In the final of our series of ‘return to work’ blogs, this week we’re looking at how FMs can plan for long term space management strategies in the face of change and uncertainty.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the face of a normal working environment. According to Statistics Canada, less than 10% in 2018 worked from home, but times have changed.
Some companies like Twitter have moved to a permanent remote-working model, and many more are looking to embrace flexible working. While there are many reports of home workers feeling more productive, people are also expressing the need to be in a different environment and collaborate with colleagues face to face rather than through video conferencing.
So companies now have the difficult task of planning for this new future, predicting how much office space they need, understanding how it will be used and how to plan for growth.
Live data and space forecasting
The cost of a building lease or space rental is a significant business expense, and it’s often found that up to 50% of this space is under-utilised. Even where real estate is business owned, this space could be used for expansion, improvement of the customer experience or rented out for a profit.
Service Works Global’s QFM Workspace is a powerful space planning and forecasting tool, for use either during or following a return-to-work program, and can help identify this under-used space. The software integrates with a live space management system, meaning that the data used is detailed to desk or room level in terms of the specific space available and its use. This allows more detailed plans and predictions to be created, and requires considerably less effort than performing manual calculations. Even if a space is temporarily out of action, due to maintenance or refurbishment, this can be accounted for and flagged on the system.
Actions and reactions
QFM Workspace allows users to create ‘actions’ within the software in order to define business change. For example, an action in July to apply a growth forecast of 10% across the company will increase the space expected to be required in July. An action to add a new building to the portfolio in June will increase the available space expected to be available in June. Because the actions are applied to the data in combination, the user would see that the increase in portfolio space in June would meet the additional requirement for space expected in July due to the growth forecast. QFM Workspace allows you to manage changing plans, for example, if the addition of the new building was put back to September, then a shortfall of space would be predicted because the requirement is growing in advance of the provision. Furthermore, because the plans are all based on live and detailed data, the system would advise on which types of space the organization would be short of.
Multiple ‘what-if’ scenarios can be created, helping space planners visually understand through graphical floor plans what would need to happen in different situations.
You may also be interested in our other new software to help with your return to work planning:
- QFM Express – a light yet powerful SaaS hosted CMMS software
- QFM Return2Work – plan and manage social distancing in the workplace
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