The word ‘office’ has acquired a new meaning and dimension. From a piece of infrastructure, it has metamorphosed into all things human.
Our office space today highlights social interaction and team building. It is a thread that keeps the cultural fabric of the company intact. It is a motivator that boosts human productivity.
The bottom line is most business leaders want employees to return to work.
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.
Also Read: What is a space management system?
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.
Bonus Read: Hybrid workplace can be chaotic
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.
Recommended Reading: 5 things to check before buying a space management software
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
A good space management solution can also make the workplace safe and healthy for your employees in a post-COVID world. Coupled with a visitor management solution, it can help in contact tracing.
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.