Workplace management glossary

The world of facilities management is full of complex terminology. To help you learn the lingo, we’ve included the most common facilities management terms, abbreviations, and meanings in our workplace management glossary.


Abandoned meeting

What is an abandoned meeting? Also known as a “ghost meeting” or “zombie meeting”, an abandoned meeting refers to an unused room booking reservation after 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.


Activity-based working

What is activity-based working (ABW)? An activity-based workplace or workspace (ABW) is a space within an office that directly reflects the work. Activity-based workspaces encourage movement throughout the workday and can affect major improvements to employee productivity, engagement, and job satisfaction.

Read more about activity-based working:


Agile workplace/agile office

What is an agile workplace or office? According to the Advanced Workplace, an agile organization is defined as “a business that has implemented specific strategic decisions that enable flexible working, in and out of the physical workspace.” This work style gives employees the freedom to work in a way that’s conducive to maximum productivity.

Read more about the agile workplace:


Alternative workplace strategy

Refer to: Agile workplace/agile office and activity-based working


Application programming interface (APIs)

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.


Artificial intelligence (AI)

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.

Read more about AI:


Asset management

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.

Read more about asset management:


Assigned seating

What is assigned seating? Assigned seating is where an employee is assigned to a specific seat or desk within an office.

Read more about assigned seating:



What is AutoCAD? AutoCAD is a commercial computer-aided design and drafting software application.

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Automated facility management system

What is an automated facility management system? An automated facility management system is a software system that allows FMs 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.

Read more about automated facility management systems:



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.

Read more about benching:


Biophilic design

What is biophilic design? Biophilic design is a concept that increases occupancy connections to the natural environment through the use of plants and nature.

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Block and stack planning

What is block and stack planning? Block and stack planning technology refers to a set of digital tools that encompasses all of the software, web applications, and other tools that are core parts of an operation. Stack Plans help 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.

Read more about block and stack planning:


Breakout space

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 area. This could be to relax, eat, or hold impromptu meetings.

Read more about breakout spaces:


Building automation system (BAS)

What is a building automation system (BAS)? A BAS is a system that can control a facility’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), in addition to lighting, security, and other critical building components.

Read more about BAS:


Building energy management system (BEMS)

What is a building energy management system? A building energy management system (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 FMs to make adjustments to the system to use as little energy as possible while maintaining comfort and production levels.

Read more about BEMS:


Building information modeling (BIM)

What is building information modeling? Building information modeling (BIM) is an intelligent 3D model-based process that provides insight and tools to more efficiently plan, design, construct, and manage buildings and infrastructure.

Read more about BIM:


Capacity planning

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.

Learn more about capacity planning:


Collaborative workspace

What is a collaborative workspace? A collaborative workspace is an office where employees from different companies work in one space.

Learn more about collaborative workspace:


Computer-aided design (CAD)

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.

Learn more about CAD:


Computerized maintenance management system (CMMS)

What is a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS)? A CMMS largely keeps track of maintenance tasks and data.

Learn more about CMMS:



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. Coworking spaces may offer desk booking in addition to shared equipment. Additionally, many benefit from shared ideas and knowledge from those in the same space.

Learn more about Coworking:


COVID-19 screening questions

What are COVID-19 screening questions? COVID-19 screening questions are employee health questions that can be used in Safeguard in order to increase employee health and safety. Safeguard helps companies screen for COVID-19 risk factors, stay compliant, and provide a safe office environment as employees return to the office.

Learn more about COVID screening questions:


Curated spaces

What are curated spaces? Curated spaces areas that are designed to focus on specific tasks.

Learn more about Curated spaces:


Desk sharing

What is desk sharing? Desk sharing is when two or more different people share the same desk at different times.

Learn more about desk sharing:


Desk booking

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.

Learn more about desk booking:


Digital wayfinding

Refer to: Wayfinding


Digital workplace

What is a digital workplace? A digital workplace is a workplace that is not located in a particular physical location. This could be an employee’s home or a coffee shop or library, which is the other side of the coin from a physical workplace, which typically refers to a company’s office space.

Learn more about digital workplace:


Dynamic workplace

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, which should fit a company’s unique needs. This workplace model is flexible to accommodate specific precautions without compromising on productivity.

Learn more about dynamic workplace:


Employee engagement

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.

Learn more about employee engagement:


Employee experience

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.

Learn more about employee engagement:


Facilities management

Refer to: Facility management


Facility management (FM)

What is facility management? Facility management is the professional management of one or more buildings, focused on efficiency and effectiveness of the organizations or occupants within the facility.

Learn more about facility management:


Facility coordinators

What are facility coordinators? Facility coordinators typically coordinate the professional management of a building, which can include planning and deploying equipment and materials, scheduling, etc.

Learn more about facility coordinators:


Facility managers

What are facility managers? Facility managers 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.

Learn more about facility managers:


Financial accounting standards board (FASB)

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.

Flex space

Refer to: Flexible working

Learn more about flex space:


Flexible working

What is flexible working? Flexible working allows employees to work where 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.

Learn more about flexible working:


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.

Learn more about flexible seating:


Free addressing

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.

Learn more about free addressing:


Hot desking

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.

Learn more about hot desking:


Hotel desk

Refer to: Hoteling



What is hoteling? Hoteling is the process in which office workers do not have any assigned seating. Instead, they may “reserve” to an open seat or book one on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Learn more about hoteling:


Huddle room

What is a huddle room? A huddle room is a small and private meeting area designed to empower people to meet quickly and easily.

Learn more about huddle rooms:


Human-centered workplace design

What is human-centered workplace design? Human-centered workplace design is a problem solving approach in design and management, which develops solutions involving a human perspective in the process.

Learn more about human-centered workplace design:


Hybrid workplace

What is a hybrid workplace? Like the name suggests, a hybrid workplace is 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 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.

Learn more about the hybrid workplace:


Integrated facilities management (IFM)

What is integrated facilities management? Integrated facilities management is the professional management of one or more buildings, where the focus is on consolidating many (or all) office related services and processes.

Learn more about an integrated facilities management:


Integrated workplace management system (IWMS)

What is an integrated workplace management system? An IWMS is a software platform that optimizes workplace resources, including real estate, infrastructure, and facilities.

Learn more about an IWMS:


Interactive dashboard

What is an interactive dashboard? An interactive dashboard is a data management tool that tracks, analyzes, monitors, and displays metrics, while allowing users to interact with the data.

Learn more about interactive dashboards:


International Facility Management Association (IFMA)

What is the International Facility Management Association (IFMA)? The IFMA is a professional membership association for facility management professionals.

Learn more about the IFMA:


Internet of things (IoT)

What is the internet of things (IoT)? The IoT describes the network of physical objects (things) that are embedded with sensors, software, and other technologies in order to connect with or exchange data over the internet.

Learn more about the Internet of Things:


Lease management

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.

Learn more about lease management:


Magic quadrant

What is the magic quadrant? 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.

Learn more about the magic quadrant:


Meeting room booking system

What is a meeting room booking system? meeting room booking system is an online reservation-based system for meeting rooms in a workplace.

Learn more about meeting room booking systems:


Mobile working

What is mobile working? Mobile working refers to the ability to work remotely and not necessarily at home or the office.

Learn more about mobile working:


Move management

What is move management? Move management involves relocating staff members and support materials from one space to another—but the planning and responsibilities that come with it can be complex. 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.

Learn more about move management:


Neighborhood seating

What is neighborhood seating? Office neighborhoods are areas of an office dedicated to specific departments or functions. In other words, office neighborhoods are to your office space as neighborhoods are to cities.

Learn more about neighborhood seating:



Refer to: Neighborhood seating


Occupancy report

What is an occupancy report? An occupancy report shows the results of occupancy data that is collected about a given space, which allows facilities managers to better optimize that space.

Learn more about occupancy sensors:


Occupancy sensors

What are occupancy sensors? Occupancy sensors collect data based on occupancy, allowing building owners and operators to optimize real estate through real-time occupancy data using sensors to monitor how a workspace is being used.

Learn more about occupancy sensors:


Office design software

What is office design software?  Office design software typically refers to integrated facilities management software that helps plan the office layout.


Open office space

What is an open office space? An open office space 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.

Learn more about open office spaces:


Phone booth

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.

Learn more about phone booths:


Physical workplace

What is the physical workplace? The physical workspace is the actual office space in which employees can work. This 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.

Learn more about the physical workplace:



What is a pod? 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.

Learn more about pods:


Predictive analytics

What is predictive analytics? Predictive analytics uses data to provide insights in order to make predictions about future events; i.e.: a facilities manager could use predictive analytics to make changes to a system before a breakage or issue occurs.

Learn more about predictive analytics:


Real estate agility

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.

Learn more about real estate agility:


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.

Learn more about real estate dashboards:


Real estate forecasting

What is real estate forecasting? Real estate forecasting is where past transaction data becomes evidence for decision making for the present and the future.

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Real estate portfolio management

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.


Real estate projections

Refer to: Real estate forecasting


Remote work

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.

Learn more about remote work:


Request management

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.

Learn more about request management:


Room booking

What is room booking? Room booking 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.

Learn more about room booking:


Scenario planning

What is scenario planning? Scenario planning is planning for a potential situation, including office layout. In facilities 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 three to five years.

Learn more about scenario planning:



What are sensors? 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.

Learn more about sensors:


Shared desk

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.

Learn more about shared desks:


Shift seating

What is shift seating? Shift seating refers to employees occupying the workspace in shifts while at assigned desks.

Learn more about shift seating:


Smart building

What is a smart building? A smart building uses a building automation system (BAS) to let users control them 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.

Learn more about smart buildings:


Social distancing

What is social distancing? Social distancing refers to maintaining a physical distance of 2 meters from another person. Social distancing at work is referred to as workplace distancing.


Space as a Service

What is Space as a Service (SPaaS)? 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.

Learn more about Space as a Service:


Space management

What is space management? Space management encompasses 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.

Learn more about space management:


Space optimization

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.

Learn more about space optimization:


Space planning

What is space planning? Space planning, sometimes referred to as “office space planning,” is the process of organizing the contents and objectives of an office space in order to work effectively while in use.

Learn more about space planning:


Space utilization

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 facilities managers into habits that are shaping a workspace. Space utilization tracking is a useful resource that can pinpoint data on where people gather.

Learn more about space utilization:


Stack planning

Refer to: block and stack planning



Refer to: remote work



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.

Learn more about ticketing:


Triple bottom line

What is the triple bottom line? The triple bottom line is an accounting framework with three parts: social, environmental and financial.

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Unassigned seating

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.

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Visitor management

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.

Learn more about unassigned seating:



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 can affect everyone who visits your workplace.

Learn more about wayfinding:


Work from home

Refer to: remote work


Workplace consultant

What is a workplace consultant? A workplace consultant is a professional with expertise in workplace management. By gathering the appropriate workspace data and analytics, a workplace consultant can make tailored workplace strategy recommendations to achieve a company’s workplace vision and goals.

Learn more about workplace consultant:


Workplace distancing

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.

Learn more about workplace distancing:


Workplace experience

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.

Learn more about workplace experience:


Workplace management

What is workplace management? Workplace management refers to the management of everything within a facility, including assets, services, technology, and procedures.

Learn more about workplace management:

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