity sensors serve a more practical application. These sensors for IoT networks have active triggers—they elicit an immediate reaction. They also function as I/O switches that trigger automations based on facility utilization. Some commonplace examples include:

  • Motion-sensitive lighting fixtures that react to movement
  • Proximity sensors that activate to signal room occupancy
  • Detection sensors that trigger when an employee sits in a chair

These are the types of IoT sensors that facilitate the bulk of agile business operations. Sensors send real-time I/O data to an integrated workplace management system (IWMS), which interprets the information. For example, if a detection sensor says a desk is occupied, it becomes unavailable to book. These sensors are the front-most triggers for robust automation at the workplace level.

Optical and infrared sensors

Optical and infrared sensors are the most complex of workplace IoT sensors. They serve a variety of purposes and can facilitate high-level automation. Unfortunately, these sensors are expensive and don’t yet come with the return on investment to justify their purchase for many businesses. Some examples include:

  • Optical sensors that measure incoming light and adjust window blinds or tint
  • Infrared sensors gauge the heat level of a conference room

There’s untold potential for optical and infrared sensors in the workplace. These high-level sensors are already established in numerous other industries. For example, optical sensors help gauge density and depth on a smartphone. Likewise, agriculture operations use infrared sensors to promote better crop planting arrangements. Though seemingly obscure, these examples parallel facility management and may unlock automations such as facial recognition for access control or automated desk arrangement plans.

A trigger for every change

For automation to work, every part of the action-reaction sequence must be compatible. Whether the trigger is motion, temperature, optical disruption, or any of dozens of other stimuli, it takes the right sensor to provoke the right reaction.

For businesses building out smarter facilities, consider the nature of automation—the input and output actions. What stimuli best triggers the result you want, and what sensor is the missing link between them? Building automation is much easier from a formulaic standpoint. Thanks to the multitudes of IoT sensors already on the market, you don’t need to look far to find a sensor that bridges the gap between the automation you want and the triggers you have.

Keep reading: Deploying Workplace Occupancy Sensors to Improve Agility, Utilization, and Efficiency

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Five Essential Visitor Management System Features

By Reagan Nickl
Enterprise Customer Success Senior Manager
SpaceIQ

Facilities managers know how important guest management is. Visitors expect a seamless experience from the moment they enter the building to the moment they leave. The problem is you can’t hold their hand every step of the way. You can and should trust visitors to navigate your facilities with a certain degree of autonomy—provided they’ve checked in.

The best way to deliver this experience is via a visitor management system. Here’s what to look for in a visitor management system:

1. Appointment confirmation emails

The visitor experience starts before they step foot into your facility. Assume they’ve called ahead or schedule online. What’s the next natural step in welcoming them as a visitor? A confirmation email. Confirmation emails shouldn’t just remind someone of an appointment or confirm their visit. They’re an opportunity to set the tone and provide hospitable information. You might also choose to include:

  • Instructions for check-in and some FAQs about the check-in process
  • Appointment information (who, what, where, when, why)
  • Parking information or directions from nearby transit stations
  • Reminders about building policies or office rules
  • Contact information for a help desk or a link to reschedule a visit

Think of the confirmation email as the point of first contact in your visitor management system. It sets the tone for next steps and visitor expectations, and it helps people feel less lost from the get-go.

2. Wayfinding maps and directions

Speaking of feeling less lost, visitors need a way to figure out where they’re going once they arrive. An important feature of a good visitor management system is the wayfinding component.

The most useful opportunity to provide wayfinding is via a web app. Put your cloud-hosted floor plan and wayfinding features into a convenient URL where visitors can pop it open on-the-go and figure out exactly where they are vs. where they’re going. For more frequent guests, an app download has the same effect and gives them an ongoing way to get familiar with your facilities.

At the least, provide a map. Without a top-down view of facilities, visitors are mice in a maze. They shouldn’t need to figure out how to navigate via trial and error. Simple wayfinding solutions go a long way toward a positive guest experience.

3. Visitor-level access control credentials

The point of check-in is the pinnacle of visitor management. Once checked in, visitors gain the access they need to your facilities—in a literal sense. Visitor badges are commonplace and useful in keeping guests out of areas where they don’t belong. Thanks to today’s access control systems, this is easier than ever.

Tie visitor badges into visitor management software to set access credentials at a group level. For example:

  • General visitors get Level I access—all common facilities
  • Priority visitors get Level II access—common facilities and floors I and II
  • Executive visitors get Level III access—all facilities save for restricted access rooms

Whether it’s an executive visitor from a partner company or a salesperson here for a meeting, the right visitor-level access control credentials make it easy to navigate. It’s much more fluid than having a chaperone or wandering into business units where they might not belong.

4. Instant-access help resources

Even the most structured visitor management system can’t account for every inevitability. Visitors will need help at some point. Make sure they get it. Instant-access help resources can take many forms and offer an abundance of convenience at a moment’s notice:

  • A tap-to-call phone number that connects visitors to the help desk
  • Instant messaging capabilities that connect visitors to the person they’re meeting
  • Wayfinding mobile pop-ups that notify visitors when they’ve gone off course
  • A mobile site that lists visitor information in an organized, concise way

Visitors shouldn’t ever feel like they’re stranded in your facilities. Access to helpful resources should be a priority, and visitors should always be aware of these simple lifelines as they navigate—whether they’re lost or not.

5. Facility amenities

Above all, a visitor management system should make guests feel comfortable. There are a multitude of ways to instill this feeling, and it’s often the little things that make a big impact on visitor experience:

  • Free Wi-Fi with an automatic guest login
  • Access to comfortable waiting room seating
  • Access to a facility directory that lists amenities
  • Access to a limited company directory

Keep in mind the baseline needs of every visitor when cultivating a visitor management system. Provide nondescript conveniences and universal amenities wherever possible—whether it’s easy directions to the nearest restroom or high-speed Wi-Fi. The more familiar your facilities feel, even to someone who has never visited before, the better the visitor experience is bound to be.

Cultivate an experience

Every interaction visitors have with your facilities is a unique, individual experience. Your goal is to make sure every experience is a positive one. To guarantee this takes a feature-rich visitor management system that welcomes, guides, and reassures guests. From before they enter your facilities, to check-in, navigation, access, and help while they’re there, good visitor management assures a great visitor experience.

Keep reading: Wayfinding Best Practices

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How to Structure a Facilities Manager Résumé

By Tamara Sheehan
Director of Business Management
SpaceIQ

Planning to apply for a position as a facility manager? You’re in luck—there’s more demand than ever for facility professionals. Like any in-demand job, you’ll need to stand out from your peers. The best way is through a well-crafted résumé, structured to show why you’re qualified. A facility manager résumé isn’t difficult to create; you need to illustrate value with the right skills, approach, and fundamental comprehension of the position.

It’s a smart idea to take a résumé refresher before you compile yours. Format, structure, and formalities all matter. Once you’ve got the basics down, comb through section by section and highlight relevant information aligned with facilities management. Here’s what to focus on:

Objective

Your facility manager résumé objective is arguably the most important part of the CV. Put it front and center at the top of the page, right below your name and contact information. It shouldn’t be long—a couple of sentences—but it should encapsulate the ideas you want to communicate about your candidacy. Here are a few points to address:

  • Why you’re qualified to be a facility manager
  • What skills you bring to the table
  • How you plan to add value if given the position
  • What opportunities you see professionally

Think of the objective as a quick explanation for everything else to follow. Grab the hiring manager’s attention and get them to explore further. Here’s an example:

Recent graduate and newly credentialed FMP® seeking an opportunity to apply an inclination for strategic problem-solving in an established company environment. Aiming to supplement extensive education with practical experience, bringing long-term value to an organization that allows me to grow with it. Passionate about data, technology, and building positive relationships. 

Your résumé should speak to your skills, education, and abilities in a way that backs up your objective. You’ve stated what you’re looking for—now, show them how you’re qualified to achieve it.

Work Experience 

List your work experience from your most recent job through the last two or three positions you’ve had. Don’t overwhelm the hiring manager. Just show that you’ve had reliable employment going back the last few years. Even more important, list the duties and achievements from your most recent positions.

Emphasize duties and accomplishments that align with facility management objectives. For example, if you created a new system to file and retrieve documents at your old job, list it. It’s a good parallel for problem-solving something like workplace arrangement. Likewise, show real data improvements wherever possible. You need to make it clear that you understand the nature of facilities management: organization, improvement, problem-solving, and balance.

Education

Facility management is traditionally a job that requires higher education. Most companies want a Bachelor’s Degree in business—usually general business administration. Other degrees are cross-applicable, but should focus on the fundamentals of business management. You should feel comfortable with the basic ins and outs of business, and understand the impact of business policy on production and the workforce.

List your degree, the institution you received it from, the dates attended, and any accolades you graduated with. It’s also smart to list your minor if you studied one, even if you don’t think it applies. Many companies want to see not only a relevant degree, but that you were a capable and successful college student. College is tough! Don’t sell yourself short on accomplishments. Show that you buckled down and came out the other side with a well-rounded skill set—not just what it takes to do one specific job.

Certifications, Accreditations, and Memberships

Last, but certainly not any less important on a facility manager résumé, is a section for certifications, accreditations, and memberships. Here’s where you’ll list your IFMA certifications, facility management or building accreditations, and any industry memberships related to facility management.

It’s an important section that can boost your reputability as a seasoned FM or show your tenacity as a budding professional. If you have experience as a facility manager, this section shows you’re an active participant in this evolving industry. If you don’t have the work experience, emphasis on this section shows your dedication to the pursuit of a fruitful career in the field. Either way, make sure you’ve got certifications, accreditations, and memberships specific to the industry.

Don’t forget a cover letter

When finished, you should have a résumé that speaks to one specific thing: your desire to work as a facility manager. Read it, re-read it, and let a friend review it to make sure your message and qualifications are clear. A good rule of thumb? Your résumé should sound out of context for any other job other than a facility manager—that’s how you know it’s specific and tailored. Want to make sure you’ve got the right tone? Check out a few facilities manager sample ideas to get a sense of tone, buzzwords, and structure.

And don’t forget a cover letter. Your cover letter is a personal introduction and one of the best ways to stand out from other applicants with your same skill set and desire. It’s your shot to put a personality to the list of work experience and qualifications attached. Good luck!

Keep reading: The Modern Facilities Management Job Description

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Facilities Management Professional Organizations

By Nai Kanell
Director of Marketing
SpaceIQ

Every major profession has organizations and societies to govern it—even up-and-coming ones like facilities management. There are no shortage of facilities management professional organizations for FMs to align themselves with, and even more reasons to do so. These organizations do everything from issue guidance on industry best practices, to host learning events. They’re resources for information, clarification, education, and networking.

Whether you’re an established FM professional or on-track to become one, facilities management resources offer the resources necessary to excel in this field. You’ll find them in several places. Below are some of the most important and essential facility management organizations, ordered by their stewardship of the industry.

International Facility Management Association (IFMA)

A stalwart among facilities management associations, the International Facility Management Association (IFMA) sets most industry precedents for training, education, and action. IFMA has an extensive professional development curriculum and a robust community network around the globe. It sponsors numerous annual events to help professionals stay on the cutting edge of a growing industry. IFMA also puts out regular publications, including a magazine, newsletters, briefs, case studies, press releases, and books. The organization’s mission is simply about empowering facility professionals worldwide.

Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management (IWFM)

An organization specific to the United Kingdom, the Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management (IWFM) mirrors much of the stewardship laid down by IFMA. IWFM is a spectacular resource for data and insights derived from surveys, polls, and studied—all unbiased and commissioned by the organization. Members receive access to newsworthy information about industry trends and shifts, as well as access to special events. Like IFMA, IWFM also provides continuing education and certification opportunities for U.K. facility professionals.

Global Facility Management Association (Global FM)

The mission of the Global Facility Management Association (Global FM) is to work as a single united team with FM organizations around the world to advocate the betterment of the FM profession. The organization hosts a number of global events to bring facility professionals together, where many industry trends also come to light. Global FM advocates generally for the profession and coordinates with other organizations around the globe, including IFMA and IWFM. Global FM promotes excellence within the industry by offering awards to FMs who exhibit excellence.

Facilities Management Institute (FMI)

The Facilities Management Institute (FMI) is the only government-affiliated organization on this list—it’s linked with the U.S. General Services Admission (GSA). The FMI governs the evolving criteria for the facilities management career track. Its mission is to promote and accelerate the development of the facilities management profession across both public and private sectors. It’s an organization focused primarily on training and education in a traditional sense.

Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA)

The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) goes beyond facilities management specifically, and instead focuses on the many different facets of commercial real estate (CRE). Many facility managers turn to BOMA for insights and education on macro trends that relate to CRE, to inform them of how these changes may affect facilities management. BOMA is the de-facto resource for education and information about the Internet of Things (IoT) and other digital building concepts. BOMA’s broad range of members and followers makes it easy for professionals to see examples of facilities management in peripheral industries or by fellow industry experts.

Industry-Specific and Other Organizations

The beauty of facilities management is its diversity. Facility management of a hospital, tech startup, and engineering facility are incredibly different, but the premise remains the same. To that end, there are industry-specific organizations and other groups to support each sector and segment of the market. Below are some of the most prominent, however this is by no means a complete list.

Even beyond these many examples, new industry voices emerge every year—including major universities and continuing education outlets. As a professional, make sure to follow these organizations and stay abreast of developments in this fast-evolving field.

Professionals who track industry trends and stay informed about impending changes to facility management best practices position themselves and their companies for success. Facility management has evolved tremendously over the past decade and will likely continue this evolution in the next 10 years. Are you in a position to keep abreast of the changes? If you’re a member of one or more of these organizations, the answer is probably yes.

Keep reading: Facility Management Software Buyers Guide