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    Strategies to Maximize Your Office Space Utilization Goals

    Tiffany Bloodworth Rivers

    There are a multitude of benefits to developing a well thought-out office space management strategy. Your workforce is more engaged and productive, communication is enhanced, and the organization’s overhead is reduced. An understanding of how the space is being used now also helps in identifying future real estate needs and allows for a more flexible workspace, affording you the opportunity to adjust to your business’ spatial needs as they fluctuate. In essence, it lays the foundation for a more efficient and productive workplace culture.

    Developing a successful strategy, however, requires careful planning, data gathering, analysis, and forecasting. It requires a deep understanding of the enterprises’ critical values, with future goals in mind. For many workplace management teams, this is a daunting task, riddled with a multitude of influencing factors that need to be addressed along the way.

    Are you not currently meeting your space utilization goals? As with everything in business, your space strategy will evolve as influencing factors arise and enterprise goals are met. Let’s take a look at a few necessities to help you revamp your space strategy and improve organizational efficiency.Strategies_To_Office_Space_Utilization.jpg

    What are Your Goals? 

    Before you begin tackling the space itself, take some time to identify and understand organizational goals and where the workspace fits with regards to achieving these objectives. Whether you are just starting out with your space strategy, or are redesigning your current one, this is a critical step.

    As business goals are met, your goals list will evolve and influences will change. But a clear cut understanding of where you hope to be in six months, one year, and even five years, will ensure everyone is on the same page, and that your Space Management module is designed with those needs in mind. Reporting capabilities may need to be tweaked and added to, as well, to ensure you’re set up for success and that your workforce is mentally prepared for any changes that might be coming later.

    A few things to consider when aligning business goals with your space strategy:

    • What are your institution’s strategic business goals?
    • How does the workspace relate to these goals?
    • What aspects of your current space strategy are on track with achieving these objectives and where are you lacking?
    • What business components have changed that might account for your need for a change in strategy?
    • What do you need to really manage your space?
    • What metrics are you currently analyzing? How relevant was this data in your initial strategy and how relevant is it moving forward?
    • What data do you need to collect for consistent, ongoing analysis?
    • Do you have a clear visual of where you are currently, where you have been, and where you are going?

    Keep in mind, that the workspace and workforce are the two most valuable assets within a company. A successful space management strategy aligns these two critical components at all times.

    Aligning Your Strategy with Workforce Needs

    Now that you have identified organizational goals, it is time to gather data on (and from) your workforce. Again, whether you’re building a space strategy from the ground up, or reevaluating your current one, these factors should be addressed on a fairly consistent basis. Even if your enterprise doesn’t have a high churn rate, the needs of your workforce are dynamic. How you manage them will dictate the extent of your organization’s success moving forward.

    Ask yourself these questions when evaluating your workforce’s needs:

    • How do you currently track your employees and the space they use? (employee by name, department assigned, office assigned, and/or assets assigned?)
    • What spaces do they utilize the most? Is there a pattern to their space utilization?
    • Are there workspaces that are currently being underutilized? Could this space be redesigned to offer more of what they use the most?
    • What would they like to see in a workspace that doesn’t already exist?
    • How has your workforce changed and, consequently, their needs?
    • What assets are you currently tracking and how (by workspace or employee)?
    • How mobile is the workforce and how are their mobility needs currently being met?

    Keep in mind, the needs of your workforce should to align with the tools you are going to make available. And you should be deciding on tools which are not only beneficial currently, but also extend themselves to successful growth and productivity. So, what questions should you be asking of your workforce to make sure they’re receiving the right tools for the job?

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    You’re Only as Good as Your Tools

    Have you ever heard the saying: “You’re only as good as your tools”? Your business tools are what bring everything together. With so many moving pieces to consider, it’s critical that your enterprise invest in solutions that improve procedural efficiency and are easily integrable. By doing so, you foster organizational collaboration and ensure business decisions are made, based on the most relevant information. Your IWMS is the tool that brings it all together. If you’re still searching for the perfect Workplace Management software, or are in need of an update, visit the resources section of our website, where we share advice on identifying the right IWMS to fit your needs, and an in-depth guide into selecting your Space Management software.

    Strategies_To_Maximize_Office_Space_Utilization.jpgLet’s take a look at a few benefits to integrating an IWMS into your space management strategy.

    Proactively Manage & Forecast Fluctuating Business Needs

    By converging all your data into one centralized database, you can begin to understand departmental needs, types of space utilized, and identify historical patterns, as well as all costs associated with your business’ fluctuating needs. This will assist you in predicting these dynamic needs and summarize associated costs to ensure your budget remains on target for future goals. By creating what-if scenarios, you can map out moves and identify which space plan meets both organizational needs and budget.

    Keep Costs Under Control

    Your Space Management software should help in controlling costs by tracking allocated space usage on every level. When integrated with other modules, such as Asset Management and Facility Maintenance, you gain a clearer understanding as to who is using what, when, and where. Further integration with tools, such as sensors and intelligence building-performance systems, offer additional control over business expenses and identify usage trends.

    Maneuvering the intricacies of a successful business is a job that requires knowledge, flexibility, and attention to detail. The needs of the organization and its employees are dynamic and require constant attention. Never assume that you have a 100% efficient space strategy. Leaders recognize that even the most solid of strategies are in a constant state of flux, requiring regular scrutiny. Work now to develop a strategy that improves operational efficiency, yet is flexible enough to withstand changes without the entire house crumbling.

    Tiffany Bloodworth Rivers

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Tiffany Bloodworth Rivers

    Tiffany covers leadership and marketing topics and enjoys learning about how technology shapes our industry. Before iOFFICE, she worked in local news but don't hold that against her.

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