Workplace Technology Assessment
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By Dave Clifton
Space management ties into so many important business metrics. It’s a way to bring employees the workspaces and amenities they need to work, and to control the cost of overhead—as well as the revenue potential of operations. With so many vital outcomes tied to how a company manages its space, it’s even more important to realize the compounding benefits of space management software.
Space management software helps facility managers understand, configure, and manage their available square footage—no matter what shape it takes. While the features of different applications will differ, the purpose of space management software is to plan, design, and contextualize available workspaces around the needs of employees. This includes floor plan creation, seating and desking arrangements, asset allocation, stack planning, scenario planning, and much more.
Used effectively, space management software allows companies to maximize the utilization of their square footage as it conforms to the most productive solution for employees. It offers potential for better planning, management, cost control, and oversight. Best of all, it scales with your company—from a few thousand square feet to multiple properties and tens or hundreds of thousands of square feet, serving a diverse array of workstyles.
What are the benefits of space management software?
The benefits of space management software are as numerous as the opportunities for space utilization. At a baseline level, this software helps companies identify and understand space. That opens the door for utilization and optimization, followed by tracking and monitoring. It’s all possible through space management software, encapsulated in the benefits it offers.
- Custom reporting for space metrics. It’s difficult to govern space without understanding it. How much do you have? How’s it currently used? Where is it? Space management software contextualizes these questions to provide clear reporting of space allocation, utilization, and purpose in the workplace.
- Space forecasting and planning abilities. As companies plan for growth or forecast ahead for need, they need to do so with a full understanding of their constraints and opportunities. A clear picture of space and utilization makes for a clear horizon when forecasting and planning.
- Cost management and planning. Similar to space forecasting and planning, cost management is vital. Space management software attaches costs to square footage and ROI to space utilization, to help stakeholders understand their facilities as a revenue stream. This is even more important at a macro level, as we’ll soon see.
- Real estate portfolio management. Cost management and planning at the facility level gives broader context to portfolio management. When you know how much your space costs and its revenue-generating capabilities at the facility level, it becomes easier to see the true cost and return across the entire portfolio.
- Real-time utilization data. Today, space management needs to occur in real-time. A live picture of space utilization helps facility managers understand their employees’ relationship to the workspaces available. Do you need more of a certain type of workspace? What are peak usage hours for X workspace? What space isn’t getting used?
- Integrations with wayfinding. The fewer barriers there are to using spaces, the more apt employees are to use them. Integrating wayfinding with space management software helps employees get more familiar with the spaces around them, and can direct them to the perfect space for their needs. Wayfinding is the key to actualizing good space management.
- Integrations with directory. The purpose of the workplace and all the spaces within it is to support employees. Pairing space management software with directory applications makes it easier for employees to find each other and the spaces they need to collaborate. This integration completes the trifecta of employees, work, and workplaces.
- New desking opportunities. The ‘management’ part of space management comes down to making the most efficient use of a given space. Software aids in modeling and scenario planning. Should you co-opt a hotel desking concept? Desk neighborhoods? An open office? Software makes it easy to understand need and pair concepts to the right space.
As work becomes more agile and flex work becomes the norm, these benefits are even more pronounced. Companies expect more from the space they’re paying for. The key to unlocking that value comes from better space management.
Reap the benefits of implementing space planning software
Whether there’s space to spare or you need to optimize every square inch to make it work, it’s vital to create a workplace that meets employee needs and expectations. Space planning software helps facility managers visualize, optimize, and orchestrate workplaces that answer employee demands. More important, the benefits of space management software tie into the crucial aspects of maintaining a workplace: cost, efficiency, productivity, and culture.
Keep reading: Make Every Space Count with Space Management Software