Definition: Space management software helps automate the process of finding available space, scheduling office and campus space, and reporting on usage so you can seamlessly and easily manage your spaces.
In this primer on space management and space management software, you’ll learn about the basics of space management software and how you can use it to drive success in your work environment.
First things first: What do you mean by space management?
Space management is – just like the name sounds – the practice of managing spaces in which people work or gather, such as:
- Office workspace areas
- Business meeting rooms
- College classrooms
- Outside workspaces
- Campus gathering places
- Or any other space that needs to be managed!
Space management is the process of planning and scheduling how people and spaces work together, so that people (employees, office building visitors, students on campus) can be in the most appropriate places for work or play. By knowing who should be where and when they should be there, your organization can understand how much space you have, how you’re currently using it, and how to best plan for your spaces in the future.
Why do I need dedicated software to manage spaces?
Imagine a world in which you didn’t have software designed to manage spaces. In a small environment where you could count on your fingers the number of spaces that need to be managed, you could probably schedule those spaces without much difficulty. But as the number of spaces scales up, the task becomes exponentially difficult. Trying to decide who goes where quickly gets messy, even with the help of generic software like spreadsheets. Purpose-built space management software allows that scaling to happen seamlessly.
How does space management software work?
On the user side, the software guides you through the process of choosing a space based on criteria such as availability, location, capacity and other factors. You can also go into the system to make changes and updates when needed. Behind the scenes, an administrator sets up the system to include all bookable spaces and their features (such as available resources like video conferencing equipment). The software then uses intelligence to determine what available spaces meet the individual user’s requirements so that spaces are best used.
How can data help make my spaces more efficient?
Are your employees wasting time trying to find a desk or office space that will ensure they are most productive? Do you know whether or how often a particular conference room is underutilized? In a campus, are classes being scheduled in ways that make the best use of the available classrooms, labs and other spaces? The data generated by space management software provides answers to these types of questions so that you can make the most efficient use of your space possible.
What other benefits does a space management solution convey?
Space management software conveys a whole host of benefits, including:
- Increased productivity. When you create a frictionless experience for browsing, booking and using your facilities, you free up your employees to focus on their core jobs
- Minimized administrative legwork. By reducing the steps needed to book an individual space or manage a meeting, conference or event, you reduce the chance of errors – like the dreaded double-booking
- Automated workflows. Space management software lets you streamline how meeting space is requested, approved and invoiced, and manage change requests with alerts so everyone has the latest information
- Optimized investments. To make strategic decisions on how to use space, you need to be able to understand how people use and engage with your environment. Space management software gives you the increased visibility needed to make informed real estate decisions and drive value for your organization
- More engaged employees. Studies show that employees who are engaged with their jobs experience more job satisfaction and stick around longer. By allowing them to manage how and where they work, you provide an exceptional experience that increases employee attraction and retention
- Boosted team collaboration. Scheduling software that integrates with the tools and technologies your team needs means you reduce departmental silos and remove collaboration silos, even when employees are working remotely or on a hybrid work schedule
- Improved interdepartmental communications. When all your resources are connected through one system of record, you improve communications across teams
What key features should I look for?
There are many space management solutions to choose from. When looking for one that meets your needs, ask yourself:
- Does it scale globally with ease?
- Can data be shared across our entire organization?
- Is it configurable enough to meet my use cases and demands?
- Will its feature set meet my workflow requirements?
- Can it integrate with leading technology providers?
- Are analytics, space utilization and optimization tools part of the software?
- Is the software easy to use, with multiple access points for all user types?
- Does it include self-service scheduling?
- Can I use it to manage recurring events?
- Does the vendor offer sufficient industry experience and support?
How does EMS help solve the problem of managing my spaces?
Here at Accruent, we have been specializing in space management software for more than three decades. Our space and resource management platform, EMS, is an enterprise-level, highly configurable scheduling solution with multiple integration options, comprehensive business rules, robust reporting and analytic tools that address your space scheduling needs.