In today's dynamic work environment, effective workplace management is crucial for organizations to maximize their physical spaces and resources. By focusing on workplace management, businesses can optimize their office environments, enhance employee experiences, and boost productivity.
This guide is for workplaces looking to understand the fundamentals of workplace management, why they matter for your organization, and what workplace management teams need to focus on in order to effectively execute their workplace strategies.
We'll focus on workplace management as a practice, as a way to manage your office resources, your physical space, and optimizing your space for better employee experiences and productivity.
What is Workplace Management?
Workplace management is the practice of efficiently managing office spaces and resources. It involves overseeing facility management and space management to ensure smooth operations. Facility management focuses on maintaining the physical infrastructure, while space management involves optimizing space allocation and utilization. Let's explore the two.
Workplace facility management is about maintaining the right balance of spaces, technology, and people so that workplaces serve the needs of employees and the organization as a whole. Facility management focuses on the maintenance, operation, and overall functionality of the physical facilities within an organization. It encompasses a broad range of activities and services that are essential for creating a safe, productive, and well-maintained work environment. Think of things like: resource management, desk booking systems, room scheduling software or upkeep of the physical environment.
The space aspect of workspace management focuses on optimizing real estate utilization and the return-on-investment of your office footprint. Space management ensures that office spaces are utilized efficiently. It involves analyzing the usage of different areas within the workplace, such as workstations, meeting rooms, collaboration spaces, and common areas. By understanding how spaces are utilized, organizations can identify opportunities to maximize their use, minimize wasted space, and make informed decisions regarding space allocation.
4 Reasons Workplace Management Matters
We’ve already discussed some of the many benefits that good workplace management can deliver. Now let’s go into more detail about these benefits:
1. Real Estate Optimization
Your office space exists to support people in doing their best work. Workplace management helps them succeed while driving the ROI of your real estate footprint. Optimizing your space is about determining the amount of meeting spaces, desks, and office space needed to accommodate your people so they can do their best work.
Effective workplace management enables organizations to utilize their spaces more efficiently. By understanding space utilization patterns and implementing smart design principles, businesses can make the most of their available square footage, reduce wasted space, and accommodate growth.
Space utilization data and workplace analytics are keys to monitoring the use and performance of your workspace, and making any necessary adjustments to optimize its use.
2. Cost Savings
No organization can afford to waste its office real estate investments, which occurs when people decide not to use the office or when people’s productivity is hampered by bad workspace management (insufficient lighting, double booked meeting rooms, insufficient spaces for smaller meetings, etc.).
Having an effective workplace management strategy will help you review, improve, and design your space in a more cost-effective manner that's in-line with the evolving needs of your people.
3. Better Workplace Experiences
A good workplace environment provides what people need to be productive. This goes beyond desks and chairs to encompass technology, furniture, equipment, snacks, multi-purpose spaces (for relaxing, for quiet focus, for large gatherings/meetings, etc.).
A well-managed workplace contributes to positive experiences for both employees and visitors. A thoughtfully designed and maintained physical office space, coupled with seamless processes, fosters a conducive atmosphere for collaboration, creativity, and overall job satisfaction.
4. Better Employee Experiences
Workplace management plays a vital role in enhancing employee experiences. By providing a comfortable and functional workspace, businesses can promote employee productivity, well-being and engagement. Additionally, optimized spaces and efficient processes can reduce workplace stress and enhance work-life balance.
Considerations for Your Workplace Management Strategy
Workplace management covers an incredibly broad range of workplace considerations, including:
- Space utilization
- Office layout and design
- Technology (including office automation), equipment, and furniture
- Safety and security
- Employee engagement
6 Best Practices for Workplace Management
1. Understand Your Workplace Pain Points
All good planning and management begins with understanding where you are today. In terms of workplace management, this means understanding your physical spaces, how they’re being used and by whom, costs related to your workplace, your assets of equipment and technology, and more.
Look around, review existing workplace data, then identify and rank the biggest concerns your organization and your people face. What’s going wrong, and what are the associated costs of what’s going wrong?
2. Survey Your People
The focus of workplace management is to improve your workplace so people feel engaged and productive, so it makes sense to survey your employees about their needs and preferences. Some essential questions to ask are:
- What factors and features make you want to come into the office?
- What features do you need in the office to be most productive?
- What types of spaces do you use the most, and the least?
- What do you like most, and dislike most, about being in the office?
A Robin survey found that over 90% of workplace leaders are using employee feedback tools, like surveys, to determine if their workplace management strategies are working.
3. Automate Where You Can
Tedious, time-consuming manual processes, such as booking a meeting room with spreadsheets, are workplace experience killers. By leveraging automated solutions to streamline operations, companies can drive increased productivity, reduced facilities costs, improved employee experiences, and access to more accurate workplace analytics.
4. Invest in Technology That Supports Workplace Experience
Invest in workplace management tools that support your goals. Consider a workplace management solution that provides real-time analytics for space utilization, employee satisfaction, and energy consumption. These insights will inform data-driven decision-making, allowing you to continuously refine and optimize your workplace strategy.
A comprehensive, integrated workplace experience platform enables you to execute your workplace management strategy from one, centralized location. Any type of workplace management software should offer an array of features that support managing your office space, including:
- Desk booking
- Room scheduling
- Space utilization data
- Workplace analytics
- Automated workplace solutions
5. Evolve Your Workplace Management with Regular Space Utilization Analysis
Data is the fuel that can drive the improvement of your workplace management. Continuously monitor and analyze space utilization data to identify trends and patterns. Conduct periodic audits to ensure spaces are being used effectively and adjust your strategy accordingly. Regular evaluation will help you make informed decisions to enhance workplace productivity and employee experiences.
If you have the right workplace experience platform, you’re empowered to execute your workplace management strategy and measure its success against your goals. Workplace analytics become directional signals you need to navigate your workplace management.
6. Get Outside Help When Needed
Go outside of your organization when needed to access the technology and expertise you need to drive your workplace success. Have an experienced workplace partner, someone who can help you develop the right strategies and bring in the right tools to unlock success.
If you’re interested in improving your workplace management, get started with Robin today.