Workplace and Facilities Management Terms, Glossary and Abbreviation Meanings
Facility management is a complex field and, as such, it requires the use of complex terminology. That means you’ll see some acronyms crop up as you’re working through the logistics of managing and moving your new office space real estate. Information is the key to successful facility management, and you don’t want to be left scratching your head at an alphabet soup of acronyms.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common Space and Facility Management terms and review what they mean so you can be sure to stay ahead of the curve as you plan moves, manage employees, carry out a successful space inventory and space utilization of the additional space and facilities in your office. You may also see some of these terms as you work with SpaceIQ’s workplace management platform, so let’s dive in and explore this vocabulary as your first step toward facility management success.
A method of assigning priorities to the proximity needs of different individuals or organizational units. Used extensively in space planning. (2) A way of assigning a value to the relationship between two spaces, whether individual or organizational units. See also block plan and stacking plan.
A document by which significant changes are made to the terms of an executed contract (lease). Changes requiring an amendment include, but are not limited to adjustments in costs, services, time period, and method of payment. The amendment is incorporated as part of the original contract.
American Institute of Architects (AIA)
The American Institute of Architects: Based in Washington, D.C., the American Institute of Architects (AIA) has been the leading professional membership association for licensed architects, emerging professionals, and allied partners since 1857. Through education, legislative and regulatory development, professional education, and research, the AIA and its more than 83,000 members express their commitment to excellence in design and livability in our nation‘s buildings and communities.
An individual or firm on contract to develop project design and construction documents based on a statement of requirements provided by a building owner.
Area Per Person
The net lettable area of an occupancy in square feet divided by the number of full time (or equivalent) employees (FTE) occupying the space. Also defined as space utilization rate.
The current state of a particular building. An accurate record of the placement of construction components and the routing of other components such as cables, pipes, and ducts that indicate how a building was actually built, rather than how it was designed to be built. As-built drawings are submitted by each trade (e.g. mechanical, electrical). They document a building’s systems and components, as observed and documented in the field. See also record drawings.
Portion of the plannable area on a floor that can be assigned to occupant groups or functions. Assignable area includes interior walls and interior encroachments. It does not include restricted areas, occupant voids, unassignable areas or secondary circulation. Users may choose to measure interior encroachments, and if measured, interior encroachments like secondary circulation area are generally pro-rated back to the occupant(s), e.g. not directly assignable.
AutoCAD is a commercial computer-aided design and drafting software application developed and marketed by Autodesk. SpaceIQ makes it easy to use AutoCAD files to modify your workplace floor plans with our Map Editor to:
- Upload floor plans directly from AutoCAD to SpaceIQ
- Download, open and edit AutoCAD .dwg floor plan files stored in the SpaceIQ cloud application
- Publish and edit AutoCAD block subsets as separate objects in SpaceIQ
Note: Elements that are part of a single background image are not editable. See Computer-Aided Design.
A designated workspace assigned to an individual employee.
An organization’s physical assets (e.g., desks, computers, chairs, etc.) are often involved with major expenditure, which means that it’s in an organization’s best interest to avoid losses in this area wherever possible. Asset management is a system by which these physical assets are catalogued in a single system of record as a means of minimizing losses and maximizing value for existing equipment. Proper asset management can lead to a reduction in overall equipment costs and increased returns from property as management avoids unnecessary expenditures and cuts down on the chances of items randomly going missing.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Artificial intelligence (AI) is creating computers that perform intelligent actions in a human like way. Using characteristics such as visual perception, decision making and recognizing speech. This can compound in a variety of ways, from a machine that functions and acts like a human, to self-driving cars. AI is beginning to make an impact in the workplace via smart stacking technologies and other data-driven processes.
Application Programming Interface (APIs)
Application programming interfaces (APIs) make it easier for developers to use certain technologies in building applications by abstracting the underlying implementation, and only exposing objects or actions the developer needs. API is essentially a set of commands that allow software programs to communicate with each other. APIs can be put to use in many ways. Often, companies will sell their API to customers, or lend their APIs to other websites.
In an operational context, the concept of agility refers to procedural flexibility designed to maximize productivity and enhance employee satisfaction through autonomy. Agile workplaces and offices facilitates freedom for workers to make independent decisions on where and how to do their best work. An agile workplace may provide several different curated spaces and flexible seating areas. Employees are given free access to these spaces and are not required to stay put at his or her assigned desk for the duration of the workday. The basic concept behind the agile workplace is that each individual employee knows how to do their best work and should be given the freedom to do so.
Activity-Based Workplace/Workspace (ABW)
An activity-based workplace (ABW) embraces an agile approach to the office environment. An office that embraces ABW concepts will not remain tethered to a traditional, fixed seating chart. Rather, ABW offices allow employees to choose which locations will best facilitate their ability to get work done. For example, an employee may find that she does data entry tasks best in a lounge setting, but that she prefers to take phone calls and answer emails at a desk. In an activity-based workplace, this employee would be able to move to different locations as she sees fit. First introduced in the 1995 book “The Demise of the Office” by Dutch authors Erik Veldhoen and Bart Piepers, the ABW concept aims to increase productivity by giving individuals more autonomy over their workday with the ultimate goal of boosting productivity.
Automated Facility Management System
Automated facility management focuses on putting facility services on auto pilot. An automated facility management system works is through triggers—if this, then that. An action triggers an appropriate reaction, which decreases the manual work required to complete a process. Automations make the most of complex chain actions and reactions, rules, and redundancies, all with minimal human intervention. Examples include:
- Automated support ticketing
- Automated room booking
- Automated reporting
- Automated access control
Business Unit Hierarchy
How employees, departments, divisions, etc., roll up from a reporting perspective.
Division and/or departments in an organization.
Business Continuity Plan
Pre-establish work plan to be implemented after a catastrophic event that causes normal business to cease operations.
Butts in Seats
Informal term used by Facilities Manager’s when referring to space management and occupancy.
Building Exterior Gross Area
The sum of the floor areas on all levels of a building that are totally enclosed within the building envelope. Building exterior gross area includes facility interior gross area, exterior walls, major vertical penetrations, void areas and interior parking space.
Building Efficiency Ratio
The ratio of a building’s or floor’s net lettable area (NLA) to its gross building or floor area (GFA).
The “guts” of a building, which normally includes building elevators, restrooms, smoke towers, fire stairs, mechanical shafts, janitorial, electrical and phone closets.
Building Condition Assessment (BCA)
A complete review of the current state of a building to determine their current condition and estimated cost to correct any deficiencies. It is provided in a report format, often including photographs and diagrams outlining problem areas, needed updates or improvements, and problems.
The use of electrical, electronic, mechanical, and computerized sensors, programmers and controllers for the automatic operation of building systems and services, generally for purposes of safety protection, security, performance optimization, and overall cost minimization.
In commercial space leasing, a person who is licensed by the state or province to search for prospective tenants and to facilitate contractual agreements between them and building owners.
Break Clause (Lease)
A clause that allows a tenant to end a lease at specific times during the period of the lease.
Personnel relocations in which the furniture, walls, phones, and electricity remain; people move only their immediate belongings to a new space.
The independent institute for property and facility management education. BOMI offers designations in real property management (RPA®), facilities management (FMA®), and systems maintenance (SMT®/SMA®). Courses are delivered by classroom study, self-study, corporate classes, accelerated review, and facilitated group study.
BOMA (Building Owners and Managers Association)
BOMA International is a primary source of information on office building development, leasing, building operating costs, energy consumption patterns, local and national building codes, legislation, occupancy statistics and technological developments.
The process of determining and illustrating the location of each business unit on the floor of a building depending on affinities with other business units and specific physical aspects of the space such as access, views and daylight.
A drawing showing the location of each employee group relative to other groups and the associated support areas. Also called a block allocation.
A comprehensive, integrated and cooperative approach to the continuous improvement of all facets of an organization’s operations. It is a method by which leading edge companies manage their organizations to achieve world class standards of performance.
An asset tracking system that uses a printed code attached to each item that consists of a series of vertical bars that identify the item and its characteristics. The code can be scanned by a computerized hand held scanner
A face, quoted, dollar amount representing the rate or rent in dollars per square foot per year and typically referred to as the base rate.
The basic building structure, including its foundation, structural system, core, roof, and exterior walls, and building-wide HVAC, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems. The base building generally excludes the internal space used by tenants.
The monthly recurring rental charges as stated in the lease. The minimum rent due to the landlord. Typically, it is a fixed amount. This is a face, quoted, contract amount of periodic rent. The annual base rate is the amount upon which escalations are calculated.
The year or date to which all future and past benefits and costs are converted when the present value method is used. In a lease agreement, the year from which increases in the cost of outgoings are calculated.
A process for measuring “best practice” performance and comparing the results to corporate performance in order to identify opportunities for improvement. The comparison to “best practice,” often called a GAP analysis, leads to a prioritized array of optimizing changes directed to gaining “best practice” levels of effectiveness. We often compare our client’s facilities to IFMA or BOMA benchmark information.
Building Information Modeling (BIM)
Building information modeling (BIM) technology centers around 3D modeling programs that provide a customized simulation of an actual building or facility. Most often seen in architecture, construction, and engineering contexts, BIM also has applications for facility management, in which case it may be referred to as BIM FM. The 3D rendering of a particular facility makes it possible for users to virtually move through a space and observe its features, dimensions, and infrastructure without making these observations in person. This can be particularly useful for facility management professionals engaging in space planning and other FM activities for offsite buildings. See Digital Twins.
Building Energy Management System (BEMS)
Building energy management system (BEMS) technology allows for the automated control of a facility’s complete energy needs, including lighting, HVAC, security, fire, and other systems. With a BEMS system, power consumption is monitored and optimized by a specialized computer program designed to replace manual human management of these systems. This helps cut costs by ensuring that energy consumption is efficient as possible. See Building Automation System.
Building Automation System (BAS)
A building automation system (BAS) combines everything from HVAC and lighting to security alarms and AV features into a single system that operates within an office or building. This centralized system uses computer-controlled automation to manage the operation of all of the various components included in the BAS. When combined with sensors and other automation technology, a BAS can eliminate the need for human control over various systems. This means that an office can program their BAS to turn lights on and off at specific times of the day or in response to input from a motion sensor. Because a BAS uses computer network technology to control all of its various elements, security can be a major concern to prevent outside interference with the BAS’s integrated systems and settings.
Biophilic design addresses the need to incorporate nature into workspaces by building a framework for these human-nature connections to thrive in. Biophilic design features help create a workplace that optimizes the environment for performance, health, and well-being. Individual employees have increased recognition to the natural world, overall reductions in stress and mental fatigue, and improved cognitive performance on tasks.
Benching is the epitome of modern workspaces. There’s no assigned seating or special considerations. It’s just a table and chair, waiting for someone to occupy them. Benching is all most people need to work. Laptops, tablets, and smartphones make full-sized desks or offices less necessary. Coworking facilities use benching to take many of the logistics out of space planning.
A breakout space is any location that’s separate from an employee’s usual working area. Breakout spaces are the ultimate representation of agility in a fast-paced workplace. They’re not usually occupied for more than 30 to 45 minutes and their unstructured nature turns them into the ideal space for whoever occupies them.
Cost of Operations
The total costs associated with the day-to-day operation of a facility. It includes all maintenance and repair (both fixed and variable), administrative costs, labor costs, janitorial, housekeeping and other cleaning costs, all utility costs, and all costs associated with roadways and grounds.
Cost of Occupancy
Expenditures that are required to assume and maintain occupancy of a space. Such expenditures include rent and/or mortgage payments, and recurring costs, such as real estate taxes, repairs, operating expenses, and other outgoings directly resulting from the use of the property.
A program, project, or organizational unit for which budgetary funding is used to sustain operations. Cost centers do not substantially contribute to revenue generation, but they are essential to operations, such as building maintenance. A department, function, section, or individual whose cost, overall or in part, is an accepted overhead of a business in return for services provided to other parts of the organization. A cost center is usually an indirect cost of an organization’s products or services.
The actions performed, as a result of failure, to restore an item or asset to its original condition, as far as practicable. Corrective maintenance may or may not be programmed.
Computer Integrated Facility Management (CIFM)
Also known as Computer Aided Facility Management (CAFM). A term identifying the use of a computer system for measuring, managing, and analyzing the space, furniture, fixtures and equipment and associated drawings of a facility. Includes move management, lease information, reports, telecommunications, labor and material cost accounting, and maintenance management issues.
CoreNet Global is the world’s premier association for corporate real estate and related professionals.
The number of square feet in a multitenant building devoted to the lobby and hallways and for which each tenant is assessed a pro rata percentage.
That part of risk management which ensures that swift and appropriate action is taken when an undesirable outcome, particularly an emergency situation, arises. It has two broad aspects:
1. Development of crisis management plans aimed at maximizing safety for people and minimizing damage and disruption during a crisis;
2. Development of business resumption plans, aimed at ensuring business functions are recovered as quickly as possible after a crisis
Also known as Disaster Recovery Planning
Common Support Space
Space devoted to common support services. Common support space is a portion of the facility assignable area that is not attributed to any one occupant, but provides support for several or all occupant groups. Examples include cafeterias, conference rooms, storage areas, auditoriums, fitness facilities, training rooms and computer rooms.
Those areas within a building or tenancy not leased to a particular tenant, but available for the use of all tenants in common with each other, and usually with the public.
A space planning design approach in which full-height walls are used to enclose individual work spaces; few or no screens, panels, or modular furniture are used. See Open Plan.
Class B Buildings
Buildings competing for a wide range of users with rents in the average range for the area. Class B building finishes are fair to good for the area and systems are adequate, but the building does not compete with Class A at the same price.
Class A Buildings
The most prestigious buildings competing for premier office users with rents above average for the area. Class A buildings have high quality standard finishes, state-of-the-art systems, exceptional accessibility, and a definite market presence. Prospects with high percentages of Class A buildings (Financial Services companies for example) are great targets for CAFM systems due to the high rent costs.
The space within a building assigned to the movement of people, goods and/or vehicles, and from which access is gained to other functional rooms or spaces.
Can be categorized into the following levels:
1. Primary Circulation Space consists of those parts of the floor or building such as aisles, walkways, entrances, exits, foyers and space required for access to stairs, lifts, toilets or conference rooms.
2. Secondary Circulation Space is the area of a building required for access to some subdivision of space (open or enclosed) that does not serve all occupants on a floor.
A percentage of work space area added for circulation of people and goods in usable space.
The portion of the gross area of a building required for physical access to various divisions and subdivisions of space.
The total number of moves completed in a 12 month period divided by the average number of occupants during the same 12 month period multiplied by 100 percent.
The number of moves or office reconfigurations that involve relocating personnel and/or equipment, usually determined annually. This is often used as a metric for better facility management and an output of a good CAFM/CIFM implementation.
A cost for facilities department services, materials, or products levied on an end user of space. The most common usage of the term in Chargeback of Space, where facilities departments will internally charge individual departments for space usage based on consumption.
The total amount of greenhouse gases emitted directly or indirectly through any human activity, typically expressed in equivalent tons of either carbon or carbon dioxide.
Common Area Maintenance (CAM)
Common Area Maintenance charges: Amounts charged to tenants for expenses to maintain hallways, restrooms, parking lots, and other Common Areas. Example: In a regional mall, the cost of utilities needed to heat, cool, light, and clean the common areas was allocated to each tenant as common area maintenance, charged back to tenants.
Curated spaces are areas within a workplace that are designed to serve a specific purpose. These areas include equipment, furnishings, and other features that support the specific task they’re intended for. A curated space for collaboration, for example, might have whiteboards, projector equipment, ample seating, and plenty of power outlets to accommodate multiple people and facilitate information sharing.
Coworking is an arrangement in which several workers from different companies share an office space, allowing cost savings and convenience through the use of common infrastructure, such as equipment, utilities, and receptionist and custodial services, and in some cases refreshments and parcel acceptance services. See Collaborative Workspaces.
Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS)
Computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) allow an organization to use a single digitized reporting and recording system for anything relating to maintenance needs in the office. These systems make the process of reporting and addressing physical maintenance problems easier for the employees or managers reporting the problems they observe or experience, which can theoretically lead to more frequent and prompt reporting than a traditional in-person or paper reporting system. CMMS tools also allow maintenance staff to quickly see what needs to be fixed to facilitate better planning and make the acquisition of necessary supplies easier as well.
Computer-Aided Facility Management (CAFM)
Computer-aided facility management (CAFM) is a revolution in the way FM tasks are carried out. Rather than tracking assets and employees on paper, organizations can now use digitized CAFM programs to easily track, manage, visualize and conceptualize all of the physical elements of an office. CAFM programs make pen-and-paper management and even computerized spreadsheets a thing of the past. CAFM programs focus on space planning and optimization and asset management, and are particularly useful while executing facility moves.
Computer-Aided Design (CAD)
Computer-aided design (CAD) is a process by which designers draw up specific plans using a computer. With CAD, a designer can create a realistic 3D model of anything from a small toy to a complete office building. In the context of an IWMS program, CAD is useful for providing precise floorplan diagrams and other realistic elements that represent the physical space in the office and allow users to gain a high-level view of the space they’re working with. CAD diagrams can be created to perfect scale and dimension in order to reflect the exact shape, size and features of a room, which allows for effective space planning without the use of paper blueprints. See AutoCAD.
Collaborative workspaces are offices in which employees of various companies work under one roof. Companies sharing a collaborative workspace can come in all sizes—from growing startups to global enterprises. See Coworking.
Capacity planning is a data analysis activity designed to help facilities professionals predict the point at which buildings or individual floors will reach their occupancy capacity. Capacity projections tools can assist with the analysis necessary to perform accurate capacity planning.
Defined as a way to produce, store, control, and track documents in a work-group environment. There are as many procedures and methods for managing documents as there are organizations. However, as more organizations apply computer technology to their once paper-based systems, they have found they can reduce operating costs, increase productivity, improve customer service, and even generate new business opportunities by making new products and services available to their customers.
Disaster Recovery Plans
Written steps or procedures that can be put into practice to recover from a catastrophic event (fire, earthquake, etc.) affecting a corporation’s use of a building.
A digital workplace is one that not only utilizes technology, it’s governed by it. Examples of digital workplace technologies include automated lights, networked wayfinding systems, and connected workstations. The digital workplace is also about doing more with less—and accomplishing more, faster.
A digital model, representation, or reproduction of a physical object that exists in the real world. Though digital twin representations are often used to keep information about machines like printers or IoT components like sensors, they can also be used for more traditional physical assets like desks or entire buildings. For example, a SpaceIQ Floor Map is a digital twin that features a virtual recreation of an entire floor of an office, including not only desks but also the additional equipment and individual rooms on that floor.
Using a digital twin allows professionals to keep track of business assets in a single system of record, which can be particularly helpful for organizations with a lot of equipment or several different locations. These organizations can use a digital twin model of their office spaces to make changes to and monitor physical assets in real time. The digital twin can provide a single cohesive resource for data analysis, allowing for greater efficiency and more accurate planning.
See Shared Desk.
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
A software system comprised of a single or integrated suite of applications to manage enterprise business functions, including finance, human resources, and order fulfillment. Examples include SAP, Oracle, PeopleSoft, etc.
Expected Useful Life
The normal operating life of a building system or component in terms of utility to the owner.
Span of time over which the equipment is expected to fulfill its intended purpose.
Environmental Sustainability is about addressing the economic, environmental and social responsibilities and managing them accordingly towards the attainment of a desired level of sustainability performance.
Enterprise Asset Management (EAM)
Monitoring and management of an organization’s assets across departments, locations, facilities and, in some cases, business units.
See Employee Engagement.
Employee engagement describes the relationship between an employee and the company. A highly engaged employee is not only satisfied with their work, but also feels positively about the company and is motivated to further the company’s larger goals and reputation. Companies can determine employee engagement through surveys designed to measure this metric. High employee engagement is important to foster because an engaged workforce will have less turnover and more people actively working to meet the company’s goals. The workplace has a major impact on employee engagement and helping employees to feel they are a valuable part of the team and excited to come to work.
Free addressing is a is a lesser-used term for workspaces that are not assigned to a single user but rather are shared on an as-needed basis. See hot desking and hoteling.
Flexible seating environments do away with assigned seats and let workers choose where they want to sit instead. See agile workplace.
Flex (Flexible) Work
Flex work allows employees to alter/choose the times and days they work. Employers typically set “core” hours during which employees must work, then flexible hours in which the rest of the work day is completed. Many businesses offer flexible work schedules to accommodate remote employees and those living in different time zones.
Flex space (or drop-in location): an offsite location between home and the office, eg. a shared office hub, coworking space or hot-desking space, often available by the day, hour or month through memberships or short-term leasing of a chair, desk or room.
Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB)
The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) is a private, non-profit organization founded in 1973. Comprised of accounting professionals, this independent board establishes accounting and financial reporting standards based on the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). Though it functions independently, the FASB is recognized as a standard-setting body by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Facility managers are professionals whose job functions focus on the execution of FM tasks and best practices. These professionals may be responsible for an entire building, including the interior or exterior, or may simply be in charge of FM concerns for a single floor. Organizations that hire dedicated facility managers tend to be larger in scale and have multiple different facilities that need to be properly maintained. Facilities managers may be required to respond to calls and perform maintenance tasks themselves.
Facility coordinators are junior-level professionals who are responsible for lower-level FM tasks in the business world. Such tasks may include restocking supplies, helping to place orders for new furniture, calling for repairs and assisting higher-level office management staff with budgeting. In some cases, “facility coordinator” can be an alternative to the “office manager” job title. Most people in this career path tend to move on to a higher-level job after gaining some experience, often to a higher-level office management role.
Facility Management (FM)
The facility management process is a broad discipline that takes a high-level view of an organization’s assets, business resources and employees. From the office building itself to the furniture occupying the rooms therein, the computers on the desks and the people using those computers, FM concerns itself with the administration, use and care of an organization’s physical assets and property. This management discipline is primarily concerned with physical logistics, though some technological concerns are becoming increasingly relevant as digital functions become more prominent in the modern workplace.
See Facility Management.
The rental reserved/derived where all operating costs on the property (excluding cleaning and energy) are included in the rental.
Gross Rentable Area
Used for calculating tenancy area in warehouses, industrial buildings, free standing supermarkets, and showrooms.
One in which all operating costs on the property are included in the rental charged rather than charged as a separate amount. The landlord generally pays for all base year repairs, taxes and operating expenses incurred through ownership. It is the opposite of a net lease in which these costs are borne by the lessee.
The sum of floor areas within the outside faces of the exterior walls for all building levels which have floor surfaces.
Geospatial Information System (GIS)
This system allows you to view, understand, question, interpret, and visualize data in many ways that reveal relationships, patterns, and trends in the form of maps, globes, reports, and charts.
A code representing the location of an object, such as an address, a census tract, or a postal code. Used to establish locations in GIS.
Technique for determining the steps to be taken in moving from a current state to a desired future state. Term is often used when determining implementation costs.
Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning
A hybrid workplace is a flexible is a structure that balances the day-to-day business performance and well-being of both on-site and remote employees with the agile, flexible needs for your business success.
Human-Centered Workplace Design
As the name implies, human-centered workplace design focuses on the needs of the individual people working in the office. There are multiple ways to interpret this concept, including a focus on health and sustainability, user-friendliness, and appealing design that makes employees feel comfortable and “at home” when they’re in the office. Human-centered design places a heavier emphasis on what it might feel like to be in the workplace rather than focusing on bottom-line concerns alone. This doesn’t mean that human-centered workplaces are not cost effective, but the concept represents a movement away from strictly impersonal utilitarianism in office design. Proponents of human-centered workplace design might argue that the workplace is an important resource for recruiting and productivity and therefore should be treated as more than a collection of physical assets.
Hoteling is the practice by which desks or seats are reserved for employees on an as-needed basis. These seats, often referred to as hotel desks, may not actually be dedicated workstations but rather seats at shared tables and other workplaces. Employees who are not permanently assigned in an office, such as out-of-town employees on temporary assignment, seasonal contractors or consultants, are generally the best candidates for hoteling as these reserved seats are not designed to be a permanent part of the office’s seating chart. Workplaces that see a high volume of temporary employees coming and going may want to dedicate a few hotel desks. Workplaces that only occasionally need to provision hotel desks may not want to set aside dedicated workstations as these hotel desks may frequently sit empty, which negatively impacts space utilization efficiency.
Seats that are assigned on an as-needed basis are often referred to as hotel desks. See hoteling.
Hot desking is a seating concept that allows for some open, unassigned seating in an office space. Employees and office mates can then use these desks as needed when they’re available. Hot desks may be particularly useful for offices in which there is a high volume of people who do not need to sit at a desk throughout the day—workers who spend most of their time in a lab but may need a place to sit down and write out reports, for example, can make use of hot desks. The hot desking concept helps increase space utilization efficiency by avoiding the need to assign desks that will sit empty most of the time. With hot desks available, multiple different employees can use the same workstation at different points throughout the day. Hot desks typically don’t have a formal reservation system; workers can simply sit down when a hot desk is empty without needing to plan in advance.
International Facility Management Association (IFMA)
The International Facility Management Association (IFMA) is an international professional association for facility management specialists. The IFMA boasts more than 20,000 members from more than 100 countries and is comprised of several regional chapters and industrial subgroups. Even if you do not choose to become a member of IFMA, this organization is an excellent source of information on FM. In addition to self-educational tools on the IFMA website, this organization also offers FM classes for professionals of all skill levels. An office professional who is finding him or herself dealing more and more with FM-related concerns may want to join the association or take some classes as a non-member.
International Accounting Standards Board (IASB)
The IASB is a private organization that operates independently to create a best-practices protocol known as International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). Though based in the UK, the IASB follows rules to ensure that its 14-member board reflects a geographical balance, including members from Asia and Oceania, Europe, Africa, and the Americas. The IASB itself was formed in 2001, but it evolved out of the International Accounting Standards Committee (IASC), which was founded in 1973.
An interactive dashboard allows you to visualize, analyze and manipulate all of the relevant information you provide it from your accounting system, excel spreadsheets and modeling tools etc. in one place. An interactive dashboard differs from a static dashboard in that you can modify it to show you only the data you deem relevant at a given time. For example, you might want to look at trends from a particular week, rather than all time, or understand data across your entire portfolio, as opposed to one building by itself.
Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS)
Integrated Workplace Management Systems (IWMS) are applications that allow for lease management, move management, stack planning, project management, space management and maintenance management tasks to be carried out within a single program. With a carefully designed IWMS, an organization’s FM team can make quick work of space allocation, resource tracking, facility optimization and more. This makes it easier overall to address budgetary and practical concerns in the workplace without requiring a significant time investment from management personnel.
Key Performance Indicator (KPI)
Metrics that indicate performance to high priority objectives.
The discount or contribution offered to a lessee at commencement of a lease and outside the lease terms. May include cash contribution, fit-out benefits, or tenant improvement allowance, rent free periods.
: A real estate transaction whereby one party sells property to another who then leases it back to the original owner for the mutual advantage of each party. Also called Sale and Leaseback or Purchase and Leaseback.
Generally considered to be a lease agreement extending for 10 years or more. Under such leases the tenant may desire, or be required, to do extensive remodeling; or if the property leased is land, to construct a building or other improvements.
Used in a report to describe facilities with two or more primary uses, such as a single site that encompasses headquarter offices as well as production or research facilities.
Move-Add Change (MAC)
Ensure that organizations can manage and control the merging of people and their assets, and proactively plan for moves and relocations during corporate change events.
- Box Moves (employees moved to existing workspaces) No furniture moved, no new wiring or telecommunication systems required. Files and supplies moved.
- Furniture Moves (workstation/furniture moves) Reconfiguration of existing furniture and/or furniture moved or purchased. Minimal telecommunication reconfiguration needed.
- Construction Moves (moves that require construction) New walls, new or additional wiring, new telecommunication systems or other construction needed to complete the move.
Objective means of measuring performance and effectiveness. Often called Key Performance Indicators (KPI).
Major Vertical Penetrations
Major vertical penetrations include stairs, elevator shafts, utility tunnels, flues, pipe shafts, vertical ducts, and their enclosing walls.
All actions necessary to retaining an item or asset, in optimal condition.
- Condition. Maintenance performed irregularly on an item which has failed to satisfy a predetermined condition standard.
- Corrective. The actions performed, as a result of failure, to restore an item or asset to its optimal condition. Corrective maintenance may or may not be programmed. Also known as Reactive.
- Deferred. Maintenance which is due which will be deferred because of a shortage of funds or unavoidability of parts.
- Operational. Maintenance carried out by a contractor during the course of an operational maintenance period specified in the Contract.
- Periodic. Planned routine maintenance of facilities, machinery and equipment to ensure smooth operations and minimum breakdowns.
- Preventive. The actions performed to retain an item or asset in its operational condition by providing systematic inspections, detection and prevention of incipient failure.
- Programmed. Maintenance assigned to be carried out within a specific period, such as a budgeting period, or during annual holidays.
- Routine. Day-to-day maintenance activities (replacement of light bulbs, cleaning of drains, repairing leaks, etc) and which form part of the annual operating budget.
- Running. Maintenance that can be carried out whilst the item continues in service.
- Shutdown. Maintenance that can only be carried out when the item is taken out of service.
- Statutory. Maintenance that must be carried out to meet statutory requirements.
Move Management allows organizations to plan and execute well-coordinated, efficient facility transfers from an old office space to a new one. There is a host of concerns to oversee during any moving process, but moving an entire office building from one space to another can be a major logistical undertaking. With proper Move Management, an FM team can easily coordinate details between different departments, track the current and future locations of specific physical objects and design a new Space Planning arrangement in the new building. Conceptual and abstract planning concerns are made much easier with efficient Move Management. Move Management also encompasses smaller moves executed to optimize space, and improve proximity between collaborating employees and departments.
Meeting Room Booking System
A meeting room booking system allows for the remote reservation of meeting rooms and other common areas in a facility. These online systems may also have scheduling tools or integrations to facilitate notifications and introduce clarity into the shared space checkout process. Advanced meeting room booking systems often integrate occupancy sensors or other types of sensors to avoid the issue of booked rooms sitting empty. This way, if an employee books a room for a meeting that is then cancelled, the system’s sensors will indicate that the room is unoccupied or that no one has entered the room at the appointed time, allowing the system to automatically release that room back into the system as available for booking.
The Gartner Magic Quadrant is a four-part graph that provides a visual representation of the most prominent competitors in a specific technology sector. Gartner, an IT research and analysis firm, produces the Magic Quadrant graph to give industry insiders and consumers alike a high-level, easy-to-understand view of the competitive landscape by grouping industry competitors into one of four quadrants on a square-shaped chart. Displayed in a clockwise arrangement, the quadrants respectively represent leaders (established companies with a product that is likely to continue seeing success in the future), visionaries (companies with a product that is conceived well, but with relatively poor execution), niche players (bottom-tier companies that are not outperforming peers or are focused on too small a segment of the given industry to be considered truly competitive with others), and challengers (companies with a product that currently works well but that does not reflect anticipated changes in the industry). Gartner has released a Magic Quadrant for the IWMS industry.
Net Present Value (NPV)
The current value of future revenue based on the time value of money.
Net Occupiable Area
Net occupiable area (NOA) is an internationally recognized term for net lettable area less primary circulation areas and replaces net useable area (NUA).
Net Lettable Area
Used to refer to tenancy areas in office buildings, and office and business parks. Can apply to whole or part of a building.
A lease where, in addition to the rental stipulated, the lessee assumes payment of all property charges, such as taxes, insurance, and maintenance.
A workspace type that allows assigned seating to a specific space that is not a 1 to 1 ratio of desks to employees.
Another agile seating option for maximizing space utilization efficiency, seating neighborhoods set aside a portion of available seats to be shared among more than one employee. Neighborhood seating is a popular option for workplaces that accommodate employees in multiple shifts throughout the day. For example, if there’s an A, B, and C shift, employees from all three shifts will be seated in a single group of desks. That way, there’s no need to assign desks to each employee and leave seats open when the assigned user’s shift is over. Seating neighborhoods therefore do not have a 1:1 ratio of workers to seats.
Open Standards Consortium for Real Estate (OSCRE)
Open Standards Consortium for Real Estate is a non-profit organization dedicated to the development of industry standards for data exchange. OSCRE has created and published a number of XML data schemas for defining structured data sets electronic application may use in exchanging and sharing records and data.
A right given for a consideration to purchase property on or before a fixed date, on terms previously agreed upon. An option entitles, but does not oblige, the person having the option to make the purchase. Options also appear in many leases, referring to a further term of tenancy. Many leases contain a clause giving the option of renewal for a further period, at a rent to be mutually agreed.
Systems from multiple suppliers that are capable of electronic communication (connectivity) and information exchange (interoperability) through published conventions without any proprietary or system-specific links.
The design of interior building spaces with a minimum of dividing partitions between areas designed for different uses. Typical of companies that want to foster a highly collaborative work environment.
The different types of office plans include, but are not limited to:
- Private offices – Enclosed by floor-to-ceiling walls.
- Open plan offices – Spaces divided by movable partitions.
- Bullpen style – Open areas with no partitions.
Operations and maintenance manuals provided by the services engineering contractors after setting up a new installation of electrical/mechanical/ hydraulic/fire protection services for a facility. Often uploaded as documents in CMMS systems.
Operations and Maintenance (O&M)
The functions, duties, and labor associated with the daily operations and normal repairs, replacement of parts and structural components, and other activities needed to preserve an asset so that it continues to provide acceptable services and achieves its expected life.
The number of persons per available workspace. If a customer has 1000 workstations and offices and 800 employees, their Occupancy Rate is 80%. This is a key metric that CAFM Systems track.
The occupancy cost is the total of costs incurred by a company to provide space for operations. It includes net rent, operating costs (outgoings), capital costs, taxes, insurances and depreciation allowances.
Open Office Space
A workplace’s physical arrangement impacts employee productivity for better or worse, and what works for one company or team may not work for another. Dynamic planning for office space can help meet changing team needs quickly.
Office Internet of Things (IoT)
Occupancy sensors are responsible for detecting human presence in a specific room or space. These sensors can either automatically scan a room for occupants or be triggered by motion when a person enters or exits an area. One common example of occupancy sensors in real life are seen in bathrooms and other spaces where lights turn on automatically when a person enters. In this example, the lighting system uses an occupancy sensor.
Project management is the process of planning, organizing and managing tasks and resources to accomplish a well-defined objective, usually within constraints on time, resources or cost.
Office enclosed by floor-to-ceiling walls.
The portion of a building that is a public corridor or lobby. It is further defined as space required for access by all occupants on a floor to stairs, elevators, restrooms and building entrances or tenant space entry points on multi-tenant floors.
Predictive Maintenance (PdM)
PdM is a proactive process utilizing standards and a variety of processes such as laser alignment, thermography, vibration analysis, and ultrasound to determine asset (equipment) condition. It is a key component of Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM).
Activities and actions applied to equipment prior to and during operation to prevent problems, gain greatest reliability, and minimize failure.
A survey taken after project completion to assess end users’ level of satisfaction with the various aspects of the new working environment, as well as to check on the performance against specifications of the major systems.
In CAD, a continuous line composed of one or more line segments that is treated as a single object. Used in space management applications (CAD or CAFM) to represent a space or room and calculate square footage.
Preventive Maintenance (PM)
Planned actions undertaken to retain an item at a specified level of performance by providing repetitive scheduled tasks which prolong system operation and useful life; i.e., inspection, cleaning, lubrication and part replacement.
A period of scheduled downtime for machine maintenance. Planned downtime is preferable to unplanned downtime caused by machine failure.
Rental income received in accordance with the terms of a percentage clause in a lease, normally with a guaranteed lease rental. Most common with Retailers.
Predictive maintenance. Also condition-based maintenance.
A product that is segmented into tiers provides different levels of feature access at different price points.
While predictive analytics are not guaranteed to provide accurate data for the future, it creates the opportunity to make a more informed estimation. By extracting inferences from current and past data sets and making decisions based on trends and patterns. Predictive analytics are vital to making educated business decisions surrounding both strategy and operations. Predictive analytics might be used when deciding how to staff a project based on seasonal patterns in purchasing. Understanding how to leverage predictive analytics is essential for brokerages and landlords looking to allocate resources effectively and edge out their competition.
Return on Investment (ROI)
The profit gained from an investment divided by the monetary value of the investment.
A period of occupancy where no rent is demanded, normally used as an incentive to a new tenant at the commencement of a lease and varies according to market conditions.
A tenant’s regular payment to a landlord for the use of property or land. The types include, but are not limited to:
- Contract: Payment for the use of property established in the process of bargaining. The term is used to establish the fact that the actual rent paid, or contract rent, may differ from economic rent, although the former always tends to approximate the latter.
- Economic: The reasonable rental expectancy if the property were available for lease.
- Ground: The net rent paid for the right of use and occupancy of a parcel of unimproved land: or that portion of the total rental paid that is considered to represent a return upon the land only.
- Gross Rent: The rent reserved by a letting plus any payment to or on behalf of the landlord for which the tenant is made responsible under the letting agreement, irrespective of the purpose for which the payment is subsequently applied, excluding payments made as security deposits.
Real estate is property consisting of land and the buildings on it, along with its natural resources such as crops, minerals or water; immovable property of this nature; an interest vested in this an item of real property, buildings or housing in general. Also called Real Property.
Land with or without fixed improvements such as buildings, fences, and other fixtures. Items that are not fixed are considered to be Personal Property. Also called Real Estate.
Corrective action taken upon failure or obvious threat of failure.
Real-Time Data (RTD)
Real-time data (RTD) is information that is delivered immediately after collection. There is little to no lag in the timeliness of the data. It can be stored and later analyzed for trends and issues.
Real Estate Projections
Real estate projections use growth and facility capacity data to project future occupancy rates. See real estate forecasting.
Real Estate Forecasting
Effective real estate forecasting allows facilities managers to leverage data and arrive at an informed estimate for future real estate needs. Real estate forecasting usually requires the use of data such as projected future growth rates and total workplace capacity to determine when the organization may need to expand into a larger office space in the future. Specialized projection tools can make this process much easier and more accurate.
Real Estate Dashboard
In the SpaceIQ system, the real estate dashboard is the user interface that allows access to the real estate-focused parts of the program. In tech terms, a “dashboard” is a graphical user interface (GUI) that allows a user to navigate around the various features and tools in a program, ideally providing a system so straightforward and intuitive that minimal education is required for use.
Real Estate Agility
Space assigned to temporarily accommodate an organizational unit while their space is being renovated/built. Term used in reference to a Phased Move.
A lease granted by a lessee of the whole or part of the leasehold property. The length of the sub-lease must be less than the unexpired part of the tenant’s own lease of the property.
Strategic Facility Planning
The process by which a facility management organization envisions its future by linking its purpose to the strategy of the overall organization and then developing goals, objectives, and action plans to achieve that future. The result of the strategic facility planning process is the strategic facility plan.
Strategic Facility Plan
Two-to-five year facility plan encompassing an entire portfolio of owned and/or leased space that sets strategic facility goals based on the organization’s strategic objectives. The strategic facilities goals, in turn, determine short-term tactical plans, including the prioritization of, and funding for, annual facility related projects.
A space standard is a study of the space size, furniture requirements and area arrangement for an area of activity that is responsive to the need of the company. The activity area may be a personnel space or a shared facility such as files, storages, conference room, reception area, etc.
Space Needs Analysis
The process undertaken to determine the amount of space needed by an organization both now and in the future based on projected staff numbers and space use guidelines for the range of different functional requirements. Part of Strategic Facility Planning.
The surveying and recording of the amount and use of the various functional space types currently within an organization. Done to understand an organization’s Occupancy.
The number of full and part-time employees, contract workers, and/or tenants located within facilities.
Shadow occupancy/vacancy is space that is shown as occupied but underused by the tenant. Identifying Shadow Occupancy is an area where CAFM systems show great ROI.
A strategic planning method that some organizations use to make flexible long-term plans. In the CAFM world this is how organizations manage future space needs driven by growth or attrition of the workforce. Also called Scenario Analysis.
Demand maintenance request typically originating from the general employee base.
Service Level Agreement (SLA)
Agreement between the client or customer and the service provider on performance, measurement and conditions of services delivery. Facilities Departments often have SLA’s in place with their (internal) customers and vendors. Typically a CMMS function.
The portion of a building or floor required for access to some subdivision of space that is not defined as primary circulation. Secondary circulation may or may not be surrounded by walls or furniture panels.
Software as a Service (SaaS)
Sometimes referred to as “on-demand software”, is a software delivery model in which software and associated data are centrally hosted on the cloud. SaaS is typically accessed by users using a thin client via a web browser.
System for Cross-Domain Identity Management (SCIM)
System for Cross-Domain Identity Management (SCIM) is an Information Technology (IT) standard that relates to user management for an organization’s tech systems. SCIM makes the process of on-boarding incoming employees and off-boarding outgoing employees much smoother. With today’s connected offices, hiring and firing or saying goodbye to employees who leave voluntarily is no longer a simple matter of updating some files. New employees need to gain access to internal systems so they can use all the tech tools their coworkers use. Departing employees need to have those access permissions revoked or downgraded so the company’s information stays private and accessible only to those who are currently members of your team.
SpaceIQ includes SCIM functionality to make the on-boarding process a lot easier. On the first day, you can create a new employee profile in the program so everyone in the office stays plugged into functions like workspace checkouts and employee location tracking. Having the ability to use these services, to find a supervisor or learn the ropes of how shared workspaces are allotted, can be an essential part of making a new employee feel comfortable on his or her first day in a new office. When an employee leaves, it’s simple to remove their profile from active status so you don’t end up bogged down in old information for people who are no longer active members of your team.
System of Record (SOR)
A System of Record, overall, is the source of current and historical data within an organization. A source where not only current data can be found, extracted and shared, but historical data can be stored as well. in Facility Management, a CAFM program requires a lot of data collection and analysis, and now static spreadsheets or pen pen and paper are no longer being used to track your FM usage and planning activities, you need somewhere to store and organize all that data. That’s what a System of Record (SOR) is. If your company uses Customer Relationship Management (CRM) or practice management software, you’re using a different kind of SOR. Modern businesses use SOR programs for a range of different applications. These programs make it much easier to deal with a high volume of data inputs and provide the synthesizing power you need to really track and analyze your activities.
In a Facility Management context, SOR programs can help you keep tabs on which parts of your facilities are being used and when. SpaceIQ has the added benefit of giving you employee tracking and profile storage so you can incorporate HR needs into your SOR. As SpaceIQ shows, a SOR program can be much more than just a digital filing cabinet where you store information. It can be a multifaceted program that you use to plan, track, manage and analyze not only data but the functions connected to that data at a higher level. The SOR function of a program like SpaceIQ is just one of the essential features that makes this CAFM software so useful and vital in a successful and well-managed work environment.
Space Planning deals with the coordination and allocation of available office space as defined by your available floor plan. An incredibly broad subject, Space Planning handles everything from real estate needs, including size, type and purpose, down to office layout and seating assignments. it can cover the scope of an entire multi-story building or a single room with a dozen desks. The process of Space Planning allows for the optimization of departmental placement. For example, the decision to seat a web design team directly next to the copywriting department can be an efficient choice for intra-departmental collaboration and consultation. These concerns are at the core of space planning and they can evolve over the course of an organization’s growth and development.
Space Management is another granular subset of the broader FM concept. Rather than managing the big-picture of the workplace as a whole, Space Management has to do with specific details such as which desks are occupied and by whom, what parts of your building are under or over utilized, how many open conference rooms there are at a given time and even details like the total number of rolling desk chairs in the office space. Proper Space Management can keep you on top of the changing space needs in your office that come with personnel changes and expansions. Whether it’s an additional desk or an entirely new office facility, Space Management allows you to track and anticipate shifts in your allocation and inventory needs.
A shared desk is a workspace that’s assigned to multiple employees who work at different times. Unlike hot-desking, shared desks are dedicated to specific individuals who use the space during scheduled times. The configuration allows employers to maximize space for employees on staggered or flexible schedules.
Sensor technology allows for the automation of various data collection efforts. There are two primary sensor types of relevancy for facility management: infrastructure sensors and occupants-related sensors. Infrastructure sensors focus on utilities, making it possible to collect information or control usage for equipment, power lines, and other infrastructural facility components. Occupants-related sensors focus on the comfort and productivity of the people who inhabit a facility (i.e., climate control, security, lighting, etc.). Smart sensors can help eliminate waste by automatically turning lights off when a room is empty or adjusting HVAC settings based on ambient temperature. Many occupants-related sensors have motion-detection capabilities to enhance automation and reduce waste.
Facility managers can use stack planning as an efficient way of assigning seats to entire departments rather than seating one employee at a time. The “stack” in stack planning refers to a stacked view of multiple floors in a building. The major benefit of this space planning approach is the efficiency provided by a high-level view that forgoes fine details like individual seats and people in favor of a broader approach that makes seat assignments move much more quickly. This technique also makes it easy to group departments or teams together in a way that facilitates efficient collaboration.
Space as a Service
Just as software as a service (SAAS) is revolutionizing the way businesses use software programs, space as a service has the potential to change the way we think about office space. The space as a service model dovetails with the coworking concept in that it sees workstations, desks, conference rooms, and other elements of a workplace being moved to a centralized model of shared space. Individuals and organizations alike can rent space on an as-needed basis without taking on the full burden of facilities responsibility that comes with office leases or ownership. These responsibilities, such as maintenance concerns, fall under the purview of the space as a service provider rather than the tenant.
Space as a service doesn’t necessarily apply only to coworking spaces in which people from different organizations share the same office. It can also be seen as a sort of property management concept in which a space as a service provider takes over facilities needs for an organization and transforms the way its spaces function.
A ticketing system allows users to report problems with a specific system. In a facility management context, ticketing generally refers to facility maintenance issues such as malfunctioning building equipment or janitorial requests. Each issue report is referred to as a ticket. See work order.
Rooms that are more than one story in height. Void areas exist on upper floors, such as atriums, light wells, or lobbies.
A concept in which employees are free to work anywhere (home, car, hotel, etc.) through the use of portable technology.
The total net rentable area available minus the total net rentable area utilized, divided by the total net rentable area available. Usually expressed as a percentage.
Any type of space designated for occupant usage, either an open or an enclosed area, where an occupant can be seated.
Component of software applications used to automate business process.
Workplace or Work Environment
Workplace or Work Environment is a platform that comprises of the physical office workspace and other locations including furniture, amendments and services; technologies and resources used for work; as well as the social environment that include colleagues, teams, bosses, agreements, rules and policies that enable a person to perform their work.
Work orders are the result of tickets submitted through a ticketing system. In other words, when an issue is reported through a ticketing system, it’s a work order notifying the appropriate professionals of the problem and their need to take action to fix that problem.
Work Seats function as a person’s primary work seat. Work can be categorized as assigned or shared work seats. Assigned work seats are assigned to be used by a specific person; shared seats are those which a group of people have the right to use. Work seats are typically found in connection to a desk, forming a workstation with or without separations from others in the form of walls, dividers and file storage space.
Workplace Real Estate
Workplace real estate comprises a company’s property holding(s) used for office, retail or other physical working spaces. Effectively understanding and managing a company’s workplace real estate includes a comprehensive overview of several factors including lease management, revenue and location productivity, occupancy and space utilization.
Data about workplace real estate allows facilities managers and real estate portfolio managers to benchmark current data, make changes and observe trends in real time. Utilizing workplace real estate data can offer major cost savings with tools for data-driven decisions and effective future planning, saving time and resources by removing guesswork.
Workplace Management falls under the FM umbrella, but it is its own entity with special considerations and processes. As part of FM, Workplace Management zeros in on efficiency and productivity in the office, and its scope of work can extend beyond mere space allocation and focus instead on everything from health and safety protocol to the financial analysis of workplace utilization. Logistics such as security, custodial services, optimal space utilization, and new employee workstation assignments can fall under the purview of workplace management.
Work From Home
Wayfinding technology guides users through a physical environment, providing point-to-point navigation with a virtual representation of the space. This technology is particularly beneficial in complex built environments, such as university campuses and transportation hubs, in which there are multiple buildings and dispersed points of interest.
Workplace experience is the culture at a company’s working space that unites and drives its employees. Workplace experience is an important factor in increasing employee and overall company productivity.
The physical workplace impacts the employee experience. When the workplace experience is positive, employees are engaged and the workplace is built on teamwork and a shared vision of the company’s goals. An ideal environment eliminates friction that prevents productivity; employee work isn’t hindered by spatial issues like working at their desks, finding collaborative spaces or booking a meeting room. A workplace that meets employee needs allows for greater productivity and more engaged employees.
Sub area of a floor plan. Referred to most frequently for heating and cooling