Connections

Insights and Information from Splice

FlexForward

Managing, Measuring, and Maintaining YOUR Flexible Workspace

Posted by Kai Thompson  |  September 15, 2020

Preface

What is the true value of Face 2 Face communication? In the absence of it, what are the benefits that we can derive from virtual communication as a supplement rather than a substitute? What are the roadblocks and/or challenges to both and how do we overcome them?

The percentage of people that work virtually will no doubt be far less once the pandemic has passed, but it belies reason to think that the trend that was already present won’t jump ahead”

Scott Davis

Splice President

The inherent value in effective communication can’t be overstated. And while it’s true that Face to Face work will never cease to be, we now must adjust the lens through which we See it. We must consider the how, when, where, and why as well as the implications behind the choices made for face to face and/or virtual collaboration. As we’ve previously explored in The Workspace Dilemma and The Space Between, for many workspace owners, landlords, tenants, and managers, deciding what the next “right” thing to do is a common challenge. While the choice to do as little as possible might be tempting, we must all keep our heads up and eyes forward in order to be prepared and equipped to leap over the hurdles we’re all sure to face in the future…

1. Managing

Much of the resistance to supporting an increased percentage of mobile or at home virtual work has historically come from middle managers and their struggle to account for their people without seeing and counting them throughout the day. While it’s clear that the COVID crisis has blown a hole in that wall of resistance, the untethering of our workforce, by and large, has been an emerging phenomenon for more than fifteen years. Thanks to the advent and convergence of cell phones, laptops, WiFi, and cloud computing, prior to the pandemic it was not unusual for workstations to be empty more than half the day as workers moved to conference rooms, amenity spaces, off site 3rd party spaces, and yes, even home. So, the question becomes, why continue investing in large, fully equipped workstations that might often go unused? A possible solution: improve your shared and collaborative spaces by making them larger, better equipped and more supportive of mobile technology.

2. Measuring

While virtual customer interface has grown to become a widely accepted norm in many industries, professional and consultative organizations–that have historically relied strongly on face to face engagement–have long held out as the exception… Until now. From healthcare organizations to lawyers and financial advisors, companies are finding ways to pivot and flex. Take, for example, REI’s recent choice NOT to occupy their spectacular new space in Bellevue’s Spring District in favor of a decentralized approach that may come to include a mix of work from home as well as localized collaboration/workspaces. REI’s actions are similar to growing speculation that for many commercial and administrative spaces, there may be a move toward a “hub and spoke” model, where a relatively large space serves as a center for leadership and larger collaborations, while regional or even smaller neighborhood spaces support needs of workers closer to their home. It might be that a veritable combination of virtual collaboration, work from home and a high percentage of shared workstations holds the model together. Whatever that future model turns out to be, it’s clear that workspace managers must now find new ways to flex and adapt. To manage ever-changing spaces filled with people in highly varying numbers while adapting to an overall real estate strategy that is prone to shifting under their feet at a near moment’s notice. Unfortunately, in many organizations a single person often ends up “inheriting” facilities management in addition to their normal job function. For one person, this can quickly become an insurmountable task. A possible solution: engage temporary or long-term talent to support your ability to manage through the crisis and assist in establishing adaptable protocols for the long haul.

3. Maintaining

One of the biggest challenges for workspace managers–once they’ve jumped the many hurdles to update and enforce occupancy, engineering and janitorial systems and processes–is being able to monitor, interpret, and act on all that information. Having to look at numerous reports from several different systems is daunting and offers little opportunity to see how things might be related. A possible solution: centralized data collection, management, and reporting systems.

Here to help you succeed

Splice offers a suite of services built for the day-to-day, long-term, and anything in-between. Whether you’re moving, growing, or evolving, we’re here to help you handle the finer details while doing the heavy lifting.

  • Need help managing your space? We offer schematic design, occupancy planning, tenant improvements, and FF&E planning services geared toward establishing and accommodating greater flexibility.
  • Need help measuring, evaluating, and adapting your space? Splice’s space utilization services can help you identify how much of your current space is being used versus what you actually need. We also offer staff and facility infrastructure augmentation to help you take swift, cost-effective action on high priority tasks.
  • Need help maintaining your space? In addition to our staff and technology augmentation services, Splice can work with you to build out your own real time interactive real estate management dashboard, giving you the ability to make informed decisions in less time and with greater confidence.

Connect with Splice

Need help deciding what your next “right” thing to do is? We’d love to discuss how Splice can help you bring your company’s vision to life.

Get In TouCh