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Space management is both an art and a science. It’s a collaborative process that involved gathering data on space utilization, forecasting future needs and developing a strategy that makes the most of your organization’s real estate.

For most organizations, real estate is the second-largest expense after employees. But with the rise of the remote workforce and the gig economy, a large portion of corporate real estate space sits empty. This makes good space management a growing concern.

There’s no question that proper space management reduces operating costs—potentially saving your organization tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars each year. But it’s also a critical part of improving the employee experience. When employees have access to the right mix of quiet space and collaborative spaces to support the work they’re doing, they are happier and more productive.

Space Management Trends

Several factors are changing the way organizations set up their physical spaces. The shift toward a more agile workplace is a key driver.

Here are some of the biggest space management trends you should have on your radar as a workplace leader:

1. The Agile Work Environment

With the realization that employees no longer spend the majority of their day at their desk—or even at the office—workplace leaders are implementing flexible strategies that make better use of their real estate.

These include activity-based working, hot desking and hoteling.

Activity-Based Working (ABW)

In an activity-based working (ABW) environment, employees are encouraged to move around based on the work they’re doing. They can reserve a small, private office if they need to concentrate on deep work, book a conference room for a large meeting or find a collaborative space for more informal brainstorming. This gives employees more control over their workplace, which benefits everyone. According to the most recent Steelcase Global Report, 88 percent of highly engaged employees feel they have control over their work experience, while only 14 percent of highly disengaged employees feel the same.


The latest telecommuting statistics from Global Workplace Analytics show employees spend 50-60 percent of their time away from their desks. Office hoteling allows employees to schedule the workspaces they want to use on a particular day before they arrive. Hoteling makes it easy for employees who work from home to visit “home base” and collaborate with their colleagues.

Hot Desking

Hot desking allows employees to choose from any available space at one of several shared workstations. Employees are encouraged to rotate their seating arrangements on a regular basis. Hot desking is a good fit for companies that offer work-from-home options or flexible working hours. This provides more open space at the shared workstations, increasing the chances that this new office design will succeed.

2. Reconfigurable Space

To keep up with rapid growth, more organizations are using office furniture and design elements that can be easily reconfigured to accommodate new employees or changing needs. This is especially common in fast-growing industries like oil and gas, healthcare and pharmaceuticals.

3. Advanced Space Forecasting

Rapid growth also makes it even more important to have accurate, real-time data available on your space inventory. Monthly headcounts and spreadsheets just don’t cut it anymore. It’s critical to have space management software that integrates with real-time data sources—like IoT sensors—and also offers advanced space forecasting capabilities.

How to Choose Space Management Software

Space management software is a big investment. That’s why it’s important to ensure that the solution you choose aligns with your strategy and goals. You also want to make sure it integrates with other facility management functions, such as asset management and service requests. Space management software that is part of a larger integrated workplace management system (IWMS) has a clear advantage over single-point solutions. Here are a few important questions to consider as you compare space management solutions:

  • Does it integrate with your existing systems (such as AutoCAD?)
  • Can it connect to IoT sensors?
  • Does it have mobile capabilities?
  • How will it keep your data secure?
  • Is it easy for anyone to use?
  • Does it include advanced reporting capabilities?
  • Can it connect to employee-facing solutions (such as a room reservation app)

A Space Management Success Story

Under Armour is recognized as a leader in cutting-edge athletic gear. In support of their mission to “make athletes better through passion, design and the relentless pursuit of innovation”, the organization looked to improve their workplace operations.

The process began with developing a logic model that evaluated the effectiveness of various aspects of the business. After recognizing the need for an end-to-end solution that would connect the internal team and its customers, Under Armour turned to iOFFICE and their IWMS.

By investing in the platform, the organization was better able to utilize existing space and obtain real-time data. Employees could easily identify open work spaces and reserve them via the Space Management module. Meanwhile, the facilities team was able to accommodate the growing employee population with the Move Management module.

Further benefits included a simplified process for submitting and managing service requests as well as an optimized flow of mail in and out of the office.


Space management involves more puzzle pieces than ever before. With the right space management software in your corner, you can make better use of your office space, save on costs, easily access information and gain insight from real-time data.