The FM Professional

What Facility Managers Are Thinking About

David Spence
May 30th, 2013

Space Management Trends

Analysis of Space Usage

Paying close attention to what rooms in the building are being used and which aren’t can help facility managers decide how space and energy can be used more efficiently. If there’s a conference room or office that is only used from time to time, for example, they may think of alternative ways to use that space more effectively so that they make the most of the office resources.


One possible way to make the most of office resources is through hibernation, or reserving certain spaces for the sake of saving energy and other company resources. Hibernation may be a useful practice when workers want to use different office areas for projects or meetings. If several groups of the same size will be meeting in a day, see if you can arrange for each group to only use one appropriately sized room, one after the other. This will save energy, because instead of having to control the temperature for different floors of the building, you can have everyone concentrated on the same floor.

Energy Management

Rather than simply tracking energy trends of their companies, facilities managers are proactively working to control the energy used in their buildings. How are they doing this? Technology allows them to analyze the amounts of energy spent in their offices, as well as the specific times and places where usage is greatest. Using that information, they can discover ways to cut down on energy consumption and make recommendations to colleagues for saving on resources.

Tracking software will also help them visualize and present this information. Gone are the days of manual charts and figures; instead, facilities managers will use software with sophisticated graphics and data to support their points about energy usage and conservation.


Thanks to their convenience, telecommunication tools have become a key part of business. But because companies often use different video conferencing software, integrating different systems can pose a challenge. Facilities managers should work to identify what system will work best with different videoconferencing tools so that no party involved loses time waiting for their conference to get off the ground.

Collaboration With IT Team

Working with the IT team does not have as much an environmental benefit as it does a financial one. Greater communication between facility managers and IT specialists can help cut costs by streamlining any overlapping databases and streamlining communication around employee moves and requests. Getting rid of information that’s unnecessarily stored in two different places can create a simpler database for both FMs and IT workers, and it can also save the money associated with the cost of owning redundant programs. Using an intuitive office and facilities management software solution may be all that’s needed.

Variable Workspace

Another cost-saving technique for some businesses is renting variable workspace. It allows for a pay-as-you-need-it approach that drains the budget less than leasing a main office that isn’t used to full capacity. Specifically, maintaining a fixed workspace costs around $10,000 more than using a variable model, so the latter is a nice alternative to spending money on a space that pay for itself.

Image credit: KROMKRATHOG/