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How Tech Companies Are Using Automation to Manage Space Planning

Jo-Ann Mann, Serraview

By Jo-Anne Mann

Technology firms have long embraced practical solutions and championed the latest automation. That’s why it’s so surprising to see some tech organizations still using Excel spreadsheets and manual processes to track space utilization. Now’s the time to change. Here's why tech companies need to start applying their embrace of automation to their office spaces, and take a data-driven approach to optimizing their workplaces.

A Modern Approach to Space Planning 

There was a time when space planning meant physically walking through the floors of an office building and manually entering data into spreadsheets in order to keep track of their space needs. After putting  estimates through complex formulas, a space planner would spend months running the numbers and creating reports that were never quite accurate to the current state of their portfolios.

However, technology has rapidly advanced, and those tedious methods of the past are no longer needed.

With modern software and tools, tech companies now risk falling behind their forward-thinking competitors by hanging onto outdated space planning techniques. This goes double for companies planning a modern tech space, where workplace technology is playing an increasingly central role in the employee experience.

Why It’s Time to Move from Spreadsheets to Automation

Modern technology now makes it possible to rise above spreadsheets and automate space planning tasks. Here’s what that means for tech companies:

Plan with Decisive Confidence in Your Data

With a centralized space planning and management tool, you can centralize data into a single system, streamline the process of validating data accuracy, and even pull real-time utilization data from badges and sensors. This means that accurate reporting can generated on the fly to inform immediate decisions, while long-term trends can be recorded and analyzed to inform strategic planning.

Connect Stakeholders

An end-to-end system empowers users to access common data through a framework that speaks to their specific workplace needs. Leader in Corporate Real Estate and Facilities can reference a powerful record of occupancy needs to target inefficiencies. Employees can find key spaces and update the  system through activity in integrated workplace apps. Stakeholders in in any department can update data through automated validation surveys and web portals. In a fast evolving workplace, automated systems don’t just centralize data, they streamline the common activities that occur around your spaces.

Target Inefficiencies Through Optimization Metrics

Modern Space Planning Solutions don’t just collect data, they slice and dice information into dashboards and reports that highlight outliers, track trends, and bring glaring inefficiencies to the foreground. With up-to-date data behind them, dashboards can provide a clear view of opportunities to generate savings  and put underused spaces to better use by aligning them with employee needs.

What You Can Do with Automation

Beyond enhancing the transparency and responsiveness of any organization into its real space needs, what exactly does automation look like in practice? Here are some of the opportunities that Space Planning automation has to offer.

Utilization Reports

Using data gathered from Internet of Things (IoT)  technology such as badge entry systems, desk sensors, or check-in systems, you can collect valuable statistics that measure space utilization in real-time, such as:

  • Peak Utilization by building or room
  • Heat Mapping
  • Utilization ratio of people to seats
  • Times of peak utilization

You can use those reports to spot gaps between how space is assigned an how it is used to reduce wasted space and align offices with a better employee experience..

Scenario Planning

With scenario planning software, you can experiment with different layouts in an intuitive drag and drop interface, and test different types of office environments. By pulling real data into a sandbox environment,, you can see how each scenario impacts key metrics such as square foot per person or cost per person. That means you can see how changes will affect your office layout and total costs. What’s more, once an ideal scenario is selected, it can automatically be converted into a move project, with tasks and dependencies generated for each move required to implement your plan.

Managing Flexible, Ratio-Based Environments

For companies looking to deploy the type of  modern, flexible workplaces that are the envy of Silicon Valley, utilization data and a system that can track and visualize flexible space are a must. With the right system in place, keeping track of employees in a flexible environment can be more precise than the most traditional, assigned environment.

Connecting Employees with Wayfinding Apps

Whether you’re deploying a flexible environment or simply streamlining how employees search and reserve workspaces, wayfinding apps are becoming increasingly popular. Many systems offer powerful employee apps that streamline space bookings and enable smart searches where employees can see where their colleagues are in real-time.

All of these advantages make automation the sensible option if you want to enhance your workplace. Want to see how space planning tools can transform your office? Request a demo today.

Best Practices For The Modern Workplace

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