The 8 Superpowers You Need for Office Space Management

It’s amazing the kind of super powers people expect from corporate space planners when it comes to office space management. Here are some examples:

  • TELEPATHY so you’ll know if that space champion is telling the truth when they say they have no vacant space.
  • INVISIBILITY to catch sneaky teams leaving coats and coffee cups on vacant desks in an effort to fool you into thinking their space is fully occupied.
  • OMNISCIENCE about who’s moving around without going through official channels.
  • OMNIPRESENCE so you can be anywhere and everywhere simultaneously, capturing occupancy data in dozens of buildings and countless floors of office space.
  • TELESCOPIC VISION to look across multiple floors of a building to find vacant pockets of space.
  • PRECOGNITION so you can predict how your company’s need for space will change over time.
  • TELEKINETIC POWER so you can move a bunch of desks three floors down overnight.
  • PROBABILITY MANIPULATION so you can cause unlikely things to happen (such as 20 vacancies to suddenly materialize when you need them) and likely things to NOT happen (requests for a bunch of new seats right after you consolidated space).

You can probably think of a few more! Bet you never considered putting “superhero” in your job description or on your resume, but in many ways you are.

The point is, office space management is a tough job, and you can’t do it alone. Or to be more accurate, you could do a much better job if you had some help from the people who are actually using the space you’re managing.

Here’s some advice about how to get it.

Get Help With Office Space Management by Knowing How to Sell It

Your business units probably don’t know it yet, but it’s actually in their best interest to take ownership of their occupancy data and to keep it accurate. If you want help from them with collecting data for office space management, it’s your job to demonstrate what’s in it for them.

1. Get your timing right

Like getting so many other things we want, knowing when to ask can significantly increase the likelihood of success. (Case in point: how likely are you to donate to a charity that calls you at 8 am on a Sunday?)

For example, when a building has a major restack coming up, there’s a built-in incentive for business units to give you the occupancy information you need: to make sure everyone in the group is accounted for in the relocation plan. So this is your opportunity to collect not only who sits where, but other information you’ll need for the move: equipment, phones, storage needs and more.

Surprisingly, though, immediately after a move has been completed can also be a good time to ask for the data you need for office space management. This is when you can get people to confirm that your data is correct. Position the request as a way to catch small changes that happened during the move process, so your baseline is correct moving forward. This is a great opportunity for the business units to take advantage of your validated data, so they’ll have their house in order with updated floor plans and who-sits-where readily available.

Related article: 8 Tips for Optimizing Churn Management

2. Aim for top-down buy in

Knowing WHO to ask can be just as important as knowing WHEN to ask. Seek an audience with those who stand to gain the most from what you’re trying to accomplish with your office space management plans: the financial community. Explain the big-picture story about how you use the data you’re collecting, how it drives workplace strategy and ultimately impacts broader company goals. Don’t forget to mention exactly how much cost savings can be realized with the successful completion of your office space management plans.

While it’s always important to talk about cost, remember that company leaders have more than the bottom line on their minds. They are often tasked with moving the corporate culture in a new direction to secure the future of the business, and they’re trying to figure out how to make that happen. Let those leaders know how your office space management initiatives can co-locate teams for better collaboration and provide new types of work spaces that support innovation.

Related article: What Does the Agile Work Environment Look Like?

3. Avoid “set and forget” for property costs

When you’re approaching business unit leaders, be sure to point out the financial incentive of potentially reducing chargeback costs for their space. Collecting and providing the data you need for office space management gives business units the ability to avoid being charged for space they don’t have or no longer need. Encourage them to keep you up to date with more frequent reconciliation as their space usage changes.

4. Make it easy

You need to make it as easy as humanly (even super-humanly!) possible for your business units to keep their occupancy information updated.

Once you have a process established and a baseline of data, all the business units should have to do is confirm the accuracy of your information regularly, ideally once a month. If you keep going back to them time and time again asking for the same raw data, you lose their trust and willingness to participate. If it’s time consuming and cumbersome to enter data in your system, they will never do it reliably. And forget about manual methods of providing data.

Instead, it’s essential to provide an office space management tool that makes things easy for them AND shows off how much useful information you really have. When you have a smart system that’s integrated with your company’s HR data, you’ll automatically have the information about new hires and terminations. When the business units see that, you gain a whole lot of credibility since you can show that you know much more about them than they realized.

5. Give something back

Like any other negotiation, you’ve got to give something for everything you get. When you’re using the right office space management technology, you have a lot to offer the business units in return for their help.

Reports are a great way to gain cooperation. Create reports with floor plans and occupancy overlays that are useful to the business units and include their data, then make them readily available to save them the trouble of producing reports manually.

Another option is to use the data the business units provide to power wayfinding tools that are useful to everyone. Would they benefit from having a mobile app at their fingertips that can help them find a meeting room or a co-worker’s location in seconds? Let them know that this is only possible with the accurate and reliable data they provide.

Get More Help By Implementing the Right Office Space Management Tools

Using the right technology can help as much and even much more than gaining the assistance of your business teams for office space management. You don’t even have to tell anyone that this technology is the source of many of your super powers!

If you’re in the process of trying to evaluate software for office space management, check out this free resource that can help you ensure that you’re covering all the important bases: 5 Critical Comparison Points for Workplace Management Software.


You Should Be Getting More ROI From Your Office Space Planning Tool

Evaluating office space planning tools can be a tricky business. Whether you’re looking at implementing a full-blown IWMS or a more modern cloud-based tool that’s focused on workplace management, there are many options to consider with a wide range of features. And a wide range of price tags. That makes it complicated when you’re trying to build your business case for the purchase.

Or you may be in an even trickier situation: trying to replace an office space planning tool or augment an IWMS that’s not meeting your needs or delivering the promised return. In that case, it can be even harder to get approval and you need to build every benefit you can into your business case. The good news is, today’s best-in-class office space planning tools provide cost-saving benefits that you may not have considered in your ROI calculations. It’s a matter of knowing which features provide the most ROI, and understanding how these features reduce costs so you can build those numbers into your business case.

Office space planning software features that maximize ROI

Quick implementation
Modern office space planning systems built on a SaaS model can be drastically faster to implement than a big, cumbersome IWMS. We’re talking a few months instead of years. If getting the most for your money and getting it fast is important to you, the cloud is the way to go.

Related article: 6 Ways Your IWMS Software Is Failing You

When it comes to speeding implementation, also look for a company that will do the integration with your internal systems. That minimizes the burden on your IT group, which can also reduce complexity and get you going much quicker.

Automated collection of occupancy data
Speaking of integrating with your systems, you want an office space planning tool that pulls employee and company structure data directly from your HR and Finance systems, then provides automation for collecting occupancy data. You’ll get the most cost-saving benefits from a system portal that allows business units to access, update and validate their own occupancy data.

Easy scenario planning
Technology for office space planning needs to be simple, intuitive and engaging. Otherwise, people just don’t use it and you won’t get the value you’re expecting from the tool. Look for a visual user interface that makes it quick and easy to complete tasks and get information. That’s especially important when your business space champions will be using it as well as the property team. Here’s one example: what if you could see a visual representation of a building and its floors, showing the business units and teams occupying each floor? And then create move scenario plans in minutes by dragging and dropping? That interface just saved you days of work.

Integration with multiple sources of utilization data
When your goal is to maximize space usage, you need to use every source of utilization information you have, such as data from badge swipes, sensors, wired and WiFi networks and more. Look for an office space planning tool that pulls in data intelligently from various utilization tracking technologies, allowing you to see how your space is used down to the day, hour or even minute.

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

Dashboards, analytics and business intelligence
Everyone has reports, but you need more than a bunch of canned spreadsheet reports to get the best return on your investment in an office space planning system. Visual dashboards and analytics let you drill down to see data at the level of detail you need. For example, get information sliced and diced by geography or by business unit, and even down to the team level. Even better: look for a custom report builder that lets you create the exact reports you want using your own terminology.

If you’re not getting these features with the tools you’re currently looking at, it may be worth rethinking your evaluation criteria. Here’s a resource that can help: 5 Critical Comparison Points for Workplace Management Software.

How these office space planning features impact your ROI

Occupancy savings
When 50 percent of your workpoints sit vacant on any given day, and each workpoint costs you $10,000 per year, it’s easy to see how optimizing your space can add up to massive savings. Focus on the features that help you get the data to reduce wasted space.

ROI Calculation 1

Time is money
How much money are you wasting when you have to wait a couple of years to reap the benefits of your office space planning tool? And remember that those benefits build year-upon year, so the longer you wait, the more money you waste.

Reduce audit costs
How much does it cost you to do manual audits for collecting occupancy data? Not only is it extremely time consuming (and therefore expensive) but the data you get is not accurate. Teams have been known to “game” the system by leaving coffee cups and other signs of life on vacant desks. Also, people move around more frequently than you can possibly keep up with. That means the information is out of date almost as soon as you’re done. In the end, nobody trusts the data and you just end up arguing over it.

The cost of collecting data is drastically reduced with the right office space planning tool, especially when you get a portal that lets you “crowd-source” your occupancy data from the people who know the space best (the business themselves) and you can pull in data automatically from utilization technology.

Reduce cost of relocations
The cost of manually collecting data for relocations is even higher, since there are so many more details to capture (and the stakes are even higher for getting it wrong). When your office space planning tool automates collection of this data, it not only reduces cost, but also speeds the process and provides for a smoother move experience for your employees.

Minimize asset leasing losses
There’s a fringe benefit to keeping all the equipment data that you collect to prepare for a relocation, including PCs, laptops, tablets, phones and more. Once that information is collected and stored in your office space planning database, you then know where all your key assets are located and who has what, helping you keep your asset leasing and write-off costs under control.

Productivity is a benefit that keeps on giving
When your property team no longer needs to spend so much time collecting and manipulating data, they can use some of that reclaimed time to plan new scenarios that improve space utilization. What could you accomplish if your planning time dropped by 90% to 95%? If you could create a half dozen alternative plans in a few hours? Imagine how much could you save by preventing unplanned leases, and even subleasing space you no longer need.

Reduce dependency on business continuity cold sites
Instead of maintaining expensive, vacant cold sites for disaster recovery purposes, the right office space planning tool can identify where there is existing vacancy within your portfolio that would meet your DR needs.

The most efficient building is the one you no longer need
The most effective way to reduce energy costs and environmental impact is by reducing your real estate footprint.

Energy Savings 1

Looking above and beyond ROI

All that being said, don’t forget to consider the benefits of a modern office space planning tool that are harder to quantify (for your own sake and for your employees’ if not for the business case).

Co-location productivity benefits
With an office space planning tool that makes it easy to do scenario planning, you can quickly visualize where your lines of business are located, and collocate them together to take advantage of business synergies.

Making your job easier and making you look good!
Have you imagined how your career prospects (and even your life!) could change with the right office space planning tool? You can impress your superiors by providing them with professional quality reports, and by pro-actively modeling scenarios that save the company millions. Best of all? You get out from under a pile of spreadsheets and accomplish more in far less time.

Want some help working out your ROI numbers? Call Serraview and we can walk you through our ROI calculator that can help pull it all together.

Download 5 Critical Comparison Points for Workplace Management Software.


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

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.


Property Team: How To Drive Space Utilization Planning Conversations

The need for space utilization planning is no secret to corporate space planners. You know you should be taking steps to proactively manage the use of your property. Taking control and optimizing your space would not only save your company millions, but do wonders for your career prospects as well. Imagine gaining the respect of your business peers and executive leaders when you can drive strategic change throughout your company.

Space Utilization Planning: How’s That Going?

How can your property team be proactive when you’re drowning in spreadsheets and floor plans, and just trying to stay afloat dealing with the constant barrage of space requests from the business? Like many property teams out there, you’re probably so overworked that you are forced to operate in react mode.

Even if you had the time to do space utilization planning, getting the data you need to make decisions is another major hurdle. To come up with scenarios that make more efficient use of your workplace, you need accurate data about who sits where as it stands now. Not only does it take a tremendous amount of time to collect all that information manually, but by the time you’re done people have moved around and the data is already out of date.

Without that data, you are driving blind when trying to do space utilization planning, and you can’t prove to the business what you know from observation: that your space is under-utilized. So you are forced to give in time and time again to those endless demands for more space. So how can you demonstrate the true occupancy story and drive those space utilization planning conversations with your business units?

First Things First: Win Friends and Influence People

You need data to prove your case for space utilization planning. How are you going to get that data without walking the halls with a clipboard and adding to your stacks of spreadsheets?

Here’s a surprisingly effective way to get started: by making friends with the people who know your space the best and making them into your space champions.

Every floor or business team has an executive assistant, personal assistant or other staff member who already knows everyone and where they sit. There’s a good chance this person already has a list or a floor plan on their desk showing where everyone sits. These people should be your new best friends as they can be a wealth of information. They can also be your eyes and ears on the ground to give you a heads up about the upcoming needs of the business. Best of all, they’ll be instrumental in helping you drive any changes that you’re planning.

However, this advice comes with a warning: if you don’t make friends with these people, they’re likely to be your biggest roadblocks for future space utilization planning initiatives. If they don’t trust you to offer value to the business, they won’t cooperate with your requests and your plans. Even worse, they will horde space that could be better utilized.

The question is, how can you get these potential space champions on your side and providing you with the data you need for space utilization planning? The answer lies in providing tools that make it easy and offer them value.

How Technology Can Help Your Space Utilization Planning Efforts

Workplace management tools

As you’re probably well aware, keeping track of people manually is a losing battle. Workplace management software can improve the situation in a hurry. Products with modern, cloud-based technology can be up and running in a few months.

Yet here is what you might not know: you’ll get the most space utilization planning benefits from choosing a software tool that allows your business teams to update and validate their own data. Here’s why:

1. They understand the benefits. Those space champions begin to be motivated to work with you when you give them access to their own data: up-to-date floor plans, staff lists integrated with your corporate directory, the ability to print their own reports and manage their own space requests.
2. You gain an undisputed source of truth. There are no more arguments about data accuracy. Now when you have a conversation with the business about their space usage, they can’t question your data since they validated it themselves.

Utilization tracking technology

After you’ve built your network of space champions, the next step is to look to utilization measurement technologies to augment your data and show where you have the opportunity to do better space utilization planning.

Some examples of utilization measurement technology include badge swipe, network tracking and sensor systems. Armed with the data these systems provide, you can now have a conversation with your business unit not only about their vacancy rates, but also their underutilization of the desks they have assigned to their staff.

Related articles:
What’s New In Smart Building Technology: Occupancy Sensors
The New Workplace Space Utilization Metrics You Need To Know About

Space Utilization Planning Tips That Help You Gain Trust and Drive Change

Once you’ve got the enabling technology in place, here’s how to prioritize your efforts to make the most impact with your space utilization planning.

  1. Train your space champions on your new workplace management system right away. Be sure to explain your process so they understand that you now have the ability to rapidly provide them with new space when needed. When they trust your ability to do this, they are much more likely to hand back space that’s not needed right now.
  2. Further encourage business units to give up space they don’t need by showing them the cost (or even the notional cost) of their vacant space. Especially in a chargeback situation, this information can be a powerful motivator to consolidate and cooperate with your space utilization planning initiatives.
  3. Implement a formal process for your space champions to spend 5 minutes at the start of each month updating their occupancy information. To make it easy for them, create visual reports showing who sits where on a floor plan.
  4. Start your space utilization planning with the low-hanging fruit. Produce a “top 10 offender” report that highlights business units who are sitting on large amounts of vacancy or under-utilized space, and focus your efforts on optimizing these areas.
  5. Finding small pockets of available space is a help, but you can do more with that space by restacking your floor(s) to consolidate all that vacancy into one contiguous area.
  6. Engage with your CFO or Financial Controller community early and often. They are ultimately the audience who will be most interested in your space utilization planning efforts as a way to save on property costs and reduce wasted spend. They also have the ability to provide the executive support you need and put the necessary weight behind your initiative.

Related article: 10 Steps That Drive Better Space Efficiency in the Workplace

To accomplish your space utilization planning goals, it’s essential to choose workplace management software that’s aligned with your needs.

Find out the most important points that you must not neglect in your evaluation process with this practical guide: 5 Critical Comparison Points for Workplace Management Software.


8 Tips for Optimizing Churn Management

What’s more anxiety-provoking than living through a move? If you work in corporate real estate planning relocations, you know the answer: workplace churn management.

When you’re involved in churn management on a daily basis, it can take its toll on your nerves, not to mention your reputation and prospects for growing in your career. There are so many details to manage and so much that can go wrong. Most of your company’s employees have probably lived through a relocation in the past, so they know all too well what can happen: delays, inconvenience, interruption in their work, and even lost possessions. That’s why people dread moving and business teams are not often on your side when you let them know that you’re planning to move them to a new floor or even to a new building.

The good news is, there are proven strategies to minimize problems with moves and optimize your churn management process, making employees happier with the move and increasing their trust in you and your team.

8 Tips for Improving Your Churn Management Results

Here are some tips for improving your churn management and making relocations happen faster, smoother and with less anxiety.

CHURN MANAGEMENT TIP #1: Start With Accurate Data

Have you ever accidentally tried to move a team into a space already occupied by another group? That’s what happens when you don’t have accurate occupancy data before you create your relocation plan. Or when you fail to keep it updated throughout the churn management process.

It’s essential that you know who sits where, what space your business units are currently assigned to, which groups need to sit near each other, and how much vacancy actually exists. Collecting this data manually will always be a flawed process, since it’s so time consuming that the information is outdated even before you finish collecting it. If you’re planning a major move, invest in a space planning tool that allows business units to own and validate their own occupancy data.

Related article: Using Business Intelligence Analytics to Drive Better CRE Decisions

CHURN MANAGEMENT TIP #2: Align Moves With Business Objectives

This churn management tip is the secret to getting business units on your side. Engage them in the process early and often. Ask them about their business objectives and plans: you’ll want to know if they are planning a major restructure or significant addition or reduction in staff. And work with them to schedule the move around any critical projects or deadlines they are facing. Assign client relationship managers from your team to work with business unit stakeholders to make sure everyone’s needs are met.

When you’re having these conversations with business stakeholders, use your data to take emotion out of the equation. When you can convincingly show how much vacancy actually exists, the LOB’s real space requirements, and how much the company stands to save with your plan, you’ll have a much easier time getting everyone on board.

Also, don’t forget to sell your business units on why the move is good for them: better facilities, amenities, locations, and opportunities to consolidate the team or sit near a team they work with closely. And how about the chance to reduce their chargeback cost if you are consolidating space?

CHURN MANAGEMENT TIP #3: Automate Communication To Ease Anxiety

Getting business stakeholders on your side is challenging enough, but to win over those 500 people who have to move to a new desk or a new building, you need to think bigger. The way to do that is with regular, helpful communication.

People have had bad experiences with moves, so to gain their trust you’ll need to set the expectation that this time will be different. Create a communication plan that details what everyone involved needs to know, and when. Then set up email templates that let different groups know what’s happening every step of the way, what to expect and who to contact with questions and concerns before the move and on Day 1. Make all that communication easier for you by choosing a tool that helps you automate sending emails to different teams.

CHURN MANAGEMENT TIP #4: Tackle Large Moves in Phases

Unless you want a nightmare on your hands, you can’t shut down 5,000 people at once. For a very large move, break the move into phases over a period of days or over several weekends.

Before taking on a significant move project like this, it’s essential to have the right space planning tool in place. When you have easy access to accurate data and up-to-date floor plans, you’ll be able to visualize the change at every stage of your move to assess the status and make any needed adjustments to the next phase of your churn management plan.

CHURN MANAGEMENT TIP #5: Freeze Small Moves Before the Big Move

It’s enormously helpful to draw a line in the sand after which you won’t implement any more churn in advance of the big move. This gives you a better chance of having all your data accurate on move day. However, it may be unrealistic to expect NO changes in that timeframe, so keep your ear to the ground and make sure any changes that DO happen are documented and your data updated.

CHURN MANAGEMENT TIP #6: Create a Detailed Logistics Plan

As far in advance as possible, create a detailed move schedule showing dependencies and sequence of move activities. Make sure everyone involved knows important milestones, such as:

  • Move-freeze date
  • When packing will be complete

Churn management happens more smoothly when everyone understands the entire picture and can plan their tasks according to the move schedule.

Using the right relocation planning tool can take much of the work out of creating & updating these detailed plans, and can even provide detailed floor plans for reference by both internal teams and outsourced service providers.

CHURN MANAGEMENT TIP #7: Early IT Involvement

Enlist the support of your IT group on the move planning team from the beginning to avoid expensive problems on move day. Make sure they are ready to manage changes to mainframe printers, telephony, call routing and diversions, system availability, firewall burns and domain availability.

Hundreds of people without network access for even a day costs the company a great deal of money. Not to mention adding to their frustration and destroying their trust in your CRE team.

CHURN MANAGEMENT TIP #8: Plan for Move Day Support

Establish a Real Estate Operations Center (ROC) to handle issues on the day of the move, such as:

  • Logistical questions: How do I move my chair? What to do with carts and boxes?
  • Maintenance: Address any needed repairs that are discovered during and after the move
  • Facilities instructions: How to adjust desk heights or use the tech features in new conference rooms
  • Location: Provide site tours as well as information about nearby amenities such as ATMs and shopping
  • IT issues: Including network access, printers and phones

If you are moving to a new free-address workspace, even more support will be required for employees who are expected to change the way they work every day. Plan training sessions that explain how to use each of the new spaces, as well as wayfinding tools for locating people and work spaces.

The Right Automated Tools Are Essential for Optimizing Churn Management

Workplace management software tools can save you time and headaches in your churn management process. They help you collect and validate your data, engage your business teams, visualize your current block and stack and available space, create relocation scenarios, provide dashboards and reports, and can even provide room availability and wayfinding features for agile work environments.

Yet with such a wide range of features and functionality in different systems, it can be difficult to compare apples to apples.

Here’s a resource that can help you hone in on the essential features that make the difference between a successful implementation and an expensive mistake: 5 Critical Comparison Points for Workplace Management Software.


Office Relocation Checklist for Successfully Executing Your Move

If you’ve been following our blog over the past couple of weeks, you’ve already learned many useful strategies for planning your office relocation:

At this point, all you need is the following office relocation checklist to make sure everything happens with as little impact as possible on the business, and making sure people are supported for every type of issue that might come up during and after the move.

Your Office Relocation Checklist For Move Day

Use this office relocation checklist as a guide for the important tasks and actions you should have in place on move day.


  • Open a Relocation Operation Center (ROC) as a central point of contact for questions and problems that may come up either during the move or in the days and weeks to come. Don’t forget to let everyone know how where your support team is located and how to contact them.
  • Make sure everyone knows your lead project manager or move coordinator who has overall responsibility for executing the move and handling any unexpected issues.
  • If people are without computer access for a little while on move day, they may not be able to find the information about who to contact with a question or concern. That’s why you need delivery reps at the move site, walking around and checking on progress, answering questions and handling problems. It’s helpful to assign delivery reps to a specific business unit, team or group of people.
  • Share this office relocation checklist and all contact information with everyone who has execution responsibility on move day.


  • Even for small moves, you will avoid frustration and downtime for your employees (and even for your own team) by implementing some level of checking on the move delivery before people arrive for work. You can identify issues and take proactive steps to fix things even before the problems get reported. You might even get lucky and be able to fix some problems before employees ever know anything went wrong. For minor churn, inspections can be made and signed off by the delivery team.
  • For major moves, you’ll want the lead PM or Move Add Change Coordinator (MAC) to personally inspect the execution of the move before employees begin to arrive. He or she has the best understanding of the requirements, schedule and dependencies, and is in the best position to identify and prioritize any critical issues that might be found.


It’s unlikely that you won’t experience any unexpected issues on move day; things are going to happen that you could not anticipate. Facilities problems may be discovered if the previous occupants didn’t tell you that something was broken. Network or equipment issues may arise and people will be unable to work. Items may be mislabeled and delivered to the wrong place. Or new hires are arriving that were not accounted for in the occupancy planning stage. There’s always going to be something! The trick is to be ready for the unexpected and have a plan for fixing it with minimal business disruption.

  • The best strategy for dealing with the problems that arise on move day is to focus on returning your employees to business as usual as quickly as possible. That is your mantra on move day! Make sure everyone on the team knows it.
  • With that strategy in mind, you’ll be able to guide the actions of your team in solving problems. For example: if a pod of desks has no power, temporarily move the occupants to a vacant space while you deal with the power issue so they can continue to work. Minimizing business disruptions is the name of the game.
  • On move day, postpone dealing with issues that are non-business critical. Once everyone is in place, prioritize your issues and tackle them strategically.

Your Post-Move Office Relocation Checklist

The good news is, the hardest part is over and most of the work is done! If you did a thorough job of planning, you probably don’t have too many problems to fix. Here’s your office relocation checklist for handling what comes up post-move and closing out your project.


  • Keep using those comms: make sure everyone knows who to contact if they are experiencing any problems
  • Triage issues in order of priority and business impact and assign to the appropriate party for resolution. Remember to mitigate business interruption in any way you can!
  • Track all support issues and record the resolutions. This information can come in handy when you’re planning your next move.
  • Manage employee expectations and stay on top of all logged issues to be sure everything is resolved with a reasonable timeframe.


  • Now is the time to make sure all occupancy changes are updated in your workplace management system.
  • Especially when the move has gone very smoothly, it’s a great time to enlist your business champions to take ownership of their data. When they take over regularly validating their information, everyone gains an accurate book of record for occupancy information.

What if your space planning tool has no business portal and is not practical for your champions to use? It might be time to think about a better workplace management system. This feature is only one critical component that you might be missing. Find out more with this reference guide to 5 Critical Comparison Points for Workplace Management Software.


  • Upon completion of your move, solicit feedback from all parties on move planning, execution and delivery.
    Specifically ask about how well you met expectations and how you might improve things for the next move.
  • Update your entire team on the issues that were experienced with the move project and how they were resolved. Record what you learned and close out the project.
  • Everyone worked hard to complete the move, so congratulate everyone and thank them for their participation.
  • Breathe a sigh of relief and get started on whatever is next!

We hope this office relocation checklist has proven insightful and informative, and guides you to make your next relocation a smooth and seamless transition for your business. Check our blog again next week for even more tips for optimizing churn management.

Download 5 Critical Comparison Points for Workplace Management Software.


Office Relocation Planning: Keeping Your Move On Track – Part 2

It’s no secret that proper office relocation planning can make the difference between a seamless transition and a big, expensive disruption for your business. Not to mention all that egg on your face when things don’t go as expected due to lack of preparation. Yet getting a handle on what that planning should entail may seem like an overwhelming prospect. Where do you start, and how can you be sure you have covered all the bases?

Over the next several weeks, we’re publishing a series of blog posts on office relocation planning that you can use as a guidebook for your next move.

Last week, we discussed the initial planning phase of your relocation project, when you’ll make the critical office relocation planning decisions, enlist the help of stakeholders, gather the essential data to drive your plan, and create the right plan to accomplish your goal. If you missed last week’s article, see Office Relocation Planning: The Key To Keeping Your Move On Track, Part 1.

This week, we’ll help you prepare for the pre-implementation phase of your office relocation planning and your move project. At this point, you’ll be gathering and training your team, fine tuning the details of your delivery plan, engaging outside vendors and communicating information to all involved parties.

Office Relocation Planning: The Pre-Implementation Phase

At this stage, you’ve made a firm decision about WHAT you need to accomplish and you are refining the plans for HOW to meet your relocation goals. Now, it’s time to put the team and the office relocation planning tasks in motion that will lead to a problem-free experience on move day.

Engage and train your team. To begin implementing your plan, it’s time to gather all your office relocation planning stakeholders including Property, IT, Facilities, Movers, Security, Concierge and lines of business. You need to get everyone up to speed on the details of the plan and train them on their specific roles and responsibilities.

Kick-off plans and processes for sub-teams. Each functional area will need to begin working on their own assigned processes in preparation for move day. For example, IT will need to complete audits, make system changes, and prepare new facilities.

Implement a move lock-down. At some point in advance of move day, it’s in everyone’s best interest to implement a freeze on any other smaller moves. That allows you to be sure that your data about who-sits-where as well as any vacancies is accurate on move day. Without drawing a line in the sand, you’re taking a risk of moving someone into an occupied space, or failing to account for a team. However, it can be hard to enforce this move ban, so make sure you know about any changes that do happen so you can document any changes to your office relocation planning documents.

Continue to validate data. Keep the lines of communication open with your business champions during the pre-implementation phase of office relocation planning so you do find out about any shifting teams, new hires, or layoffs that occur in advance of move day. Make sure to keep your workplace management system updated with real-time data. Best of all: provide access to your system so your champions can update and validate their own data.

If you are in the process of trying to decide on a workplace management system, you probably realize that it’s tough to compare the wide range of available options on the market. Which are the truly essential features and functions that you must have? (HINT: one of them is a business unit portal that allows your LOBs to easily validate their own data.) To find out, take a look at this helpful guide: 5 Critical Comparison Points for Workplace Management Software.

Engage third party service providers. Hiring movers? Buying new computer equipment? Using outside IT consultants, workplace strategy consultants or service providers for installing telephony or other technology? Engage these third-party providers early and make sure they are aware of and committed to your schedule.

Get final approvals. If your office relocation planning and budgets had preliminary approvals from senior management up to this point, now is the time to lock down all details and get those final approvals in place.

Finalize your runsheet. For a very large office relocation planning project that involves several move phases, it’s especially important to document all move dependencies and the logical sequence of events. You’ll also want to include all assigned tasks and deadlines in your runsheet: the WHO does WHAT and WHEN.

Document plans for exceptions. Make sure you know about and plan for any contingencies, such as no moves on a floor until after close of business, or the opposite: no access to a site after hours. When you have restrictions you’ll need to create alternate plans to avoid delays on move day.

Communicate, communicate, communicate! This is one of the most important aspects of your office relocation planning. You can’t give people too much information: it goes a long way to smoothing the process as well as those anxieties your business teams will have about moving. Now is the time to execute your comm plan and send out those emails to all involved parties detailing what’s going to happen, when and why.

Here’s what they will want and need to know:

  • What to expect throughout the process
  • Instructions for packing
  • How to find their new space
  • What to do on move day
  • How to get help if a problem arises
  • How to use features of a new agile work environment, such as wayfinding systems

Related article: 10 Keys to Success With the Agile Work Environment

What’s Next: All Systems Go for Move Day

At the completion of your pre-implementation office relocation planning activities, you’ll be as ready as you can possibly be for move day. Or are you? Join us again next week when we’ll publish an office relocation checklist that details everything you need to know and do to deliver a successful outcome on move day and beyond.

And that’s not all: stay tuned in the coming weeks for a useful list of tips and guidelines for optimizing your churn management process.

Download 5 Critical Comparison Points for Workplace Management Software.


Office Relocation Planning: Keeping Your Move On Track – Part 1

Planning is the key to a successful move outcome. How many times have you heard those words of wisdom? Yet it’s much easier said than done. How exactly do you go about planning for a successful move?

Over the next several weeks, we’ll address relocation topics here on our blog that will give you the practical information you need to achieve a flawless move, or as close to flawless as possible!

  • Today we’ll address the initial office relocation planning phase and exactly what you need to know and do to get move strategy right.
  • Next week, we’ll work through the pre-implementation phase where you’ll begin to take action on your plan and prepare everything for move day.
  • Next we’ll provide a checklist of to-dos for move day and post-move.
  • Following that, we’ll provide some helpful advice for optimizing your churn management.

Office Relocation Planning Starts With Strategy

For most companies, office relocation planning really begins with your strategic plan for the year. That’s when you’ll decide where you are going with your portfolio: are you consolidating or adding new space? What leases are coming up for expiry? Where do you have large vacancies and opportunities to move groups? With those big-picture issues identified, you’ll decide what you want to accomplish for the year and create a series of smaller move projects, each to be delivered over a period of about 6 to 12 weeks (depending on the size).

PLANNING and COMMUNICATION: The keys to a successful move

Before we get into the details of office relocation planning, here are some general words of advice:

  • Start planning early and prepare for every aspect of your move, documenting the details of your plan and updating whenever something changes.
  • It’s just about inevitable that things WILL change during your office relocation planning, so keep your ear to the ground so you’re aware of what’s going on and can adjust your plans.
  • Proactively communicate with everyone concerned so they know what’s happening, when it will take place, how it will affect them and what they need to do.

Office Relocation Planning: THE PLANNING PHASE

The planning phase generally begins about 6 to 12 weeks before the move, and is when you’ll make key office relocation planning decisions about what you want to accomplish, gather important data to drive your plan, and create a plan to accomplish your goal. Here are the important steps:

Define and commit to a goal, such as exiting a building that no longer suits your needs or building a new flexible workspace.

Gather your baseline building data, including your current block and stack, who sits where, and any vacancy that exists today. This information will help to drive your office relocation planning to meet your goal.

Create relocation scenarios and assess the feasibility to make a decision. There may be more than one way to meet your goal, and you’ll need to decide on the best scenario. And it’s critically important to take the needs of your lines of business into account at this stage of your office relocation planning. Make sure what you decide aligns with their plans and goals.

Nominate business sponsors, stakeholders and champions. Office relocation planning is a big job, and to get it right you’ll need the support of representatives from all involved groups. The sponsor is a leader that you’re planning the move for, such as your Head of Property. Stakeholders represent each of your delivery teams, such as IT, Facilities and any affected business units. Champions are the people who provide you with information and handle tasks related to the relocation on behalf of their business unit.

Document non-standard requirements. Are there any business units, teams or individuals who have special requirements or restrictions you need to know about for your office relocation planning? For example, you may need to plan for moving special equipment like trading desks, IT test labs, voice recording facilities, HR interview rooms, or providing special needs access. Take that information into account from the beginning to avoid delays later.

Validate your data to drive your delivery plan. Now is the time to confirm your baseline building data and gather any missing details about who sits where and what vacancies actually exist. At this point, make sure you find out about any plans your business units may have for adding or reducing staff as well. This data will impact your relocation plan, so it’s important to have accurate information now.

If you’ve got a large relocation project in the works, now is the time to implement a workplace management system if you don’t already have an automated tool that will help you with collecting and validating all that data.

Here’s a great resource to get you started: 5 Critical Comparison Points for Workplace Management Software.


Workplace Space Utilization Metrics You Need to Know About

Efficient space utilization is critical as today’s workforce is increasingly mobile and working from home or from wherever they need to be. Yet with fewer and fewer people in the office, the costs of corporate real estate are still mounting. Walking through most office buildings, it’s easy to see how much space is wasted: about 3 out of every 5 desks sit empty at any given time.

It’s not surprising that in most companies, the pressure is on to improve space utilization and reduce corporate real estate expenses. But before you can begin optimizing your workplace, you need to fully understand your current utilization. That’s where space utilization metrics can be so useful… or not. If you’re tracking the wrong data, it can’t help you make the best possible use of your space. Or worse, the wrong data can cause you to focus on the wrong areas and away from the low-hanging fruit. The right space utilization metrics can not only drive down the cost of real estate, but even help you drive innovation throughout your company.

Are You Still Using Old Space Utilization Metrics?

In the old days, tracking space utilization metrics meant tracking how much you spent on space: cost per square foot. Unfortunately, this information is not all that useful, since the only thing you can do to improve it is look for cheaper space. That may not be an option for many reasons: less expensive space may not be available where you need to be, you may be in long-term leases, or the cost of relocating may negate the space cost savings.

Another outdated way of approaching space utilization metrics is to track density, or square feet per desk. Once again, there is only one thing you can do with this information: squeeze more desks into your existing space. That means changing fit-outs to use smaller cubicles, smaller offices, and smaller shared spaces such as conference rooms. This approach adds the cost of retrofitting, but doesn’t address the basic problem: people are not using those desks all day, every day anymore. It may even compound the problem since those claustrophobic spaces may encourage more people to work remotely. Even worse, to fit in more cubicles you may need to lose shared spaces that increase employee collaboration and drive innovation.

When you focus on cost per square foot or density for space utilization metrics, you’re missing out on much more effective ways of driving down workplace costs.

The New Space Utilization Metrics

Modern companies have moved to tracking cost per person as a more useful option for space utilization metrics. Measuring the cost of space per person as your key metric provides the necessary data to actually optimize the usage of the space you have, rather than merely swapping out for cheaper space or cramming in more desks.

Taking this approach to space utilization metrics gives you the information you need to move from the old assigned-seating model to an agile work environment. That means transitioning from dedicated workstations for each employee to shared spaces that workers use as needed, which allows you to get rid of wasted space and cut your cost per person nearly in half. What’s more, since you don’t need to cram in so many desks, the agile work environment can be a much more enjoyable and productive environment for your employees.

Related articles:
What Does the Agile Work Environment Look Like?
10 Keys to Success with the Agile Work Environment

More space utilization metrics that drive down cost per person

Within the agile work environment, you’ll want to track these additional space utilization metrics to further improve your cost per person:

Daily Peak Utilization by Space. This metric tracks the maximum number of people coming into a particular space on any given day.

Daily Peak Utilization by Business Unit. This metric tracks the maximum number of people from a specific business unit entering a space on a given day.

Average Peak Utilization. The average peak usage of a space over a specified period of time. This number can tell you if you have enough seats in the space to meet your average demand, especially if you plan for two standard deviations above your average.

Frequency of Peaks. This number tells you how many times you reach your peak utilization over a period of one month. You might find that you reach peak only on days when certain meetings are taking place, but the rest of the month the space is nearly empty. Knowing these space metrics can drive adjustments to assigned ratios and/or alternate plans for peak utilization days.

Target Ratio Per Building or Group. This is the target you’re working toward for the number of people you can accommodate per seat, for a particular building or group. For example, you might have a KPI to accommodate 1.5 people for each seat.

Assigned Ratio Per Building or Group. This is ratio of people assigned to seats in a particular building or group. Many companies begin by assigning 12 people to 10 seats as a starting point when moving to an agile work environment.

Actual Ratio. This is the actual number of people using the seats. You might have only 5 people actually coming in to use 10 desks.

4 Benefits of an Agile Work Environment With Modern Space Utilization Metrics

Moving to an agile work environment and adopting better space utilization metrics is all about making your buildings work better for you and for your employees.

1. More efficient use of space

When you track the more useful space utilization metrics described above to truly understand your space requirements by building and by line of business, you can design an agile work environment that allows your workplace to become more fully utilized. When you take a walk through the building, you will no longer find a sea of empty desks.

2. Virtually eliminate move costs

In a traditional assigned seating model, as much as 14 percent of your real estate budget is spent on moving people around. When every person is attached to a desk they barely use, a great deal of money is spent unnecessarily to accommodate business requests for more space every time they increase head count. In an agile work environment managed with the right space utilization metrics, these costs are greatly reduced, since people can largely move themselves.

3. Encourage collaboration and innovation

The agile work environment will often have activity-based working spaces that are designed for the type of work an employee needs to do on a given day. For example:

  • open and comfortable areas for group work sessions
  • small conference rooms for team meetings
  • video conference rooms for meetings with people from different regions
  • isolated quiet areas
  • “phone booths” for people making calls

These spaces boost efficiency and productivity since employees can choose the space the need depending on the task they need to complete. People can also choose where to work based on the people or teams they need nearby. These features increase interaction and collaboration, and foster creative thinking and innovation.

4. Attract and retain talent

In many industries and regions of the world, corporations are struggling to attract top talent and retain the employees they need to be competitive. Offering the modern and comfortable features of an agile work environment (managed by the right space utilization metrics) can be a valuable perk that leads top candidates to choose to work for you.

Gaining the benefits of an agile work environment depends on your ability to track the right space utilization metrics.

To learn more about the technology you need to get started, get your copy of this helpful guide to Measuring Workplace Utilization.


Using Business Intelligence Analytics to Drive Better CRE Decisions

When you’re responsible for difficult decisions associated with corporate space planning, don’t you wish you had a crystal ball that could tell you what will be happening in your business in the next 10 to 20 years? You need to be able to accurately predict the future to make right decisions about your portfolio: whether to renew leases, consolidate space or move into new space.

Yet how can you predict the future when you don’t have a good handle on the present? When you lack accurate data about your current space utilization, you struggle with every decision from everyday business requests for more space to the really tough calls like whether or not to renew a building lease. And each time you get it wrong, the consequences are costly: like being stuck in a 10 year lease for a space that you don’t need. Or having to keep moving teams around because you had the wrong information about their needs. With each mistake you make because of bad data, not only are you wasting money, but you’re shining a light on your own deficiencies and hurting your reputation with your lines of business and executive team.

6 Ways Business Intelligence Analytics Can Help You Make Better Space Planning Decisions

Believe it or not, you can actually have that crystal ball with business intelligence analytics. With an accurate and reliable view of how to your space is utilized today, you can perform fact-based analysis to help you plan and drive the right decisions at every level. Here’s how.

1. Visualize your data. Business intelligence analytics is about more than collecting reams of data. It’s about accessing that data in a way that’s useful for making decisions. For example, data about which space is occupied by each business unit is much more useful in a visual block and stack tool than in a spreadsheet. When you can visualize that data, you can easily identify ways to create synergies by co-locating teams that could benefit from working together. You can also easily see where there is available space in a building and how you can consolidate to best take advantage of it.

2. Identify opportunities. To make more efficient use of space, business intelligence analytics help you spot opportunities: to take back unused space, and also to create synergies and increase collaboration by co-locating teams that could benefit from working together. You can also identify buildings that could successfully transition to an agile working environment where workers share space instead of having assigned seating. Data enables you to predict the ratios of people-to-seats that will work for each team.

Related article: 10 Keys to Success With the Agile Work Environment

3. Access actionable data. If your reports merely show you the amount of space each business unit occupies, that’s not actionable information. With the right tools providing business intelligence analytics, you can have information at your fingertips that you can immediately act upon to increase efficiency and decrease cost. For example, a floor plan with a heat map that shows you exactly which seats are unused. Or, an exception report showing the business units with the highest under-utilization of space.

4. Highlight trends over time. When making those big decisions about moves and leases, the best way to predict future needs is to look at trends. With the right business intelligence analytics, you can see how space usage changes over hours, days, months or years.

5. Track KPIs. Tracking KPIs related to your CRE goals not only helps keep you meet those goals, but helps you speak the same language as the rest of your business to give you more credibility. For example, let’s say you want to track real estate cost per person, or people-to-seats ratios for an agile work environment. The right business intelligence analytics tools can track customized KPI information and present that data in a way that’s easy to access and act upon.

6. Access relevant data. When you’re making a decision about the space for a particular region or line of business, you’ll want to be able to easily slice and dice your data to see only what’s relevant to the current decision. Make sure the tools you choose allow you to drill down to see the business intelligence analytics you need at any given time.

7. Collect forecasting data. With the right workplace management tools, you can collect headcount forecasts at a granular level from each business unit, and overlay that on top of your current utilization of space. There’s that crystal ball you wished for!

Related article: 10 Steps that Drive Better Space Efficiency In the Workplace

Collecting the Right Data for Business Intelligence Analytics

There are two essential CRE data components you’ll need to drive the business intelligence analytics you need to improve your decision making.


The first step is to get a handle on who sits where, or occupancy data. No one has this information today: HR cannot tell you accurately who works for the company let alone where they sit (especially contractors). Here is what you’ll need to collect to drive your business intelligence analytics:

  • Floor plans
  • Personnel data (including both employees and contractors)
  • Organizational hierarchy and cost centers
  • Allocation of space to each cost center
  • Names-to-seats

You also need a way to keep your data current and validate its accuracy. Ideally, each team should be tasked with keeping their data up to date. This is where the right workplace management software can make a tremendous difference: look for a tool that provides a portal for business units to access and update their information.

TIP: Collecting data directly from the source and requiring validation eliminates those arguments about the need for more space from your business units, since everyone can see exactly what space they have and which desks are vacant.


Beyond tracking who-sits-where, to power useful business intelligence analytics you need to know how consistently those spaces are being used (or not used). How many desks are sitting empty every day while employees work off site? How many conference rooms with expensive video equipment are used primarily for small face to face meetings? Do those numbers change for different areas or different teams? These are important facts that can drive plans for moving to a free address environment or even plans for shared workspaces such as conference rooms.

There are quite a few technologies available for tracking space utilization, and they each have their strengths and weaknesses around precision, timeliness of data reporting, identifying users, cost and other factors. Best practice is to use a combination of technologies as appropriate for your needs, and use a software tool that combines and aggregates the data into useful business intelligence analytics.

To learn more, get your free copy of this informative guide: Measuring Workplace Utilization

Pulling Together Data to Create Useful Business Intelligence Analytics

For occupancy and utilization data to provide the insight you need to drive good decisions, you need workplace management software that creates useful business intelligence analytics. That means more than just reporting: visual and user-friendly space planning tools make it much faster and easier to make the best use of your data. Here are some features to look for:

Scenario planning. Your workplace team gains efficiency with a visual tool that shows the current state of your blocks and stacks and identifies opportunities to save space. Even better: one that lets you easily plan multiple move scenarios (with cost information) to see which works best.

Floor plan overlays. It’s infinitely more useful to see certain types of data overlaid on a floor plan to show the context, including team allocations, who sits where, tagging/keyword attributes (such as secure areas), UPS support, business criticality level (BCP context), shared equipment and conference room details.

Flexible dashboards. Look for the ability to customize dashboards to show business intelligence analytics the way you need to see them. For example, they should reflect your own terminology, adapt to your business rules, show only the attributes you want to see, or highlight specific KPIs you are tracking.

Custom report builder. Just as you need the ability to customize dashboards, you will also need to customize reports to your preferences. Many tools give you lots of reports but then you need to pay extra every time you want to customize them. A better option: look for an included report builder that lets you customize yourself without paying more for the business intelligence analytics you need.

Drill down capability. Business intelligence analytics aren’t very useful if they only show you high-level information. To make decisions, you’ll need to drill down and see information by geography or for any level of your organizational hierarchy.

Making the best use of business intelligence analytics involves more than just collecting data points. You need the right tools to help you understand and act on the data you gather. That’s where workplace management software can be so valuable. Yet the products on the market vary widely in terms of the functionality they offer, and it may seem like you’re comparing apples to oranges.

Find out how to determine which features are really important with this informative guide: 5 Critical Comparison Points for Workplace Management Software.