What is space management planning?

By Fordhay

|News|Jan 2020

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Each aspect of the work environment has an impact on your workforce. Your design, technology and space must join together to enable your employees to be efficient and productive. Space management is a concept growing in popularity. Once viewed as the arrangement of your furniture, it has become a top priority when creating workplaces. It’s important to break the process down and ensure your planning is thorough to get the most from your space.

Space management planning defined

Space management is the control a business has over the area they occupy. This could be a small corner in your office or the entire building floor. It’s simply what you do to make the most of the space you have. This isn’t about moving your desk or printer from one corner to the other. It’s a detailed planning process that demands time and data to thoroughly optimise your space. There isn’t a one size fits all process. Each space has unique characteristics and each business has different operations that need bespoke management and planning.

There are many stages to space management planning. Your plan must consider the space’s occupants, productivity, resources, layout and longevity. You have to think about the fixed and transient elements of your space. Permanent fixtures include windows, walls, floors and ceilings. These things cannot be moved so must be worked around intelligently. Transient elements are the people and resources that enter and leave your space. This includes employees, visitors, resources and deliveries that your business sees. Identifying each element of your space and how they interact day-to-day gives you valuable insights to undergo the space management planning process.

Space management planning software

Space management planning isn’t a one-time thing. Your workforce is constantly growing – so their needs are evolving too. The space that worked for your business in the beginning won’t work for your business now. Your space management needs to be maintained and supervised at all times so it can continue serving your business. But no one person can do all this – that would take up way too much time that you don’t have. While manually controlling your systems with spreadsheets and documents may suit your working style, it’s not the most efficient way of gathering data.

Space management software takes that administrative burden away from you. These systems record every element including energy, electricals, occupants and square footage to give you full visibility of your space. They provide real-time data based on the operations of your business. You gain a deep understanding of how your workforce move around your office, which resources are used the most, lights that are on or off, heating that’s lost and time that’s wasted by slow systems.

Benefits of space management planning

Space management planning is a cost-effective solution to improve the functionality of your workplace. Using the data gathered by your software, you can identify the space that’s wasted around your office. You can get true value for money by ensuring each area of your space serves a purpose. If your data shows employees are wasting time by a slow printer – or doorways are blocked by queues – you can upgrade your system, buy a second one or move it to a larger area. You can also reduce your energy consumption by identifying areas in which light, heat and sound are wasted. For example, if a section of your office is often unoccupied, you can install motion sensors so the light is only on when necessary.

Knowing which goals you want to achieve will tell you how space management can help you achieve them. Decide which data is needed to put these processes into place and find the software that will produce it for you. You can then identify the metrics needed to measure ongoing performance. This way, you can improve the longevity of your space and ensure it facilitates your daily and business-critical interactions.

Fordhay’s workplace consultancy service will help you create a space management plan. We analyse your current space and transform it into a productive and efficient environment with a highly-motivated workforce.

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