Space management is key for planning a successful office. In this blog post you learn about the definition of space management and what exactly it involves.
Workspaces can be sanctuaries of productivity or distracting, messy, hindrances to the task at hand. Usually, they’re somewhere in between, but a well-planned space will always improve employee wellbeing, create a functional environment and ultimately boost growth. So, what goes into planning such a space?
There is a way to increase productivity using data-driven, physical planning methods that allow you to make the most out of your space. This is known as space management and it’s an important process to become familiar with if you’re expecting office expansion, rapid growth, or just want to boost the effectiveness of your team.
While the principles of space management are simple, the process itself can be more complicated. Fortunately, we’re going to look into exactly what it entails and how you can get started.
Space management involves planning for and using your space in a more organized way. A simple form of space management would be to have a clear understanding of what is needed and where it's stored, so people can easily find and use what they’re looking for as soon as they need it.
For example, making sure that every desk has the right tools and equipment to be productive. This isn’t just ballpoint pens and staplers, but also power outlets, chairs, and desks for employees to use.
This is space management in simple terms, but at the higher level, it involves tracking employee positions, knowing exactly how much space you’ve got and what it’s used for, and analyzing various spatial inter-departmental data to project your requirements in the future of your company.
For a growth industry, the biggest benefit of space management is its scalable boost to productivity. When you have an unorganized workspace, employees spend a lot of time looking for supplies or are lost in a maze-like office; with a large enough company, each minute wasted amounts up to countless working hours lost at the end of the month.
Reimagining your available space and projecting the needs on to future expansions allows you to fix leaks in this productivity in a sustainable manner that you will be able to carry with you as you grow.
Worker experience and productivity are closely tied. When your team has insufficient resources to do their jobs properly, their work output slows down significantly as they spend their time searching for things they need, waiting in line, or generally becoming uncomfortable in the workplace.
So, space management also contributes to company growth by boosting morale among employees whose comfort is improved with an effective and organized working environment. Employees who are less restricted and more enabled will be significantly more productive members of the team.
Research shows that office environments have a direct impact on productivity. When employees aren't satisfied with the office space, they are less efficient at completing tasks and take longer to complete them.
In some surveys, 40% of employees say that a cluttered workspace negatively impacts their ability to do their job, and around half said a messy space affects how they feel about coming to work in the first place.
A more organized space creates a professional, clean environment that makes it easier for your employees to relax into their roles and focus on the tasks at hand.
This may be because people who are unhappy with the office space spend more time outside of their flow states and experience continual breaks in momentum. A cluttered office also increases the risk of accidents because it becomes difficult for people to spot obstacles in the way or avoid tripping over things on the floor while walking around.
These hazards and inconveniences mount up to a very frustrating environment that isn’t conducive to work and manifests in repeated breaks in work that mount up to countless lost hours over the year, especially as the company grows.
What Space Management Involves
Ultimately the goals of a well-managed workspace are to increase productivity. It does this by striving to have little to no wasted space, creating appropriately dedicated areas for specific work, adapting to the needs of the modern workforce, and increasing staff wellbeing.
The simplest forms of space management are often using a simple excel spreadsheet to keep track of who’s doing what, and their physical resource requirements. These are a good place to start but to maximize the effect of space management on productivity, especially when expecting growth, it’s important to go deeper.
To accomplish these goals yourself, there needs to be a process of investigating, managing and maintaining the physical space of your company.
The process can be broken down into the following steps:
- Reviewing the organizational structure: This stage determines the space requirements of the company and establishes standards
- Planning for the provision of space: Next, it’s time to identify the amount and type of space and to develop configurations. This will be the stage at which a space forecast is developed
- Assigning space to users or groups: The first of the implementation stages assigns space and receives/evaluates space requests
- Collect and update data on space assignments: The recording stage gathers data on assigned areas and their function. These data are recorded on one of a number of possible systems or tools
- Evaluate space utilization: Finally, space management procedures are evaluated based on the analyses of these data and feedback from staff. This can be the time to draw up a report of the findings and have review meetings to discuss successes and failures in the implementation stages, as well as to plan better approaches to use in the future based on these findings.
A high-level space management process might involve gathering and analyzing data using an integrated workplace management system. This keeps track of multiple department-related data and outputs useful information in areas like energy and facilities management, which helps project and plan for consumption and resource scheduling.
In order to get through this process successfully, it might be sensible to hire a space manager. While it’s possible to do it yourself, an expert will have seen everything before and can save you a lot of time in the process.
The role of a space manager is to design equipment and distribution systems, implement, track and maintain these systems and further optimize the use of space.
While this is an initial cost, it will ultimately save the company money because of just how much a well-organized office environment can increase productivity. Ideally, a space management expert will help you design and implement programs that you can then maintain without much need for consulting.
There are effective alternatives to hiring a space manager; one of which is to use the services available from Saltmine. Saltmine provides a nimble and integrated platform to create space management strategies that align the workspace with the needs of your employees. This service can help plan, design, and optimize your workspace seamlessly.
With effective space management, any growth industry is maximizing its competitive edge. An often overlooked component of productivity, workspace design and function contribute majorly to the wellbeing and enablement of your teams.
Proper space management takes a concentrated and data-driven effort to evaluate, allocate, project, and review space needs and utilization. The goal is to reduce redundancy and workplace hindrances; providing an optimized workplace that promotes work, rather than interfering with it.
Saltmine offers expert perspectives and a useful platform to begin or continue your workspace management journey. Whether you are a small company looking to expand or an established entity trying to streamline your workplace efficiency and boost employee wellbeing, Saltmine can help you take on your future of workplace in a more efficient and timely manner.
To learn more, watch the video below:
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