Gathering staff and occupant feedback to inform your space strategy

by FM Media
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You need to understand the space you have and how it is being used, and often the best way to enrich your understanding is from the users of the space itself.

Your commercial property, whether rented or owned, is a key business asset. Effective and strategic utilisation of your workspace affects the productivity and profitability of your organisation and you need to understand the space you have and how that space is being used.

For clarification, space management is characterised as the management, control and supervision of the physical spaces of the company. This might refer to a single floor, multiple floors or multiple floors in multiple buildings. Space management is a multi-step process that requires data collection, analysis, forecasting and strategy. So the question is: how do you make the most of your company’s spatial assets and tangible supplies to ensure the budget is optimised moving forward?

Robert Wilkinson, CXO of OfficeMaps, highlights that gathering information from staff, occupants and standard processes is a necessity to make sure you’re using your office strategically. Gathering space usage information will help determine what information should be included in your space strategy, as well as help define what data and metrics will be collected in the future.

A few data collection items worth considering are:

  • How do you want to track your staff/occupants and the space they use? (by employee name, department assigned, office assigned, and/or assets assigned?)
  • What assets do you want to track? And should these assets be tracked by workspace or employee?

Most importantly, deciding on how the data you are collecting will be used, what analysis you are requiring and ultimately what information is required to inform space strategy decisions will determine what data needs to be collected. Start from the end result you are after and work backwards.

By gathering occupant space usage information, you begin to build an accurate reflection of who is using what and where. As you build on this data, trends become identifiable, which aid in the determination of how to manage future changes. For many, analysis and planning reveal that reallocating space and repurposing poorly used space avoids the costly activity of moving to a new facility. However, without accurate, effective and accessible data this analysis cannot be performed.

Effective spatial management requires data and obtaining space usage information from occupants to better inform space management, enables greater workplace transparency, which can translate into better communication and greater satisfaction for employees. Collecting usage information also allows for real-time metrics such as total square footage, percentage of space used and operating costs per square foot. By breaking down these different metrics, businesses can identify better ways to maximise the facilities performance.

Photo by Nastuh Abootalebi on Unsplash

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