Space & Move Management

5 Reasons to Abandon Spreadsheets for Space Management

David Spence
April 28th, 2015

Disconnected spreadsheets and floorplans make poor space management tools

In most cases, spreadsheets and floorplans that are not linked to each other are not the best choice of space management tools. They require a lot of time and effort to report information that quickly changes. They drain your productivity. They make space tracking a chore. And they represent a way of doing things that’s becoming more and more outdated as software technology advances.

Let’s face it—whether you’re a facilities manager, an office manager or an admin with facilities management duties, tracking moves can be a challenge. This is especially true if your primary tool for doing so is a PDF floorplan. While it’s better than nothing at all, using paper to track who’s sitting where can be an obstacle to running a business smoothly and efficiently.

Here are five in-depth reasons why disconnected spreadsheets and floorplans are poor choices for managing your office space.

1. Manual space management tools are time consuming

When you’re managing a building of 200-plus people, keeping track of who’s sitting where can be difficult. FMs who do so have to walk each floor where the personnel has changed, consulting old floormaps and updating new ones; if entire departments have changed locations, this could take a few hours. When it comes to tracking moves, using a PDF floorplan is an extremely time-intensive method.

How much time do you spend walking each floor of the building, seeing who’s sitting where? What about the time you spend on data entry afterwards, updating spreadsheets, noting who’s sitting where, and updating phone numbers? Neither of these tasks are that difficult, but they do take a lot of time. Think of all the other things you could be doing instead: planning the budget, meeting with your team, talking to your customers, etc. Since spreadsheets and floor plans require so much upkeep, all of these things get pushed to the side. 

2. Spreadsheets are too static

Who sits where may be constantly changing. People move. People leave. People receive promotions. Sometimes, entire departments may move from one office floor to another. The office environment is a dynamic space. Neither of the traditional tools FMs use for space tracking are well-suited for keeping track of all these changes. A printed-out floor plan is not much good if the floor plan does not represent the actual layout of the office floor. This leads right to their next weak point.

3. Spreadsheets are inconvenient

You’ve updated your space management spreadsheet with new contact and location information. Now it’s time to send the newest copy to HR. Just make sure that your computer files are well-organized. Otherwise, the new spreadsheet could get mixed up with the old ones. You may have to spend some time searching for the right one.

And be sure to send a copy of the new seating arrangements to each staff member who needs a copy. These colleagues will then have to replace their old copies, too.

Pretty simple, unless you have to repeat this process several times a year. Instead of simple, it starts to feel tedious and time consuming. When accurate data is needed, will your spreadsheet be up to date and ready?

Of course, once you’ve gone around the building and seen who’s moved where, you know how to find a specific employee—but does anyone else? Not knowing how to find a worker can be a drain on productivity. For example, let’s say there’s a campus with two separate office buildings, A and B. A staff member from A is trying to find someone in B. The latter recently moved from one floor to another; however, and by the time the former learns this, they’ve spent ten minutes searching on the wrong floor. And they still haven’t found the person they’re looking for.

4. A disconnected spreadsheet/floorplan does not scale well

At a certain point, companies grow to the point that change is necessary. Space management tools that used to work perfectly well just won’t work as efficiently anymore. Tracking your space falls into this category. As your company gets larger, it’s important to have tools for managing that bigger size. Without them, your organization may experience growing pains that last much longer than they really need to.

If moves are common in your company, you may find yourself having barely updated your floorplan before you find that you need to update it once again. You may want to put the task off for a while, having just gone round the building. But if more moves take place while you wait for a more convenient time, you’ll have even more changes to track, which will draw the process out even more.

5. Manual floor plan management tools cost money

Yes, that’s right. Your Excel spreadsheets and PDF floorplans are costing you. At first glance, it may seem like they’re actually saving you money.

“I’m using resources that we already have,” you might say. “That’s better than spending the money to buy some other expensive option, right?”

Well, it depends. If your company is small, with less than 200 people, using what you already have might be the best option. Any larger than that, and you’re losing time, money, and productivity by spending so much time updating your Excel spreadsheets and floorplans.

OfficeSpace Software is the better alternative. Our simple yet powerful software lets you record moves in a matter of seconds by just dragging and dropping. With contact and location info all in one central program, facilities managers don’t have to worry about making sure they get the latest spreadsheet to the right people.

The average office worker burns through 10,000 sheets of paper each year. For facilities managers, tracking moves in this way contributes to their total paper usage, especially since tracking moves is a repeated activity. Add in the hassle of having to keep track of different versions and replace old floorplans with the new, and it’s easy to see that not only is the venture bad for the environment; it’s frustrating too.

So given the many problems associated with PDF floorplans, what alternative can you choose? OfficeSpace Software shortens the move-recording process from hours into minutes.

With a few simple clicks, you can drag and drop an employee from one spot to another. Never again will you have to worry about ensuring that a floorplan is up-to-date.

Plus, the Visual Directory™ also allows end users to find whom they’re looking for by letting them search by name. The display of the person’s location and picture makes finding them a breeze.



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