With the rise of the modern office, the iconic corporate environment — a sea of cubicles surrounded by private offices and oversized conference rooms — is dead or dying. These designs, popular since the 1990’s, have become inefficient, expensive to maintain and uninspiring to employees.
To keep pace in the modern era, offices have evolved to offer more flexible, digitally connected workspaces. This, however, raises a challenge. How do you get the most out of an office space that is inherently more fluid? Asked another way: how do you optimize workspace for productivity and efficiency? And do you have the right tools?
Digital Transformation: Modern Office Space Optimization
Chances are you are already experiencing what many call “the workplace of the future.” You look around the office to see your manager video conferencing with a remote co-worker, a visiting field employee taking an open desk for the week, or even colleagues occupying activity-based spaces such as huddle rooms and meeting pods.
These examples of practical solutions are heading toward a more connected, collaborative and flexible work environment that reduces operational costs and helps increase employee efficiency and productivity. But it also creates the need to manage these rooms and resources in order to prevent double-booking conflicts or under-utilized space, which typically requires space management software to avoid.
Early adopters in the Workplace of the Future movement are living these trends today, but many organizations are still developing or implementing a new strategy or technology to get the most from their space. Top 5 Trends in Workspace Optimization,” will show you what has influenced organizations to move in this direction and discuss how optimization trends are remaining relevant today.
Planning for the Mobilized Workforce
Employees are demanding better options for where and when they work. They care less about limiting their work to the traditional cubicle or 9-to-5 workday. In fact, workplace surveys have found that 87% of people say flexibility is “important” or “very important” in their workplace, according to "Why Millennials Are Ending The 9 to 5" by Kate Taylor in Forbes Magazine. Other studies have shown that employees that are satisfied with the work environments are more productive, more likely to stay, and overall more attracted to their employer over competitors like "Survey: What Employees Want Most from Their Workspaces" by Jeanne Meister in Harvard Business Review.
Because the nature of work has changed, the typical office space has followed suit. Instead of assigning a fixed desk for each person — which can run $8,000 - $10,000 per year, per desk — many companies are embracing hoteling, where desks are not permanently assigned but rather claimed by employees as they need them depending on their day-to-day schedules, in "Workplace Strategy" at Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated.
Even when employees are in the office, they tend to work outside the confines of a desk or cubicle space. This tendency has led to a variety of workspace options — including collaborative huddle spaces that allow for team discussions or private quiet rooms where workers can focus and even a modern take on the long-antiquated phone booth.
As companies develop innovative workplace strategies, they must keep in mind that merely switching out spaces, furniture and hardware is not enough. As everyday users of these spaces, employees may get frustrated when trying to quickly locate, review and reserve the spaces they want for their work, especially as workspaces become more open and less concrete.
Investing in office space optimization software ensures two things: that your workforce will be fully enabled by their office environment, and that you will have visibility into how your modern workplace is being used. This kind of space management software can ultimately deliver a better employee experience and a clearer return on your facilities investments.
Transform Your Office with Office Space Optimization Software
Office space optimization software – also called room and resource management software – is what allows organizations to both optimize their spaces and provide employees with a productive, collaborative experience.
These tools give employees the ability to:
- Book workspaces immediately — or schedule in advance — via web, mobile, calendar and on-the-spot access points.
- Find spaces by capacity, in-room technology (e.g., video conferencing) and geographic location.
- Select favorite spaces for quicker reservations.
- Avoid room and resource conflicts that throttle productivity and create friction.
Optimizing office space through flexible floor plans and scheduling technology not only gives employees greater satisfaction and the ability to work the way they prefer, but helps companies increase their employee-to-desk ratio, ultimately reducing their real estate and operational costs and increasing the return on facilities investments.
Accruent’s EMS is our software solution for addressing any space scheduling use case – from employee space booking and resource requests, to managed event spaces and services integration, to desk hoteling and video conferencing. With more than 30 years, our office space utilization and EMS product experts have experience working across multiple industries, delivering comprehensive room and resource scheduling services to many of the world's leading organizations.
Request a demo of Accruent’s EMS solution today!