What is Workplace management ?
It is likely that for some time now, you have been taking a close interest in the technologies, methods and best practices of workplace management.
Workplace management : definition and issues
You have understood the stakes and you are convinced that it is now necessary to optimize and adapt the workplace according to the use that employees make of it and according to their real needs.
If the optimization and the good management of work spaces is an issue to which the managers of corporate real estate have always been sensitive, the Covid-19 and the confinement have reinforced the need to optimize the workplace, by disrupting the working habits, by democratizing the teleworking and the flex-office. These new ways of working, of using offices and other workspaces, have a direct impact on the occupancy rate of open spaces, meeting rooms, on the number of visitors welcomed in the premises and redefining its workplace strategy has become essential to optimize financial profitability, productivity and employees' well-being.
workplace Management : definition
Workplace management is an activity that aims to promote productivity, team well-being, optimizing the profitability of m² and the environmental impact of work spaces.
Workplace management was born out of the problems companies have with their workspaces. It happens that some large meeting rooms, equipped with high performance equipment, such as HD projection or video-conferencing systems as well as 26-inch screens, are only used by small groups that do not need such an advanced infrastructure for an operational meeting with 3 employees. Defining the number and capacity of meeting rooms to meet the real needs of employees, while improving the profitability of its square meters is one of the major challenges in terms of space optimization and workplace management.
Also, some companies operating entirely in open space did not have spaces dedicated to videoconferencing between an employee and an external person, for example.
This discipline also improves employee engagement; they are indeed the first ones concerned. The changes that can be made for this optimization must be made with them, by asking them about their feelings, their habits, their practices and their desires.
This management of work spaces is an important strategic practice that has been developing for several years, with tasks that are included in the job descriptions of "office managers" and "facility managers". It has even become a profession: that of "workplace manager", who works on both the mental and physical well-being of employees. Their role is to organize the space to make it pleasant and functional, to create individual or collaborative work spaces.
workplace management, who is concerned ?
HR and human resources management
In order to preserve and enrich the employee experience, the department in charge of human resources within the company is often a stakeholder in any workplace project.
Is the workplace adapted to the expectations and needs of employees?
Are the offices designed to ensure the safety of employees?
Does the work environment allow teams to be productive?
These are all workplace-related questions that require the involvement of human resources in workspace optimization projects.
Corporate Real Estate Manager
Corporate real estate managers and operators are also concerned by the subject. Although they are not directly in charge of the employee experience, they must rethink the layout of their buildings in a Smart Building logic in order to optimize the profitability of their square meters while offering work environments that are part of a sustainable approach, avoiding, for example, excessive energy consumption that is not adapted to the occupancy rate of the workplace, which, since containment, has become more and more variable. Flex-office and hybrid workplace are the new ways of working and these neologisms are an integral part of the notion of workplace and smart building.
The facility manager's mission is to coordinate the organization of offices and to implement the services offered by companies, such as catering, concierge services or the provision of shuttle vehicles. In terms of workplace management, facilities management companies must also rethink the allocation of resources.
optimizing work spaces
Optimizing work spaces has several interests and the ultimate goal is to create a more efficient work environment.
Renting and/or maintaining office space for companies is very expensive, as well as maintaining it, since an office is first and foremost an essential working tool. If an incident occurs, a major renovation is needed or a repair is underway, it has a direct impact on employees, which is why business premises must be maintained. Each additional employee adds to the costs, which can be significant: optimizing workspaces is one way to reduce the costs associated with a company's premises.
"clean desk": the miracle solution?
With the Covid-19 crisis and the sanitary measures that followed, the way companies operate has changed, especially with the arrival of telecommuting, which seems to be on the way to stay. Also called "flex office", the "clean desk" is a particular office management system: in this system, the employee does not have a dedicated office. If The Conversation notes that this system is rarely favored by employees for several reasons: "Blurring of the location of colleagues, impossibility of appropriating a space of one's own, feeling of distance from the company."
But from a health point of view, this may be a useful solution. Indeed, many companies, and probably yours, use cleaning companies that operate every day; the problem is that they can't touch employees' personal belongings and therefore can't fully clean the offices. Adopting the "clean desk" is therefore for some companies the guarantee of a better cleaning. Also, in this context of massive adoption of telecommuting, it becomes difficult to justify having one desk per employee, especially if the employee telecommutes several days a week.
flex-office & activity based working
The "flex-office" and the "activity based working" appear then as a useful workplace management solution for companies that operate at a certain level of telework.