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Space management software is an essential part of a modern workplace manager’s toolbox. It empowers you to make data-driven decisions about how to build an office environment that promotes a positive employee experience while minimizing wasted space.
However, not every space management software has everything you need to achieve your goals.
Here are seven questions to ask solutions providers so you can be confident you’re choosing the best space management software for your organization.
Hosting your data on your own servers requires you to allocate considerable resources toward maintaining and protecting on-site hardware and software. You’ll also need to account for the costs associated with physical security and business continuity. Because on-premise software systems don’t offer a lot of flexibility, any updates can involve considerable time and costs.
With cloud-based space management software, you can outsource data security responsibilities to the solutions provider. The provider ensures the software always has the most up-to-date fixes and security patches and has entire teams dedicated exclusively to proactively keeping your data safe.
Plus, cloud-based software providers automatically backup your data across multiple servers, so even if there’s an issue with one, your data is still safe and accessible.
The best providers release updates frequently and automatically, and they include the costs of any upgrades into your subscription fees.
The last thing you want is to invest in a solution your employees won’t use due to a clunky or non-intuitive interface.
The best space management software isn’t just easy to use after training; it’s user-friendly for every employee from the beginning—even those with limited technology experience.
As part of your evaluation process, schedule a personalized demo with your space management software provider. Prior to the demo, identify which features you believe your team will use the most and ask the vendor to walk through those in more detail. If possible, include multiple members of the team in the meeting so they have an opportunity to ask questions as well.
Be sure to find out what kind of onboarding and initial training the solutions provider offers in addition to the level of ongoing support.
A good space management software will offer the features and functionalities you need at a price that fits your budget. The best space management software will do that and easily integrate with the other technology you’re using.
This includes computer-aided drafting software (such as AutoCAD and Revit), occupancy planning solutions (such as SpaceTrak), room reservation tools, digital signage and wayfinding kiosks, and service request software. It should also integrate directly with Internet of Things (IoT) sensors to facilitate real-time space utilization and occupancy tracking.
Space management software shouldn’t exist in a silo separate from the other workplace technology you rely on, and it shouldn’t make your tech stack more complex. It should help support efforts to streamline operations by consolidating multiple tasks into a single interface and automatically sharing data across systems.
There are a few core metrics that even the most basic space management software should track, including square footage by building and by floor, total square footage, and total capacity.
The best space management software solutions use direct integrations with other platforms and IoT sensors to go far beyond these metrics and include more detailed data points, such as:
The software should not only collect and aggregate this data, it should also provide robust reporting and analytics tools and dashboards. Top-tier space management software helps you spot trends and translate raw data into actionable insights that drive proactive decision-making.
Among the top priorities for workplace managers this year is creating a safe, sanitary work environment. That includes helping employees maintain appropriate physical distance and helping your team clean more efficiently.
The space management software you choose should support both of these initiatives.
The best solutions have powerful and intuitive space planning capabilities along with smart algorithms that automatically offer recommendations for workspace configurations. They also make it easy to visualize, create, and implement new seating arrangements.
The best space management software will also take advantage of integrations with room reservation tools and IoT sensors to provide you with accurate insight into actual utilization so you can create the most efficient and thorough cleaning and sanitation schedules.
Over time your company’s space needs are going to fluctuate for a variety of reasons. Maybe it’s because your business is growing and you need to expand the workforce. Or maybe it’s because you’ve shifted to a hybrid workplace and have fewer employees on site.
Regardless, you need a way to understand the space you have now and visualize the composition and configuration of the space you need in the future. The best space management software makes this easy.
For example, the iOFFICE Space Forecasting feature allows you to plan for increases or reductions in space based on changes in employee headcount and utilization rates.
You can easily see how changing the number of employees in one department will affect your spatial needs across the entire building.
Even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, a growing number of organizations were embracing flexible seating arrangements. Now, with so many employers choosing to give their workforce the option to continue working remotely multiple days per week, the adoption of flexible work environments will only grow.
If you’re planning on implementing a flexible seating arrangement, you’ll need the right technology.
The best space management software solution will not only give you visibility into the essential data that enables you to effectively design a flexible workplace, it will include interactive stacking diagrams that you can use to view every space in the office and test different scenarios and layouts. It will also integrate with an employee-facing mobile app, giving employees the ability to view maps of the workplace and navigate to a specific workspace.
In addition to checking all of the boxes above, the best space management software will be the one that supports your unique business goals. As part of your process, make sure you take the time to sit down and define exactly what you want to achieve with a space management solution and what expectations you have from the vendor themselves. This will help ensure you pick the right partner.
iOFFICE’s space management software is the preferred choice for both workplace leaders and employees.
In a recent TechValidate survey, 96% of customers said iOFFICE was easier to use compared to other workplace management solutions.
Workplace leaders gain robust reporting capabilities around key space utilization metrics, which enables intelligent space planning, smart maintenance and more.
Our space management software simplifies real estate planning and workplace management, allowing you to:
You can reconfigure your office layout, manage seating assignments and manage service requests. And when you can see your organization’s entire real estate portfolio through a single platform, you can understand your total costs, track chargebacks and expenditures and forecast future needs.
Ready to see what your organization has been missing?
Ann DiPietro is an enterprise sales executive at iOFFICE.