India fares relatively poorly on the availability of corporate space as compared to some other countries. Though many businesses in India, practice some form of space management, most still depend on the old and traditional methods of pencil and paper or Excel spreadsheets. These companies are definitely missing out on the various benefits that come with proper space management plans and actions. Modern-day space management is being revolutionized with the addition of efficiency and detail. For those still tied to their Excel spreadsheets –here is a post outlining what is Space Management and its essential benefits for your business.
What is Space Management
Space management is the control and supervision of the physical spaces a business or organization occupies. That space could be just a single floor, multiple floors within a building, or multiple floors within multiple buildings. Space management, though a simple concept is more complex in practice.
Management involves creating a space management system and there are various ways that a company can choose to do this. The original methods involved a simple paper and pencil diagram that showed the floor layout and room occupants. Later, companies started using an Excel file to hold the details regarding each space including occupants and resource usage. However, as organizations became more modern and complex there was a need to improve efficiency and control costs. Thus, new methods had to be developed.
Today, facility managers are using Space management software to make the process much easier and more accessible. One of the effective methods is to map an Auto Cad floor plan to the Space Management Software to calculate the exact Sq Ft. usage by various departments. This method leads to a transparent awareness of the exact space usage per employee. Among forward-thinking enterprises, it has become the go-to method for facility managers to address their space management.
The costs of underutilized space
The hidden costs of underutilized space can form a significant drain on your organization’s balance sheet. If proper space management is not in implemented then the inventory of space could be underutilized. Given the steep real estate costs, it is extremely critical to optimize your investment in office space. Here are some of the issues associated with the underutilization of the available inventory of space:
The economic impact is larger than you think
Some costs associated with underutilized space, such as rent or property tax and furniture can be easily identified. However, there are certain costs that can go unnoticed if your space is underutilized. Organizations with more office space than required, tend to have high overhead costs. Such organizations end up paying higher insurance premiums, utility bills, and other such expenses. They also end up paying incremental costs associated with cleaning and maintaining of underutilized rooms.
Now that we have seen the negative effects of underutilization of space, let’s look at how Space Management helps organization cope with the problem of underutilization and provides many such advantages.
The benefits of Space Management
If a space management solution is implemented properly, it could provide organizations with several benefits:
1. Proper understanding of your organization’s space usage
The fundamental function of a space management system is to identify how your organization is using its inventory of space. It tells you about the spaces that are occupied, spaces where certain departments are located, and who are the primary occupants of each room. In short, the space management system helps you in understanding where your people are located and how you are utilizing your space. A space management system helps organizations divide and allocate space and resources to specific departments. It also gives a transparent view of how this allocation and plan has worked.
2. Improving your organization’s space usage
The main reason organizations use the space management software system is to utilize their office space in an ideal way. Upon understanding the current usage of space, they can then use intelligent software to optimize that usage and make the most of the space available.
Space management system helps you identify if you are underutilizing any space and if you are paying far more than what you actually should be. It also helps you design the office space better, leading to the improved flow of work and improved interdepartmental efficiency. It also helps you figure out what is the best place to set up the common resources such as fax machines, printers, etc. so they are easily accessible to those who need them. Lastly, it helps in aligning the workplace goals with the goals of the organization- for example, if your business has sustainability goals, you may be able to better arrange the space to contribute to that goal, such as less energy usage.
3. Dealing with office space changes
Every business has to deal with a certain amount of chopping and change in its business processes. This could result in moving or shifting employees or even entire departments throughout the facility. This is where the space management solution comes in very handy to minimize churn and therefore the costs associated with the movement. In some cases where the movement is absolutely necessary, one can use space management solutions to streamline the entire process from request to completion.
4. To Plan for Future Space Usage
Your space management solution doesn’t only address your current space management issues but also your future space needs. Space management solution can be used to create forecasts of future space requirements and chalk out all the details before it happens.
So, it seems clear that Indian corporates should make sure they have a proper space management solution in place. Effective space management will catalyze the right balance of human resources, structured routines, and optimum space utilization for the company’s current and future needs. This will lead to a healthy and positive working atmosphere, and enhance the overall productivity of Indian companies. That’s what I think anyway!