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Workplace Thought Leadership

IWMS Technology and the Modern Workplace 

By Nick Stefanidakis
General Manager, Archibus
SpaceIQ

Rapid workplace changes and the emergence of cutting-edge technologies are ushering in new facilities management trends. They also are shedding light on the benefits of adopting Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS) technology to scale and support both short-term transitions and long-term transformations.

The lasting impacts of the pandemic, demands for connectivity and collaboration, adoption of cloud-based applications, machine learning, and a focus on sustainability are sure to have far-reaching effects on workplaces worldwide. Businesses that find opportunities to embrace these trends will be better prepared to make data-driven decisions, improve performance, and achieve new standards of success in facilities management.

Planning for long-term workplace resilience

As agile work environments increasingly define the “new normal,” we will likely see substantial changes in workspace requirements.

The prospect of returning to physical workspaces has renewed attention on prioritizing employee health and safety. Things that employees and businesses may not have thought twice about before — air circulation, sanitization practices, access to communal spaces, traffic patterns — weigh more heavily as workforces reemerge from stay-at-home orders. New health and safety requirements will demand that organizations take these factors into account.

While some have deployed interim return-to-work solutions (hoteling and desk reservations, updated cleaning protocols, adopting remote management solutions, staggering schedules), others are reassessing overall workplace strategies as they shift from reactive to forward-thinking resiliency planning.

Organizations now need a long-term strategy for facility management, supported by workplace management technology that offers flexibility and scalability for remote, in-person, and hybrid work setups. A centralized, enterprise-wide IWMS enables teams to standardize workflows, reduce duplication, provide transparency with real-time information shared among teams (e.g., badging and health check-in data), and ultimately make more collaborative decisions.

A renewed focus on collaboration and employee engagement

Gone are the days where every employee comes to work, sits in the same seat, and leaves with coworkers at the end of the day. Now, more offices are refocusing workspaces as socialization and collaboration hubs. Employees, visitors, and others coming into the workplace need convenient, reliable ways to ensure they have the spaces needed to work in ways that are best for them. IWMS technology offers insights for businesses and building owners/operators into whether they need to increase hotel desk reservations or implement desk-sharing setups — all while providing safe and engaging spaces.

Hybrid work setups boost SaaS adoption

More hybrid workers mean people need anytime/anywhere access to critical systems and information. Stemming from this demand is an emerging trend: facilities management shifting from on-premises to SaaS-based implementation.

Organizations are investing more in cloud enterprise applications due to ease of deployment, configurability, and scalability. When COVID-19 forced many businesses to adopt remote work setups, real estate, and facilities teams with cloud applications already in place quickly adapted to changing conditions and seamlessly accessed critical business information. Others were left scrambling.

While it was a tough lesson, organizations can learn from such disruptions and invest in technology that helps predict change and evolves to meet new work structures. SaaS-based IWMS applications empower key stakeholders to make faster data-driven decisions, automate business processes, and deliver on mobile needs.

Look for trends in workspace usage patterns

Machine learning in building management has been gaining traction in recent years. It delivers efficiencies in predictive maintenance and real-time workplace management that help manage costs and provide optimal work environments.

Developments such as the Internet of Things (IoT), advanced analytics, and new wireless sensors are a few ways companies are creating smarter facilities management.

Smart building solutions use a range of sensors or actuators — light, motion, building occupancy — to collect data from connected devices. Information is then stored in an IWMS. Continuous monitoring lets facilities managers identify changes or inefficiencies in building usage, system performance or environmental conditions and establish triggers for maintenance or control systems.

When combined with an IWMS, massive amounts of IoT data can be aggregated into a dashboard for meaningful insights. This not only de-silos critical workplace data, but also highlights identifiable trends and patterns for strategic future workplace planning.

Using data to plan, design, construct, and manage facilities

Building information modeling (BIM) and its integration with IWMS technology is a new approach to managing the many phases of building design and workplace management. BIM centers around 3D modeling programs that provide a customized simulation of an actual facility. The rendering, when combined with IoT and Machine Learning represents a digital twin of the building, which allows users to virtually move through a space and observe its features, dimensions, and operating parameters — from anywhere. Such technology offers nearly infinite possibilities to help professionals plan, design, construct, and manage facilities. The volume of BIM data and the context of the data stored within an IWMS is so useful, and the more stakeholders leverage these insights, the more they’ll enable fully informed decision-making.

Optimizing building usage and consumption

It’s all too common to waste energy in a building in the form of incorrect setpoints, poor maintenance or simple oversights — not turning off lights in conference rooms after a meeting, keeping rarely used equipment plugged in, etc.

While steps like switching out light bulbs or installing new HVAC systems are necessary, they may not deliver the long-lasting results you’re hoping for.

A more impactful solution is using IWMS technology to optimize usage and consumption across building systems and real estate portfolios aligned to the actual, real-time conditions. This empowers building owners and facilities managers to anticipate, troubleshoot, and manage issues as they arise. An IWMS also enables smarter operations that can reconcile the entire range of optimal sustainability performance metrics.

Addressing long-term transformations

As the adoption of IWMS technology grows, so does its potential to play a critical role in supporting workplaces for years to come. Trends in IWMS are pointing toward a future that provides extensive and essential support to facilities managers, building occupiers, service providers, owners/operators, and real estate management companies to organize, centralize, and optimize workplace data at all levels — from individual workstations to entire real estate portfolios. It’s with such insights that they can make the best decisions to address current challenges and anticipate future needs. For more information, read our guide on Modern Workplace Platforms.

Keep reading: What is a Smart IWMS and What are its Features?

Categories
Blog Workplace Thought Leadership

Future-Proofing the Workplace with Data-Driven Strategies

By Ian Morley
Chief Product Officer
SpaceIQ

There are many short-term questions for company owners to consider as they reopen for business and welcome employees back to the workplace. Do I have enough space to bring back my entire workforce? Will employees feel safe returning? Do I have too much space and what should I do with it?

The bigger picture is more complicated. There is no crystal ball to say what will happen in two, five, or 10 years. With such an unclear future, businesses must plan for as many scenarios as possible. This “future-proofing” takes data and technologies to analyze it in ways that shed light on how to best plan for all possible scenarios.

During a recent webinar, Ibrahim Yates, Industry Analyst with Verdantix, and I discussed the important roles data and workplace technology play in both making plans to return to the office and long-term planning.

Painting a Workplace Picture

Workplace data provides leaders the insight necessary to truly understand their people. Whether the focus be on productivity, space upgrades, or future-proofing. Data is essential to minimize damage, and unnecessary expenditures.

When data paints the picture, businesses are free to move past the phase of situational analysis. Qualified and quantified information enables better decision-making based on how the workplace functions. Leaders can then prioritize and plan for transitioning employees from home to office.

With a steadfast plan and the initial return underway, the value of workplace technology becomes two-fold. It serves as a means of communication and data collection. The communication component builds employee confidence to return in a safe and effective manner. Data gathering and analysis empowers workplace managers to proactively address issues, forecast impending changes, and plan how to improve processes and interactions down the road. That is future-proofing.

Hoteling as a Strategy

During our discussion on future-proofing, Ibrahim and I immediately thought of hoteling as a key component of an agile workplace. Hoteling provides employees with an easy and intuitive way to reserve space when and where they need it. By collecting usage data, workplace managers can see if additional hotel desks are needed and who is using them. A clearer utilization picture allows for more accurate and impactful planning as workforce levels fluctuate and a company grows.

At a time when health and safety are in the forefront of everyone’s mind, the monitoring feature of hoteling applications creates a solid foundation for contact tracing. “Even when the pandemic comes to a close, people will still care about the health and safety of their workplace,” Ibrahim said.

Contact tracing systems provide concise data through real-time utilization of spaces. Once technology of this caliber is in play, business leaders can move to the last phase of future-proofing by utilizing the tools to monitor and adjust based on data reports from areas such as space demand, employee needs, and safety.

Data to Determine Office Demand

So, are you ready to bring your entire workforce back in office? Before answering this question, you first need to understand the space you have to work with. Are there enough collaborative spaces? Is the office well equipped for social distancing and safety guidelines? Above all, is the workplace environment able to cater to the demand of the people who work there?

Throughout our discussion, Ibrahim stressed the important role quality data plays in ensuring business continuity and building resiliency. Business leaders need data and analytics to prepare for the next crisis or company growth initiative. Data makes the difference between adapting quickly and merely surviving.

The data made available via tools like hoteling take the guess work out of return-to-work planning. The communicative properties within such applications reveal employee behavior like how content they are working from home, who is anxious to return to a physical office, and what scheduling structures they believe best suit their work styles.

Are You Future-proof Ready?

As much as we all may want a crystal ball during these uncertain times, workplace technologies are grounded in reality. A crystal ball shows what the future would look like. Workplace technology culls information from the past and present to help predict future needs.

Before you jump into a new workplace strategy, there are questions you should consider:

  1. What is our new definition of “work”? – It is important to ask why your company works the way it does and how leaders, employees, and external sources can best work together. A great starting point is evaluating what you learned about your business during the COVID pandemic.
  2. How can I make the office important to employees? – The past year proved people can work from anywhere. But a physical workplace offers employees elements they may not get in a home office. According to a McKinsey report, offices provide collaboration, social interaction, connection, and creativity options. Your goal should be to design a workplace that accommodates those needs and more.
  3. Should I embrace a hybrid work model? – A Forrester Research report showed 60% of companies are moving toward hybrid schedules where employees work partly from home. COVID gave many people a taste of remote work they never had. A 2020 survey published by Forbes revealed 97% of people don’t want to return to the office full-time. New workplace designs should support more activity-based structures where employees can easily choose or reserve areas to gather and work while in the office.
  4. How do I get employees involved in future planning? – One of the best ways to gauge effectiveness of future-proofing is through measuring employee sentiment. How? Listen and communicate often. Use surveys to determine how hybrid schedules are working and whether activity-based designs are efficient. Make extra effort to include remote employees in all communications and act on their requests/suggestions to the same level as on-site staff.
  5. Do I have the right technology to future-proof my workplace? – Employee needs are the primary drivers behind how and why you manage a “next normal” workplace. Anticipating and adapting to those expectations takes smart technologies like WiFi sensors, mobile apps, reservation systems, and badging data to quickly adjust to new demands and create spaces that allow people to do their best work.

With companies across the world mapping their path back to the workplace. The technology and data tools available today can encourage employee engagement and a sense of safety. As important is the simultaneous reporting insights necessary for company leaders to move from a position of reactive tactics to proactive, future-proofed strategies.

For more information on how workplace technology can help future-proof your workspaces, visit request a demo.

Keep reading: Hybrid Workplaces are the Future of Work

Categories
Blog Workplace Thought Leadership

How to Use the American Rescue Plan to Update Your Workplace Management System

By Danielle Moore
Director, Channel Marketing
SpaceIQ

Businesses were hit hard during the pandemic. But with the trials, many businesses have discovered room for improvement and growth. Government agencies, healthcare facilities, and public schools are now in a positive position to rise above and come out stronger thanks to the American Rescue Plan.

What is the American Rescue Plan?

Millions of Americans recently benefited from stimulus checks, tax breaks, and extended unemployment benefits. This economic relief — totaling more than $242 billion — came as a result of the American Rescue Plan signed by President Joe Biden on March 11, 2021. In addition to aiding citizens on individual levels, this plan has stepped in to support businesses and organizations — and leave them stronger than ever before.

Government Agencies

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, agencies had to adapt to stay afloat. Government duties were halted as buildings turned into emergency medical facilities. Revenue was lost and employees were laid off. To remedy these issues, the American Rescue Plan set aside $350 billion in emergency funds to help state, local, territorial, and Tribal governments.

We quickly learned how essential technology is to the health and success of businesses during the pandemic. And now, moving forward, technology continues to support and protect organizations. Because of this, the General Services Administration (GSA) now manages two funds geared to strengthen agencies’ digital operations. The $1 billionTechnology Modernization Fund aims to fortifythe federal government’s cybersecurity while developing cutting-edge tools made to adapt to change. Additionally, $150 million from the Federal Citizen Services Fund will bring positive change to the federal technology workforce and bolster systems for better citizen experiences.

Healthcare Facilities

Healthcare workers were stretched to the limit as healthcare facilities became inundated with patients. However, vital lessons were learned, and, as a result,  the healthcare industry has improved. Ushering in further improvement, the U.S. Department  of Health and Human Services (HHS) is offering $7.5 billion to healthcare facilities for information technology assistance, enhancements to information systems and reporting, data sharing, and support of vaccine distribution.

Public Schools

Of the 1.4 million public sector jobs lost during the pandemic, 1 million of those jobs belonged to teachers. Schools underwent rapid changes to respond to the emergence of COVID-19, including the introduction of remote learning for many. Determined to help schools recuperate from the adjustments, the American Rescue Plan issued $122 billion for the U.S. Department of Education to serve K-12 schools and higher education institutions. These funds are intended to help prevent layoffs, provide internet access and devices to students without connectivity, and allow a safe return to in-person learning with resources for social distancing.

Improving technology to repair and thrive

Undoubtedly, the American Rescue Plan has — and will continue to — lift and support businesses that underwent adversity as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. But this plan does more than simply help businesses recover; it helps them thrive. The key to this persistent success is technology.

Equipped with technology that improves standard processes, workplace management, and overall organization, organizations become smooth-running machines. This efficiency is what saves resources and protects companies from future disasters. The American Rescue Plan has created a unique opportunity for public sector organizations to update or invest in vital technology, such as an integrated workplace management system (IWMS).

Navigating workplace changes with IWMS software

A company’s facilities and infrastructure comprise 25 to 50 percent of its fixed assets and operating costs. Help your business succeed in a globally competitive market by properly managing these precious resources. This is where SpaceIQ can help. Our Archibus platform has helped companies return to work with innovative features that offer solutions to the many negative impacts of COVID-19.

As people return to work and school, there are many variables in question, such as how to follow social distancing protocols, schedule offices, and classrooms, and track the phases of students and employees coming back to work. The Archibus system has clarified these questions and allowed organizations to function at their full potential.

Take a look at some of the ways that Archibus can simplify your workplace management:

  1. Space Inventory. Assign employees to safe seats that meet social distancing guidelines.
  2. Occupancy. Track and manage which employees are working remotely, in cohorts, or coming back to work in phases.
  3. Hoteling. Let employees select a desk from a pool of pre-approved, socially distanced spaces.
  4. Corrective Work. Automatically schedule room and desk cleanings between reservations to promote a safer work environment for employees.
  5. Reservations. Allow pre-approved room reservations that incorporates time before and after a meeting for proper cleaning.
  6. Workplace. Help employees find resources, book meetings and workspaces, access services, and request moves through a convenient desktop or mobile experience.
  7. Space Planning. Forecast and plan for large space and occupancy changes at all levels, including portfolio, city, site/campus, and building and room levels.
  8. Moves. Streamline your move/add/change processes to support employee safety with minimal organizational disruption.
  9. Preventive Maintenance. Schedule daily or periodic “deep clean” work orders for specific locations.
  10. Health & Safety. Reduce workplace safety incidents and better manage personal protective equipment (PPE), training, medical monitoring, and work restrictions.
  11. Asset Management. Provide an integrated view of where to find key assets such as personal protective equipment (PPE), cleaning supplies, and other equipment.
  12. Emergency Preparedness. Implement life-saving and general safety procedures by planning for potential future outbreaks and other disasters.
  13. Waste. Track and manage COVID-19 hazardous waste from point of generation to final disposition to mitigate errors, omissions, and accidents.
  14. Hazard Abatement. Protect employee health and minimize organizational liability by quickly and accurately locating, tracking, and abating hazardous materials.
  15. Compliance. Reduce the chance of virus spread and potential shutdowns that result from inadequate compliance practices.
  16. Condition Assessment. Evaluate the condition of critical assets and buildings, initiating remediation work where needed.
  17. Projects. Provide a central location for employees to manage COVID-related project details, including schedule tracking and budgeting.

Easily access the tools and technology you need

Whether you serve a government agency, healthcare facility, or public school, there are several options available to fund the technology you need to bring efficiency and clarity to today’s changing workplace. The American Rescue Plan has brought relief and security for the future to many organizations who request funding.

If this plan doesn’t cover what your public agency is looking for, there are still several federal and state contract vehicles that can help. Simplify the procurement process by purchasing Archibus through our valued partners found at the following links:

Federal

CIO-CS, HHSN316201500012W

GSA Multiple Award Schedules GS-35F-267DA

Information Technology Enterprise Solutions – Software2 (ITES-SW2), W52P1J-20-D-0047

SEWP V, Group A: NNG15SC07B; Group D: NNG15SC98B

Department of Defense ITAM ESI

State

GSA Multiple Award Schedules GS-35F-267DA

Commonwealth of Kentucky Multi-Vendor Master Agreement, MA758 070000217538

State of California Multiple Award Schedule (CMAS), 3-16- 70-1047B

State of Maryland Multi-Vendor COTS IDIQ, 06B02490021

State of New Mexico Multi-Vendor IDIQ, 60-000-16-00075

State of Ohio Multi-Vendor IDIQ, 534042

State of Texas DIR Multi-Vendor Software IDIQ, DIR-TSO-3400

State of Texas DIR Multi-Vendor Software II IDIQ, DIR-TSO-4236

State of Texas DIR, DIR-TSO-4384

TIPS, 180503

TIPS, 200105

TIPS, 200102

The world may still be recuperating from the effects of COVID-19, but your resilient organization is capable of returning to work stronger. Try a demo of SpaceIQ products to learn how you can safely reopen your workplace and boost your organization’s productivity.

Keep reading: What is a Smart IWMS and What are its Features?

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Blog

Explore Archibus Back-to-Work Solutions 

By Danielle Moore
Director, Channel Marketing
SpaceIQ

As organizations explore safe and measured returns to work, they need tools and resources to help ensure the ongoing health and safety of employees. Archibus provides tools for hoteling and reservations, preventive and corrective maintenance, occupancy, health compliance, and myriad others. Our goal is to deliver a complete suite of solutions that help organizations put their best foot forward as they take steps to get back to work.

Here’s a look at the many tools Archibus offers and how to capitalize on them. Keep checking back after each version release to discover new solutions to facilitate your return to work.

Hoteling 

Archibus’ robust hoteling features empower your workforce to find and book spaces with ease—from full-time employees, to flex workers, to visitors. Enforce bookings, schedule cleanings, monitor capacity, restrict and enable bookings, prevent duplicate reservations and more—all through a pool of pre-approved, socially distanced spaces. Learn more.

  • Improve space utilization and enable the disposition of excess inventory
  • Realize a more efficient facilities footprint resulting from improved space utilization
  • Accommodate a mobile workforce and increase employee satisfaction
  • Encourage responsible and efficient use of space

Reservations 

Room reservations create new governance opportunities for facility managers, without hampering employees as they return to the workplace. Use Archibus to structure workspace check-ins and mandate health checks before check-in. Allow pre-approved room reservations that incorporate time before and after a meeting for proper cleaning. Learn more.

  • Secure shared space and resources with self-service Web forms
  • Streamline invitations to participants via integration with most email clients
  • Reservations Plugin lets individuals make room reservations within the Outlook™ client
  • Extension for Microsoft Exchange handles all reservations and updates

Space Inventory 

With changing occupancy limits comes the need to redefine your space. Refocus allocation and distribute space in new, more efficient ways with Archibus’ space inventorying and planning tools. Assign employees to safe seats that meet social distancing guidelines and create workplaces that make better use of the space you have, based on demand. Learn more.

  • Deliver flexible, self-service reporting for effective space allocation and cost control
  • Improve evaluation of building performance and enable accurate benchmarking
  • Enhance design/planning capabilities to use space more efficiently
  • Increase productivity with Archibus All-in-One Home Page with quick access to tasks

Space Planning 

Forecast and plan for large space and occupancy changes at all levels, including portfolio, city, and site/campus, as well as building and room levels. Track when, how, and why employees use spaces, then leverage that data into more efficient floor plans—all designed within the parameters of a post-pandemic framework. Learn more.

  • View how space is allocated across divisions, departments, buildings, and campuses
  • Compare spaces to identify vacancies
  • Track available space over time
  • Generate space scenarios directly from existing inventory

Occupancy 

Track and manage which employees work remotely vs. those coming back-to-work in phases. Occupancy metrics help companies maintain distancing standards, manage desk availability, optimize for space utilization, and more. Archibus’ daily and real-time occupancy reporting puts facility managers on the front lines of planning for and enforcing safe space usage. Learn more.

  • Coordinate workspace availability between various workgroups
  • Authorize space allocation by group, department, shift, and more
  • Review daily occupancy data to glean insights about space trends
  • Integrate with reservation and hoteling software to automate occupancy management

Building Operations and Maintenance 

With a return to work comes a shift in operational best practices, especially around building maintenance. Archibus helps you adjust accordingly. Automatically schedule room and desk cleanings between reservations, to promote a safer work environment for employees. Or, schedule daily or periodic “deep clean” work orders for specific locations. Learn more.

  • Observe proactive and corrective maintenance workflows
  • Utilize a full CMMS to support your approach to facility maintenance
  • Create and define return-to-work tasks specific to workspaces
  • Automate maintenance and operations workflows to simplify oversight demands

Moves 

Maintain the mobility of your workplace and streamline the move/add/change processes, to support employee safety with minimal organizational disruption. Archibus’ centralized move management system lets you keep tabs on movement and action, so you can maintain workplace agility without compromising employee safety. Learn more.

  • Streamline the entire move process, including requests, approvals, and updates
  • Improve communication between in-house and external resources
  • Generates trial layouts, move analytics, and intelligent dashboards
  • Enable the timely distribution of updated personnel and cost center information

Workplace 

Create the workplace your employees need with Archibus. Help employees find resources, book meetings and workspaces, access services, and request moves through a convenient desktop or mobile experience. Archibus does it all, so you can shape the workplace around the needs of the people using it—all while staying safe, compliant, and productive. Learn more.

  • Use GIS and BIM data to create a complete digital twin of every workplace
  • Leverage broad integrations to create a workplace that’s smart and connected
  • Combine digital workplace assets with physical facilities, to better-support your team
  • Create an agile, flexible workplace that operates within a post-pandemic framework

Compliance 

Businesses of all sizes need to take steps to protect themselves from liability in a post-pandemic workplace. Lean on Archibus to reduce the chance of virus spread and potential shutdowns that result from inadequate compliance practices. From social distancing tracking to hazard abatement, you’ll have tools to prevent compliance issues before they arise. Learn more.

  • Personalized back-to-work e-mail notifications
  • Monitor and adjust the dynamic workplace
  • Achieve and maintain regulatory and code compliance
  • Track key processes involved in social distancing

Asset Management 

Take advantage of an integrated view of where to find key assets within your facilities, such as personal protective equipment (PPE), cleaning supplies, and other equipment. Archibus makes it easy for employees to find the equipment and resources they need, and for facility and asset managers to track, monitor, and maintain them. Learn more.

  • Centralize asset inventory
  • Track assets, enhance accountability
  • Budget assets with full view costs
  • Enable a full life cycle strategy

Condition Assessment 

Evaluate the condition of critical assets and buildings, initiating remediation work where needed. Archibus keeps your facilities and assets up and running safely, with insights on how to prevent problems before they arise. Provide employees with a seamless return to work experience—one that isn’t hindered by downed assets or facility restrictions. Learn more.

  • Track asset condition, plan for maintenance, and prepare budget scenarios
  • Utilize an objective and systematic framework for prioritizing work
  • Improve information accuracy and consistency
  • Reduce downtime and associated costs

Emergency Preparedness 

From shared work environments to corporate campuses, emergency preparedness is key. As employees return to work, their situation and surroundings may have changed. They need to stay informed about new protocols and standards, so they can act accordingly in an emergency. Archibus helps you implement safety procedures and plan for hazards protectively. Learn more.

  • Proactive emergency operations management
  • Access accurate information about risks
  • Implement contact tracing to quickly resume normal operations
  • Expedite insurance claims and negotiate more favorable coverage terms

Hazard Abatement 

Protect employee health and minimize organizational liability by quickly and accurately locating, tracking, and abating hazards. From contact tracing to narrow exposure pools to workspace disinfection standards and scheduling, Archibus makes proactive management of hazards a top priority, to reduce liabilities across facilities. Learn more.

  • Facilitate a safe working environment for building occupants
  • Minimize regulatory actions and/or occupational illnesses
  • Avert costly operating shutdowns, loss of facility use, penalties, or fines
  • Identify, locate, sample, document, and abate potential exposures

Health & Safety 

Reduce workplace safety incidents and better manage personal protective equipment (PPE), training, medical monitoring, and work restrictions through Archibus. Use a mix of building information data and connected workplace sensors to get a top-down view of facilities and a clearer understanding of where and how to avoid potential health and safety risks. Learn more.

  • Identify, evaluate, and correct health and safety risks in the workplace
  • Reduce medical claims, disability compensation, and loss of productivity
  • Track and follow-up on health and safety incidents to minimize risk and liability
  • Reduce the cost of administering a health and safety program

Waste 

From masks and gloves to materials used to sanitize workspaces, pandemic waste materials need careful treatment and oversight. Use Archibus to track and manage COVID-19 hazardous waste from point of generation to final disposition, to mitigate errors, omissions, and accidents. Learn more.

  • Simplify tracking and management of hazardous waste streams
  • Decrease the risk of fines or litigation surrounding hazardous waste storage and disposal
  • Increase the visibility and improve accountability for waste management
  • Reduce the cost and effort of satisfying waste audit and reporting requirements

Projects 

Provide a central location for employees to manage COVID-related project details, including schedule tracking and budgeting. Archibus’ dashboard keeps employees in the loop about what’s expected of them and how to navigate projects and duties within the framework of new policies, protocols, and procedures. It sets standards and expectations for everyone. Learn more.

  • Create a top-down perspective of program and project priorities, actions, and costs
  • Allow project members to synchronize information at different organizational units
  • Streamline project oversight via milestones, tasks, and status changes
  • Reduce administrative burden by leveraging existing data

Get ready for a seamless return to work 

Archibus helps companies of all sizes get back to work. Utilize the tools above to plan and execute a seamless return to work, and keep checking back as we continue to add tools based on the needs of our customers.

Want to explore Archibus’ back-to-work solutions for yourself? Schedule a demo today.

Keep reading: Back-to-Work Planning & Employee Sentiment

Categories
Blog

Government IWMS Software: 10 Must-Have Features

By Dave Clifton
Content Strategist
SpaceIQ

There’s been a prolific rise of government IWMS software over the last decade. It’s because, like other types of workplaces, government facilities have undergone major change. These facilities have become more complex and agile, and the expectations for them are more diverse than ever. Government IWMS solutions help marry form and function to meet these expectations.

From facility maintenance and space planning, to access control and wayfinding, the capabilities of IWMS for government agencies dictates their usefulness. While not every facility needs the same level of oversight, it’s nonetheless important for municipal building managers to have robust tools available to them. Here’s a look at 10 of the must-have features of an IWMS for municipal building management.

  1. Space management. Every square foot of space in government facilities is important. Facility managers need a top-down view that allows them to see which spaces are static, which are dynamic, and which offer flex potential, so they can manage the sum of facilities appropriately.
  2. Emergency preparedness. Government facilities are beholden to strict emergency preparedness. IWMS software enables emergency planning for everything from inclement weather, to threats of violence, to facility failures, and beyond. Moreover, it makes these plans accessible to everyone who needs them. It’s easy to update, disseminate, and train against these materials when they live alongside floor plans and other facility data.
  3. Lease management. Government facilities are taxpayer funded, which means maximizing ROI and value. Lease management tools help ensure taxpayer dollars are spent wisely, and that the facilities they’re funding deliver value to the communities they serve. At a higher level, IWMS brings broad perspective to portfolio management across all government buildings within a certain jurisdiction.
  4. Fleet and asset management. Here again, government assets are the result of taxpayer dollars. It’s in the best interest of municipal building managers to keep track of assets and fleets in a way that shows upkeep, cost, ROI, utilization, and other important metrics that justify continued investment or new investments. This is important for everything from budgeting to cost-benefit analyses that may eventually become public information.
  5. Sustainability tools. Sustainability is paramount in government facility management. From energy conservation to recycling programs and waste management, IWMS platforms provide tools to ensure efficiency. They’re also instrumental in providing evidence-based insights into the efficacy of such programs. Combined with BIM and other modeling tools, sustainability metrics are part of next-gen building governance.
  6. Wayfinding tools. There’s an indisputable need for wayfinding in government buildings. An IWMS is central to a myriad of wayfinding integrations—everything from interactive facility maps, to employee directories, to point-by-point directional apps. IWMS lends facility context to wayfinding, to make it more robust and versatile. This is vital for municipal facilities large and small alike.
  7. Move management. Government facilities aren’t as static as they’ve historically been. In fact, the shift to more dynamic spaces has resulted in no small amount of relocation within buildings. Then move management tools within an IWMS help bring fluidity to agility, and unlock the utility of spaces that might otherwise remain closed-off or static. It’s also an important consideration during periods of remodeling or improvement to facilities.
  8. Hoteling and room booking. Private space is essential in a municipal setting. Employees need an opportunity to book space and reserve rooms they can use uninterrupted. Hoteling and room booking are a fundamental part of IWMS usage in government buildings, and the gateway to maintaining privacy and confidentiality when people are on the move.
  9. Access control systems. Most municipal facilities already have some form of access control. IWMS brings that control into a single system that makes managing it simpler. Whether it’s badging and ID passes or more advanced biometrics, IWMS is instrumental in creating accessibility for those who need to and restrictions against unwanted access.
  10. Maintenance management. Government buildings face significant need for maintenance, upkeep, and restoration given their age and rate of use. Orchestrating maintenance tickets and service logs is a fundamental must-have from an IWMS, and an important part of keeping facilities safe, accessible, useful, and clean.

The best government IWMS software will include a majority of these features—if not all of them. And even if you don’t need or use them all, it’s still vital to have them. Municipal buildings are still evolving, and will continue to evolve alongside other traditional workplaces. As they do, more and more of these features will become relevant to facility managers. It’s best to get familiar with them now.

Keep reading: Five Uses for Government Move Management Software

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How to Measure Office Hoteling Software ROI

By Devon Maresco
Marketing Coordinator
SpaceIQ

Of the many workplace changes to cement themselves in the wake of COVID-19, office hoteling is among the most prominent. To make hoteling work, companies have turned to desk booking software and hoteling systems to facilitate a seamless transition to this free-assign concept. Now, as businesses seek to refine their hoteling approach, they’re looking close at office hoteling software ROI and how to expand on those benefits. It begs the question: how do you measure hoteling software ROI?

To gauge any sort of ROI on hoteling takes a firm understanding of the variables at play. Are you tracking the right metrics? Do you have context for costs associated with office space? Is the software you’re using smart enough to report on trends and utilization to provide actionable insights? Here are a few of the finer points to consider when measuring office hoteling software ROI.

Establish hoteling metrics

What is hoteling without a clear set of metrics attached to it? This agile desking concept needs to produce clear and consistent data for facility managers to validate its effectiveness. Simply having desks and a booking system isn’t enough. Metrics need to show the nuances of when, how, and why employees book desks. Some of the most common metrics to track include:

  • Total desk bookings per hour and per day
  • Duration of desk reservation
  • Occupancy rate of available desks (real-time)
  • Types of desks and their utilization rates

The purpose of collecting this information and more is to understand the true ROI behind hoteling software. Given trend lines and data points there’s opportunity to recognize need, make adjustments, and improve utilization. These metrics not only shed light on ROI, they also illuminate how to increase it.

Track data and utilization trends

With the right benchmarks and KPIs loaded into office hoteling software, it becomes easier to understand utilization trends and how they contribute to ROI.

For example, say your established cost per workstation per day is $120. Then, say the average revenue generation capability per employee per hour is $40. Easy math says the breakeven point of each workstation is three hours. If you have desks that aren’t booked for more than three hours per day, you know automatically that those desks represent inefficiency.

Likewise, if you see that a certain type of desk books for an average of six hours per day, it can signal demand (and profitability) for that style of workstation. It may mean converting other desks to a similar style to spread out occupancy and improve broad utilization.

These are very basic examples. Facility managers need to look at the metrics they’re tracking to see how the context of hoteling compares to them and what that means for ROI potential.

Understand hoteling costs

The other side to understanding hoteling software ROI is understanding the costs inherent to hoteling. What does it cost you to operate an agile environment? There are two factors to consider. First, is the cost that goes into hoteling software and any IoT buildout that supports it. Second, is the cost of maintaining space used for hoteling.

It’s best to think about hoteling in binary. If there’s someone at the desk working, it’s reasonable to assume they’re generating profit. Likewise, if the seat remains unfilled, it’s an expense. For hoteling to be a profitable desking concept, companies need to understand the cost per seat and the breakeven point for each seat. Then, they need to orchestrate a hoteling solution that creates revenue beyond the fixed cost of a seat.

Hoteling costs vary for every company. An organization with 30,000 square feet of space and a mix of 250 hoteling options may have lower hoteling costs than a company with 10,000 square feet and 100 hotel workstations. Hoteling costs depend on factors such as cost per square foot, productivity output per employee, COGs, and other fixed overhead expenses that factor into the cost of operations.

To truly generate an ROI on hoteling software, do your best to find the fixed cost of an unoccupied desk and the revenue-generating potential of occupants at those desks. The breakeven point will tell the tale of hoteling ROI.

Adopt an ROI-driven mindset

One of the primary reasons behind calculating office hoteling ROI is to understand the costs of the workspace in a post-COVID-19 world. Employee work habits are different and so are their demands for space. Tracking and managing hotel desks is a realization of new trends. As these become the new norm, facility managers need benchmarks to let them know how efficient their facilities are. It starts with understanding cost.

With clear figures governing the ROI of hoteling software, facility managers can do a deep dive into opportunities for optimization. In the early phases of COVID-19 and a return-to-work, it might’ve been enough to pair people with desks. In the future, it’s going to revolve around how efficiently this occurs. That means looking at hoteling ROI as the benchmark for improvement.

Keep reading: Guide to Office Hoteling Best Practices

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What to do With Extra Office Space After Layoffs and Remote Working

By Dave Clifton
Content Strategist
SpaceIQ

Companies weathered the COVID-19 pandemic in different ways. The prevailing approach for many was to transition to remote work and, in extreme cases, downsize their workforce. Now, as businesses consider bringing employees back to work, they’re left with a question. What do you do with extra office space after layoffs and remote working?

For some companies, it’s a question of repurposing a few unused desks and conference rooms. For others, it might mean taking a long, hard look at a lease to determine whether it’s still an efficient expenditure. Most companies will find opportunities to maximize their space through new desking concepts—especially those with a now-flexible workforce.

Here’s a look at the chief options for how to deal with extra office space in a world where traditional space concepts no longer apply.

Option one: Downsize space

For companies that plan to go completely remote or that have downsized significantly during COVID-19, trimming space is a simple, straightforward option. If there’s no intent to bring the workforce back in any meaningful way, space transitions from commodity to luxury. Companies need to ask themselves if the workplace is still essential to everyday operations.

In many cases, downsizing is a far cry from eliminating the workplace. For example, a company occupying 30,000 square feet of office space that’s now 70% remote may choose to cut its office footprint in half. Downsizing may even be less dramatic than that—a reduction in leased space of 10-15%. It’s about balancing the cost of maintaining facilities with the revenue generation they support. If no one is using the space, it’s not generating any revenue.

The primary benefit in downsizing is lease cost savings. And while many commercial building owners have renegotiated around COVID-19 to retain tenants, it doesn’t make sense for companies to pay for space they won’t use.

Option two: Repurpose space

Companies intent on reopening the workplace should consider repurposing space before downsizing. Reimagining office space can shed new light on ways to optimize space for new work habits and productivity.

Repurposing space is an endeavor that needs to happen at-scale for companies. It could be as simple as turning now-unused conference rooms into quiet workstations. In other cases, this change could mean remodeling and redesigning space to better-accommodate the needs of employees. However this transformation pans out, companies need to be aware of new social distancing norms and the space demands of employees.

Repurposing space comes with costs, but can save a company money in the long-run. For example, repurposing space vs. downsizing can help avoid the yo-yo effect when the business begins to expand again: downsize, expand, consolidate, expand, and so on. Learning to optimize the space you have and grow within the context of a new workplace concept is a sustainable option.

Option three: Consider new desking

The ideal solution to utilizing extra space is to find a desking concept that fits within new parameters. Instead of remodeling or repurposing space, redistribute the desks and seats within it. An open-concept benching office becomes a diverse hoteling area. Individual offices become pods for small group collaboration. A new desking concept can give the office new context and imbue space with more flexibility than it once had.

The key to a new desking concept—especially one built atop booking and reservations—is a system of management to back it up. Facility managers need to make sure the new concept is an efficient use of space, and that employees are getting the most out of the transformation. This is especially helpful for flex teams, in workplaces that have variable attendance each day.

New desking mimics the cost-saving opportunities of downsizing by creating new forms of productivity and revenue, similar to repurposing space. Often, new space design and new desking go hand-in-hand as an additive approach to utilizing space, rather than an outright subtractive one.

No matter the approach, think long-term

As companies consider how to best-adapt their workplaces, it’s important to act with mind for the future. Particularly, the future of remote working. How much of your workforce is already remote? Will that number increase in the future? As your company expands, will you bring people in-house or hire remote? And, as you make these moves, how does it affect your need for space?

COVID-19 may have been a catalyst for workplace change, but there are still rippling effects to consider. Remote work and distributed teams are the new normal. What new work arrangements will this change yield? What purpose does the workplace serve for your company? Identifying the workplace’s role in the future will help companies make smarter decisions about how they manage space today.

Keep reading: Five Empty Office Space Ideas for an Efficient Workplace

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COVID-19 Offers Opportunities for Workplace Improvements 

By Danielle Moore
Channel Marketing Manager, Archibus
SpaceIQ

The United States recently passed a year since the original shelter-in-place and work-from-home orders came with the onset of COVID-19. Today, once-teeming offices look quite different. Some companies still haven’t reopened. Those that have gone back have done so with emphasis on new policies and procedures to keep employees as safe as possible.

For many companies, the hiatus from office work or a soft return to the workplace opened the door for introspection. Namely, COVID-19 created opportunities to tackle capital projects without disrupting operations.

Not only has COVID-19 allowed businesses to make workplace improvements unabated it has also had a major influence on the types of projects companies are investing in. With the promise of mass vaccinations inching closer, employees may find themselves coming back to a workplace that looks and feels fundamentally different from the one they left.

The need for capital improvements

For many businesses, COVID-19 shutdowns presented an opportunity to start on projects already on the docket. Many of these projects were likely put off because of potential disruptions to normal workflow. For example, it is difficult to repave the employee parking lot or remodel the lobby when these spaces see daily use. Remote work instantly removed the primary obstacle: traffic.

Other capital improvements might be proactive, yet timely. For example, retrofitting the HVAC system in an old building becomes much more important when you consider the spread of COVID-19 through respiratory droplets and its ability to live in the air for three hours or more. Instead of putting this upgrade off for another few years, it becomes a clear and present priority.

And, of course, there’s the workplace itself to consider. It has becoming increasingly clear that work won’t be the same in a post-COVID-19 world. Companies have pivoted to adapt their workplace to bring back employees safely. But this is only a stopgap measure. Real change needs to support new work habits, which is urging many companies to think long-term and make capital improvements that redefine the workplace.

COVID-19 influences permanent workplace changes

There’s been ample opportunity for companies to reimagine their workplaces. In doing so, many have undertaken renovation projects in the wake of empty or partially staffed offices. Their focus? Creating floor plans and workstations that support new modes of work.

Close quarters are a thing of the past—as are tight conference rooms and space-deficient corner offices. For many companies, remodeling focuses on opening space and redefining how employees interact with and use space. Social distancing is now a mainstay, which means opening up the workplace to avoid cramped quarters and individual room occupancy limits. Some common remodeling changes trending in the workplace include:

  • More open spaces, for free flowing yet socially distant navigation
  • Hotel desking and rooms governed by reservation and bookings
  • Changes to floor plans to allow for navigability and better workplace flow
  • Different desking types, including standing, mobile, and minimalist
  • Partitions and moveable dividers to create makeshift enclosures

These changes all require some degree of renovation to make them a reality. Without employees relying on the space, it’s been much easier for companies to make these changes quickly and effectively. More important, it allows companies to make changes the right way—changes that’ll root the future of workplace operations.

Workplace improvements show a commitment

Companies taking advantage of COVID-19 closures to firm up the workplace of the future have put themselves in a hugely beneficial position. Not only have they shown a commitment to employee safety, but they’ve also proven themselves forward-looking and accepting of new workplace norms. Instead of sitting idly during the pandemic, proactive companies have realized the many opportunities of undertaking workplace improvements:

  • Improved health and safety standards for employees
  • Reduced liability from controlled remodeling
  • More efficient space utilization and floor planning
  • Accessible desking concepts for flex workers
  • Cost savings through better lease administration
  • Increased ROI from facilities as a managed asset

There are substantial benefits in upgrading the workplace, made even more pronounced by the idea that we’re going through a paradigm shift in work. Committing to evolving with the situation instead of after it instills confidence in employees. When the day finally does come to return to the workplace, they’ll find an environment already adapted to suit them.

Promote a seamless return to work

The past year has been jarring for employees. They’ve left behind a familiar workplace and adapted to remote work. Now, just as they’re getting settled, they might be coming back—but not to the same workplace. It’s another change of scenery and another period of transition. Employers need to be mindful of the disruption this can cause and take steps to support employees.

Welcome workers back slowly and help them get accommodated. Encourage social-emotional leadership from management and make it easy for employees to get settled. In the case of new desking concepts like hoteling, training is paramount.

Above all, the simplest thing an employer can do is to be communicative. Keep employees apprised of workplace changes and give them an opportunity to ground themselves. The workplace may look different post-COVID-19, but it should also feel more welcoming, supportive, and accessible.

Keep reading: COVID-19 Workplace Resources

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Leveraging Hoteling Software into a More Efficient Workplace

By Dave Clifton
Content Strategist
SpaceIQ

While it hasn’t closed the door completely on the open office floor plan, COVID-19 has certainly changed the way it’s managed. Over the course of an arduous year, we’ve evolved from free-assign workspaces to hoteling concepts—for the better. Hoteling is the next evolution of free-assign in open office environments. It gives employees the choice and variety of workspace they deserve, while affording managers the oversight and control they need to keep the workplace organized.

Hoteling software has been a key driver in the agility many companies harnessed to shift workplace structure during the pandemic. The ability to orchestrate, oversee, and even optimize hoteling concepts has been instrumental in the back to work strategies of many companies. Even beyond that, it’s opened the door to more efficient workplace utilization in the future.

The key benefits of hoteling software

Hoteling software both enables and supports the hoteling concept. While it’s possible to create a hoteling system without software, it’s simply not practical. Likewise, software offers the scalability to execute hoteling in real time. This creates a continuum of efficient workspace utilization. There’s always a consistent ebb and flow of occupied and unoccupied desks, and employees searching for or using them.

The key benefits of hoteling software are simple enough—but together, they comprise a highly efficient and nuanced system that makes this real-time desking strategy possible:

  • See open or occupied workstations in real-time
  • Book desks in real-time or reserve a future time slot
  • Review utilization, occupancy, or vacancy metrics
  • Identify utilization trends, such as by date, time, or person
  • Integrate with booking inputs to make the workplace more accessible

There are numerous functions that make hoteling software important—both on the surface and behind the scenes.

For employees, it removes the barriers to workspace selection. They can quickly search, identify, book, and use space throughout the workplace, conducive to their agenda at the time.

For space managers, the inputs and data from a hoteling system lead to insights and opportunities. They can identify when, where, how, and why employees use spaces, then use this data to create a more employee-friendly landscape of workstations.

Both sides of the software add up to a more efficient workplace. Employees get the spaces they need to be productive, and space managers reduce the number of barriers standing between employees and that productivity.

Hoteling software solutions aren’t alike

The more robust the hoteling system, the more capabilities and benefits it offers. This is to say that not all hoteling software is created equal. A basic framework for booking desks might be helpful in expanding workspace horizons to employees—but if it doesn’t offer trend or utilization reports, it’s less useful than software that does.

The same goes for features and integrations. Broad interconnectivity between software and processes makes hoteling more efficient for companies and employees. The ability to reserve a space through Slack using a simple “/reserve” command is worlds easier than logging into a web portal to do the same thing. It’s another barrier removed. This is also why companies need to invest in software with versatile features:

  • The ability to search by desk type or room occupancy
  • The ability to book now or reserve space in the future
  • Software with directory integrations, to locate coworkers
  • The ability to delineate groups and control reservation types
  • Platforms that offer information about specific hotel seats

Hoteling software needs to support the hoteling infrastructure, as well as the needs of the people using it. Look for software that removes barriers to booking, makes it easy for employees to get what they need, and supports facility managers with back-end integrations and information.

Hoteling in a post-COVID-19 workplace

The right hoteling software unlocks a world of opportunity for companies—especially in a post-COVID-19 work environment. To understand why, remember the many groups now present within the workplace:

  • Remote workers who rarely, if ever, come into the office
  • On-site workers who’ve resumed a traditional schedule
  • Staggered shift workers, meant to avoid overoccupancy
  • Visitors slowly easing back into in-person business

Supporting these different groups (and their subgroups) means having a desking system that supports their work styles. Moreover, it means supporting a degree of uncertainty. The number of seats many companies have no longer equals the number of employees they have. Hoteling brings order to this juggling act and helps companies manage demand for seating on a given day, or even within a given hour.

The flexibility of hoteling and the support of hoteling software puts companies in control of their workplace—and it does so in an efficient way. It completes the balancing act of different work groups, workstation needs, and desk availability. In doing so, it unlocks efficiency in workplaces that, before COVID-19, might’ve had trouble pivoting to swings in demand.

The next phase of the evolving office

Hoteling has proven itself not only a pivot concept for COVID-19, but a viable strategy for offices moving forward. As flex work and agile habits cement themselves as the future of work, hoteling is the framework that best supports them. Companies with hoteling software will find themselves better-able to adapt the office to the needs of employees and make sure everyone has a seat—no matter how they work.

It’s vital to remember that hoteling software in and of itself doesn’t guarantee success. It should support a well-thought-out hoteling strategy and the willingness of workplace managers to make hoteling the new standard for workspace utilization. Hoteling has the power to create a more efficient workplace; hoteling software is the means of monitoring and proving this efficiency—and continuing to adapt to changing employee needs.

Keep Reading: A Quick Guide to Office Hoteling Best Practices