New ways of working, innovative communication technologies, and changing business models have changed the way people use meeting and collaborative spaces. How can you really know whether your meeting room capacity still suits your business needs?
Three levels of workplace optimisation
Integrated Workplace Management Systems (IWMS) supports organisations in their continuous search for workplace optimisation on three levels:
1. Strategic level of workplace management
On a strategic level, workplace management ensures a full, long-term alignment with the company’s strategy, both in business strategy and workplace strategy. Business growth, entering new markets, cultural and demographical aspects, HR policies - they all impact the size and type of your workplace offering. Workplace strategies include transformations from fixed to flexible or shared workplace concepts, new collaboration concepts, and policies around working from home. These all affect your future needs for real estate, space, facilities, services and processes.
In addition to portfolio and actual space information, an IWMS contains valuable occupancy and utilisation information that is of great importance for strategic decision making. Strategic space and workplace planning functions allow you to forecast future needs and create scenarios around different workplace concepts. As a result, you maximise alignment of your workplace strategy with core business goals.
2. Tactical level of workplace management
At the tactical workplace management level, the aim is to implement the chosen strategy successfully, monitor and validate workplace performance continuously and improve where needed. This process includes all space and workplace optimisation projects as well as managing changes that are initiated by the business.
An IWMS supports tactical workplace management with a wide diversity of utilisation, occupancy and cost analyses, and tools to plan and manage any change. In most cases an IWMS includes integration with Computer Aided Design (CAD) systems to visualise actual and forecasted utilisations. Project management, movement management, scenario planning, and financial back-charge functions complete the toolbox for space and workplace managers on a tactical level.
3. Operational level of Workplace Management
Operational excellence and agility are key prerequisites for successful workplace management. Try to imagine what happens when people enter the office and cannot find a free desk to work from, or cannot collaborate with their colleagues, or discover that a meeting room they had reserved is being used by someone else. Avoiding chaos in daily operations and facilitating employees with smart solutions to reserve, find or use the facilities they need drives the business value of workplace management.
An IWMS enables the reservation of meeting rooms, specific workspaces, and even the ability to book a flexible workplace ‘on-the-fly’. That information, combined with sensor technology leads to a powerful combination, helping people find an appropriate, available workspace while giving facility managers the tools they need to reduce building vacancies and align services and energy consumption to the actual usage of the building.
Why Employee Engagement Matters
Employee engagement describes how well employees are committed to the goals and values of their organisation. A high level of employee engagement will lead to increased productivity, more innovation, and better staff retention.
Workplace and facility managers can have a significant influence on levels of employee engagement. It starts by recognising that employees and other building users are at the heart of a successful workplace strategy.
Employees need to explore, navigate, and use the facilities and services within their work environment. Smart companies are providing all employees with these capabilities via a convenient smartphone app.
Communication with a building’s users about workplace availability and meeting facilities requires a user-centric approach. In some cases, an employee would like to see where workspaces are available even before they enter a building. An app supplies capacity and availability information and allows employees to reserve workspaces and meeting rooms.
In the building, people are guided via screens with indicators of availability via a floor plan showing information on workspaces and rooms that are either occupied, reserved, or available. Employees can use the app to reserve a desk simply by scanning a QR code or swiping an RFID tag.