Why is Space Management Important for an Office?

By: Tom Bell on July 8, 2021

Most companies and big organizations require a large estate of office space to locate their administration, research, customer services, and other functions – and these office spaces represent a significant cost. Understanding how this office space is used and what improvements can be made is a major part of what makes a modern smart building.

 

What is space management?

Space management is the process of controlling and managing the different physical workspaces a business occupies. 

It enables strategic planning to provide cost-effective solutions and allows the inventory of space you have available to be optimized for employees to perform their work more efficiently. 

To deliver value, space management relies on accurate and reliable data about how a building’s space is being utilized. This is typically collected with technology such as occupancy sensors, which can monitor and track occupancy rates in real-time. Such data can be integrated into building management systems to help generate usage reports for analysis. 

The principle of space management planning includes these four components:

Insight data, real-time records, space utilization and optimization, and reducing costs.

Insight data is about trends and historic data. It is about seeing how your organization is utilizing its physical space over a period of time and the associated costs by analyzing reports from an integrated workplace management system that compiles accurate space usage data.

Real-time records are how your company is utilizing its office space right now.

Space utilization and optimization is the third step where you analyze the insight and real-time data, and plan how you use it to make improvements to your space.

Reducing real estate costs is making sure your plan is focused on where you can reduce space and optimize your current space inventory to improve return on investment.

 

Why is space management software important?

It can help organizations take an evidence-based approach around decisions on how to implement the following:

 

1. Reduce real estate costs

It might seem as simple as looking at the general opening hours of the office to find out when the space is being used, but this simplistic approach doesn’t account for many aspects of the modern working environment.

For example, with flexible and hybrid working hours now more popular than ever, can you actually say for sure when most of your office users come and go? What about teams that spend a significant amount of time on the road, going to visit customers or suppliers? 

A space management system can give you an accurate picture of how many people you need to have space for on an average day, and show you the trends of demand for this space across weeks and months. 

Management of space by both physical dimension and actual employee utilization could highlight areas for consolidation - enabling savings on utility bills by requiring less heating, cooling, and lighting; whilst also providing options for big cost savings by downsizing your overall space or subletting for an additional income. Perhaps that bigger building you were thinking of moving to might not be needed after all.

 

2. Meeting and conference room management

Meeting and conference rooms are premium office facilities – but are they being used intelligently and in ways that justify the cost? Are rooms truly being used at capacity, and are bookings being kept?

By monitoring actual meeting room usage, you can identify problems of under-utilization and initiate an effective booking system for the capturing of actionable data regarding missed bookings and both idle and inappropriately sized rooms, in order to create and implement policies for the optimization of your workspace according to your real needs.

 

3. Reducing your buildings energy consumption

Knowing when the building is used also gives you a chance to better plan and operate lighting and HVAC systems to coincide with actual demand and not just when you assume the most people will need it.

 

4. Desk space management

Hybrid working may render your old seating arrangements obsolete. Knowing to what capacity your employees are using their desks may help you determine how many permanent desks could be converted to ‘hot desks,’ saving space.

Not only this, but integrating your real-time space utilization data into your desk booking systems will enable you to efficiently roll out hoteling by making sure that any desk that is not utilized in the booked time frame can be dynamically released for use.

 

5. Effective space management

Through improving the management of your organization’s available space in the above areas, you can increase the productivity of your staff, who will find the booking of meeting rooms and desks easier and far more efficient in a smart office tailored specifically to their working needs.

 

Focusing on optimizing your building to help staff move around more efficiently and operate in greater comfort, will reduce the time your staff are wasting searching for spaces to work in or absenteeism that is related to the office environment. Further benefits include minimizing costs associated with productivity losses.

 

To find out more on how space management software and our occupancy monitoring solution can help you optimize your office utilization, request a demo here.

Ready to learn more?

Talk to one of our occupancy experts or watch a short demo video

Useful resources

From providing insights and best practices, to real world examples and use cases, our occupancy data guides will help you discover the true power of occupancy data and occupancy analytics.

eBook - Building a Business Case for Occupancy Monitoring

Building a Business Case for Occupancy Monitoring

eBook - Using Occupancy Data to Re-engage Employees With the Workplace

Using Occupancy Data to Re-engage Employees With the Workplace

eBook - Truth About Occupancy - 600x315 - White

The Truth About Workplace Occupancy

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