Effective space management is one of the many office-related topics many people never thought about until the pandemic forced them to. How much space do you really need? Are you using it in a way that aligns with the needs of your workforce? Could a small change here or there bring huge improvements in workflows, efficiency or employee productivity?
When the business world was turned upside down and everything was suddenly up for a detailed re-evaluation, these and other similar questions were front and center in the larger discussion about how office spaces could be reconfigured to fit the new reality. And now that things are gradually moving forward and showing signs of settling into a post-pandemic “new normal”, the issue of smart space management continues to be an important part of any conversation related to corporate real estate.
Why? Because the lessons that so many property managers and other stakeholders learned are relevant to the use of any office space, pandemic or no pandemic. These lessons make workspaces more comfortable for employees and more cost efficient for those paying the rent, more attractive for staff as a place to spend their workday and more productive for the companies that occupy the spaces.
In short, everybody wins when this new, smart approach to space management is used. Let’s put our focus on the main areas where you can see improvement from day one by making smart space management a priority.
At Kontakt.io, we’re all about “smart” solutions, “smart” buildings, “smart technologies” and more. But what is “smart” anyway? “Smart” space management or “smart” anything refers to the use of sensors that bridge the online-offline divide and collect location-based information that can then be used to enable any number of applications. With a digital twin of any space, it’s easier to visualize workflows and the movement of people and things in a way that is impossible through manual observation. “Smart” solutions of all kinds depend on the transfer of insights gained through digital transparency to the offline world. They help to achieve more efficient use of resources, resolve bottlenecks & workflow interruptions and deliver efficiencies that benefit occupants. Learn more about our smart solutions here.
Happy employees are productive employees. Comfortable employees are productive employees. Employees who have the supplies they need are productive employees.
These are not new insights but the truth they hold can be much more easily seen with the help of smart technologies.
To start with, higher productivity is unlocked when a workspace provides all the different kinds of spaces employees need when they need them. Getting the layout of any office space right is always difficult but it’s much easier when you have data to back up your decisions about, for example, how many and what kind of meeting spaces there are, how big they are, etc.
Digital footprints can then be used to optimize the layout of any office space for maximum efficiency.
In many workspaces, like in healthcare or industrial settings, productivity also depends on being able to access machines, devices or tools at any time. Both industries suffer massive losses in terms of productivity due to time spent searching for various assets when they’re needed now.
With tracking capabilities enabled by smart devices, there is no need to waste time searching for anything. The precise location of any tagged asset is just a click away, allowing jobs to get done faster, customers to be served when they expect and processes to move along according to schedule.
After employee wages, office space is typically the second-highest cost in any corporate budget. Moving forward from the pandemic, one of the most valuable lessons learned tells us that visibility into your real needs and right-sizing your commitments can lead to very significant savings.
Again, it’s not about reducing space just to reduce costs — it’s about reducing space to meet your actual needs. And there’s no better way to judge that than with data collected through digital insights into how you use your current space.
With smart technologies, you don’t have to rely on rough estimates, gut instincts or manual observation, none of which are as accurate as data based on how your existing staff uses the space you have now.
Plus, when it is time to increase your space commitments, you can start by confirming that you’re using your existing space as efficiently as possible before looking into costly expansions.
This is closely related to the previous point but different enough to warrant its own discussion. When considering how to alter a workspace to fit changing or growing needs, it’s important to know which spaces are more “popular” with your employees and which are not. Rarely occupied spaces are prime candidates for redesign while frequently occupied spaces should be enhanced while preserving their basic character.
Getting this wrong can result in damage to morale in the workplace. When you have smart insights into exactly how space is used, you can improve what’s already successful and reset what isn’t working. This is a huge step toward maximizing the space you have and avoiding taking on new costs in the form of extra space that you don’t really need.
It also makes it easier to identify the spaces you don’t need if resigning from their use is possible. This means not only direct savings on renting the space but also the extra costs like maintenance fees and the heating and lighting that come with it.
Another benefit of using smart technology in your office space is that it can help you save money on energy costs. For example, you can install automatic light sensors that will only turn on the lights when they are needed. You can also use occupancy sensors to control heating and cooling in different areas of the office.
Smart technology can also help improve safety and security in your office space by providing visibility into the location of staff and visitors. When you can track movement in your workspace, you can ensure that visitors only move in areas where they should, avoiding spaces that are unsafe or sensitive for privacy reasons.
Your smart network can record the movements of visitors with badges and those badges can also be coded to grant access only to where those visitors need to go. This way, you can be sure that only authorized personnel have access to certain areas of the office.
Safety for staff is also enhanced for staff because smart badges can be used as emergency call buttons. No matter where they are in a facility, as long as it’s covered by the smart network, employees can summon help with the touch of a button. In industrial or healthcare settings, this is a vital piece of support that drastically reduces the risks of serious injury and cuts response time to an absolute minimum.
These days, everything is getting smarter—our phones, our cars, even our homes. So why not our office spaces? With smart space management technology, you can make your office work smarter, too. By optimizing and automating the use of your office space, you can improve employee productivity, reduce operational costs, create a safer workplace and much more.
Smart technology solutions have never been more accessible and more deployments are going live every day. Managing large, complex office spaces will always be a challenge, but today it’s easy to take advantage of solutions that help you to get the most value out of your office space.
Not sure where to start? Talk to our Sales team today to learn more.
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