Aside from the visual layout of an office, one of the first things any visitor (employee or not) will notice is cleanliness.
The same types of questions apply to kitchens, cafeterias, and even outdoor landscaping.
Employees aren’t the only ones who benefit from well-maintained work environments, either. Employers may not know it, but slacking on facilities management can cost them big in terms of employee productivity.
A study conducted by the Centre for Economics and Business Research found that Australian businesses lose $11.4 billion per year due to workplace cleanliness issues. A little more than half ($6 billion) of that total includes losses accumulating from employees avoiding soiled work areas - like waiting for the cleanest toilet and going out for coffee rather than using a dirty kitchen.
In addition to facilities management, CRE professionals are responsible for planning any additions to current office space. That means designing how work areas will be set up, keeping the project on time, and most importantly (to the corporation, anyway) staying within the required budget.
This means CRE professionals need to know which business units and corresponding teams will work in the new space. What does their workspace look like today? Should the new layout be the same, or are there additional requirements for the new office?
And if the company is hiring more staff to fill the new space, it needs to be ready on time to accommodate those new employees. No one wants to sit 2- or 3-to-a-cube while waiting for a delayed buildout. Once the agreed upon Tenant Improvement project timeline has expired, the corporation is responsible for rent - regardless of whether or not the space can be occupied.
CRE professionals are also under pressure to stay at or under budget for the project, especially with private office construction in the U.S. topping out at $60 billion in 2017. If any mistakes are made along the way (like cube walls covering large windows), the corporation incurs the cost of resolving them to meet the new workspace requirements.
As anyone who owns a home knows, facilities management is ongoing. There’s always something to be cleaned or repaired. But what about the optimization of existing workplaces? This is an area where CRE professionals can really demonstrate their value.
Maybe a business isn’t hiring enough headcount to warrant new office space, but the type of employees they are hiring is always changing. The company’s work requirements may have changed drastically from what they were a year ago. Smaller offices could be converted to phone booths, for example. Or maybe the company’s work style has changed from everyone working in the office 5 days per week to some percentage of remote employees or home workers.
Regardless of what the change is, CRE professionals can use workplace studies to understand what’s happening in the work environment today and what needs attention. With that information, they can make adjustments to meet employee needs and then start the process over. And in order for any changes to have a real impact, they have to happen soon - not years down the road.
Employee desires aren’t the only factors that play into decisions about work areas and new real estate investments. CRE professionals must also be mindful of sweeping impacts on the corporation, like:
When you’re dealing with construction projects that cost millions of dollars, it’s critical to understand the entire corporate landscape before making a decision.
In order to manage all these moving pieces, CRE professionals need real-time, automated tools that help them proactively assess scenarios and keep problems from slipping through the cracks. Proactive workflows and detailed dashboards can provide the visibility they need to stay ahead.
Building audits, cleaning inspections, safety inspections, and preventative maintenance checks are all facilities management tasks that can be supported by an execution management platform.
Deliverables for office expansions can be tracked through an execution management platform as well. CRE professionals can request status updates from general contractors or subcontractors to insure timeliness and budget compliance.
Execution management tools can also serve as the backdrop for workplace optimization and strategic real estate planning. CRE professionals can conduct and store workplace studies and other relevant planning data in the platform for easy future modeling.