Traditionally, facilities management was thought of primarily as a blend of asset management and cost containment. Facilities managers focused on buildings and equipment in order to maximize the use of those items to the benefit of an organization. Research continues to show the impact of workspace design and company culture on employee productivity and business results.
Today, facilities management is evolving into workplace management–a function that is more closely aligned with human resources. Frans van Eersel, Director of Workplace for Netflix put explains, “In modern days we’re no longer talking about janitorial services, maintenance and cost cutting. It’s about strategic value, enabling productivity and creating a great place to work.”
Business impact occurs in a workplace, not a building
Good workplace management should support and even increase workplace productivity levels. Business impact results from people working together strategically to achieve objectives. The company’s real estate and buildings, while valuable in their own right, make a bigger impact in terms of workplace productivity.
For example, while the temperature of the building makes a direct impact on facility costs via HVAC, temperature can make a much bigger impact on people working inside the building. Productivity will decrease if conditions are uncomfortably hot or cold. That productivity loss might cost much more than any money saved by conservative thermostat settings.
Focusing on workplace optimization and productivity
By focusing on the workplace as a means to achieve business goals, the natural priorities become employee engagement and productivity. The office needs to be a human-centered, culture-driven place that helps your employees improve their wellbeing, lower stress and collaborate better in teams. Innovation requires inspiration. Sometimes your employees need quiet spaces to concentrate; other times, creativity happens best in teams.
The right workplace plan supports your company culture and vice-versa. Your organization’s workspace fosters an environment where things get accomplished and it reflects the personality of your company. That’s why good workplace management can also attract top talent.
Tracking sensors in the workplace aid decision making
Workplace management seeks to optimize workspace utilization to encourage the highest possible levels of workplace productivity. What kinds of spaces help different types of employees thrive? What would be the best use of additional space–more meeting rooms or open office space?Putting tracking sensors in the workplace enables facilities managers, HR leaders and the IT department to measure how much each space in the workplace gets utilized. This data can be used to optimize workspaces and technology for higher productivity.
Mobile employees also benefit from workplace optimization
About 43% of employees spend at least some time working remotely. Logically, any forward-thinking workplace management plan needs to pay considerable attention to the working conditions of mobile workers, both when they are in the office and away. According to Gartner, “Office space configuration is important, especially when supporting a mobile workforce. CIOs will need to work with the facilities department to enact change. This can also mean developing more “smart” workspaces, leveraging the IoT.”
It would be poor utilization of resources to keep dedicated workspaces for employees who rarely come to work at the office. But it is important that when they do come to the office, they feel part of the team and can quickly find a suitable workspace for their tasks at hand. Hoteling or hot desking systems help mobile employees reserve a space to work on days in the office. Other technology solutions empower employees to quickly book meeting space and collaborate with their coworkers.
Good workplace management naturally optimizes real estate investment
At the end of the day, organizations do have to be concerned with containing facilities costs. The price of commercial real estate has grown rapidly in major metropolitan areas like San Francisco and London. Improving workplace management by focusing on productivity will naturally result in better optimization of your capital investments.
By becoming strategic in measuring, adjusting and planning for better workspace utilization, you will ensure that employees have only the space(s) they need to perform optimally, without empty offices and unused conference rooms eating into profitability. Asure Software can partner with your organization to elevate workplace management through solutions for mobile workforce management as well as workplace occupancy sensors and workspace consulting.