How many times have you heard the line, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”? In many cases, it’s not bad advice – and it’s a mantra that can easily become standard thinking in a company. If you’re the facility, operations or HR manager for a successful company employing more than 200 employees, it can be easy to feel this way. You know your job well, and if the office environment seems to be functioning correctly, with no shortage of available workstations, it’s easy to think that things are as good as they can be. That’s certainly better than going digging for problems, and adding yet another layer of software on top of the ones you already use. Right?
But just because things are working doesn’t mean that they couldn’t be going more smoothly. Particularly in companies which are growing rapidly, blind spots can develop around areas such as seating allocation strategies — and these could be costing you money and unnecessary stress.
Do you know the exact cost per square foot of your office space? How about the utilization levels of your meeting rooms, expressed as an average throughout the week? If the answer is “no,” that’s not a slight on you. These are figures that virtually no one is able to rattle off the top of their head, not least because they almost certainly change over time.
To answer questions like this, most will likely use traditional tools to track and manage seating allocation, such as Excel spreadsheets and AutoCAD drawings of floor plans. These can work reasonably well, but they have weaknesses that make them less than ideal for handling the realities of a constantly shifting dynamic workplace. Part of the problem is that this process is usually done manually: something that’s not only time-consuming, but also makes it difficult to keep track of data and changes.
Solving the unknown
A solution is at hand, however — and it could be used to fast-track the answers to your queries. POC’s Seating Allocation System produces an intuitive, efficient and cost-effective solution for managing office space. Not only does it let you keep tabs on how the seating is allocated and organized within your office, but it can also help reveal information you might not be aware of: in some cases, potentially solving problems you didn’t realize were there at all.
In addition to the information about office space cost per square foot and meeting room utilization, the Seating Allocation System can help you keep track of metrics like how many employees are coming to work every day, and how many are otherwise out of the office for reasons ranging from maternity or sick leave to working from home. In addition, it can assist with forecasting for growing and downsizing numbers of employees so that you can future-proof by making sure there are enough seats to accommodate growth. The system lets you easily perform space optimization strategies, carry out simulations for different seating arrangements, and locate empty rooms or underutilized space.
Unlike some of the other tools you might have used, POC’s software is designed for constant amendments, so you can model your workspace as the dynamic, multi-employee environment that it is. All of this can be achieved using a graphical interface that’s easy to learn, visually appealing, and capable of keeping all the information you need in one place.
This fuller knowledge of your office space will provide you with more accurate and detailed data, which can be used for analysis that simply isn’t possible using other tools. It allows you to shift from a reactive to a proactive strategy focused on anticipating where things are headed, instead of just reacting to how they have been.
The importance of a seating strategy
There is plenty of evidence to suggest that a good seating allocation strategy can contribute to high-level organization goals and KPIs. Seating can increase employees’ productivity to a surprising degree. A study from Harvard Business School and Cornerstone OnDemand concluded that, for an organization consisting of 2,000 workers, strategic seating planning could add anything up to a massive $1 million per annum of profit. Making the most of available space – for instance, by uncovering areas that are not being utilized effectively – will also help you avoid the risk of unnecessarily “running out” of office space. The result is happier, more productive employees in the present, and better planning for the future.
A tool like POC’s Seating Allocation System can assist with all of this, while making it easier for you to make your case to higher-ups in the company. It’s not about challenging your knowledge of the workspace that you know so well, or creating a solution in search of a problem. We know that our technology can help you do your job with more efficiency, and help free up some major time in the process.