Let me be honest with you. I have seen workplaces change in my 15+ years of facility management experience. But whatever happened these past two years is different. The shift to a hybrid work model changed the fundamentals of the traditional offices.
The idea that we need to be in an office five days a week became redundant. And this new work week, which consists of time both in-office and at home, is convenient. While productivity is at an all-time high and workplace experience has a newfound definition, as a facility manager, my challenges were mounting.
When most of my workforce works remotely with flexible schedules, the office space is hardly used to its total capacity. Some desks remained empty most of the time. Certain areas in the office went out of commission. Yet, employees coming to the office complained about the lack of functional space.
While my team and I made adjustments and catered to employee requests fast – there was a lack of process in the entire system. Neither did we have a clear picture of our office space usage, nor were we entirely ready to manage a hybrid workplace.
A few months in, we realized that continuing with this approach was no longer viable. So, we put our effort into space management. And we witnessed changes.
Here is what happened when we tried space management for a week.
The responses were quick and surprising. After analyzing the answers, here is a list of the goals we set:
a. Reduce office space wastage by removing desks that are not in use
b. Repurpose unused spaces by converting them into collaboration spaces
c. Optimize the parking lot
d. Ensure employee safety by maintaining social distancing protocols
e. Improve employee satisfaction and overall productivity by improving the office space
How We Planned & Implemented Our Space Management Strategy?
Once our goals were set, the road to space management strategy was simple. We enlisted the help of WorkInSync’s space management software to keep our space management efforts in line. Here is what we did.
Step 1: We wanted a 360-degree view of the office space. So, my team used WorkInSync and:
Uploaded the floor plan and got a digitized version of the same
Monitored each meeting room to analyze its capacity
Took notice of desks that were potentially never in use
Observed the parking space to recognize challenges like lack of space
Step 2: The next step in our space management strategy was to monitor space usage. WorkInSync’s space management software has a central dashboard to ease this step. We could track the number of employees in the office and the number of desks booked and used. The same happened for meeting rooms and parking spaces.
We were finally able to the following questions:
Which spaces are used often?
Which spaces are underused and can be done away with?
Step 3: Finally, it was time to modify the existing office space. With the help of WorkInSync, we did the following:
Removed desks that were not in use or were never booked. We were left with a lot of space. So, we introduced private pods that can now be used to conduct one-on-one meetings.
Removed the walls off of a few meeting rooms that were barely used and turned them into open collaboration spaces.
Divided the desks into two distinct categories. The first set can be booked by the employees for a more extended period (hoteling). The second category is for employees who come to the office once in a while (hot desking).
Relocated the cafeteria from a closed area to a more open place for employees to feel safe.
Ensured that parking spots could be booked before visiting the office.
Challenges Faced While Implementing the New Space Management Strategy
I am being honest here again. The process of planning and implementing the space management strategy was not easy. We worked closely with our HR managers to relay the message to our employees and design our hybrid workplace policy.
This ensured everyone was on the same page and there was no confusion. Yet, there were a few hiccups.
a. To implement new software, it did take time for employees to become acquainted with the same. They did complain at first, but once they saw its benefits, they complied.
b. As I mentioned, we aligned our efforts with the HR managers. However, there was a lack of communication at times. I realized that everyone has to work together when it comes to space management.
c. There were a few technical glitches but nothing that we couldn’t manage.
d. Reimaging in your hybrid workplace can be expensive, especially when not done right.
WorkInSync turned out to be the perfect solution to all our space management woes. It is 100% cloud-based software. So, it was effortless to configure and install. What’s more, we were able to integrate it with the tools we already used, such as Slack and Google Calendar.
Using WorkInSync’s centralized database, we could store all of our information. Any changes to the place would automatically get updated. So, if an employee booked a desk for a particular day, we could rest assured that other employees would know that it was booked. We no longer had to worry about confusion, conflicts, or miscommunication.
Effective space management is a great thing. And in my opinion, everyone should try it.
Designing Your Hybrid Workplace for Better Space Management
Posted on April 20, 2022 by wis_wp
Space management has become an important aspect of the hybrid workplace. The better you manage your space, the more efficient your hybrid workplace will be. This blog explores elements to design your hybrid workplace that will ensure better space management.
In 2022, workspaces aren’t confined to a single building anymore. Instead, the modern workspace is a network of different locations- company offices, homes, cafes, libraries, and virtually any other space that provides employees with a productive work environment.
However, this doesn’t mean that office spaces are entirely wiped off the world for good! Despite the popularity of remote work, many employees still need a consistent office environment. They need to communicate with their colleagues in person, focus better on their work duties, and utilize office services and amenities. So, if you are offering some of your employees office space, managing it is a new challenge.
Your company needs solid space management and optimization plans to make the most of your available office real estate. You must use your space to support a positive employee experience, reduce waste, and minimize costs.
Keep reading for tips to design your office space for improved space management.
Your Employees’ Needs Come First!
Understanding your employees’ needs can help you optimize your space management strategy while meeting their current and future expectations. It will also help you analyze, test, and implement new technologies to streamline space reservations, desk bookings, meeting room bookings, and overall space management.
So, before creating your space management plan, survey your employees to understand their remote work and in-office work preferences.
You can ask them the following questions:
How many days per week do you want to come to the office?
What hours of the day will you be available in the office?
How do you feel about remote and in-person meetings?
How often will you be able to commute to your worksite?
What type of meeting space and office amenities do you need for in-person meetings?
Identify How Much Space You Need per Employee
Start by identifying your average occupancy percentage before the office switched to a hybrid work model. The key metric here is how much space per employee was available. This will help you design office spaces better and ensure that each square foot is used as intended.
Remember that your employees’ space requirements may differ based on the nature of work. For instance, your graphic design team can work in an open space and brainstorm ideas, but your legal team may need a private space for discussing confidential matters. So, consider this when you lay down general space management guidelines.
Establish a Clear Remote Work Policy for Better In-Office Space Management
Guidelines and expectations differ among departments. But laying down firm company-wide expectations helps bring clarity and maintain transparency. Here are some guidelines you can establish for better space management:
Decide when teams will meet in person and where
Designate spaces where employees can meet clients in person
Allot meeting spaces and define schedules for fully remote employees to attend company events
Leverage Desk Booking to Simplify Space Management
When your employees have the flexibility to choose when they come into the office, they need a way to manage their seating arrangement. So, desk booking should be a part of your space management plan.
Desk booking allows your employees to reserve seats in advance. This is unlike hot-desking, which allows employees to claim their desks on a first-come, first-served basis. It helps your facilities team manage your office space to accommodate the number of employees who plan to be there.
Additionally, desk booking enables you to monitor space utilization trends over the week. These insights help you can plan your future space needs better.
A centralized desk booking system gives you a structured way to optimize your space management. It gives you analytics regarding desk usage and timing. Therefore, you can use it to create a safe workspace and enforce physical distancing protocols as a part of your space management plan.
A meeting room booking software can help you track which room is occupied and when. So if you find that large meeting rooms go unused, you can divide them into hot desks or smaller collaboration spaces.
Opt For Multi-Purpose Furniture and Surfaces for Better Space Management
Office amenities are not limited to desks, chairs, and computers. Furniture and walls also count. To elevate your space management, scan your office space for ways to make the most of your current assets.
For instance, you can use whiteboard paint on the walls in meeting rooms for brainstorming. Additionally, you can use multi-purpose furniture to carve out custom spaces within a room. Else, you can reuse large unutilized rooms by dividing them into smaller team meeting rooms.
Adding smaller desks and tables will help you create different-sized spaces and make the most of your room space.
Optimize Your Hybrid Workplace with Space Management Software
Space management software helps you visualize your floor plans, desks, meeting rooms, and all other office spaces. It can also help you track utilization and reconfigure your floor plans as and when required.
You can see a graphic representation of your floor plans with space management software. What’s more, you can view real-time data about the desk and meeting room reservations. Such granular data can help you make strategic, data-driven decisions for your hybrid workplace.
Understanding how you can use your space will help you create a functional hybrid workspace. A well-managed hybrid workplace will serve your on-site and remote employees in the best way possible. Ultimately, efficient space management will increase employee productivity, boost morale, and minimize costs.
With WorkInSync, you can solve all your hybrid workplace woes through a flexible, scalable, and easy-to-integrate app. Check out our comprehensive desk booking, meeting room booking, and space management solutions today, and optimize your office space with ease.
When we launched WorkInSync in early 2021, our aim was simple – to help organizations help establish a hybrid workplace. We wanted to make the office a safe place for the employees. A place that they trusted.
Hence, the inception of WorkInSync was significant. At first, things were slow. But we soon caught up with the competition and started climbing the ladder of success.
It was not long before more than 60 clients implemented our solution across 15 countries.
Our solution was garnering attention on G2, and we received blazing reviews from our users. However, the most outstanding achievement came for WorkInSync when we received the G2 Award for Best Software 2022.
This award stands as testimony to the fantastic features that we offer. It shows that our users love us and believe in us.
It was particularly our space management software that has grabbed the users’ attention.
In comparison to the competitors, WorkInSync fairs great in almost all categories. While our features meet the requirements, most of our support quality is lauded by most. We are also highly recommended by our existing users.
When it comes to using WorkInSync, we are unbeatable. Our app is designed to ease usage for all. You don’t need technical prowess to use WorkInSync. Each step is simplified to ensure that employees don’t have to worry too much when booking their office visit.
Also, for admins and managers, our centralized dashboard gives an unbiased view of the entire office. From booked desks to empty meeting rooms, floor occupancy to sanitization workflow, our app compiles everything in one place. This ensures that the managers have a consolidated view.
Our Space Management Software is the Best in the Class
WorkInSync boasts itself on its customizable features for its space management software. We understand the need for a reliable solution when implementing a hybrid workplace. Keeping this in mind, we have crafted our software that automates your office space without any hassle.
Here is a list of features that our space management software offers.
1. Managing the Office Space Portfolio & Analyzing Space Utilization
It is challenging to manage a hybrid workplace. Employees visit the office as and when they wish or require. The demand for office space fluctuates frequently. This particularly is challenging for facility and workplace managers.
Our centralized dashboard keeps track of the office space to counter this problem. It provides real-time space utilization data that helps the facility managers understand how the desks and meeting rooms are used.
This floor occupancy data shows space utilization and helps manage the hybrid workplace better.
2. Simplifying the Booking Process for New Spaces
Our space management software works on two different levels. It allows the employees to schedule themselves and book their desks, parking slots, and meeting rooms. This removes all friction in the booking process.
When it comes to the managers, they too have the authority to schedule employees and book their desks or even meeting rooms. Here again, employees have the autonomy to request a change.
So, with WorkInSync, employees get more control of their schedules, whereas managers get a holistic view of those schedules.
3. Syncing The Amenities Required with the Booked Spaces
There was a common scenario for all of our clients. Missing amenities! Someone needs the projector urgently, but the meeting room is missing that. We have aimed to remove all such frictions by adding the option to book amenities along with the desks and meeting rooms.
Employees can even put in their demands for particular amenities like desktops, projectors, or a whiteboard. The managers can view it and provide access to it.
Our space management software stands out with its unique features.
We have more…
But wait! It is not just our space management software that has won accolades. We were awarded G2 Leader Enterprise Winter 2022 and Top 50 Office Products.
Our meeting room management software is well-liked by the customers as well.
Other categories where we have been gaining appreciation include but are not limited to virtual workspace and resource scheduling.
WorkInSync also offers many other hybrid workplace features that include desk booking, employee scheduling, contactless access management, sanitization workflow and floor occupancy management.
Do you want to try out WorkInSync? Or are you interested to learn more about WorkInSync? Visit www.workinsync.io to get all the information you are looking for. You can also schedule a demo with one of our hybrid workplace experts.
Are you planning to get your employees back to the office and work the good old way? That’s unlikely to happen. In all likelihood, your employees will return to a transformed space, a hybrid workplace.
For most organizations it would be a first. Therefore, you need to ensure that it works seamlessly and efficiency does not take a hit. A workplace management system forms the foundation of this hybrid work model.
Without a space management solution, operating a hybrid work model is like shooting in the dark for no reason. You will know neither which way your efforts are heading nor the impact.
It is not possible to track and forecast your space requirements without data. A space management system provides you with insights into space utilization. Moreover, it collects and presents data in real-time.
Using wireless IoT sensors to collect data, you can do away with manual surveys that consume time and effort. Apart from collecting data, a space management system can analyze and provide valuable insights to optimize space utilization. This is also crucial if you want to engage in appropriate space planning.
Centralized Data Repository and Dashboards
If you have offices in different locations, a space management system acts as a central repository of distributed data. Further, a cloud-based solution helps you access the dashboard from any place.
A centralized dashboard can also help you get and analyze data in real-time. Thereby, it enables faster decision-making. It could be particularly beneficial when analyzing actions that prevent the spread of infection.
If your HVAC systems are cooling or heating a sparsely occupied floor, an advanced space management solution will alert you. Similarly, it can prioritize the use of spaces with natural light to reduce energy wastage on lighting.
So, through space management, you can optimize energy consumption, in addition to real estate costs.
It Makes Desk and Meeting Room Booking Systems More Useful
Manually managing the desks or meeting room bookings could lead to several inefficiencies. The space management solution can automate it. It can sync with the desk and meeting room booking system to change the capacities based on overall occupancy. This can also help reduce space wastage.
The pandemic has transformed the way we work in more than one way. Both employees and employers acknowledge the benefits of flexible working and asynchronous communication. However, traditional offices are not built for this style of work.
The current office setup is meant for all employees to work together for a given number of hours. If one were to accommodate flexible working hours, it could lead to several operational challenges. For instance, tracking hours an employee puts in would be difficult.
A space management solution helps overcome these challenges with real-time data from various sources.
The Great Resignation has been a wake-up call for the management and leadership teams across companies. It has prompted businesses to relook at their employee engagement strategies. Several companies are today focusing on measuring and improving employee experience. A space management system helps you do it better.
With a space management solution, you can automate space booking and cancellation. It provides employees complete transparency into space availability. With an app-based booking interface, space management can make the entire process seamless.
One of the indirect yet significant benefits of a space management system is improvement of productivity. For instance, as teams book rooms for a finite time, the meetings are more focused and productive. Also, employees visit the office and book desks when they need them for specific tasks.
So, the space and energy utilization always yield an RoI.
Helps Maintain Health and Hygiene
The world is gradually recovering from the effects of the COVID-19. However, the pandemic is not yet over. So, it is natural for employees to be concerned about health and safety as they share space with several other people.
A space management system helps combat those fears by providing a safe and healthy work environment. It can provide timely alerts your housekeeping staff to sanitize unoccupied workspaces. It can also help identify and mark areas used by an infected employee or a visitor.
The more advanced space management systems can also regulate the ventilation of a given space. Therefore, space management is all the more important in the post-COVID world.
Space Management is an Indispensable Component of the Hybrid Work Model
If you plan to go hybrid, you will need data and a host of automated systems. A modern space management software can sync with these systems to make the hybrid work model seamless and efficient.
Working with space booking solutions, it collects and analyzes data for better decision-making. It can also provide insights to optimize your space requirements and save real estate costs.
Apart from direct cost savings, it provides several intangible benefits also. It helps improve employee experience and makes them feel safer in the post-pandemic times. A space management system also reduces the need for manual intervention by facility management teams. It does this by automating several mundane tasks.
Stay tuned to the WorkInSync blog to know more about tools that make your hybrid workplace successful.
Most of the organizations across the globe are aiming for better space management. Ever since the introduction of a hybrid workplace, space management has become an all too precious commodity.
It is necessary to respond to the constant changes brought forth by the hybrid work model. And it is essential to ensure that space is allotted correctly.
Space management concerns itself with optimizing the work environment for maximum efficiency in its primary sense. It gives a 360-degree view of the entire office space and the inventory. And it ties into so many different workplace metrics. From desk booking to meeting room management, it is all about bringing everything under control, including office space or overhead costs.
When used effectively, workplace management software maximizes a company’s space utilization per square foot. Moreover, it scales with your company. Whether you have a thousand square feet or multiple properties, it suits a diverse array of workstyles. All the while conforming to be the most effective solution for your employees.
The benefits of space management software are numerous. If you are wondering how it exactly benefits your organization, here is a list of five benefits.
Space Management Software Reduces Wastage of Space
To begin with, a space management tool can ensure that office space is utilized to the fullest.
A JLL study showed that 42% of global commercial space is underused. However, experts point out that companies tend to struggle with space over time. They say this could be due to an influx of new employees.
Regardless, organizations feel compelled to consider expensive alternatives to the buildings when there is a shortage of space. Sometimes, they even relocate to a new area.
Keeping in mind these substantial costs, it is a blessing if you can put every inch of your office in use. Hence, by harnessing a data driven space management software, you can reduce wastage of space.
This will also help you save money in the long run. With the help of a space management solution, you can unlock such wasted office space and turn them into collaboration areas.
It Gives Clarity on Office Space Usage
A study revealed that large organizations waste around £10 billion on empty office spaces per year.
Almost in a similar vein to the previous point, space management software can provide helpful insight into rarely occupied office spaces. You can also get a clear view of those heavily populated areas.
Upon thorough research, most companies will find that certain facilities in their offices are more regularly used. For instance, desks near the window or large capacity meeting rooms.
There are chances you may also find places that are hidden away and rarely used. This leads to space going to waste.
Irregular space usage is problematic for numerous reasons that include:
Maintaining an underutilized space can cost high, primarily due to running air conditioners and lighting.
An imbalance in space usage can hurt employee productivity. A crowded place or being isolated in the office can never be good for anyone.
In a post-COVID landscape, an overcrowded place can become a potential virus hotspot.
Space management software helps you address irregular space usage. By getting all the information required, you can smartly assign places to the employees. This way, you can maintain a safe physical distance and prevent wastage.
With access to meaningful data, you can change drive better space planning. This will also allow your employees to use office space efficiently.
Space Management Software Helps Adopt the Hybrid Work Model
Strategy Analytics in a study revealed that by 2022, 42.5% of the global workforce would be made of mobile employees. Furthermore, a survey by Fuze showed that 70% of employees aged between 20 to 44 want to be in a flexible workplace.
Our workplaces have evolved over the years; however, it was thrust into a sudden shift due to the pandemic. The days of cubicles and stagnant desks are gradually ending. Today’s workplaces show employees prefer the flexible work model.
In short, we are in the era of hybrid working. The concept, however familiar, hinges on the balance between on-site and remote working.
Hybrid workplaces are easier to manage, particularly with a high population of next-generation remote workers. Especially when you have space management software at your disposal.
Moreover, space management software broadens the horizon of hybrid working. Real-time floor plans and reports ensure that you can move teams and make seamless adjustments when required.
A cloud based space management tool allows you to decide seating plans depending on the number of employees visiting the office. This further leads to improving space utilization.
Fundamentally, this will bolster your company’s ability to implement the hybrid work model better.
It Protects Employee Well-being
In a survey by Slack, 72% of the respondents wanted a hybrid work model. The same study showed that only 12% wanted to return to the office full-time.
The pandemic is far from being over, and it has potentially left a permanent impression on our workspaces.
We are still required to follow social distancing protocols. Hence, cramming into tight spaces is no longer an option.
Most employees are concerned about the ramifications of this on their health. Therefore, companies have to take into consideration employee experience and well-being. This is where space management software comes to play.
Using a space management solution can ensure that employees are spread out. Such software allows easy hot desking or flexible workplace implementation that accommodates employees without compromising space.
This will also help establish to your employees that you have put their well-being at the forefront. It will increase their trust in the organization. It will strengthen the employee-organization relationship, furthermore inspiring higher productivity.
To ensure employee well-being, your immediate action should be to provide a comfortable and secure work environment. Space management software helps you achieve all of this while reassuring your employees’ safety.
A Space Management Software Forms the Foundation of Facility Management
The final standout benefit of space management software is its ability to fulfill all facility management requirements. Facility managers need to thoroughly understand how the office space is being used. It lays the groundwork to optimize the place. A space management system can also help facility managers fulfill several responsibilities like:
a. Managing Floor Occupancy
In the post-pandemic world, social distancing is the norm. With floor occupancy levels laid out, maintaining social distancing protocols becomes easier.
b. Managing Movement
Facility managers can organize the movement of employees and inventory better with a space management system. Relocation and refurbishments also become a cakewalk.
c. Managing Desk & Meeting Room Reservations
Having an idea about what space is available at any given time will help you appropriate advance booking procedures. This can apply to both desks and conference rooms.
d. Managing Maintenance Work
By getting a compelling visual of the entire office space, you can effectively guide the sanitization team to locate and perform tasks.
With space management software at their disposal, a facility manager may find it easier to manage the office.
Now, you are aware of the benefits of space management software and how it helps your organization. However, the next step is to find the perfect space management app. When looking for one, you should keep in mind the following things:
The software should provide real-time utilization data
It should seamlessly integrate with existing tools
The space management system should help you manage every aspect of your office space
The hybrid work models of today rely on the space management system for a host of reasons. But as an IT Manager, it is imperative to analyze the space management software before investing in one. This blog highlights a checklist for you to refer to before buying one.
Purchasing a space management system was never easy. With COVID-19 introducing new use cases and more variables, you need to make sure the one you buy covers all your bases. This checklist covers the most important ones.
Before we get to what, let us briefly discuss why.
Although COVID-19 has triggered the need for hybrid workplace models for most companies, a space management system’s utility is synonymous with the latter.
Fundamentally, a space management tool helps you realize better RoI and create a better work environment. It does it through real-time data, robust reporting, recommendations for better space utilization through improved floor plans and space allocations.
Since you also manage space better, your real estate cost reduces, and employee experience increases. So, hybrid workplace or not, your office needs a space management system for better space planning.
Space management software is available in many shapes and forms like all cloud-based solutions. The features on offer could differ by the solution provider, the industry needs, real estate portfolio size, and even geographical and cultural nuances.
Here we cover the essential features that most industries require, irrespective of many variables at play. Ultimately, it must help you reduce costs and improve your ROI.
#1 Vendor Support
With software that forms the backbone of your facility operations, you cannot afford to have a moment of no support. You would not want to be hung to dry, grappling with a breakdown all alone.
So, the first thing you need to strike off your checklist is vendor support. Vendors not known for their service must be off your list right away.
#2 Real-time Data and Robust Reporting
A space management system is only as good as the data it collects and reports it generates. It must help you make data-driven decisions on the go.
For better monitoring of utility consumption and to drive cost reductions, it should be able to manage and integrate automated utilities. If you have a largely unoccupied office space with lights and HVAC systems running at full speed, your space management system must alert you in real-time. It must also recommend you to rework space allocations. If not, it is simply not serving the purpose.
It should also provide data to facility managers to support decisions such as signing a new lease, determining occupancy goals, and moving to a new facility.
#3 Easy Integration of the Space Management System with Your Existing Tools
A popular tool that many offices use today is a calendar to schedule meetings and set reminders. As the IT manager, you need to evaluate if the space management system can effectively integrate with calendars and other collaboration tools, such as Slack or Teams.
For instance, if you schedule a meeting on Google calendar, the tool should enable room reservations from the same interface. It should also change the participant’s status on the collaboration tool to “busy in a meeting.”
Therefore, you need to look for one that provides seamless and meaningful integration – rather than one that integrates for the sake of it.
If you are a growing company, you would not want to go out shopping every time you open a new facility or add more desks to your current one. From an IT manager’s perspective, implementing a solution that is not scalable will be an uphill task.
Opting for a vendor providing the full range of hybrid workspace planning solutions will help you overcome the challenge. Typically, the software is built as modules that are easy to integrate.
For example, as your team size increases, you might want to incorporate a desk booking system. When you buy it from a vendor offering modular solutions, you can get the system up and running in virtually no time. WorkinSync, for instance, provides an entire range of solutions that can easily integrate with other popular workplace tools.
#5 Security Provided by the Space Management System
A space management system is a treasure trove of information and business intelligence. From employee details to financial data, it carries data of some value. If you buy a solution without requisite safeguards in place, it is a risk not worth taking.
When you look up the service credentials of your vendors, ask for any past cybersecurity risks and threats they faced. Also, seek clarity on data backup and recovery measures in the event of a security risk.
One of the most commonly overlooked items when buying a space management system is ease of use. If it is not easy to use, it would not be easy to implement either. Therefore, you need to get buy-in from all the stakeholders or potential users of the space management platform.
If people cannot use a product, it is bound to fail. Therefore, the space management system you choose must be easy to use for most stakeholders with minimal or no training.
Every organization is different; so is the purpose of buying a space management system. If you are an IT manager in the market to buy a space management system, use the above checklist as a foundation to build your own.
Add all the features you deem necessary and set out on the hunt. But you might not be able to predict all the needs right away. Hence, picking a flexible and scalable modular solution helps in the long run.
However, choosing between cool features and reliable vendor support, always pick the latter.
With good vendor support, a space management system can transform your work environment for the better.
Subscribe to our blog to learn more about space management systems and hybrid workplace software.
With most organizations adopting hybrid work models, there is an increased focus on running the office optimally. You set up plans and systems to ensure the same. Ensuring that the available office space is utilized efficiently is only one aspect, but it is often more tedious. After all, it involves:
Manually noting and analyzing office space usage
Coming up with plans to optimize it
Rolling out schedules for employees and ensuring that they adhere to them effectively, etc.
Here, using space management software can automate a bulk of these duties. It makes space allocations convenient by providing a single platform to plan and allocate office spaces, desks, and meeting rooms quickly. It also offers real-time updates to employees wherever they are.
But, should you invest in space management software for your business right away? Here are seven tell-tale signs you must do so immediately.
You Are Having Trouble Implementing a Flexible Hybrid Work Model
Given that COVID-19 restrictions are easing up, more people are finally returning to the office in a hybrid workplace setup. So, is your office ready to accommodate the increased footfall?
Going by current trends, the flexible hybrid setup is here to stay. Hence, space management must become dynamic to catch up with it. Wondering how you can increase workplace flexibility?
You can use hybrid workplace planning software, or better yet, space management software to record space utilization trends.
You can collect data about employee seating arrangements, their utilization and note trends in real-time with a space management tool. This means facilities teams have access to information faster and that you can prepare an optimized seating plan much quicker.
You Need a Space Management Software For Better Seating Protocols in Office
Companies were slowly transitioning to hybrid work even before the pandemic. In 2019, 62% of people surveyed by Owl Labs revealed they worked remotely at different frequencies. With COVID-19-induced physical distancing restrictions, the number has only risen now. So, has your in-office seating adapted to it?
Implementing new seating protocols requires companies to develop a space management strategy. This includes measuring office space utilization by employees present at any time, considering their seating requirements. It also checks how often they come into the office. Such data allows you to manage seating accordingly while taking all the safety measures into account.
The most efficient way to collect such data? A space management software.
And The Office Floors Are Consistently Under-Utilized
Along with robust reporting of space usage, this software also enables virtual office space planning. Therefore, creating interactive floorplans, measuring activity volume, and even calculating the costs incurred become easier.
Organizations can save up to 5% occupancy costs by deploying a space management system. Using the same, they can also reduce maintenance costs by 3.3% and lease costs by 3.5%.
You Definitely Need a Space Management Software Because the Utilities Bills Are Sky-Rocketing
Are your current utility bills soaring? Even if you follow space utilization trends, collecting and compiling data manually may lead to errors. You may miss out on important utility data. This, in turn, can cause calculation errors, increasing the number in the bills.
With a space management platform, data collection is automated. All you need to do is set the data parameters. The sensors that come with the software will collect it automatically for you, every time.
This helps you plan floor utilization to reduce costs. Additionally, some workplace management software can also notify you when rooms are empty, helping you reduce bills big time.
Also, Because You Don’t Have the Space Data to Plan For the Future
You need an accurate idea of the company’s current and projected real estate portfolio to plan a budget. This includes analyzing space occupancy by department, floor, and building. Space management software helps you do just that without the fuss.
Moreover, you never have to spend hours analyzing countless rows of data with space management software. You can tap into well-analyzed, segmented, data-driven, and digestible reports on space utilization readily. Also, many space management software is cloud-based.
This means that you can access data and reports remotely and send them to other teams.
If you struggle to manage meeting room reservations, you can rely on space management software. The software provides information about scheduled bookings, room availability, room usage capacity, and booking frequency, among others.
With this data, you can allot meeting rooms according to size and requirement. Moreover, you can plan to acquire more space, if necessary.
Ultimately, You Need Space Management Software Since You Have Trouble Moving Offices
Poor space management can make moving harder than it already is. Without a solid plan in hand, moving to a new space is just shifting floorplans around till it all fits. Also, it isn’t easy to understand how the process affects employees directly.
Space management software can help create interactive flooring plans. So, you can visualize scenarios and predict how the move impacts employees well in advance. You don’t like a particular floor plan? Your team can easily move things around virtually until they find a solution that works.
This will save time and effort on the organization’s end.
Sephora, for instance, reduced office move planning duration by 95% with the help of space management software.
Choosing an Effective Space Management Software
Organizations noticing the above signs should understand that it is about time their offices installed space management software. After all, who doesn’t want a multipurpose solution to manage and plan their office space better?
WorkInSync, in particular, comes with a flurry of features that includes team notification consoles, contact tracing, centralized dashboards, and employee seat booking facilities. You can opt for a demo to learn more.
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Space Management Solution: How it Helps a Hybrid Workplace
Posted on December 23, 2021 by wis_wp
A space management solution is one of the most essential components of a hybrid workplace. This blog explores the common challenges of a hybrid work model and how a space management system provides solutions to those.
However, returning to the old normal is not possible – no office can operate a workplace at full strength. From where we stand, a hybrid workplace is the only way forward. And to make it work, you need a space management solution.
What is a Space Management Solution?
Hybrid workplaces are complex because your employees are scattered across different locations. Given the social distancing cap you need to apply on the people allowed, the space allocation efforts double.
Facility managers need to coordinate, prioritize, and communicate with multiple teams and employees to ensure workflows and efficiencies stay unaffected. Space management software can automate most of these tasks, resulting in cost reduction.
Common Challenges When You Switch to a Hybrid Workplace Model
While switching to a hybrid workplace model has emerged as a popular solution, it is not without challenges. Following are a few common problems facility managers face in the hybrid work model:
1. Opacity about available space and asset inventory
Manually managing a facility with a large and diverse real estate portfolio is an arduous task. Without a space management solution, you will need an army of facility management personnel to have a complete overview.
However, the reports will be fraught with inaccuracies, and you will always feel the lack of real-time data.
2. Fragmented supply and demand data
With multiple teams booking desks or meeting rooms across properties, a supply-demand mismatch is a given problem. When you try to manage manually, the challenge gets further amplified.
You risk overbooking or underbooking – leading to a bad user experience and eventually frustration.
3. Rigid floor plans and workflows
A lack of real-time data can result in rigidity to alter plans, and it flies in the face of the main advantages of a hybrid workplace.
Without real-time data, you will not know which meeting rooms or workspaces lie unoccupied due to last-minute cancellations.
When hybrid workplace plans become rigid, you cannot provide space to employees who need it the most. It is worse if space is available, and nobody knows about it.
4. Drop-in employee productivity
One of the reasons for the return to office calls is the drop in productivity during WFH. A poor implementation of a hybrid workplace can make it worse. For instance, visiting employees/teams will be forced to make other arrangements if the place gets overbooked.
This will reduce their productive hours. If the situation keeps repeating itself, it could lead to frustration and a further drop in productivity.
How does a Space Management Solution Help a Hybrid Workplace?
A space management solution forms an essential component of hybrid workspace planning software, automating desk and meeting room booking tasks. Facility managers can focus on analyzing, strategizing, and developing new solutions to improve the employee experience.
1. Space management solution provides real-time data
The primary advantage of a space management solution is the availability of real-time data. As unoccupied spaces no longer hide in plain sight, it improves space utilization in a big way.
Individual employees or an entire team can book available desks or meeting rooms without manual intervention.
2. It allows robust reporting
As a facility manager, data helps you identify workflow patterns, understand and address bottlenecks before they snowball into something bigger.
A good space management solution would crunch numbers, analyze data, and provide you with robust reports. It helps you make more data-driven decisions.
3. Space management solution automates desk and meeting room booking
You may have dedicated personnel managing the desk bookings or meeting room schedules. However, with the implementation of a space management solution, they can focus on more critical tasks.
Employees can directly book or cancel desks using a mobile app. In case of a no-show or cancellation, the desk or the room moves back to the open pool. It helps reduce space wastage and optimizes real estate costs in the long run.
4. It improves transparency and productivity
Transparency in desk and meeting room bookings is essential for the success of a hybrid workplace. A space management solution makes it possible.
It also provides information on the equipment, resources, and location of colleagues. By saving time on unproductive activities, it helps increase their productive hours.
5. Space management solution ensures a safe and healthy work environment
Moreover, it can also alert the housekeeping staff to sanitize the workspace at regular intervals without causing interruptions.
Dynamic in nature, a hybrid workplace model is challenging to manage sans real-time data. It is equally valid for facility managers with sizable real estate portfolios and those handling smaller setups.
A space management solution allows you to have a complete overview of the available inventory. It helps you better utilize space and reduce real estate costs. More importantly, it provides employees with a good experience. There is a safety assurance as they return to the office.
Therefore, a hybrid workplace planning software with a space management solution is required if you switch to one.
Choose a space management system that is flexible, scalable, and easy to integrate with existing tools. Here is a workplace management tools guide to help you pick the right one.
Stay tuned to the WorkinSync blog to know more about tools that make your hybrid workplace successful.
Space Management Software: 5 Things to Check Before Buying
Posted on November 17, 2021 by wis_wp
Space management software has become a norm for hybrid workplaces. If you are a facility manager looking to get your employees back to the office, you need a space management solution. This blog highlights the five things you need to check before buying one.
If spreadsheets are your answer to the question “What space management software do you use?” you would be surprised what post-COVID times have in store for you. With hybrid working models becoming the norm, space management will be a whole lot more complicated. And the spreadsheet will no longer cut it.
If a facility manager calls its employeesback to the office, you need space management software. You must already be looking for one. With this checklist, we will try and make it easy for you.
Like all things in demand, the market is filled with more solutions than you can check and compare. All options come with features – some of which you may find usable and others awesome. However, you will not want the nice-to-have features coming at the cost of essentials. More so, if the ROI on them is close to zilch.
Even if you are satisfied with the features, you would not want a product without adequate vendor support. Likewise, other things can make or break the deal. Here are five things that space management software is incomplete without. Make sure to check these before you sign the cheque.
If you are investing a significant amount of money in a solution, it must be up and running in the shortest time. You most certainly would not say, “let us wait for a couple of years to see the benefits.” Ridiculous as it may sound, it is a possibility that you cannot overlook.
The reasons could be many, but your capital will be stuck without any result to show.
Implementation includes customization of the solution and its integration capabilities with your existing tools. While the chinks could be in the existing tools, your vendor should be able to address them within a reasonable time.
Admittedly, it depends on various factors, including the number of systems to be configured, implementation scale, and so on. Nonetheless, an experienced solution provider will be able to provide an estimated timeline. If your vendor is not ready to do the same, it is a red flag you cannot ignore.
You will need service support for both cloud-based and on-premise products. A quick check on the client-to-support personnel ratio, the number of clients, and a reference check will help you cover your bases. Beyond the product fit, you also need to look at the credentials of the vendor. If your vendor develops cold feet when you ask for the details, look away and find another.
Specifically, understand what level of support you would receive and until when. Further, evaluate service components on offer. While technical support forms the base, continued training, product updates, and resources for enhancing product utility are things that make a difference in the long run.
You also need to check if certain services are chargeable. For example, you may be required to pay a fee for adding more members or new locations. So, it is advisable to seek clarity on the terms of support at the beginning.
Scalability of the Space Management Software
If you are a growing business, you must check whether the space management platform is scalable. If you are operating out of one location with 50 employees and plan to add two more, the tool must support it.
It must let you manage the data, including financials, space utilization, efficiency, and more. Asking for precedents and challenges involved would give you a fair idea if it is the right tool.
A good proxy to check if the software is scalable is its design. A modular design lets you add more facility management tools as your real estate portfolio changes. Also, if a solution provider has more than one office management tool, the chances are the solution is modular.
While speaking of scalability, you would do well to consider the costs involved. How much more would you have to shell out for additional seats or locations?
Reporting Prowess of the Space Management Software
If space management software does not provide data and analytics capabilities, it would not be easy to justify your purchase. Hence, rents, maintenance costs, occupancy level, and overall efficiency would be difficult to track without robust reporting capabilities.
The ideal solution will provide real-time data, insights on space utilization, and optimization to help reduce costs.
Without a data-driven tool, you would not know if your investment is yielding returns. So, before making the purchase, ensure the solution has strong analytics capabilities.
To be more specific, check if the solution lets you track the metrics relevant to your business. You would not want a tool that tracks merchandise sales in a legal consultant’s office. So, the metrics you choose must relate to your definition of ROI.
Your space management software will carry, store, and use data that is confidential and sensitive. You need to approach the purchase with the same degree of caution as you would for a financial tool.
A few basic questions that can help answer if space management software is secure are:
1. Does it offer role-based permissions/access?
2. Does it provide audit trail capabilities?
3. Do any of your existing tools make the solution vulnerable?
Most importantly, if a solution does not mention security as its strength, steer clear of it.
Are You Ready to Purchase Your Space Management Software?
Space management software solves different problems for different companies. While the five things listed here help address the fundamental aspects, you must ideally have a list specific to your needs.
A few other things that you would want to include in your list are contact tracing, space planning, meeting room reservation, and a mobile app interface.
A good space management platform will help with floor plans and space allocation and ensure a healthy work environment in your office space.
Not investing time in due diligence initially will cost you money, time, and effort later on. Although you will have space management software, it may not deliver the impact you expect. It could also get more expensive to maintain. You could soon find yourself shopping again.
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Tweeted the CEO and founder of Shopify, Tobi Lutke. Many CEOs like Tobi have adopted hybrid work. Some of the biggest names include Amazon, Facebook, Twitter.
We are now looking at an oceanic change in the traditional concept of workspace. As a result, employee work preferences are also fast-changing. So, if your organization is gearing for a physical return to work, you should bear the following three factors in mind:
1. Employee safety
2. Cost optimization
3. Space efficiency
Luckily with a space management software, you can achieve all.
What is Space Management Software?
What if you could have a complete view of your entire workspace inventory and user data?
A space management software enables you to have a 360-degree view of your entire space inventory.
Space management software helps you manage, audit, and track your company’s physical inventory. This automated technology works like a managing platform, offering a suite of features for effective space management.
With this solution’s simple and intuitive design interface, managers can easily learn about their company’s space usage.
With an adaptive space management software, you can:
Check real-time workspace occupancy
Green flag any advance conference room bookings or desk reservations
Plan efficient workflows and manage office visits for different hybrid employees depending on availability
Monitor employee sign-in and sign-out times when they are on-site
Notify all team members, regardless their location on the latest updates
Manage visitors on office premises using contactless, QR-based digital passes
Implement maintenance services based on needs
For your employees, the space management software works like a console, which provides output based on command choices.
Moreover, most space management software is accessible on the web and mobile app. It prompts the user to select workplace preferences based on location, space availability, purpose, occupancy time, capacity, etc.
In other words, space management software acts as a channel of communication between the managers and the employees. Furthermore, it ensures efficient space allocation and inventory usage. However, there is much more the solution than that.
Modern Workspaces Need Modern Solutions: Space Management Software
Although the traditional role of the office has changed, it has given way to new work settings. This includes coworking spaces, satellite offices, and hot desking.
However, these settings were questioned early on. Yet, such office spaces are getting the work done surprisingly well, as backed by these productivity statistics.
More and more employees are demanding flexible working spaces today. Also, if you cannot deliver on the employee preferences, they are ready to quit.
So, what does the future of the office look like? Well, it looks dynamic right now. Instead of a traditional cubicles, it is looking at hot desking. And reimagining how employees occupy this workspace might be the only way forward.
This is where efficient space planning becomes essential. Therefore, the need for space management software. Managers are also looking at such solutions for cost savings, improving employee experience, and scenario planning.
Why Do You Need Space Management Software?
Future offices are now dynamic entities. They are no longer limited to getting people back of the office. But about fostering a healthy work environment, righting the workplace wrongs, and supporting employee well-being.
They are about moving beyond cutting costs to optimizing costs for a reduced real estate footprint. After all, office space leases and operating costs are often the second-largest expense a company bears.
Not to mention, with manual workspace operations, there is a lot of finger-crossing happening. This makes it almost impossible to have a holistic view of your physical premises and how employees are using them.
Likewise space management software provides the solution.
1. Boost Employee Productivity
To design a flexible work environment, you need to optimize the workspace using digital tools and technology. But how do you find the right mix of working spaces for collaboration and productivity? How does space management software fit it?
Meanwhile, such solutions provide insightful occupancy data, these can be used to plan, manage, and monitor your space utilization. The software’s centralized dashboard also helps you assign desks and rooms in just a couple of clicks. Subsequently, enabling seamless collaborations.
2. Empower Employees
Google, Facebook (…Meta), Twitter, and Amazon have something in common. A sprawling campus and a workforce reluctant to return to “traditional work”. These industry giants have set examples with their adoption of the hybrid workplace. However, there is a gap.
Today, employees want greater flexibility in how and where they work. Even though the hybrid workplace promotes flexibility, employees are looking beyond having choice with days. Now, employees are looking for flexible spaces.
Through space management software, youcan give your employees “ownership” over their workspaces. This means that employees get to choose where they want to sit, and how they want to work.
Regardless of where they are located, they can choose their workspace and book a seat in advance. All of this using a user-friendly mobile app.
3. Reduce Administrative Work
For facility managers, manually overseeing the space inventory, whether big or small, can become overwhelming. Especially now, with mandated covid protocols to ensure contact tracing competencies.
However, with space management software, you can oversee and manage all the tasks on a single source. It also gives an aerial view of the floor plans, request management, resources allocation, and more.
Space management software can also automate tasks like desk booking and check-ins. This cuts down your administrative work by half, if not more!
Here are some key benefits you can reap using space management software.
1. Implementing a Flexible Workplace Strategy
The “back to the office” jitters are real. Despite the enhanced flexibility, many hybrid workers are feeling anxious about making a return. This reluctance has been a major reason for employee attrition across companies.
If not, space management software can give you the necessary technological intervention to enable a more dynamic works environment. It can help you achieve the following:
a. Ensure Effective Hybrid Team Management
Unlike manual reporting, which is not accurate all the time, space management software is quick and accurate. It can compute your occupancy information for shared spaces and check-ins to equip you with real-time insights.
Additionally, you will receive audited reports on the occupancy ratio. This kind of robust reporting can help you reconfigure the workspace to fit the ideal capacity limit and keep employees satisfied.
With space management software, you can readily access space utilization data to understand the big picture. Or access micro-level details like seating chart data or available hot desks.
It can empower you with rich intelligence. You make data-driven decisions regarding budgeting, desk booking, room reservations, resource management, space inventory, and workspace strategies.
This way, space management software also eliminates the guesswork typical in most wait-and-see scenarios.
2. Optimizing Available Office Space
The remote work arrangements challenged our inherited understanding of “work” and “productivity”. We are now asking questions like: do we even need an office? Do we revamp it?
However, the answers to these questions are better left to time and collected insights. Data is captured and audited automatically by the space management software. Moreover, you can gain a complete understanding of your current space utilization for better real estate portfolio management. This can also help you in two ways:
a. Cost Control
You can take note of how (or how not) employees are using the available spaces. And understand what tools and equipment are required for successful collaborations.
Space management software can help you identify such areas to reduce cost and avoid overheads for improved savings.
By deploying space management software, you can effectively manage office resources, even assign them to dedicated employees. This can help you implement a successful hybrid strategy, making essential resources and equipment accessible for all.
Space management software can also provide predictive assistance and ensure timely maintenance of your physical inventory.
On top of all that, you can garner new data on occupancy trends and bring fresh changes to your workplace strategy. This will also help you decide how much office footprint is enough to support your hybrid team. And actively contribute to the bottom line of the organization.
Looking for Space Management Software?
To conclude, facility managers have to ensure efficient operations at the workplace. And one of them is choosing the right space management software depending on the back-to-work needs.
Well, this is how you can streamline the process. Ask yourself:
Are the software tools and features in line with my workflow requirements?
Does the space management software support integration with other technologies?
Does it have a centralized information center for facility information?
With these answers locked, you can find space management software readily. WorkInSync is one such solution, offering a suite of intuitive and user-friendly tools for managing employee preferences and spaces alike.
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