This workplace glossary provides definitions for all the complex workplace management terms you need to know. Stay up to date on key terminology around workplace management, facilities management, and workspace planning, including terms, abbreviations, acronyms.
What is an abandoned meeting? An abandoned meeting refers to an unused room booking reservation after a ‘no-show’ (when a room booking is ignored). If a meeting is canceled, rescheduled, or the location changes and the meeting invitation is not updated, the room would still be booked but empty, which results in an abandoned meeting. An abandoned meeting is also known as a ‘ghost meeting’ or ‘zombie meeting’.
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What is activity-based working (ABW)? An activity-based workplace—or workspace—(ABW) is a space within an office that relates directly to the work being done. Encouraging movement throughout the day, ABW affects employee experience and productivity.
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What is advanced workplace analytics? Advanced workplace analytics describes the process of collecting, analyzing, and integrating complex data from multiple sources, typically to gain deeper insights in order to make data-driven decisions for the workplace.
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What is agile working? An agile organization is defined as a business that has implemented specific strategic decisions that enable flexible working, in and out of the physical workplace. This work style gives employees the freedom to work in a way that’s conducive to maximum productivity. In the post below, we review agile work examples that can be used as templates or inspiration for a variety of spaces.
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What is an application programming interface (API)? An API is a computing interface that enables modular programming, which allows different applications to talk to each other.
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What is artificial intelligence (AI)? AI is a simulation of human intelligence, which can be used to perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation. OfficeSpace uses AI in a variety of third-party integrations.
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What is asset management? It’s the tracking and management of assets, which can include mechanical equipment, computers, furniture, and more. A facilities management department may use software to see where certain assets are prior to a move, while the accounting department may use it to get a feel for various purchasing and upkeep expenditures.
What is assigned seating? Assigned seating is where an employee is assigned to a specific seat or desk within an office.
What is AutoCAD? AutoCAD is a commercial computer-aided design and drafting software application.
What is an automated facility management system? An automated facility management system is a software system that allows facility managers to manage buildings, assets, and occupants via a web-based dashboard. An effective automated system increases efficiency and effectiveness of a facility and its operations.
What is a badge system? A badge system is what organizations use to control access to the workplace. This can be as simple as letting people into their building or floor, or as complex as restricting access to certain locations.
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What is benching? Benching is a furniture solution that pairs a desk with other office furniture to provide extra storage and seating. Benching can also refer to where employees sit in rows very close to their colleagues.
What is biophilic design? Biophilic design is a concept that increases occupancy connections to the natural environment through the use of plants and nature.
Refer to: stack planning
What is a breakout space? A breakout space is an area of an office where employees can go to interact with their coworkers, away from their main working areas. This could be to relax, eat, or hold impromptu meetings.
What is a building automation system (BAS)? A BAS is a system that controls a facility’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), in addition to lighting, security, and other critical building components. Often, optimizing a building’s BAS results in energy savings and an increase in sustainability.
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What is a building energy management system (BEMS)? A BEMS is a system that monitors and controls the energy requirements of a building. An effective BEMS will collect the necessary data and provide information for facility managers to make adjustments to the system to use as little energy as possible while maintaining comfort and production levels.
What is building information modeling (BIM)? BIM is an intelligent 3D model-based process that provides insight and tools to more efficiently plan, design, construct, and manage buildings and infrastructure.
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What is capacity planning? Capacity planning determines production capacity needed by an organization to match available employee hours against the needs of a project or program, and plans the maximum amount of work that can be completed in a given period.
What is a collaboration space? A collaboration space or collaborative workspace typically refers to a physical workspace where employees are encouraged to collaborate with each other, both within their own teams as well as cross-functionally.
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What is computer-aided design (CAD?) CAD refers to the creation, modification, analysis, or optimization of a design via a computer and can be used to design curves and figures in two-dimensional or three-dimensional space.
What is a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS)? A CMMS is software that largely keeps track of maintenance tasks and data.
What is a conference room? A conference room is a dedicated meeting space. Ideally, conference rooms should cater to both in-office team members as well as those working remote.
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What is a connected workplace? A connected workplace is where employees have access to everything they need in one shared and centralized digital space.
What is corporate real estate (CRE)? Sometimes conflated with ‘commercial real estate’, corporate real estate encompasses all the property owned by an organization.
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What is coworking? Coworking is the use of an office by people who may not work for the same company. Coworking spaces are often used by start-ups or those who are self employed. These spaces may offer desk booking in addition to shared equipment. Additionally, many benefit from shared ideas and knowledge from those in the same space.
What are COVID-19 screening questions? COVID-19 screening questions are employee health questions that can be used in Safeguard as workplace health checks to increase employee health and safety. These questions can help with contact tracing and overall employee wellness.
What are curated spaces? Curated spaces are workplace areas designed to focus on specific tasks.
What is desk booking? Desk booking, also known as office hoteling, is the ability to book a desk, primarily through the use of desk booking software.
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What is desk sharing? Desk sharing is when two or more different people share the same desk at different times.
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Refer to: Wayfinding
What is a digital workspace? The digital workspace includes the digital tools staff uses for work, ideally consolidated into one integrated workplace management system (IWMS) and creating a technology framework that provides access regardless of geographic location.
What are digital workplace solutions? Digital workplace solutions are tools that power today’s digital workspace, typically cloud-based and user-friendly. Tools can include workplace management software and wayfinding to manage the office, messaging systems like Slack and Microsoft Teams to communicate and collaborate, video conferencing like Zoom for meetings, cloud-based word processing and spreadsheets, often through popular Google Docs and Google Sheets, cutting edge technology, and more.
What is distributed work? Distributed work is work that takes place in more than one location, whether companies have more than one office location, or employees are remote or hybrid. For example, OfficeSpace has multiple ‘official’ offices, but employees can work from anywhere they like. To manage a distributed workforce, you need to optimize both the hybrid workplace and the employee experience.
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What is a dynamic workplace? A dynamic workplace includes furniture and collaborative spaces that can easily be reconfigured to meet the company’s current needs. But what makes a workplace truly dynamic is the technology and tools that power it. This model is flexible enough to accommodate specific precautions without compromising on productivity.
What is employee engagement? Employee engagement refers to the connection that employees feel towards their employer or workplace. More engaged employees are typically more involved and enthusiastic about their company and workplace.
What is the employee experience? Employee experience refers to the way in which employees are treated, with the purpose of providing a good experience and treating staff as customers.
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What is enterprise facility management? Enterprise facility management serves the needs of more than one facility; it refers to systems that large companies use to manage operations, employees, assets, and workflows across multiple facilities.
What is facilities management? Facilities management is the professional management of more than one building or facility, focused on efficiency and effectiveness of the organizations or occupants within the facility. See also: Facility management
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What is facility management (FM)? FM is the professional management of one or more buildings, focused on efficiency and effectiveness of the organizations or occupants within the facility. See also: Facilities management
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What are facility coordinators? Facility coordinators typically coordinate the professional management of a building, which can include planning and deploying equipment and materials, scheduling, and similar tasks.
What are facility (or facilities) managers (FMs)? FMs typically take care of the responsibilities of running one or more facilities, in addition to potentially managing cost-benefit analysis and hiring. Facility managers may be in charge of multiple facilities.
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What is the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB)? The FASB is an independent nonprofit organization that is responsible for establishing accounting and financial reporting standards for companies and nonprofit organizations in the USA.
What is flex space? Flex space is extra space in either your home or office that doesn’t have a set function. In a home, this can look like spare rooms or nooks that can be used in any way, including as a home office. In a traditional office space, flex spaces are extra spaces that aren’t being used as part of the standard workplace, providing an opportunity to create improved floor plans.
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What is flexible seating? Flexible seating is seating that a workplace provides that’s not necessarily assigned to one person. In some offices, employees may use desk booking to book a specific seat, or use various spaces as they are available.
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What is flexible working? Flexible working allows employees to work where or when they feel most productive. This allows for enhanced teamwork and facilitates chance meetings and off-topic chats that can snowball into innovative ideas and business decisions.
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What is free addressing? Free addressing uses sensors to track desk availability. Technically, free addressing desks are ‘shared desks’. But unlike ‘hot desks’, there’s a sensor installed in each free addressing desk. This sensor tracks when the desk is available or occupied, and this information is reflected anonymously in your workplace management software.
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What is the Great Resignation? The Great Resignation (now sometimes called the ‘Great Reshuffle’ or the ‘Big Quit’) is a workplace revolution forcing companies to reexamine how they prioritize employee experience. It also requires that companies reconsider how they use workplace technology to support workers.
What is headcount planning? Headcount planning is assessing whether your people have the skills and resources to meet both your current and future needs. It is a critical part of facility planning, the systematic approach to using data to understand and optimize your real estate portfolio and related resources. When done properly, it can lead to better space utilization, as well as ensure greater adaptability and efficiency overall.
What is hot desking? Hot desking is a trend in which workers take whatever desk is available, instead of having one assigned space. The term is said to have derived from the term ‘hot racking’ a concept referring to the practice of sailors with different shifts sharing the same bunk.
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What is hoteling? Hoteling, also referred to as ‘office hoteling,’ is the process in which office workers do not have any assigned seating. Instead, they may ‘reserve’ an open seat or book one on a first-come, first-serve basis.
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What is a huddle room? A huddle room is a small and private meeting area designed to empower people to meet quickly and easily. Huddle rooms are perfect for hybrid meetings, where they can be optimized accordingly.
What is human-centered workplace design? Human-centered workplace design is a problem solving approach to design and management, which develops solutions involving a human perspective in the process.
What is a hybrid experience? A hybrid experience is one in which some people are accessing a space or an event in person, while others do so virtually. A good hybrid experience ensures that all employees feel connected and able to contribute and work diligently, requiring good leadership and technology. Staff should feel like they’re ‘at work’—no matter where they are.
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What is hybrid work? Hybrid work blends both in-office and remote work to provide an environment where full-time employees can work in a variety of configurations
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What is a hybrid workplace? A hybrid workplace combines a blend of remote and in-office working, which ultimately removes restraints and borders for what a workplace should look like. Hybrid offices often employ a staggered schedule, where all full-time employees rotate between in-office and remote work; however a hybrid workplace can also be a mix of strictly remote and strictly in-office workers, encompassing many different work styles and seating types. The hybrid workplace provides endless possibilities due to this flexibility.
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What is an inclusive company culture? An inclusive company culture is a workplace culture in which a company actively includes and addresses diverse and underrepresented groups in order to increase employee engagement, provide a sense of belonging for staff, and embrace workplace diversity. Leadership teams must ensure they create an inclusive work environment for people of all gender identities, sexual orientations, races, religions, ethnicities, nationalities, disabilities, marriages or civil partnerships, pregnancies or parental statuses, socioeconomic backgrounds, and ages or generations.
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What is Industry 4.0? Industry 4.0 is a range of new technologies that are fusing the physical, digital and biological worlds, impacting all disciplines, economies and industries, and even challenging ideas about what it means to be human. For the built environment, Industry 4.0 refers to the technological leads that are disrupting the industry, including the way facilities are designed, constructed, operated, and maintained.
What is integrated facilities management (IFM)? IFM is the professional management of one or more buildings, where the focus is on consolidating many (or all) office related services and processes.
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What is an integrated workplace management system (IWMS)? An IWMS is a software platform that optimizes workplace resources, including real estate, infrastructure, and facilities.
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What are integrations? Integrations are technologies that integrate with a primary product, i.e.: OfficeSpace has a variety of integrations, including software like Slack and Zoom, as well as hardware like badges and sensors.
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What is an interactive dashboard? An interactive dashboard is a data management tool that tracks, analyzes, monitors, and displays metrics, while allowing users to easily interact with the data.
What is the International Facility Management Association (IFMA)? The IFMA is a professional membership association for facility management professionals.
What are IoT sensors? The Internet of Things (IoT) describes the network of physical objects (things) that are embedded with technologies to connect with or exchange data over the internet. IoT sensors are sensors able to gather data about the workplace. These sensors can turn any facility into a ‘smart’ workplace that improves efficiency and well-being by giving workplace leaders access to powerful, real-time insights that were practically impossible to track in the past.
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What is lease management? Lease management is the management and coordination of real estate leases, including receiving rents from owned facilities and paying rents for leased facilities.
What is the magic quadrant? The magic quadrant is a series of market research reports, which rely on proprietary qualitative data analysis methods to demonstrate market trends, such as direction, maturity, and participants.
What is meeting room booking software? Meeting room booking system software is an online reservation-based system for meeting rooms in a workplace.
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What is meeting room design? Meeting room design is critical to the modern office. Every organization, no matter the size, requires well planned space designed specifically for collaboration and brainstorming.
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Refer to: remote work
What is move management? Move management involves relocating staff members and support materials from one space to another, including the complex planning and responsibilities that comes with this. The process traditionally sees an organization leave their current premises for a new office, although intra-office and departmental moves are also becoming the norm.
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What is a neighborhood workspace? A neighborhood workspace, also known as an office neighborhood, is an area of a workplace dedicated to specific departments or functions. In other words, office neighborhoods are to your office space as neighborhoods are to cities.
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What is an occupancy rate? Occupancy rate is a measure of your actual occupancy for any given period of time. It refers to the amount of space you occupy in your workplace, compared to the amount of space you own/lease. Sometimes referred to as ‘percent occupancy,’ ‘occupancy ratio,’ or ‘space occupancy rate,’ it is usually measured in people per square foot. An occupancy rate shows how much space you’re actually using, versus how much space is left sitting unoccupied.
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What is an occupancy report? An occupancy report shows the results of occupancy data that is collected about a given space, which allows facility managers to better optimize that space.
What is an occupancy sensor? An occupancy sensor can be thought of as an upgraded motion sensor, which measures the number of people occupying a given area.
Refer to: hoteling
What is office density? Office density is the measurement of how many employees are in a given workspace. It can be challenging to determine office density when there are varying space requirements or hybrid schedules in play. Ideally, companies should use both employee surveys and real-time workplace data to gain insights about office usage.
What is office design software? Office design software typically refers to integrated facilities management software that helps plan the office layout.
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What is an open office layout? An open office layout is a workspace without walls for offices or cubicles. Employees typically work in the same large room, typically with the aim to spur communication and collaboration in a team environment.
What is a phone booth? A phone booth within an office environment is a small, enclosed space, typically smaller than a normal office or meeting room, where one or two employees can go to work quietly or have small meetings.
What is the physical workplace? The physical workplace is the actual physical workspace in an office, in which employees can work. It differs from a digital workspace in that employees would be working from a physical office provided by the company and not remotely from their own home or an alternate location like a coffee shop or library.
What is a pod? A pod is a small area within a workplace. Implementing privacy pods creates small meeting areas that can be spread intelligently throughout a space. Positioning privacy pods strategically will also ensure effective wayfinding and productivity among a team.
What is predictive analytics? Predictive analytics uses benchmarking data to provide insights in order to make predictions about future events; i.e.: a facility manager could use predictive analytics to make changes to a system before a breakage or issue occurs.
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What is real estate agility? Real estate agility refers to workplace environments and space agreement structures that are dynamic and nimble in supporting company goals and employee needs.
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What is a real estate dashboard? A real estate dashboard is software that lets real estate professionals sign documents electronically in a way that is easy for them and their clients.
What is real estate forecasting? Real estate forecasting is where past real estate transaction data becomes evidence for decision making for the present and the future.
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What is real estate portfolio management? Real estate portfolio management is the way you manage your real estate portfolio and can include the use of real estate management software. With lease data and usage combined, you won’t just see where space is underutilized. You’ll know where your budget is going to waste, and you’ll have the tools on hand to make swift improvements.
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What is recommended office space per employee? The recommended office space per employee depends on many factors and will always be in flux. Different employees in different settings need different workstations and square feet of space.
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What is remote work? Remote work is work that is done somewhere other than a company-provided office space. Typically, remote work is done from an employee’s home or from a remote location like a coffee shop or library.
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What is request management? Request management is a process by which employees can make facilities work order requests or maintenance requests to the facilities management team. A good request management system or work order management software will provide real-time collaborative tools to accommodate the most demanding workflows, track a team’s performance, and forecast requirements.
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What is room booking? A room booking system provides the ability for employees to book a room for meetings or to work in. Also referred to as room scheduling software, good room booking allows employees to easily find the right room for their needs and book it on the spot.
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What is room capacity? Room capacity refers to how many people can safely use a space.
What is return to work software? Return to work software primarily refers to integrated facilities management or workplace management software that helps companies plan how to transition their employees from remote work to either hybrid or in-office work.
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What is the rule of 150? The rule of 150 is Dunbar’s Number, a theory from psychologist Robin Dunbar that posits that humans have an upper-level cap on the number of people they can maintain meaningful relationships with. This can be helpful in workplace planning.
What is scenario planning? Scenario planning is planning for a potential situation, including a new office layout. In facility management, the facilities, HR, and IT teams perform scenario planning, sometimes known as office space planning, to meet and discuss what the workplace will look like in typically three to five years.
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Refer to: IoT Sensors
What is a shared desk? A shared desk is when two or more employees share the same desk space. Shared desk spaces mean that employees typically don’t have drawers, cabinets or shelves to stash personal or work items, and that the desk may need to be booked using desk booking software prior to use.
What is shift seating? Shift seating refers to employees occupying the workspace in shifts while at assigned desks.
What is a smart building? A smart building uses a building automation system (BAS) to give users control from a central hub or handheld device, such as a smartphone. A smart building system links together various systems, giving users complete control over several processes simultaneously and allowing for data collection that can lead to energy savings based on insights from data gathered.
What is social distancing? Social distancing refers to maintaining a physical distance of six feet (or two meters) from another person. Social distancing at work is referred to as workplace distancing.
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What is Space as a Service (SPaaS)? Deriving its name from ‘SaaS’ or ‘Software as a Service’, SPaaS is a business model in which landlords provide a series of features and services to tenants aimed to enrich their experience in a space.
What is space management? Space management is the coordination, layout, and use of a facility’s space and resources. For facility managers, this can mean working with contractors to make renovations, finding desks for new employees, or helping to plan out a move scenario.
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What is space optimization? Space optimization is the act of optimizing a space through designing the best possible office layout, properly balancing efficiency and workflow, and creating an aesthetically pleasing space. It’s primarily about finding ways to streamline and improve a physical workplace, usually with the goal of right-sizing a company’s real estate portfolio or improving employee experience.
What is space planning? Space planning is the process of organizing the contents and objectives of an office space in order to work effectively while in use.
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What is space utilization? Space utilization is the amount of utilized space in an office. Knowing an office’s space utilization information provides insight to facility managers into habits that are shaping a workplace. Space utilization tracking is a useful resource that can pinpoint data on where people gather.
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What is stack planning? Stack planning helps workplace managers improve space utilization with block and stack technology, which allows FMs to quickly reorganize departments and teams to create better seating configurations in minutes. It is also known as ‘block and stack planning’.
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What is talent attraction? Talent attraction encompasses the strategies and steps that companies take to make their company an attractive place to work to potential employees.
What is talent retention? Talent retention encompasses the strategies and steps that companies take to make their company a place where employees want to work. The goal is typically to reduce employee turnover while maintaining a high level of performance management and employee satisfaction.
What is ticketing? Ticketing is when an IT ticketing system takes request information from a user, and turns it into a ticket that’s assigned to an agent, who resolves the ticket when the request is complete.
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What is the triple bottom line? The triple bottom line emphasizes social responsibility as an accounting framework with three parts: people (social equity), planet (environment protection and sustainability), and profit (economic viability, including pricing, costs, and revenue).
What is unassigned seating? Unassigned seating is seating that is not part of a desk booking system and is not assigned to any particular employee.
What is visitor management? Visitor management typically refers to customizable and intuitive software that manages office visitors from the time they walk in the office until the time they leave. This is often done through a badge system.
What is a visual directory? A visual directory is a tool that shows employees where their colleagues are, including when they’ll be in the office.
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What is wayfinding? Wayfinding is a set of processes and tools that individuals use to navigate through a space. Tech solutions like directories and maps or graphical components like signage make it simpler for people to find their way. Wayfinding is also embedded in the choices made about an office layout, including everything from viewing angles to spacing in hallways that can affect everyone who visits your workplace.
What are wayfinding kiosks? Wayfinding kiosks take digital wayfinding one step further by displaying a facility’s digital floor plans on an interactive touchscreen that everyone can use. Kiosks typically operate as full-sized, standalone touchscreens. But they can also be installed on floating iPads and wall-mounted touchscreen devices.
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What is wayfinding signage? Wayfinding signage is the critical physical signs and markers that support wayfinding efforts and help manage traffic flow.
What are work environment types? Work environment types refer to everything that affects employee satisfaction and productivity—i.e.: when, where, and how people work. Ultimately, there are six main types of work: traditional, open, activity-based, agile, neighborhood-based, and those that utilize bookable spaces.
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What is workplace agility? Workplace agility is about working smarter and more collaboratively, productively, and effortlessly, in order to pivot business processes and embrace change management without major impacts. Agile employees (and therefore their companies) are willing and able to move and adjust quickly and easily to change, as often as necessary.
What is a workplace consultant? A workplace consultant is a professional with expertise in workplace management. By gathering the appropriate data and analytics, a workplace consultant can make tailored workplace strategy recommendations to achieve a company’s workplace vision and goals.
What is workplace distancing? Workplace distancing refers to maintaining a physical distance of 6 feet (2 meters) from employee to employee within a workplace or office environment.
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What is the workplace experience? Workplace experience is a proactive approach to office design, technology, and culture with the goal of providing a specific experience for occupants.
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What is workplace management? Workplace management refers to the management of everything within a facility, including assets, services, technology, and procedures.
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What are workplace reports and analytics? Workplace reports and analytics encompass the real-time data required to maintain effective space usage, employee engagement, and a stable competitive advantage. Through reports and analytics, this data helps decision makers understand what is actually happening on the ground, so they can ultimately improve it.
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What is workplace security? Workplace security refers to keeping the physical workplace safe, which is critical to everyone in an organization, impacting everything from employee well being to productivity.
What is workplace technology? Workplace technology is any technology that helps employees interact with the office, whether it’s the physical workplace or the digital workspace.
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What is workplace wellbeing? Workplace wellbeing is about recognizing that employee wellbeing is the best foundation for longevity and growth. Workplace wellbeing includes physical health, mental health, emotional wellbeing, and more.
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