The Facility Manager’s Guide to Retrofitting an Office for the Future

Over the years, the growing trends of eco-friendly innovations, groundbreaking software and modern machinery have changed everyday office operations. Efficiency, cost savings, healthier staff and improved employee motivation are just a few of the benefits gained from modernizing your workplace. Still, facility managers (FMs) in charge of revamping a facility must consider budgets, staffing and how new technologies align with future growth. With so many different options, it’s difficult to decide which updates are best suited for your organization. We’ve compiled a list of some cutting-edge trends and technologies that you'll want to consider.

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Going green

Today, the standards around running a green facility and reducing carbon emissions are very high and should be near the top of every FM’s priority list. Energy efficient technologies aren’t just great for the planet, they’re essential for organizations looking to decrease their operational costs. While there is an endless list of eco-smart products to install and green practices to employ, here are our top three suggestions for going green:

Tip: Use ENERGY STAR-certified office equipment in your facility.

Health and well-being

For staff, healthy minds and bodies mean optimal performance at work. There are many ways to help promote this, especially with office furniture. Consider integrating these ergonomic and efficiency-inducing products into your facility, to create a more positive environment for your employees:

Check out these examples of the costs and benefits of ergonomics.

Smart software

Every FM should invest in the most up-to-date software available in their industry. This allows organizations to stay ahead of the curve, ensuring the quality and efficiency of their business is in line with their competitor’s. When choosing to make updates to software systems, it’s important to complete comprehensive research into new programs, including connecting with organizations that already use them. It is also highly valuable to demo the software you’re considering and have the staff members who will be using it give it a try as well. If your team is still using outdated Excel spreadsheets or other obsolete tools, consider investing in software that is:

And it’s worth mentioning the benefits of using cloud-based software, one more time.

What’s next?

While all of the above technologies are available to you now, there are many up-and-coming tools to consider. For example, the potential of integrating cameras with virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR) technology means that traditional videoconferencing could soon be a thing of the past. The future of VR will offer businesses the opportunity to experiment with new software, to train employees as if they’re completing tasks in the field and to even hold meetings in virtual offices.

Another innovation that is sure to make its way into the offices of the future is wireless charging. Although this technology is just emerging, it won’t be long until it’s built into everything, everywhere. According to ChargeSpot: “Starbucks offers it in their restaurants, Ikea offers it in their furniture and Cadillac and Lexus offer it in their cars.” Soon, desks and office furniture will come equipped with built-in chargers that don’t require plugs or cords. This is an exciting innovation that supports flexible workspaces and the increasingly mobile workforce of today.

10 Metrics Facility Managers should measure

For FMs, there are a number of steps required in upgrading an office space. First, you’ll have to analyze what you have room for in the budget. You’ll also have to source operational data and come up with a solid plan to pitch the new updates to executives. Once you have the go-ahead, you’ll need to do some in-depth research about the best suppliers. This is to ensure that you have the capability to install new products and properly train employees in new technologies. These steps may seem daunting, but the results will be worth it. You could have the office of tomorrow, today.

Are you considering making some upgrades to your office space? Use reports and analytics to understand where your facility could gain the most from some retrofitting.

 

Photos: Shutterstock / Africa Studio, Shutterstock / Naparat, Shutterstock / wavebreakmedia