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We operate in more than 50 countries around the world. If your country is not on the list, please refer to our global contacts.

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We operate in more than 50 countries around the world. If your country is not on the list, please refer to our global contacts.

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We operate in more than 50 countries around the world. If your country is not on the list, please refer to our global contacts.

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We operate in more than 50 countries around the world. If your country is not on the list, please refer to our global contacts.

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Press
20190115HowTheConceptOfWorkplaceIsChangingFacilitiesManagementoptimized

How The Concept Of "Workplace" Is Changing Facilities Management

For anybody tasked with facilities management responsibilities, it can feel overwhelming when you see how the environments in which we work have changed in recent years. 

By Aleya Harris
 

The very concept of what a "workplace" is, and what we do in it, shifts over time, and so too does the job of management, adapting to fit the changing needs of workers and the companies that employ them. Fortunately, by carefully studying recent trends, you can learn what to expect and how to plan for it from a facilities management perspective.


Space Utilization Complications


Maximizing space utilization is a critical challenge in a time when fewer and fewer workers are working standard nine-to-five shifts. Flexible hours, remote working, and project-driven scheduling are now the norm for many companies, and these practices defy attempts to calculate space utilization efficiency with simple formulas.


For facilities managers looking to keep costs under control and still provide on-site employees with enough space to perform their duties comfortably, it is essential to understand space utilization metrics and to account for flex and remote schedules. This can include assessing space capacity, the cost of space per employee, vacancy rate, as well as the total facility costs each year. In some cases, collecting actual data on workspace usage (via badge scans on entry and exit, for example) may be necessary.


Integrated Workplace Management Systems


The challenge of space utilization and the need to collect accurate data in order to do so efficiently points toward the increasing importance of Integrated Workplace Management systems (IWMS). An IWMS is a software platform that allows facilities managers to track, analyze, and report on key workplace data, gathered from sources such as wearables (like badges) and IoT, or “Internet of Things devices.


An IWMS can show you in objective, data-driven ways how to develop more employee-centric environments. Studies have shown that when employees feel more comfortable and secure in their workplace, they're more productive and more positively inclined toward their employer.

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Open Plan Challenges

The open plan concept was designed to encourage communication and collaboration, but there's a downside to tearing down those partitions—the increased noise, visual distractions, and loss of privacy can be stressful and demotivating for some workers. Despite this, few companies want to return to the old days of boxing employees up in isolated cubicles. As a facilities manager, it is important to assess the quality of workspace in an office from the employee perspective. This can be achieved through surveys that can help you determine which changes lead to greater employee inspiration and productivity. These changes can include anything from installing better lighting, to creating the right mix of personal and collaborative spaces.


The Future Of Facilities Management

It is becoming increasingly clear that facilities managers are critical in devising third way solutions that address these issues while preserving the open workplace. This is achieved by creating shared, mixed-use spaces for working in relative quiet, holding small meetings, socializing, and so on—and by providing employees with mobile devices and tools that allow them to work without being tethered to a specific desk or office.