Corporate space planning professionals: are you on the slow track?

If you can’t remember the last time you worked less than a 10 hour day, chances are you’re on the slow track to corporate space planning. Here’s what the slow track looks like:

  • Your property team is overworked and under-staffed.
  • You lack reliable data and a process for managing space requests.
  • Operating in react mode is the best you can do, since you don’t have the data to drive proactive conversations with business units.
  • Your work space utilization is inefficient, resulting in lots of wasted space (which you know from observation but can’t prove without data).
  • You live in fear of those embarrassing situations when you make the wrong call about renewing a lease or consolidating space.
  • You face never-ending pressure to reduce property costs.

Sound familiar? If so, here’s how you can get on the fast track to more effective corporate space planning that saves your company money and helps you get your time back.

How modern technology puts your corporate space planning on the fast track

Implementing new corporate space planning technology might seem daunting, because you suspect it will add MORE time to your already-overburdened schedule. In the past, that was true. But today’s new workplace management technology is faster and easier to get up and running than you might expect. Cloud-based technology requires less IT involvement and can be working in a few months, as opposed to years with older, cumbersome IWMS systems.

BONUS: Today’s workplace management software is also much less expensive than IWMS or even bespoke tools.

Related article: 6 Ways Your IWMS Software is Failing You

Here’s what you stand to gain by going with modern technology:

Modern tools provide corporate space planning value from day one:

  • Immediately begin to identify pockets of unused space to fill a need rather than being forced to add footprint.
  • Create reports identifying the business units sitting on the most under-utilized space.
  • Easily create restack scenarios for aligning business units to increase collaboration and productivity.

You can do better corporate space planning in less time:

  • Constantly juggling piles of spreadsheets is a thing of the past when data is just a few clicks away.
  • With real-time access to who-sits-where information, you can quickly find available space for new hires.
  • Relocation coming up? Skip the exhaustive manual audit process and get business teams to enter their own data in a central corporate space planning database.

Easy access to reliable reports helps you make better strategic decisions:

  • Lease coming up for renewal? Find out for sure if that space meets your future needs or if moving is a better option. Make corporate space planning decisions that won’t come back to bite you!
  • See how space utilization and property costs are trending by geography or by line of business.

You can save your company millions in property costs:

  • Even one small restack project that avoids increasing footprint saves hundreds of thousands of dollars per year at a minimum.
  • Significantly reduce the cost of relocations with more efficient planning and data gathering.
  • You’ll finally have the data to drive a move to agile working, which is where companies can realize the most significant savings (in the multi-millions per year).

BONUS: You look like a corporate space planning rock star!

Which technology features help you get your time back?

Even if you’re just beginning to look into modern software tools for corporate space planning, you may have already discovered that it’s difficult to compare apples to apples. There’s a wide variety of features and capabilities, so it’s important to hone in on the ones that provide the fastest gains in productivity and space optimization results.

Here are some essential features that help you get your time back and your corporate space planning house in order:

SaaS model
Cloud-based software is drastically faster and easier to implement, because your internal technology teams don’t need to buy hardware, install or integrate software, or perform any maintenance.

Graphical design and ease of use
This point seems obvious, but it’s often overlooked: if a tool is cumbersome and difficult to use, no one will use it. That means you won’t get accurate data that you can trust out of the system. Look for intuitive design that enables property teams accomplish corporate space planning tasks quickly, easily and without much training or hand-holding.

Tools to engage your business
This is not a secret: to be truly effective at corporate space planning, you need the business units on your side. The tricky part is figuring out how to accomplish that. Providing tools that are useful for them gives you a lot of leverage. How about the ability for each team to visualize their own space and utilization information? Or wayfinding tools powered by your occupancy data? To get these tools, they will be much more willing to spend a few minutes each month updating their occupancy data.

But how does this save you time? Your lines of business can self-service and see what space they actually have before they come to you to ask for more. Also, you won’t need to waste time defending the accuracy of your data, since the business units have validated it themselves. And imagine how much time you save avoiding those Not manual audits!

Integration with utilization technology
Modern utilization tracking technology helps you get the most useful, real-time occupancy data for corporate space planning. Chances are, your company may have multiple sources of utilization data, including badge swipes, RFID tags, sensors and wired or WiFi networks. Each of these technologies has its benefits and limitations. That’s why it’s essential to choose a software tool that integrates data from multiple sources and provides a true 360 degree view of workplace usage, as well as the tools to act on that information.

Related article: What’s New in Smart Building Technology: Occupancy Sensors

Professional reporting capabilities
Wading through spreadsheets and aggregating data to get the information you need is so yesterday! Look for dashboards, analytics and well-designed visual reports that provide true business intelligence for corporate space planning. You want to be able to slice and dice your data by geography and/or by lines of business, and drill down to the granular level of detail you need. Also, look for a custom report builder so you can tailor reports for your unique needs and your own terminology without having to pay extra.

Ready to shorten your day? Take the next step to smarter corporate space planning.

Learn more about the right way to evaluate workplace management software with this helpful guide to the 5 Critical Comparison Points for Workplace Management Software.