by Andrew Mawson who is the managing director of Workplace strategy workplace strategy consultants AWA.
People often ask "what's the difference between workplace management and Facilities Management". There are substantial differences.
Facilities Management as defined by Wikipedia is "the management
of buildings, physical plant and services. The services are sometimes considered to be divided into 'hard services' and 'soft services.' Hard services includes such things as ensuring that a building's air conditioning is operating efficiently, reliably, safely and legally. Soft services includes such things as ensuring that the building is cleaned properly and regularly or monitoring the performance of contractors (e.g. builders, electricians). The term 'facility management' is similar to 'property management' but often applied only to larger and/or commercial properties where the management and operation is more complex. Some or all of these aspects can be maintained by data-rich computer programs".
Advanced Workplace Management embraces much of the definition of Facilities Management, but is much more 'user' focused. Facilities Management tends to be more about the building and its infrastructure while Advanced Workplace Management is about focussing on improving professional and team performance by providing workplaces that help people and the organisation perform better. It is about making sure that the workplace is designed and managed on an ongoing basis with a single focus: to enable people and teams in doing their best work.
It embraces the idea that the workplace is the amalgam of the physical (space, desks, layout, ambience), the logical (IT hardware and software, printers, booking systems, telephony), the service (reception, concierge, cleaning, catering etc.) practices (the time, place, way, processes adopted for work) adopted by staff. It also recognises that the workplace may only in part be 'the office'. Other places for work such as the home, the road (mobile) or in other locations around the world.
Advanced Workplace Management differs from Facilities Management in that it is focused on the operational AND the strategic aspects ie. Making sure that the workplace is evolved to meet the needs of the volatile business world our clients live in. It therefore provides the underlying strategy for an organisation striving to create an 'Advanced Working' environment.
What Advanced Working can do for an organisation:
- Increase the number of people who can work from a typical office building by 20-30% by sharing workspace in the office with colleagues instead of 'owning it (most workplaces are only occupied 45% of the time they are available and they are only available some 60 hours out of a possible 168 that they are being paid for).
- Enable better cross functional team working and relationships by letting people from different teams work in the same physical areas when they need to. People who have adopted Advanced Working tell us that us that they get to know more colleagues.
- Enable easy, rapid and cost free re-organisation of teams and individuals. It costs approximately £400 to move an individual from one place to another in a building, requires 'swing space' and users have to wait takes too long for it to happen.
- Make for happier staff where commuting can be reduced for those with jobs and circumstances that don't need to work in the office every day. 50% of staff in our studies say that given the chance, they would like to work 1-2 days week at home.
- Helps people be at their most productive best every day by providing the right combination of spaces 'tuned' to their needs. People who have adopted Advanced Working tell us that they are more productive because they have the right places for the tasks they perform, they are more disciplined and plan better.
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