A Computer-Aided Facilities Management (CAFM) tool helps you to ensure the working environment and your workspace management is fit for purpose, safe for employees, and above all, efficient. CAFM tools do this by centralising and improving many of the processes involved in facility management, such as asset tracking, building maintenance, workspace management and utilisation, and reporting.
A CAFM solution can also help to improve and enhance your workspace management. Workspaces are very costly when you consider the floor space taken up, the furniture required and the IT equipment needed. Not to mention the energy costs of operating such workspaces. Here’re five key ways a CAFM tool can help you save costs with improved space utilisation, employee productivity and more.
1. A CAFM Tool will Centralise All Facility Management Data
A CAFM tool allows you to store and manage all data relating to workspace management in one place. This means that information relating to building maintenance, energy efficiency, workspace occupancy, space reservations and equipment management are instantly accessible when you need it.
Having detailed data at your fingertips helps you to better understand how employees are utilising office space and workstations while identifying where improvements can be made. This also helps to reduce costs, with the average desk cost in London offices, for instance, is £8,000 per year. Workspaces that are under-utilised can substantially affect your company’s bottom line.
2. Helps Create a More Agile and Productive Workplace
One syndicated research project explored the link between employees feeling catered/cared for by their workplace or employers, and business performance. 48% of employees thought better workplace design has an impact on their decision whether or not to stay with an employer. Whereas 69% of businesses agreed that improving the design of their office boosted productivity.
By analysing data from your CAFM system, you can implement changes to your workspace management that will lead to a happier and more productive workforce. Here’s one example that you might be able to relate to:
Imagine that meeting rooms are frequently booked up a month in advance, and employees are often complaining that they have to hold meetings at their workstations. You identify, through your CAFM system data, that the hotdesking area on the top floor is currently under-utilised.To tackle the problem of meeting room availability, you arrange for half the hotdesking area to be turned into creative, flexible seating with a few coffee tables, and advise employees to take informal meetings there. Additionally, you also identify some outdoor space where meetings could be carried out – a move that not only utilises extra space but also gives employees access to fresh air.
Growing companies inevitably need to consider whether a larger building is required to accommodate employees and equipment. A CAFM tool can help you make the most of your current offices, helping you to avoid a premise relocation until absolutely necessary.
3. Identify Facility Cost Savings and Efficiencies With Better Workspace Management
Proper workspace management and utilisation can help lower expensive overheads such as energy and utility bills. According to an article from Workspace, companies that improve energy efficiency can reduce their energy spend by up to 40%.
Using a CAFM tool, you can easily identify which areas of the building have high usage and which are underused. Embracing technology further, you can use automation to alter office or room temperatures based purely on occupancy.
A CAFM system also helps you track and manage all costs relating to facility management. That includes building running costs and ground maintenance costs, security management, equipment maintenance, waste management and more.
4. Integrate Your Workspace Management with IoT Devices
Utilising technology within your workspace management is a rapidly evolving practice. A decade ago, hotdesking, interactive whiteboards and video conferencing were relatively new concepts. Now, they’re the standard in many workplace environments. The Internet of Things (IoT) is now the technology trend to watch for in the intelligent workplace.
IoT is all about the interaction and connection between people, machines, technology, devices, sensors and businesses. An example of IoT in the workplace is a smart desk occupancy sensor that fits discreetly under a desk and detects the presence of someone sitting at it.
As a facilities manager, you could use an occupancy sensor to gather usage data that helps with space optimisation planning. You’d get real-time data showing which desks are used frequently and how long for. With that data, you can make changes to your workspace management that allow employees to do their job in the right space for them.
IoT devices can also collect real-time data on energy usage and equipment failure, too. The right CAFM system will integrate with IoT-enabled devices, so that data transmits to the same central place where all building and facilities management information is stored.
5. Helps Avoid Unplanned Equipment Downtime
Imagine the catastrophe of the air conditioning system breaking during a heatwave. Or the heating system failing during winter. Or not having enough working tablets or laptops available for home use during a pandemic, such as a Coronavirus epidemic.
Each of these situations would bring a halt to productivity in the workplace and potentially cause disruption to the business. IT outages alone are thought to equate to a loss of 545 hours in staff productivity per year.
With a CAFM system, you can keep track of all equipment and inventory, including warranties, lease information and service records. What’s more, you can schedule maintenance of critical equipment to reduce the risk of downtime occurring in the first place.
Any problems identified can be swiftly dealt with through work order requests, which the maintenance team can access and update accordingly when repairs and inspections are completed. IT equipment, such as company tablets, laptops or smartphones can be tagged and tracked so that you can look up their location instantly and see if they’re in use, available or put aside for repair or replacement.
Summary: Using CAFM to Enhance Your Workspace Management
Well-managed offices and intelligent space design undoubtedly have a positive impact on employee productivity, morale and the company’s bottom line. A CAFM tool can help you gather and store essential data on workspace occupancy, equipment usage and much more.
Additionally, a CAFM system can help you analyse this data. Using accurate, in-depth reporting tools, you can extract data from a range of sources, including occupancy sensors, digital lighting sensors and wifi networks, to help you understand workspace management and utilisation.
At this point, you can begin to implement changes in your workspace to maximise the efficiency of the workforce. While also efficiently reducing certain overheads.
Workspace management is just one of the areas where a CAFM tool can enhance your facility management processes. Read more about the benefits in our Facilities Management Software Buyer’s Guide.