Workplace Management in the New Era
Workplace management is the cornerstone of maintaining a building and the environment for work. With a frictionless workplace, employees can work efficiently and safely. It’s a strategic part of keeping employees happy and ensuring that the overall execution of facilities management.
Let’s take a look at the definition of workplace management (sometimes known as an integrated workplace management system) and what practices go into ensuring that your facility runs smoothly. It’s so much more than just space utilization; it’s a comprehensive strategy.
What is Workplace Management?
Workplace management falls under facility management, but it focuses on the optimization of the physical environment of the workplace. Its partner, business management, focuses on the activities of the workplace, but workplace management optimizes and oversees the environment in which the work takes place.
The meaning of workplace management depends a lot on the physical assets of the building itself. It could be making a secure check-in or managing desk and meeting spaces. It even comes down to things like overall temperature or the types of lights that filter through the building.
Who Needs Workplace Management?
Large organizations often have workplace management systems within facility management or IWMS. With this type of large scale corporation, it’s essential to maintain a productive and comfortable working environment. This involves making sure meeting and working spaces are secure, available, and comfortable enough to encourage productivity.
Large corporations have a lot of space to manage. Disgruntled employees fed up with the way bathrooms are maintained, the uncomfortable temperature, and never having a meeting space can lead to bouts of low morale, and that never gets the company the innovation it desires.
Smaller businesses and startups sometimes leave out this type of management, thinking the space is small enough to skip it. However, the physical environment in which employees work is a huge factor in productivity and innovation.
To compete with larger corporations, smaller businesses need a solid workplace management strategy to give employees the best and healthiest workplace conditions. Even the smallest teams need to understand how space facilitates or hinders work. These conditions also form the basis of scaling up personnel later.
For both sides, the financial burden of a mismanaged space can’t be ignored. Everything from energy utilization to security is a potential cost that can be mitigated with the right IWMS or workplace management system in place.
In some cases, an integrated workplace management system is a cross-company process, especially for businesses that share the same building. Workplace management ensures equitable treatment and a good relationship between different organizations in one space.
What Are Workplace Management Considerations?
So we know what workplace management is, but what specific practices does it cover? There are a few significant areas in which a workplace management system is necessary:
Nothing says cold, sterile workplace like cubicles, but totally open workspaces are giving your introverts anxiety. Understanding how to lay out an office helps you take advantage of different personalities and encourage a good workflow. These needs can change over time, so a strategy is always evolving.
Other considerations with furniture are energy needs and space optimization. If your staff grows, how do you give everyone room? Are you maximizing equipment energy? Are you keeping temperatures at the right place to ensure the safety of the equipment? All logical questions. And if space just isn’t working, you need data to facilitate relocation.
Traditionally, the office was broken up by department, but we’re finding out that it doesn’t always facilitate efficiency. There may be times when your designer needs to sit next to the developer, and those workplace assignments may change as projects change.
If you have a nice open floor plan, that can facilitate a changing seat assignment, but offices with more structure may need a little more creativity. Software that helps with creative workplace arrangements may help or just rearranging equipment to facilitate movement between workplaces.
Planning For the Future
Workplace management is a big part of planning for the future. You may not plan to stay in your current workplace forever, so a little planning for the move is in order. It’s possible that you may have to make plans to move before you’re forced to.
The process of moving is more than just putting things in boxes. It’s an entire coordinated process of taking inventory, setting a timeline, and potentially designing the whole new space to facilitate the workflow. Workplace management systems ensure it all goes smoothly.
The Benefits of Workplace Management
There are quite a few benefits to workplace management strategies. It’s a smart policy and helps streamline the environment. With a system in place, there are quite a few things that can start going really right.
Employees who have efficient and workable spaces are better prepared for the day. They have workspaces that they know will support their work and the facilities are well maintained. With smooth operations, workers are more comfortable and more engaged.
Employee satisfaction hasn’t always been a concerning metric, but we now know that employees dedicated to their workplace are more passionate and more willing to take chances. It could be just that morale that gets the business its next significant innovation.
Workplace management systems make automation easier. Those little details are sometimes forgotten but can also cause major issues down the road. Workplace management helps ensure that unplanned downtime is mitigated, and workplace obstacles are kept to a minimum.
Automation takes a lot off the manager’s plate when managing small, day to day details. MRO supplies get ordered without fail, the technician always has the right work orders, and all the reports are at the manager’s fingertips.
Overhead refers to the ongoing business expenses not directly attributed to creating a product or service. Energy costs, HVAC, plumbing – these are things that can cause a huge dent in a business’s budget. Strategic management of a workplace can help reduce these overall costs and ensure that real estate forecasting happens easily and quickly.
Whether you’re planning a move or trying to manage a smart building, you can manage all the details and use the building to your advantage. You can also prepare for expansion and scale and potential situations such as renting spaces to other organizations.
Implementing Workplace Management
Building a stable workplace management system ensures that your employees have an environment that’s comfortable and safe. It improves morale and encourages employees to work efficiently.
These management strategies involve the oversight and optimization of where your employees must work every day. That environment can quickly turn sour if you aren’t able to keep up with the details that matter, or if you haven’t been able to optimize the space, you may lose your most valuable workers.
If you’re also planning on expansion in the future or pursuing new real estate, you’ll need a solid workplace management strategy to ensure that it’s as smooth as possible. The workplace management system is a way to scale in the future with a lot less stress.
A proper workplace strategy puts a physical foundation in place for both new employees and returning employees to function to their highest potential. It’s a critical piece that you can’t afford to overlook because it’s such a vital part of your overall business culture. Once you have a system in place, it could ensure that you never worry about your morale or your infrastructure again.
Learn more about the best practices about managing your space to maximize your real estate investments.