Workplace Tech & Software

How Technology Can Keep FM Budgets in Check

David Spence
November 7th, 2013

How to Drive Down Facilities Management Costs

fm budgets and technologyFacilities managers are always on the lookout for ways to save while maximizing productivity. Of course, one popular strategy is to focus on the environmental, like reminding workers to recycle and setting all printers to produce double-sided documents. But technology can be a powerful resource, too. As AsureSoftware’s Jeff Roof explains, using certain tech tools can help the company budget in considerable ways.

Decreasing Real Estate Costs

Now that we’ve entered the era of flexible work options, it’s not just the employees who are reaping the benefits of working from home. They’re an advantage for employers too. The average amount spent on providing office space for a worker ranges from $10,000 to $15,000 each year. Employees who work from home are not only quenching their thirst for flexibility; they’re saving the company money, too. Thanks to using tools like e-mail, instant messaging, and web conferencing, facility managers can save thousands of dollars.

Maintaining Morale

The other side of working from home, the side that’s less shiny and inviting, is the fact that it can be isolating and somewhat tedious to work without seeing other people. For this reason, offices should have hoteling spaces to accommodate the times when a remote worker drops by. In order for this to work, however, they’ll also need hoteling software to keep track of who’s sitting where. Otherwise, the benefits gained from coming into the office might be cancelled out by the trouble of finding an empty spot in the office when there’s no organized way to do so.

Getting an Accurate Picture of Space Usage

Hoteling software can help an FM see what rooms have been reserved. However, there is always the chance that a person may reserve the space without stepping foot inside. For these cases, tools like activity and traffic sensors can give an accurate picture of space use. Activity sensors track activity in meeting spaces, while traffic sensors can provide data on the use of larger spaces. Once you have a clear idea of how the spaces are being used, you can use that data to recalibrate the office space accordingly and make decisions about how to best use the available space.

Maintaining Productivity

Roof breaks down the numbers of how much money a company can lose on time spent wandering around an office when there’s no wayfinding software to guide workers to a hoteling space. Estimating that a hoteling worker “spends 10 to 15 minutes each time trying to find an unused office or empty cubicle where work can be conducted, the individual will waste 12 hours of productivity each year. At a US $100,000 annual salary, that’s US $575 in lost productivity.” With the right technology as part of your company’s technical infrastructure, you could be saving thousands of dollars a year.

Winning Buy-In From Your CEO

As Roof says, “Spreadsheets can be static and cumbersome, and may not be sufficient to win the C-suite’s attention.” FM software that generates visual space utilization reports can help win buy-in from company executives when you’re seeking approval for a big purchasing decision, like buying new assets, relocating a department, or moving to a new location altogether. It will be much easier for a CEO to understand the factors behind the problem if he or she can clearly see visual data, not just a sea of percentages on an Excel sheet.

facilities management metrics

image credit: pakorn/