How real-time visibility of resource usage can help facilities managers optimise the workplace

The exact scope of facilities management is, to some extent, in the eye of the organisation, but in most cases, it encompasses a range of disciplines and services to ensure the functionality, comfort, safety and efficiency of a building or collection of buildings. When they are doing their best job, facilities managers are the unsung heroes of the workplace, ensuring a smooth-running ship the same way great special effects make a movie better – without you even noticing they were there.

Demand for most organisation’s facilities varies massively throughout 24 hours. Depending on the organisation, these can vary considerably from day to day, week to week and season to season but to ensure services match demand, as opposed to under or over serving the organisation, facilities management teams need to know about resource usage of the past and the planned future. However, they also need to be able to respond to unexpected, last-minute demands in the present – the sooner they know about those demands, the sooner their response can begin, and the more effective it is likely to be.

Facilities Management & real-time visibility – in an instant

Until now, real-time visibility of resource usage was only something you could get from certain vantage points in a building, in person, by walking around the building, or from the CCTV control room. Now, modern resource booking software enables facilities managers to view current resource use and impending resource needs from a mobile device wherever they are. When integrated with your visitor management system and IoT sensors, they can have access to an even more detailed and accurate picture. This approach gives them more power to anticipate problems and find solutions in advance more easily than they previously could.

To illustrate: an employee has an important presentation to make to a client, so they book a room well in advance from 3pm to 4pm, along with a projector. The morning of that meeting someone else books another room two floors away for 2pm, along with the same projector. If the resource booking system doesn’t immediately notify whoever is responsible for transporting the projector from one meeting to the next, they may only find out after the organiser of the second meeting has already spent five to ten minutes waiting for the projector to turn up, causing them to contact facilities management to find out what’s going on.

Resource booking systems support employee retention

This isn’t just a problem because the presentation was delayed by fifteen minutes, or because of the poor impression it made on the client, which are both bad enough – it’s a problem because of how demotivating this kind of experience is for the employee who booked the room and the projector. The mission of the facilities manager isn’t just to ensure that equipment and the work environment are functional, comfortable and secure so that employees have the resources they need to be their most productive – as important as that is. Their mission is to make the whole experience of accessing those resources a happy one, which is important because, if we needed it to, research has now proven that happy employees are more motivated and productive employees who are more likely to be focussed on their job than on finding a new one. In other words, a key part of a facilities manager’s role is to seek innovative workplace solutions to increase employee productivity and satisfaction. 

Resource booking systems build positive work environments

An organisation’s resource booking system makes a big contribution to how happy the experience of accessing company resources, from rooms to projectors, can be. Historically, the user-friendliness of any facilities management system depended on the face of the facilities management team and to be fair – the job of marshalling resources whilst being as accommodating as possible was never an easy one.

However, with the latest resource booking software, instead of having to book rooms, desks, parking spaces and other resources through a coordinator who may be on their last nerve after the fourteenth rescheduling of the same meeting that day, employees now have access to an infinitely patient user-friendly resource booking system, through which to locate available resources, and book and cancel them as needed. Furthermore, with resource booking software that is truly built for mobile devices, employees can also search for and book resources from wherever they are, 24/7. (Hot tip: if you want to motivate your workforce by offering them a flexible working arrangement, where they don’t have to come into the office, but if they do come in they have to book a desk in advance, being able to do this easily makes the critical difference between the arrangement actually feeling flexible as opposed to cumbersome.)

Two key things about modern resource booking software make facilities management much easier and more effective today. Live and historic data on resource usage empowers facilities managers to identify the biggest strains on resources and implement solutions that optimise resource use and minimise costs. At the same time, by giving employees the ability to book rooms without support – facilities managers have much more capacity to pre-empt problems and implement solutions that keep employees happy and work flowing.

Explore how else Matrix Booking can help you

Employees can search for desks in any of your buildings or shared hubs, find colleagues, make bookings for their team, and more.

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People can find rooms that meet their needs, including location, facilities, capacity, and accessibility. Add equipment, catering, and other essentials. 

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Efficiently manage visitor sign in systems across your sites, ensuring a secure welcome and clear communication of health and safety procedures.

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Powerful reports help you keep track of occupancy levels, usage trends, and more, so that you can continually optimise your estates. 

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