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Is AutoCAD a BIM?

By Dave Clifton
Content Strategy Specialist
SpaceIQ 

Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a big concept. There’s a lot to differentiate when it comes to understanding the difference between what BIM is, how it’s used, and what facilitates it. After seeing mockups of buildings and the systems within them, many people naturally ask, is AutoCAD a BIM? It’s a good question—one that invites opportunities to discuss what BIM is versus what facilitates it.  

The short answer is that, no, AutoCAD is not a BIM. It’s a facilitator of BIM. Computer-aided design (CAD) drawings—like those generated in AutoCAD software—are an integral part of a BIM system. All the information that represents BIM is generally overlaid on CAD drawings and mockups, giving context to the infrastructure, systems, and design elements of a building.  

CAD and BIM go together, with the former representing an integral building block for the latter. You can’t have BIM without CAD, but an AutoCAD mockup isn’t necessarily representative of BIM by itself.  

What is BIM? 

BIM is the comprehensive representation of a building and the many systems and elements that contribute to it. BIM quantifies building design plans, maintenance and upkeep, utilization, and more, to bring context to a development outside of its tangible qualities.  

BIM digitally layers the many systems of a building atop each other, for a contextual look at facilities from any perspective: mechanical, electrical, plumbing, infrastructure, architecture, and more. Then, BIM quantifies every aspect of the building, for everything from cost planning and budgeting to maintenance planning and resource coordination.  

What is AutoCAD? 

AutoCAD is software used to generate CAD drawings of facilities and the systems within them. AutoCAD uses 2D and 3D modeling to render buildings, from exterior walls to the many individual spaces and segments inside the structure. It does so to-scale and with detail, to provide as realistic of a digital representation as possible.  

Beyond walls, doors, and windows, AutoCAD software can mockup everything from plumbing to HVAC and electrical, to provide top-down context for what’s inside facilities, as well as the facilities themselves.  

BIM vs. CAD 

CAD drawings are a fundamental part of BIM. Without the detailed, comprehensive markup of a building and its systems, BIM and the information it provides have no context. Where a blueprint might only show measurement, a CAD drawing shows materials. BIM takes information from both and pairs it with all other relevant facilities information to quantify every aspect of facilities. Without CAD drawings, BIM is incomplete. 

Many people have trouble differentiating BIM vs. CAD because BIM information is consistently displayed in the form of CAD drawings. On the surface it’s easy to mistake a CAD drawing for BIM; however, CAD drawings alone lack the important contextual insights that makes BIM such a powerful resource for facilities managers.  

A look at BIM software 

To further complicate the relationship between CAD and BIM, BIM software often has CAD functions. Because so much of BIM is dependent on CAD drawings, there’s significant value in packaging CAD tools with BIM software. Of course, established modeling software—like AutoCAD—usually has more powerful features and capabilities, and it can be more beneficial to import precision CAD drawings as opposed to using generic tools.  

The difference, again, is in how a facility manager uses the 2D or 3D mockup of facilities. In AutoCAD software, they can manipulate, change, alter, and examine the drawing to gain spatial and structural understanding of facilities… but these insights lack deeper context. With BIM software, CAD drawings become the foundation for creating digital twins, complete with quantifiable information spanning all major facilities systems.  

You can’t have one without the other 

In answer to the question, “is AutoCAD a BIM,” the answer may be no, but that isn’t to diminish the importance of CAD within the framework of BIM as a discipline. You can’t have BIM without CAD. CAD is the canvas for a digital re-creation of facilities, and BIM represents all the detail and color that creates an immersive picture of a building and its many systems and functions.  

The relationship between CAD and BIM is symbiotic, and it’s one facilities managers need to understand as they immerse themselves in BIM as a discipline. Whether they use standalone AutoCAD software to digitally reconstruct facilities and import into a BIM platform, or use CAD tools within BIM software, the fact remains the same: BIM starts with CAD. It provides context and clarity for the copious amount of information compiled within BIM, and helps facilities managers understand their building in a visually supported way.  

Keep reading: Breaking Down BIM Facility Management Software

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Is There a Need for Facility Planning in MBA Programs?

Ins and Outs of Facility Management CertificationBy Dave Clifton
Content Strategy Specialist
SpaceIQ

A Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree is a standout achievement on any résumé. But what matters more is the focus of study behind that degree. MBA concentrations range from accounting and finance to human resources and business administration—each with studies that emphasize these areas of focus.

These different routes to an MBA create an important foundation of understanding for different careers and professions. And while finance, administration, and the like are all cornerstones of modern business operations, so, increasingly, are facility planning and management. It begs the question: is there a need for facility planning in MBA programs?

Traditional MBA tracks cover three umbrellas: entrepreneurship, leadership, and finance. Depending on a person’s intended career track, they’ll start with these umbrellas and explore opportunities below them. For example, if you’re aiming for the C-suite, you’ll pursue a leadership MBA—something in the realm of global operations management or strategic risk management. 

Making the case for an MBA program dedicated to facility planning starts by understanding which umbrella it fits under—and that’s more difficult than it might seem. It’s easy to rule out the entrepreneurship track; however, facility planning lends itself to both leadership and finance, albeit indirectly. Facility professionals provide workplace insights and information used by executives and finance managers, which means they fit both and neither of these tracks. The solution to where it might fit is simpler. 

There’s a fourth MBA track that’s increasing in popularity: the general MBA. This is more of a “jack of all trades” type of MBA that’s less focused on a discipline and more focused on aspects of business operations. Facilities touch every aspect of business operations, which would make facility planning a strategic focus for anyone pursuing a general MBA.

Certificates are a good start

Right now, most MBA programs touch on facility planning in a tangential way. To get a clear, refined, focused education on facility planning and management, professionals need to pursue a certificate. Some of the most popular facility management certifications include:

Each of these programs—and others like them—instill facility-focused professionals with the information they need to manage, oversee, and optimize facilities. This is especially important in a post-pandemic workplace, where COVID-19 has disrupted traditional work. The problem is, FMP, CFM, SFP, and other designations don’t quite jump off the page like “MBA” does. Hiring managers may not understand the body of knowledge that accompanies these titles like they do for an MBA graduate. 

The ideal candidate for a facility management position in our new era of work is someone with an MBA-level of credibility and an FMP-level (or similar) knowledge of facility management. It only makes sense to combine them. A résumé with the title “Facility Planning MBA” is certain to stand out in a way a general MBA or facility certification title simply can’t.

Demand for facility planning is growing

There’s a reason upwards of 85% of all MBA graduates find themselves employed immediately after they leave school. Businesses want to hire candidates that know their stuff right out of the gate—high-level thinkers who can bring new ideas and execution to the company. This is especially important in hiring MBA holders who’ve followed specific tracks and emphasized areas of focus like finance and administration. It only makes sense that a rise in demand for facility managers should equate to need for facility planning in MBA programs. 

As businesses realize the far-reaching role of facilities in operations, they’ll find themselves seeking out professionals to help oversee and optimize facilities. What they won’t find is an MBA candidate with specific experience in this area, because a facility planning MBA track doesn’t exist. Instead, they’re forced to widen their search and cast a net that might only catch MBA holders or candidates with a facility management certificate, who might not possess the MBA-level perspective this position needs. 

It’s getting more and more difficult to ignore the demand for an MBA-level program devoted to facility planning and management. Companies need thinkers who understand the objectives, design, and factors affecting the layout of a workplace, and who can govern them with an executive mindset. 

An educational bedrock is essential

Is there a need for facility planning in MBA programs? Without a doubt. There’s growing demand for facility professionals—and while certifications provide an exceptional understanding of best practices, trends, and philosophy, it’s difficult to match the high-level expertise that accompanies an MBA. Combining the focus of facility certifications with the rigor and vision of an MBA program is an obvious, logical need for the future of education on this topic. 

It all boils down to a very simple comparison. Would you rather hire someone who has a certificate in business administration or someone who holds an MBA in business administration? The answer is obvious, and it’s equally obvious when you replace “business administration” with “facility planning.”

Keep reading: Ins and Outs of Facility Management Certification

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Hitting a Home Run with Baseball Facility Management Software

By Dave Clifton
Content Strategy Specialist
SpaceIQ

There’s a reason baseball is America’s pastime. It’s a sport that’s easy to understand, simple to play, and exciting to watch. There’s nothing quite like being in a baseball stadium on a sunny day, watching the home team send fastballs into the stands. Behind the scenes, however, managing baseball facilities takes a lot of work. Thankfully, there’s baseball facility management software. 

What are baseball facilities?

Baseball facilities are a departure from what we all think of when catching a ballgame. They’re where you’ll find batting and pitching cages, athletic training stations, performance centers, and even classrooms. These are the spaces players use to hone their skills before stepping out to home plate on game day.

Baseball facilities aren’t just where the players practice—they’re also a space for younger players to learn and can house visitor attractions like displays for trophies and awards. Many even use spaces to host events, such as banquets for Little League teams or meet-and-greets with former baseball greats. 

What is baseball facility management software?

On any given day, any number of activities can take place in baseball facilities. To coordinate them takes facility management software. Facility management software ensures players, visitors, and employees can use the facility in the capacity they need without disturbing other events or operations that may be taking place at the same time. 

Software can also coordinate baseball facilities on a macro level. Which days does the local pro team practice vs. one of the area’s collegiate teams? What days this month have meet-and-greets, and how should facilities accommodate guests, press, and fans? Software coordinates the people and facilities to maximize the experience. 

Examples of baseball facility management

Different groups have different needs inside of baseball facilities. Using management software to conform the facilities themselves to the needs of each group brings purpose to each type of space—and improves the experience each group has with the space. Here are a few examples:

  • The local pro team is practicing at the same time as a press meet-and-greet. Facilities are orchestrated in a way that keeps visitors away from practice areas and prevents them from leaving designated spaces.
  • There’s a Little League banquet taking place in the main hall. Consulting facility software ensures there are enough tables and seats, and that they’re spaced accordingly. It also shows that visitors should park in the south lot, which is closest to the hall.
  • There are two collegiate teams booked at the facilities for strength training and batting practice. Facility software can coordinate the transition between these spaces so both teams can practice offsetting skills at the same time.

There’s need for facility management software to govern both static and dynamic spaces in baseball training centers. From guests, athletes, staff, or anyone utilizing the facility, there’s a need to use space uninterrupted and in the right capacity. Good facilities oversight enables both.

Coordinated player development

One of the chief benefits of sports facility management software is its impact on coordinated player development. Baseball facilities are, first and foremost, a place for athletes to improve their skill. Facilities software promotes this by shedding light on the need for certain spaces and the utilization levels of other training areas. If the facility is considering an investment in VR training, for example, a facility manager may look at the current classroom space and see a 64% weekly utilization rate as an opportunity to repurpose space for better learning. 

Player development also extends to training regimens and routines. Trainers may consult facility management software to see that the weight room is open on Friday at 4pm, allowing them to book the space for a special training regimen with a player. The more accessible various spaces are, the more advantageous they are to player development. 

Improve facility profitability

The other benefit of baseball facility scheduling software is in how it can improve profitability. Admitting more guests for tours, special events, banquets, and other profitable purposes helps fund new improvements and innovations for the players. 

Revenue from hall-of-fame tours may pay for a new turf field, for example. Facilities can use software to dissect space utilization and occupancy data to squeeze more profitability from these spaces. For example, keeping hall-of-fame tours to one hour without changing the price invites more tours and increased revenue to fund the new field. 

Space management matters for baseball facilities

Baseball is fun and exciting, but it’s also a game of rules and organization. It’s a by-the-book sport. Managing baseball facilities demands this same level of attention and organization. Facilities management software delivers it, to help athletes train better, give fans new experiences, and improve the profitability of facilities. 

Keep reading: How Much Does Facility Management Software Cost?

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How Does BIM Work?

By Dave Clifton
Content Strategy Specialist
SpaceIQ 

Most facilities managers recognize BIM when they see it. The ability to open a CAD drawing, pull out a specific layer of information, and dissect it represents the power of BIM, and many FMs have become accustomed to using this data as part of facilities governance. But how does BIM work? Where do those insights come from and how does a BIM system tie them all together in the context of a detailed CAD drawing? 

To understand how it works, we need to first understand what BIM is—what its purpose is, how it’s used, and what it represents.  

What is BIM?

Building Information Modeling (BIM) is the practice of bringing the many functional elements of a building together and quantifying them all within the context of the finished product.  

It’s easiest to think of BIM as a layered CAD drawing: mechanical, electrical, plumbing, infrastructure, architecture, and other layers stacked atop each other to form a complete building model. Facility managers, engineers, contractors, and other professionals can peel back these layers to understand how every part of the building works with every other.  

But what is BIM without data? In a BIM plan, each layer and the system it represents is chock-full of data, so building managers and professionals understand its role in the greater structure. Altogether, the layers and information of a BIM plan represent something powerful: a digital twin of the building. That digital twin is then used for everything from developing a preventive maintenance schedule, to budgeting and cost planning, to facility management and workplace design.  

In a nutshell: BIM seeks to quantify every major subsystem of a building within the context of the whole, allowing professionals to better plan, design, construct, and manage facilities.  

BIM explained

The definition and concept of BIM are a lot to take in. And the larger the building, the more expansive a BIM plan, which only serves to complicate the practice of using it. It’s easier to explain BIM in basic examples. 

  • The architect draws plans for a six-foot doorway, but the developer later changes it to an eight-foot doorway. They change the CAD drawing, which updates the materials list, which changes the costs.
  • XYZ Company decides to remodel. They mockup the changes in a BIM plan, which intelligently reroutes plumbing, mechanical, and electrical to fit the changes of the new space design.
  • Support tickets synced to specific cost centers within a BIM show the total cost of ownership for the building’s mechanical systems over the past 12 months, which allows FMs to budget for the upcoming year.

These are just a simple few of BIM’s may applications. BIM offers nearly infinite possibilities in how it helps professionals plan, design, construct, and manage facilities. The volume and context of data is what makes it so useful, and the more stakeholders do to enable BIM insights, the more they’ll enable more informed decision-making.  

So, how does BIM work?

Now that you know what BIM is and the context for its use, it’s easier to understand BIM software and how it works.  

Most people confuse BIM software with AutoCAD, since the fundamental basis for BIM is a comprehensive CAD model (2D or 3D). While CAD design programs are often used in conjunction with BIM software, the important distinction that differentiates them is the intuitive capabilities of BIM. BIM uses CAD mockups as a medium for bringing broad-scope information about a building together. Or, in simpler terms, BIM makes CAD drawings smarter, more dynamic by pairing information to the building’s many systems.  

BIM works by applying intelligent insights to the tangible aspects of a building. While a CAD design may show you the layout of a space you intend to remodel, BIM tells you which walls are load bearing, how to reroute the electrical, and what materials you’ll need to plumb HVAC ducts into the space. CAD is static; BIM is dynamic. More important, BIM insights influence changes made to CAD designs.  

Intelligent Insights

In an age where buildings themselves are getting smarter, it’s vital for facility professionals to get smarter about how they manage them. BIM informs the best possible approach to facilities management and maintenance, by providing complete context for buildings and the many systems that govern them. BIM insights offer the epitome of information-driven decision-making. 

There’s no doubt that the concept of BIM is complex and sophisticated and can be difficult to grasp for those new to it. But BIM is getting easier to understand and more accessible thanks to its role in designing and managing smarter buildings. As infrastructure becomes more complex and connected, BIM becomes more essential. It’s a system every FM needs to understand moving forward, so they can tap into the intelligent insights it offers and achieve a new standard of success in facilities management.  

Keep reading: BIM Facility Management Software

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What is Veterinary Facility Management?

By Dave Clifton
Content Strategy Specialist
SpaceIQ

Facility management practices are expanding beyond traditional offices and white-collar companies. Today, even veterinary facility management is a practice that demands skilled oversight. The reason is because the benefits are scalable—veterinarians and their operations benefit from good facility management in many of the same ways a traditional office-based company does. 

While a veterinary practice may have a much smaller footprint than an office building and fewer people working there, its operations are not any less complex when broken down. Veterinary clinics face unique challenges and facility obstacles that require innovative solutions. Here is a look at how vets can use facility management software to improve operations and the level of “patient” care they provide. 

What is veterinary facilities management?

Veterinary facilities management involves making the best possible use of facilities to expedite and optimize the care given to animals. It involves maximizing the use of exam rooms, lab equipment, animal-specific amenities, and, most important, the time and skills of veterinarians and vet techs. This is vital in an environment with so many volatile variables: different animal temperaments, urgent and emergent situations, and limited physical resources.

Examples of veterinary facilities management

Animal hospital facility management introduces much-needed flexibility to veterinary environments. It allows vet techs to adapt to changing situations with quickness, to keep themselves and animals safe, and to expedite the delivery of care. Here are a few basic examples: 

  • Room reservation software shows three aggressive dogs booked for appointments at 10am. When Dorothy calls to book an appointment for her skittish cat, the vet tech can schedule them at 11am, to avoid anxiety. 
  • A pet owner calls ahead to say they’re bringing in a dog with severe trauma. A vet tech can quickly relocate a dog from the intensive care room to a regular exam room and put the x-ray tech on standby to prepare for the incoming dog. 
  • An animal hospital is preparing to receive 10 animals from a breeding mill that’s been shut down. All animals need various levels of care. The hospital’s facility manager delegates cages and exam rooms for all 10 animals in advance of their arrival.

Whether to promote harmony between pets or to prepare for an unforeseen, emergent situation, more vet clinics and animal hospitals are using facilities management software to govern their space and amenities. 

Coordinate a better level of care

What variables fall under veterinary facility management? Instead of hot desks and agile workspaces, vet clinics need oversight for their most important assets and operations:

  • Exam rooms. Exam rooms are where evaluations and basic procedures happen—or, where you render billable services. Maximizing exam room utilization has a direct correlation to clinic profitability and patient care.
  • Equipment. X-ray machines, digital scales, surgical equipment, lab equipment, and the like are all critical tools for delivering care to animals. Again, maximizing availability of equipment leads to more billable services rendered.
  • Animal housing. For clinics that charge for boarding or those involve in animal intake for long-term treatment, it is vital to coordinate animal housing. These spaces are finite and essential, necessary to always manage. 
  • Staff and volunteers. The workforce’s interaction with facilities is worth measuring and managing. For example, if you have six animals in intensive suites, it tells you to staff more than the usual one or two vet techs.

Whether it’s triage and urgent care, routine exams and procedures, or extended stays, veterinary facilities are home to diverse demands. Like any workplace, it is up to facilities to meet these demands. Visibility is the first step. 

Beyond animal care

Veterinary facility management goes beyond finding space for pet and predicting care needs. There are also the people to consider and the general operations of the business as they relate to facilities. 

Do patients and their pets have a comfortable waiting room that alleviates stress? Are facilities set up to streamline the patient experience, such as weighing and vitals before the vet consult or leaving through the back door to discourage animal agitation? Are waiting rooms, lab rooms, storage areas, and the waiting room arranged to reduce cross-interaction between pets as they receive care? These questions and many others like them show the link between proper facility setup and management, and business operations.

Maximize the level of care and comfort

Few animals like going to the vet and most are smart enough to know where they are when they get there. Provide an experience that gets them the care they need, in a comfortable environment, with as few disruptions as possible—whether they are in for a routine checkup or an emergency visit. 

It is not only about the pets, either. Well-managed vet clinics and animal hospitals will put pet parents at ease and give them the confidence they need to not think twice about scheduling their pet’s next appointment at a particular clinic.

Keep Reading: Selecting the Right Facilities Management Software

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Is Facility Management a Good Career?

By Dave Clifton
Content Strategy Specialist
SpaceIQ

Chances are, you didn’t write “I want to be a facilities manager when I grow up” for your fourth-grade career essay. In fact, it’s probably not something you considered until well into college career or a first profession. Nevertheless, it’s a career worth considering—especially right now. Is facility management a good career? Turns out, it might be the best one you’ve never thought about.

The reason you might be thinking about a career in facilities management today is evident in the changing nature of work. Due to the rise in trends like flex work, hoteling, agile workplaces, smart buildings, and distributed teams, there’s growing demand for professionals who can put all the pieces of a workplace together—and make them function. 

If you’re pondering a career in facilities management, it’s worth understanding what makes it such a great option. Get the scoop on this profession and everything that accompanies it below. 

What is a facility manager?

The first and most obvious question to ask is, what is a facility manager? To understand whether a career in facilities management is worth it, you need to set expectations. According to the International Facilities Management Association (IFMA):

Facility managers (FMs) can have many different titles and arrive in their profession through a variety of career paths. They’re responsible for making sure systems of the built environment, or facility, work harmoniously. They are important because they make sure the places in which people work, play, learn and live are safe, comfortable, productive and sustainable.

The roles of a facility manager vary across organization. For a small company with limited facilities, the bulk of an FM’s duties might be optimizing that space for frictionless work across different groups. Conversely, larger companies may need facilities managers to coordinate the many vendors, craftspeople, and maintenance teams that keep facilities running. This gamut of duties is part of what makes facilities management such an intriguing and fulfilling profession.

Why is facilities management important?

As the way we work changes and the commercial real estate landscape becomes more complex, companies need facilities managers to help generate positive return on investment from facilities. The workplace—whatever it looks like—occupies significant space on the balance sheet. Good facilities management helps recoup some of that cost as value.

Beyond maximizing the return on investment of facilities, businesses also rely on FMs to streamline operations. Facilities (and the workplace) connect every part of business operations. A well-run facility can boost productivity, reduce workplace friction, improve employee experience, lower total operational costs, and enhance employee safety, among other benefits. 

Average salary for a facilities manager

What can you expect to earn as a facility manager? There’s a significant salary range depending on factors like company size, years of experience, and certification. According to Salary.com, annual salaries range from roughly $72,200 to as high as $126,600, with the average salary for a facilities manager coming in at $99,200. Compared to national salary averages for similar business- and management-related professions, facility management is a good career.

What kinds of businesses need facilities managers?

Facility management is commonly associated with white-collar businesses—everything from finance to marketing to tech and similar. It’s because these businesses typically utilize a traditional office setting, whether they occupy some or all of a building. These aren’t the only sectors that value facilities management. Healthcare, finance, and education are all fields that rely heavily on facilities. These sectors and more are taking proven facility management concepts and deploying them to a high level of success.

The great thing about facilities management as a career is that it’s important in organizations of all sizes and types. Opportunities abound for professionals entering the field right now. 

Facility management is a good career

“Good” is a subjective term. Nevertheless, it’s easy to call facilities management a good career based on the positive tailwinds pushing it right now. It’s a career that’s up-and-coming, growing in importance. There are opportunities across all sectors and business types. The pay is above average and competitive across the spectrum. The future is bright for facilities management. 

As a kid, you might’ve seen yourself becoming a doctor, astronaut, or a superhero when you grew up. Now, you might be thinking about facilities management as a career. Is facility management a good career? In a world where being a superhero is a little harder than you thought it would be, facility management is a fine second choice. You might actually feel sort of like a superhero after coordinating the complex demands of an evolving workplace.

Keep Reading: Four Main Functions of Facilities Management

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12 Benefits of Open Office Hoteling

By Dave Clifton
Content Strategy Specialist
SpaceIQ

The open office concept has become something of a taboo during the COVID-19 pandemic. Social distancing mandates and fear of proximity are forcing change to traditional open offices. The solution is not too far of a pivot: open office hoteling. It is a concept that brings the structure and oversight of hoteling to the free-flowing open office. 

Considering the short pivot from traditional open office to open office hoteling? Here are 12 reasons to look closer and endeavor to experiment with a hoteling concept during the pandemic.

  1. Supports flex workers. When employees have the option to work remote or in-office, employers need to plan to accommodate both. Will they come in today? If they do, will we have a desk for them? Hoteling forces predictability. A desk reservation means they’ll be in, and when they arrive, they’ll have a desk.
  2. Supports agile workers. As employees flit around agile workplaces, they need workspaces designed to accommodate their changing workflow. The ability to book a hotel desk in transition fits with the agile model. In this way, open office hoteling is a great framework for agile workplaces and ideal for establishing employee expectations.
  3. Supports remote workers. Your company has 50 workers, 35 of which work remote. Your workplace has seating for 40—more than enough to accommodate the 15 full-time in-house staff. The remaining desks accommodate remote employees who may need to spend time in the physical office. You can bring in 25 of your 35 remote staff for an all-hands meeting and guarantee accommodations for the day.
  4. Great for contact tracing. The open office is not conducive to social distancing and COVID-19 safety standards—at least, not as a free-flowing environment. Hoteling brings order to open offices and enables better control over coronavirus protocols. This includes contact tracing. Hoteling is a responsible solution to open office space during COVID-19.
  5. Ideal for utilization trending. Hotel desks give facility manager a clear picture of utilization in real-time and over time. Because employees need to book space, bookings become a measurable stat that’s trackable and interpretable. For example, if only 20 of your 40 hotel desks see action over a month-long period, it’s safe to say you can scale back.
  6. Easy to calculate costs. Facility managers can use office hoteling software to assign values to each hotel desk in their fleet of workspaces. Then, using utilization metrics, it’s possible to track the cost, ROI, and value of each space. This quantifiable data is vital for making upstream decisions about real estate and facilities management, and it creates greater understanding as to the true cost of a workplace.
  7. Centralized management. The framework hoteling operates within is great for exercising control over the workplace. Facility managers can quarantine specific spaces within the open office environment for sanitization or specific groups, and push desk demands to open hoteling spaces. Similarly, it’s easy to submit work tickets or requests on a per-desk basis, to ensure proper upkeep, cleaning, or repairs.
  8. Integrative with X. In the increasingly connected world of work, integrations enable innovation. An office hoteling system offers broad integration capabilities that make navigating an open office environment simpler, safer, and more efficient. Directory integration makes it easy to find coworkers, no matter what hotel desk they’re at. Wayfinding integrations keep employees grounded in new environments. Booking integrations through Slack make reserving a hotel space simple. The more integrations, the better.
  9. Simplifies space planning. The flexibility of hoteling makes it a plug-and-play solution for many companies assessing their workplace’s efficiency and space utilization. Because hoteling pertains to single spaces within a larger network of optional desks, it’s easy for facility managers to integrate them into an existing floor plan—especially when using space planning software. This saves the trouble of a complete workplace reinvention or major floor plan redesign.
  10. Freedom of choice for employees. Employees want the ability to choose where and how they work. Hoteling gives them this opportunity, but in the context of a managed framework of desks. It’s the best of both worlds! Freedom of choice boosts productivity and morale, while providing facility managers the necessary controls to ensure a balanced workplace.
  11. Low-cost desking. Because of their flexibility, hotel desks bring a new level of cost efficiency to open floor plan concepts. Otherwise-static spaces can become hoteling areas and bring newfound utilization with them. From a cost perspective, a room with four hotel desks filled at 50% occupancy is more valuable than the same room unfilled due to a blanket ban on group meetings due to COVID-19.
  12. Scalability. Whether your workplace has 10 hotel desks or 100 hoteling spaces of varying types, the management framework behind the concept scales. As facility managers figure out supply and demand, it’s easy to add and consolidate spaces within the hoteling network.

These benefits span employees and employers alike, covering cost, productivity, and spatial concepts. In a nutshell: it’s hard to beat the benefits of open office hoteling as we transition into the future of work. If you already use an open office, these benefits are even more enticing, because they’re already within reach.

Keep Reading: Hoteling in the Workplace

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Hospital Facility Management Software and the Patient Experience

By Dave Clifton
Content Strategy Specialist
SpaceIQ

There is a reason that, despite being fast-paced, high-intensity environments, many hospitals do not necessarily feel that way. Short of the triage unit and emergency center, most hospital wings and wards feel organized and well-orchestrated. They are ready to respond, always calm, cool, and collected. The secret rests in the oversight afforded to managers by hospital facility management software.

It is impossible to manage hospital operations without a system of guidance. Everything from patient conditions, to their privacy, to the equipment of the hospital and the staff with the skills to deliver care falls under the guise of operations management—and all this falls within the realm of facility management. For hospitals, the facilities are what matter, and they deserve careful and continuous oversight. 

How is facility management done in hospitals?

There are two parts to hospital operations: available facilities and the people who need them. If you have two people who need MRIs and two MRI machines, it is straightforward. If you have nine people who need surgery and only three operating rooms, there is much more to consider. What makes hospital facility management so complex is the sheer scale of it all. It is not just MRI machines or operating rooms—it is hundreds of different spaces and pieces of equipment, and thousands of patients who need them. 

Hospital facility management software connects the many sides of a hospital to the ebb and flow of demand from patients. While every hospital has different wards—oncology, urgent care, cardiac, pediatric, etc.—each unit has limited space, resources, and equipment available to it. Hospital facility management maximizes the resources of each unit, to ensure the quickest and best levels of patient care. This, in an environment fast paced, demanding, and often unpredictable. 

Examples of hospital facilities management

The power of hospital facility management software stretches across a wide breadth of solutions. Here is a look at some of the most basic examples of how hospital facility managers employ software to deliver strategic solutions to patients on a regular basis. 

  • There is a pandemic and the hospital needs to schedule float nurses to staff accordingly. Facility managers look at occupied beds to staff the proper number of nurses per ward, per shift, taking from other units with less need.
  • John is being discharged from urgent care to a rehabilitation wing after breaking both his legs. He is placed in an unoccupied room near the rehab facilities he will use to recover, close to a wheelchair accessible washroom.
  • St. Mary’s Hospital is seeing a spike in drug-related hospitalizations. The hospital decides to repurpose part of its triage center to deal specifically with administration of care to patients with addiction.

These examples are only a microcosm of how facility managers orchestrate the caregiving environment to meet patient needs on a daily, hourly, and even by-the-minute capacity. This flexibility and agility are also the reason otherwise-chaotic hospital wards feel well-ordered and ready to adapt. 

What is the function of healthcare facilities management?

The core function of hospital facilities management is to improve the patient experience. Patients do not necessarily need to know why hospital operations are set up the way they are. All they need to take away from their experience is the feeling they received great care, in a timely manner, in an environment that put them at ease.

Facility management happens behind the scenes in hospitals. Patients rarely see the coordinated effort it takes to deliver the experience they receive—and this is ideal. They know they can come in for an appointment or an emergency and get the care they need in a prompt fashion. 

The growing demand for facilities management for hospitals

There’s still significant room for improvement in the realm of hospital facility management. Though down from a decade ago, emergency room wait times are still almost 40 minutes at peak hours. Likewise, many hospitals still face difficulty pathing patients to specialty wards with expedience. 

As healthcare demands in the U.S. and around the world grow larger by the year, more demand for hospital services will put more emphasis on efficient and effective use of available facilities, equipment, people, and resources. Facilities management in hospitals will become more important than it already is. 

Complexity beyond description

It is impossible to contextualize the sheer scope of hospital facilities management in one article. From coordinating urgent care, to orchestrating patient movements, to delegating space by demand, and beyond, there is a reason most hospitals put entire facility management teams at the helm of robust software. There are fewer environments more complex and fewer instances where the need for stringent oversight is more important. 

Keep reading: How to Select the Right Facility Management Software

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What’s the Future of Work Post COVID-19?

What’s the Future of Work Post COVID-19?

By Dave Clifton
Content Strategy Specialist
SpaceIQ

Since the earliest days of the coronavirus pandemic, companies have speculated on the future of work post COVID-19. As the months dragged on, most companies came to the same conclusion: the future of work depends on a successful pivot during the pandemic. Rather than wait for the virus to pass, companies began to explore new work schedules, desking concepts, remote work, and a host of new workplace standards and practices.

While much of the workforce is still settling in almost a year into the pandemic, the future of work post COVID-19 is becoming clearer—thanks in large part to the adaptations of leading companies. Here’s what’s trending up and paving the way for the future of work in our upcoming post-pandemic world.

Remote work is here to stay

Remote work was arguably the single biggest pivot during the pandemic. The exodus from the workplace to home offices, dining room tables, and couches has proven that a significant portion of the population can work from home. As they settle in, many employees are finding that they enjoy the freedom remote work affords them, and are willing to put up with some of the cons attached to it.

Employers are also discovering the benefits of a remote workforce. Expect many employers to trim back their workplace footprint in the coming years as more employees opt for remote work. New workplace desking concepts are also good for the bottom line, as they exhibit better space utilization and cost-efficiency.

The amicable view on remote work by both employers and employees indicates this is one trend that’s here to stay.

Distributed teams

In conjunction with remote work, distributed teams are also sure to stick around. Whether they’re all remote or a mixture of remote vs. in-office, teams are no longer in the same place, which means their communication standards have changed.

The future is filled with more Slack messages, Zoom calls, and Dropbox collaborations. Teams might not all be in the same place, but they need to be on the same page. Employers need to take distributed teams into consideration as they plan upcoming investments in technology and look for ways to upskill managers.

Hoteling emerges in a big way

Hoteling office space is right behind remote work in terms of lasting changes to how we work. Hoteling has allowed companies to facilitate a safe return to work by giving employees the freedom to choose their workspace, while tracking workspace utilization. It’s not only great for contact tracing, it’s a valuable desking concept for agile work environments and companies practicing flex work.

Hoteling offers a perfect medium between the freedom of hot desking and the structure of assigned or static workspaces. Managed correctly, hoteling will become the lynchpin for companies with complex scheduling across flex teams. As we move past the pandemic, employers will look for ways to downsize their square footage while growing their workforce, and they’ll rely on hoteling and flex work to balance these adjustments.

How will coworking and hot desks fare?

In 2018 and 2019, hot desking and coworking appeared to be the clear frontrunners in the future of work. These workplace concepts even ushered in the current crop of space planning software more and more companies will rely on into the future.

While hot desking and coworking will see a rebound post-pandemic, there’s fear that they won’t bounce back with as much gusto. Coworking spaces will reappear and may thrive thanks to a significant uptick in remote workers, but the business model has become shakier under the context of the pandemic. Hot desks may cede their share of the workplace to hotel desks, which give more control to facility managers when it comes to understanding worker habits and workspace utilization.

We haven’t seen the end of coworking and hot desks, but the future might bring different iterations of these concepts from what we know them as pre-pandemic.

Will we ever go back to static desks or open offices?

The future is the age of the agile workplace, which means we’re not likely to see a resurgence of static desking concepts. Open offices aren’t off the table, however, provided they’re rooted in flex work principles. Benching won’t likely bounce back as well—breakout spaces will take their place.

The more dynamic an individual workspace, the more likely its future in a post COVID-19 workplace. The reason? Dedicated space will become a burden on the balance sheet if distancing policies stay in place. Even if they don’t, employees are becoming acclimated to new occupancy standards and won’t want to pack into confined spaces if they can help it.

Early trends squash speculation

The above trends aren’t speculation—they’re emerging standards. Almost one year into the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re seeing the makings of a future beyond it. The adjustments and transitions companies are making now aren’t short-term pivots—they’re planning for the future. There’s no going back.

While these standards will continue to evolve, they’re setting the stage for employee expectations. After a mass migration to remote work, distributed teams, hoteling, and flex work, employers and employees alike won’t be in any hurry to up-end their work arrangement again!

Read Next: Space Planning Software Buyers Guide

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Office Hoteling App: Five Must-Have Features

Office Hoteling App: Five Must-Have Features

By Dave Clifton
Content Strategy Specialist
SpaceIQ

As companies scramble to maintain workplace operations during an ongoing pandemic, an office hoteling app has become a standout solution for a safe return to work. Workplaces have begun the transition to hoteling for many reasons—seating oversight, contact tracing, space utilization, and better individual workspace management, to name a few. An office hoteling app is an employee’s gateway to navigating this new floor plan and the lynchpin for successfully returning to the workplace after COVID-19.

Wayfinding is a two-way street. Employers need to manage the hoteling system to oversee variables like seat availability and workspace accessibility. On the flip side, employees need to engage that system and interact with it to successfully reintegrate during a return to work. Here’s a look at some of the most important features an office hoteling app needs to facilitate the latter’s role in successful hoteling.

1. Real-time desk visibility

Employees need a live look at the workspaces available to them. Hoteling falls apart without real-time visibility. What happens when two people book the same desk, or a desk appears filled but is actually vacant? Hoteling has the power to be a flexible solution that empowers employees during the return to work, but only if they trust the app to provide real-time insights.

Look for cloud-based hoteling app solutions with low latency integrations to deliver real-time desk visibility. Systems should also be smart enough to handle double-bookings by recommending adjacent spaces or canceling a booking the moment another is confirmed.

2, Workspace identifying information

The more information a hoteling app provides to employees, the more value they’ll derive from it. Workspace identifying information needs to transcend where the desk is or the physical square footage it occupied. Some useful information to attach to hotel desks includes:

  • Workspace size and location
  • Type of furnishings (desk, chair)
  • Outlets or USB hookups present
  • Hookups present (ethernet, A/V)
  • Special considerations

The purpose of this information is to answer as many questions about the workspace as possible upfront. Identifying information also sets expectations. If the profile says there’s an adjustable standing desk, it might sway an employee to choose that space over another. Just make sure expectations fit reality! Booking a workspace with a standing desk and arriving at one with a traditional sitting desk won’t bode well with employees.

3. Integrated wayfinding

Companies with multiple floors or large campuses need a wayfinding component built into employee hoteling apps. While descriptions of the desk location are helpful (third floor, northeast corner by the copy closet), they leave room for interpretation errors. Wayfinding takes human error out of the process.

Wayfinding is also invaluable if there are dozens (or hundreds) of similar desks. “Third floor cubicle cluster” isn’t an effective description and will disrupt the hoteling system as employees seat themselves in the wrong place. Navigation should take them straight to their seat and offer confirmation that they’re in the right place.

4. Directory integration

The team dynamic is still important in the workplace—even with social distancing measures present. It behooves employees to sit in proximity to the people they work with, even if they need to keep some distance in-between. Getting up to occupy a conference room under new social standards is a lot easier when everyone is a few desks apart, rather than a few floors.

Directory integration is also useful for tracking down individuals within the hoteling framework. Derry might not sit in the same place today as he did two days ago, or last week. If Michaela needs to bring something to him, she needs to be able to find him. Tying hotel desk reservations to the employee directory makes Derry’s location accessible—and, if there’s wayfinding integration, it’s even easier for Michaela to track him down. Less time spent searching is less time wasted.

5. Cross-platform functionality

App functionality needs to be consistent across all devices. If it’s not, employee experience will be inconsistent, which means the hoteling experience will vary from person to person. Whether they own an Apple iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, Google Pixel, or any of a dozen other popular smartphones, your office hoteling app should deliver a uniform experience for everything from desk booking to directory lookups and wayfinding.

Deliver a consistent hoteling experience

Hoteling has emerged as a way to help every employee safely return to the office post COVID-19. To facilitate this return smoothly and safely, each employee needs to have a positive, seamless experience with the office hoteling app. Make it easy for them to see available workspaces, book them, navigate to them, and find their coworkers, and they’ll be more confident in their return to work.

Read Next: Streamline Desk Booking with Office Hoteling Software