For facilities managers, ensuring office productivity is a much trickier endeavor than it was 20 or even 10 years ago. Times have changed in the workplace - people are shuffling around from office to office, they're incorporating new technologies, they're working from home and they're using the resources at their disposal to work on the road when they're not in the office. Facilities management is no longer a simple matter of putting each worker at a desk.
According to FCW, it's now becoming common for office managers to look for ways to redesign their facilities and save money for their businesses. The news source revealed that CoreNet Global, a professional association for corporate real-estate executives, is one example of a company that's thinking outside the box and trying new strategies. Richard Kadzis, the firm's vice president for strategic communications, says that new designs for office buildings work wonders to improve flexibility and cost savings.
"This was a real-estate strategy to begin with, but now it's become a business model," Kadzis said. "Government executives could add a lot of value to taxpayers by getting their employees more involved in the decision-making process as it relates to real-estate and workplace practices."
Employees aren't always eager to accept changes if that means giving up the designated office spaces they've used traditionally. But once they begin to see how it benefits their companies, they may be willing to come around.
Making changes to your office layout is no easy task, but you can pull it off if you follow these five tips.
1. Have support from upper management
Before you begin making a massive office redesign, it's best to make sure you have the blessing from your bosses at the top of the corporate ranks. If your supervisors have your back, they'll be able to step in and help you with securing funding, putting in new tech infrastructures and explaining the new office layout to employees.
2. Invest in technology
Redoing your offices often requires a great deal of new technology. Cloud-based data storage makes it easy for workers to transmit their important files over the internet, and mobile devices give them a handy way to access their data. Using an IWMS will help you manage your office space and examine the productivity of your new office.
3. Draw upon real-time data
In order to truly determine whether your space management initiatives are working, you need to take careful measurements. Gathering data will help you figure out a lot of things - how often employees are in the office, how productive they are, how many resources they need to do their jobs effectively. Data can help you make more intelligent decisions about your facilities. A facility management software can provide real time dashboards to help access data easily.
4. Communicate your goals clearly
People don't like to be ordered to relocate without explanation. In order to make sure your office redesign is a success, you should be sure to communicate clearly with employees about your facilities management goals. Whether you're trying to save space, money, productivity or some combination of all three, you should be open and honest about what you're trying to accomplish. This may require memos, newsletters or face-to-face meetings with workers.
5. Know your people
No one can make all their facilities management decisions using data alone. Before you proceed with a big redesign project, it's best to consider the employees at your company and their specific needs. They might desire more openness, more privacy or more flexible workspaces that can be used for solo projects or small or large meetings. Whatever their needs, it's best to make sure your facilities are a good match.
Managing today's workplaces requires having the flexibility to try new strategies. Following these tips will definitely help. Schedule a demo to explore how iOFFICE can help with the above.
Editor's Note: This blog post was originally published in September 2013 and has been updated for accuracy and relevance