What’s your least favorite month of the year? If you’re part of a property team for an Australian government agency or department, it’s probably September. That’s PRODAC reporting time.

How much time and expense could you save if you had an automated system that contained accurate data about all your workpoints, including actual occupancy information? And you could use that system to collect data and output your PRODAC report every year?

Did you know you can have that system today?

PRODAC reporting the old way

Everyone on your team probably dreads the last week of September, when you have to produce the time consuming and labor-intensive manual report about all your agency’s leased and owned workspace. You’d better get your trainers ready because you’ll be spending days walking the floors. And while you’re busy doing that, nothing else gets done. So once you’re finished with the exhaustive PRODAC process, you’ll have to work even longer hours to catch up on the pile of work you had to put off. Guess you won’t be seeing much of your family for a couple of weeks.

Related article: Fast-Track Corporate Space Planning: Technology Can Shorten Your Day

Here’s how the PRODAC process typically goes. First of all, you need to know exactly how many workpoints you have in your space. And then you need to figure out which ones are really being used.

Sounds simple in theory. After all, HR should have all that information, right? Not exactly. While they know who is employed, they may not know about contractors. And they certainly don’t know where all those people are. How many work off-site? How many spend most of their time traveling and don’t need office space? Are there part time workers sharing space? It’s unlikely that anyone can give you the answers to those questions.

As things stand now, the only way for you to count your workpoints, and determine which ones are occupied, is to walk around with a clipboard and physically count them. Presumably, that’s why the PRODAC process requires you to do a walk through. While time consuming, it’s easy enough to count workpoints, defined as “a desk, enclosed office or a counter where it would be reasonable to expect a person to carry out office work on an ongoing basis.”

On the other hand, figuring out which work points are actually occupied can be a challenge. The PRODAC regulations tell you to look for “signs of life” including name plates, papers or folders on desks, or even personal items that mean you can’t reallocate the space. But what if someone who’s off traveling, and likes to leave her desk neat? It may look like the space is not occupied. Or, what if a team is trying to hold onto vacant space, and someone goes around leaving coffee cups and files on unused desks? How will you be the wiser?

Once your team has done their best to count all those workpoints and figure out which ones are occupied, you have another tedious task to complete: the actual PRODAC report. Since you have captured all your data manually, now you need to compile and aggregate all that data into a single spreadsheet. That process can take just as long as walking the floors!

Especially for large departments, the expense of all that work is the most unfortunate part. You can probably think of many ways you could put that part of your budget to better use. How about applying it to strategic planning activities to identify ways right-size your portfolio and achieve your yearly efficiency dividend?

Related article: Property Team: How to Drive Space Planning Utilization Conversations

The good news is, there is a faster and easier way to complete your PRODAC reporting.

Here’s how it works.

STEP 1: Automate occupancy data gathering

The right workplace management software serves as a repository of accurate, trusted data about your work spaces, including floor plans showing allocations to different teams and exactly who sits where. You can be sure the data is accurate when your teams have the ability to update and validate their data monthly. You can also automatically capture accurate utilisation information from badge swipe data, network data, or other types of occupancy sensors.

Want to learn more about technologies for collecting utilisation data? Grab a copy of this free resource that explains the pros and cons of each: Measuring Workplace Utilization

Although the PRODAC regulations still require you to walk the floor to verify your occupancy data, that exercise is faster and easier when you only need to validate the information you already have in your automated system. Perhaps the day is not too far off when the regulations will allow you to use the data in your system and skip the manual audit altogether.

STEP 2: Access your floor plans to facilitate PRODAC auditing

How much easier is to do your walk-through when you can reference accurate floor plans showing all your workpoints (and who sits where) on a tablet, confirming occupancy data as you go?

STEP 3: Enter your audit data

Get ready to retire your trusty clipboard. With an automated system, you can use a tablet to enter data as you walk the floor.

STEP 4: Run the report

As of now, here’s the part where you save the most time and effort. With an automated system capturing your PRODAC audit information, you no longer need to compile all that data manually. Simply export your data into a report that’s already in the required PRODAC format. Couldn’t be easier!

Are you ready to move to a simpler process for PRODAC compliance? The good news is, you can have Serraview’s workplace management software up and running in a few months, so there’s still time to get everything in place before the next PRODAC reporting period. Get started by scheduling a demo now!

Download a guide to measuring workplace utilization.