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.
An Overview of 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.
While space management and facility management are related, they are not the same. Space management has to do with how your spaces are used, and it focuses on how you track and manage your organization's physical space. (Think space utilization, space planning, space occupancy, etc.) Facilities management, on the other hand, encompasses everything around maintaining your organization's buildings and equipment. A facility manager uses facilities management software to create a work order, repair an asset, or perform another maintenance task.
The Benefits of Dedicated Space Management Software
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.
Office Space Management Software, Occupancy Planning Software, Space Utilization Software ― Which Should I Use?
The type of space management system that best fits your organization’s needs depends on many factors, such as industry, organization size, and business purpose. For example, office space management software, also known as space and workplace management software or office space facilities management software, connects employees to the workspaces, resources, and technology they need to get work done. Building space management software, on the other hand, helps organizations visualize their space with space planning tools for uncovering additional square footage and managing space allocation through space allocation software tools. And merchandisers use retail space management software to make sure that products are displayed in the right locations in their stores. Space planning software in general is incredibly useful as it enables efficient visualization, organization, and optimization of physical spaces, allowing users to effectively plan layouts, make informed decisions, and maximize the functionality and productivity of a given space.
Space Allocation Software for More Efficient Spaces
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 and office space utilization 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 Offer?
Space management software provides many 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. The best 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
Key Features of Space Management Software
There are many space management solutions to choose from. When looking for the best space management software to meet 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 Manage My Spaces?
Here at Accruent, we have been specializing in space management software for more than three decades.
We invite you to check out our space and workplace management software, EMS — 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.