Whether you’re hybrid or full-time, the workplace is back–in a big way. And like all great workplaces, its success comes down to how well it’s managed. A quality workplace provides people with what they need to thrive. A poorly managed workplace makes it hard for employees to enjoy being in the office.
Workplace management goes hand-in-hand with creating a great workplace experience. Each workplace is made up of space, technology, and people. It’s important to strike the right balance to create an environment that folks want to be a part of.
In this post, we’ll explore workplace management as a system that keeps your workplace running smoothly and your employees happy. We’ll cover:
- What is workplace management?
- Who needs workplace management?
- 5 benefits of workplace management
- Workplace management best practices
What is workplace management?
Workplace management is a broad term that encompasses all aspects of running an office that hums. This includes everything from front desk protocols and mailroom management policies to the office floor layout, hot-desking, and technologies.
As more companies get comfortable with hybrid work, workplace management increasingly involves maintaining a connected, collaborative culture. That includes equipping meeting rooms with video conferencing screens, reimagining more flexible floor plans, and ensuring technology is secure and platforms are connected. The aim of workplace management is to optimize your resources to create and maintain a workplace that folks want to engage with and work in.
What’s the difference between business management and workplace management?
The answer is in the name! Workplace management relates to everything in the workplace. It often falls under facility management. This means the physical environment that people work within and how people interact with it. Workplace management can encompass your sign-in system for visitors, your room booking process for employees, and the lounge areas for everyone to relax onsite.
Business management is about the work done between people in your workplace and wider organization. Let’s use the same example as above. Business management would be the processes your front-desk staff follow when each visitor signs in. It would also be the work done in meeting rooms, and any discussions held between coworkers in office lounge areas.
Who needs workplace management?
All organizations with a physical office space need a workplace management strategy. It doesn’t matter if you are a big or small business. Or if you have one office or ten offices. Workplace management enables you to create a physical workplace that your employees want to be a part of, no matter the size or industry.
For organizations operating a hybrid work policy, this is especially important. You want to bake in flexibility while also encouraging your employees back onsite. With a workplace management strategy up and running, you can ensure your employees choose to be in the office because it offers everything they need to do their job well.
5 benefits of workplace management
An effective workplace management strategy offers many benefits to your organization. It’s a system designed to keep your workplace ticking along, without any dips in productivity or employee experience. Here are the top 5 benefits.
1. Keeps your workplace secure
Workplace management keeps everyone in your building safe and secure by improving and maintaining your physical security. This includes visitor management, different security policies and procedures, and any other processes that mitigate risk to your employees, buildings, and assets. Your workplace management strategy should cover the maintenance and effectiveness of security features like alarms and surveillance, access control, and ID verification.
2. Helps you manage your space better
No one enjoys working in a crowded, mismanaged, or poorly designed workspace. Your employees have high expectations for the office, now more than ever. Your workplace management strategy will encourage you to regularly review and improve your work spaces. For example, if you often see employees wandering about the office with nowhere to hold meetings, it’s likely you need to reevaluate your space. As part of your strategy, you’ll want to include more collaborative spaces like couches or quiet areas. You should also assess whether to include more meeting rooms or pods to help employees easily take calls or gather for group discussions.
3. Compliments an agile work environment
Today’s workplaces are more agile than ever before. Having a workplace management strategy will help you adapt to changing work styles and different flexible work models. Workplace management is a key driver behind these smarter, more agile workplaces. It includes leveraging technology to enable employees to book meeting rooms easily, when and where they need them. It also means setting up your workplace to suit flexible seating arrangements, like hot-desking or office hoteling.
4. Improves employee productivity and morale
A well-managed workplace is like a well-managed home–it offers folks what they need, when they need it. For example, an office without a workplace management strategy is likely to be uncomfortable or outdated in what it can offer. If it isn’t already, it certainly will be in 10 years when technology has evolved even further. You want to avoid a situation where your employees don’t want to visit your office. With a strategy in place, you’ll be managing the operations and design of each physical office so workers are comfortable and engaged with their environment. As employee engagement rises, so too does their dedication, productivity, and overall output.
5. Saves cost
No one wants to waste money on office rent and furniture that they don’t need. It is a major expenditure for businesses, and can be painful if the space is poorly planned and unused. Having a workplace management strategy will help you review, improve, and design your space more cost-effectively. That includes assessing if your office is the right size, if it has the necessary amount of furniture, or if any equipment is often left unused. You can then assess if you need to downsize or switch things up, helping you identify where to save on overhead costs.
Your workplace management strategy best practices
Creating a workplace management strategy for your organization doesn’t have to be a daunting and never-ending task. Keep in mind that your strategy should be unique to your organization. Each company is different. For example, workplace management for a small start-up will be very different to an enterprise with multiple offices and thousands of employees. Here are some best practices to follow when crafting your workplace management strategy.
Identify your pain points
Assessing your current workplace is a good place to start when creating your workplace management strategy. It will enable you to identify what’s working well and what isn’t. For example, take a look at your office layout. Is it effectively making the best use of the space, or do you have empty areas and overcrowded areas? You might also assess your meeting spaces and workstations to ensure they meet people’s expectations. Once you’ve identified the pain points that exist in your organization, you can prioritize what your workplace management strategy will cover first.
Survey your employees
If the goal of workplace management is to improve the workplace for your employees, then it makes sense to get their two cents. Surveying your employees will help you gain an up-to-date understanding of their needs and expectations. It may even highlight areas you have missed in your initial assessment. Some good questions to ask in your survey include:
- What makes you want to work onsite instead of from home?
- What do you need to be most productive when onsite?
- What types of spaces do you use the most? How about the least?
- What do you enjoy most about being in the workplace? What do you enjoy the least?
Leverage technology and automation
Your employees expect a lot from the workplace, especially where technology is concerned. Your tools and technology should work seamlessly in your organization. If they don’t, it can cause frustration and impact employee productivity and overall performance. As part of your workplace management strategy, ensure you regularly assess how each tool performs. Are there too many or too few? Do your technologies integrate with each other seamlessly? Consider investing in a workplace platform, where you can manage everything from one, centralized location.
Automation also plays a key role in workplace management. After all, a key component is attention to detail. And despite your best efforts, sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the day to see to everything. Automation can help save you time by filling in the gaps in the day-to-day details and ensure your workplace stays in tip top condition.
Consider the future
A key part of workplace management is keeping an eye on the future, so that you are prepared for where your organization may grow or pivot to. For example, imagine you are a small organization looking to scale in the next five years. It’s highly likely that your workforce will outgrow the capacity of your current office in that time. By having a workplace management strategy in place, you can prepare for how the future will affect some business decisions made today. This could be investing in a workplace platform that constantly evolves with your workplace needs. Remember, situations can change quickly, so it’s important that you take this into account when managing your workplace and technology.
Workplace management is not a one-time, annual, or even monthly task or event. In fact, there’s even a whole role dedicated to it! Managing a workplace is a continual and iterative process that should support your workplace, employees, and wider organization. It helps you maintain a positive work environment that your employees feel comfortable and safe in. In turn, that helps drive productivity and connection in your organization.
Interested in creating a better workplace for everyone? Check out our ultimate guide library! A go-to resource that covers everything on how to improve the workplace for your employees.