Effective space usage has become a very critical component in today's workplace management. With the business environment changing at a constant pace, it is important for companies to be agile and cost conscious and ensure that all their resources, including the space is being put to maximum use.
Office space is especially vulnerable to poor usage. This can be attributed to poor space management, irresponsible behavior and plain lack of insight into what is actually happening with the space. When there is no insight and control, the easiest, yet the most ill-advised thing to do is to move into a bigger space or take on another lease.
Here are some strategies that you can use with ecobook to ensure that your space usage is maximized.
1. Setting Proper Business Rules
Setting up business rules on meeting rooms and desks such as lead time for booking, advanced booking window, cancellation policies, operating and booking hours can help in managing regular bookings. Staff can only book within these boundaries and any request for out of boundary conditions require the staff to approach a super user or administrator to make the booking.
2. Control Access
Setting up the user groups and assigning the correct viewing and booking permissions on each room or desk can vastly increase the efficiency of operations. For example, HR Department can only book rooms within their own floor and denying them access to different floors will ensure that the space is utilized well. This also helps in reporting analysis where decisions such as over or under capacity can be analysed and spaces can be re-assigned or re-purposed.
3. Oversee Critical Spaces
Certain rooms such as auditoriums, command centers and boardrooms may require special permissions to reserve. For such cases, a group of users can be assigned to oversee the booking requests. When a user requests for such spaces, an email is sent out to the room owners. These uers can review each request and approve or reject the bookings based on the need, importance or attendees.
4. Ensuring Automated Cancellation Policies
By setting auto-cancellation of bookings, the onus is on the requestors to ensure that they check into meetings so that their booking are still live. If users do not check-in within a pre-defined number of minutes after the meeting starts, then the system can automatically cancel the meeting and notify the requestor. While this is certainly a hand-off method of maintaining control, there are several risks involved in having such as automated solution. So, it must be carefully thought through and implemented.
5. Implement Penalties
While this is mostly a last resort, penalties can be imposed on users who misuse the spaces. For example, the blacklisting feature allows administrators to prevent them from making reservations.
Alternatively, the pricing and charges module allows for charge-backs to be made to the respective departments who misuse the space. A monetary figure on the usage can certainly go a long way in ensuring that the space is being used in a more mature fashion. Irrespective of whether actual financial are impacted through cross-departmental charging, it forms a great way to measure costs involved and opportunity losses.
These 5 strategies are some of the most commonly used techniques to have control and oversight into the space usage in an office. These observations are based on real life usage by our customers. The implementation of the techniques depend a lot on the management, its culture, scale of the organization as well as the level of administrative control and authority available to the users who manage the space.