How One Facilities Leader Improved Space Utilization With Technology

by James McDonald on January 28, 2016

Organizations doing business in today’s competitive market face a multitude of challenges and expenses. People, then real estate. Those are the top two expenses (and challenges) that management encounters and, oddly enough, the two go hand in hand. Each impacts the other on even the minute level; so it is critical that we make informed and well thought-out decisions.

Aside from being the second largest expense, the workspace typically represents the highest liability for most facilities. So it makes sense then, that executives and workplace managers should pay close attention to workspace allocation and how it affects the well-being of their employees. “In a contracting economy, an aggressive occupancy cost reduction program can translate into tens of millions of dollars in lower expenses—and mean the difference between success and survival.”

But how does management control space utilization while still ensuring their workforce has everything they need? One Facilities Executive found the answer in his Integrated Workplace Management System.

Taking Control of the Workspace Through Technology

When the Facilities Executive of a top global energy company approached iOffice for a workplace management solution, their top challenges were in space management. Their current tools were ineffective in garnering knowledge regarding how the space was allocated and what they could change to properly meet the workforce’s needs. The Executive was facing a high churn rate and had an issue with mobile employees “squatting” wherever they were able to find a seat.

Entrenched in a dynamic industry, employees and assets were moving constantly in an effort to keep up with the business’s ever-changing needs. It was critical that they implement an IWMS that offered key metrics regarding the workforce’s spatial needs, as well as one that assisted in planning space allocation and the movement of people. The goal was to create a more flexible, collaborative workspace and ensure that every worker had a place to call “home.”


Whether planning single, group, or organizational moves, the facilities team needed to have the ability to strategically plan and carry out moves based on real-time metrics. These analytics would offer a bird’s-eye view into the fluid changes occurring within the facility. They would offer insight into how they could create a more engaging workspace which would, in turn, help reduce the churn rate. At the time, the facilities team tracked assets through spreadsheets; an antiquated method that left much room for error. As employees moved around the building, assets moved too, making it virtually impossible to maintain accurate records.

Our client looked to us for a frustration-free implementation process that delivered a product that was user-friendly and could be learned swiftly and with certainty. The emphasis was on empowering a workforce of more than 2,000 people and to eliminate squatting or unscheduled moves. While the focus was on a more efficient space strategy, this global company required implementation of multiple modules.

In just a few short months, they were able to begin putting their new IWMS to the test. The results were almost immediate. Moves are now mapped out ahead of time, allowing for a more fluid process. Processes that previously required multiple people now only require a few, allowing employees to focus on mission critical tasks. The workforce has access to real-time information on-the-fly, allowing for more informed decisions and an increase in overall productivity. Key metrics has also offered a more efficient level of tracking employee performance, ensuring successes are recognized and management is able to provide feedback when required.

Today’s facilities manager is confronted with a multitude of factors that affect the day-to-day operation and success of the company. FMs must consider the needs of their workforce, never losing site of the overall goal; reducing expenses and increasing productivity so as to achieve growth and success. Alignment of the workspace and workforce are the most critical components to attaining these goals. And the workplace tools your organization invests in play a primary role in aligning these components.

Read this global enterprise’s case study to learn more about what modules were implemented to eliminate squatting and achieve higher efficiency in workspace allocation.


James McDonald

James McDonald is a sports enthusiast, brother in Christ and once swam in a tank with the infamous TV sharks.

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