Office space can be a considerable bone of contention for facilities managers. A potential minefield for temperature, noise and lighting complaints, yet an office provides company cohesion – enabling team building, inter-departmental collaboration and a secure place in which to work. Whether your office rent is at a premium or not, effective space management is necessary for both cost control and employee productivity.
The Millennial workforce
Millennials (workers aged around 20-30) will be the largest generation in the US workforce by 2015, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Contrary to popular opinion, while millennials do expect a more flexible working environment and a supportive culture, these changes are not widely opposed by other generational workers. Creating open, collaborative spaces and areas of hot desks can feel like making something from nothing, but using space management software can provide a real insight into space usage and areas of potential.
A building may appear full, but more in-depth research and monitoring, additional space could be uncovered. By overlaying occupancy information onto a graphical interface within space management software, a facilities manager can gain insight into under-utilised areas and reduce unnecessary occupancy costs. If an area is (or areas are) identified to be repurposed for hot-desking, building users can remotely search for and book a desk based on real-time and availability using an interactive floor plan. This provides employees with choice and flexibility, while still retaining the proximity to a management / team support network.
Move & space management
Space requirements can change either as a result of the insight gained from space reporting or natural business evolution. Either way, an efficient move can be managed using software. QFM Space incorporates move and change management features through a simple, drag and drop tool. Multiple move scenarios can be created to assess the potential use of available space, and once a configuration is agreed, manage the whole process, including storing the new location of staff (including their new telephone numbers), office furniture and other assets. The software can also be used for identifying external / internal service providers for all move activities, comparing quotes to ensure maximum value from contractors. Using planning models allows relocation to be more efficient, saving time and reducing employee dissatisfaction.
The Leesman Index found this year that ‘only 54 per cent of respondents agree their workplace design enables them to work productively. Given directors spend more on people and property than any other tangible resource, is it acceptable to write off half the investment?’ An excellent question; and one that FMs cannot afford to ignore. The UK, for example, is lagging behind its western economic counterparts in the field of productivity, and the responsibility falls to the facilities management team to invest in new technology and techniques in order to try and buck this trend. Effective space management combined with a CAFM system to manage FM requests, resources and reporting is one such way to start a change.
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