How CAFM supports hybrid working

How CAFM supports hybrid working

How we use office buildings and facilities is changing since the pandemic. What does hybrid working mean for facilities management? What happens to workspaces when people no longer need a permanent desk? How can buildings be maintained and run efficiently when occupancy fluctuates?

This blog explores some of the logistical challenges and explains how CAFM is vital tool for helping facilities managers adapt to the world of hybrid work.

How does hybrid working affect facilities management?

Part of a facilities manager’s role is to ensure all the services in a building meet workers’ needs. As well as ensuring the building’s upkeep, a facilities manager must also manage equipment and supplies, and control activities like parking space allocation, cleaning and waste disposal, and building security, as well as allocate office space according to needs.

Hybrid working makes many of these logistical tasks trickier. Facilities managers face new challenges. A key one is how to manage workspaces and oversee maintenance and repair schedules. 

There’s a lot to consider. 

The upkeep of a building can be compared to plate spinning! Take your eye of the whole picture and ‘a plate’ is likely to fall! But always, the devil is in the detail – every plate needs to be moved with exactly the right touch for optimum spin. So much happens in a building and every aspect is part of a well-oiled machine. 

Individual aspects of a building will be affected by an overall change in the building’s use. Take cleaning schedules as an example. Hybrid working means these may need to be adapted according to building occupancy. There’s little point emptying 150 bins on a pre-set cleaning day if there are few employees in and only 20 bins have litter in them! And what’s the point of cleaning rooms that haven’t had people in them since the last clean? 

The new world of work has many implications for office space planning, and facilities managers will need to change and adapt many different schedules to keep maintenance and day-to-day services running tightly.

It’s fair to say hybrid work has acted as a disruptor in many ways. But it brings as many opportunities as challenges. As a facilities manager you will need to adopt the best tools to prioritise and align with core business needs and ensure you are tracking the right metrics and KPIs for your operation. Integrated facilities management software is no longer a nice-to-have, it’s essential.

CAFM and sensor technology have a vital role to play.

What is CAFM?

What is CAFM

 

CAFM, short for Computer Aided Facilities Management, is a technology used to help manage a building, or an estate’s, assets, tools, and processes. It is focused on the physical workspace and everything in it. Its purpose is to ensure efficient business continuity. 

So, what does CAFM software actually do? It helps facilities managers plan, monitor and execute all activities relating to reactive and planned preventive maintenance, asset management and other facility service requirements.

Prior to CAFM, facilities managers would work with disparate systems, and/or paper trails and spreadsheets detailing everything about the building to ensure the businesses in them run efficiently. It was a time-consuming task and a method prone to slip-ups.

CAFM streamlines everything into one system, providing an integrated facilities management tool. It enables facilities managers to see and track data in every corner of the buildings/facilities in their charge. The most important aspect now is having access to data that will enable them to spot patterns, monitor critical assets and plan maintenance and service schedules ahead. 

With buildings being used differently now, monitoring asset condition will become more critical in the near future as existing schedules will be based on old data (how buildings were used pre-pandemic). 

Facilities managers will need to optimize the use of building space and making efficient use of floor plans. All of these things are made much easier with CAFM software, which enables integrated workplace management.

The role of sensor technology

To minimise costs, facilities managers will need to work out the most efficient way of scheduling work to ensure uptime. 

Sensor technology will have an increasingly important role to play and will enable facilities managers to optimise interventions to keep buildings efficiently running. 

Let’s consider some examples.

Time-of-flight sensors can monitor the flow of people through a building (useful for ensuring building safety and security). Sensors can let facilities managers know when a room has been used, and therefore needs to be added to the cleaning schedule. Soap dispensers in bathrooms can alert when they need refilling. Sensors for lighting and heating will ensure buildings don’t waste energy by heating and lighting empty rooms.

It’s not hard to see why data from sensors and the Internet of Things (IoT) will become increasingly relevant for planning and predicting maintenance schedules in the new hybrid world.

Summary

CAFM is all about making workspaces and facilities management more dynamic and agile. With rising energy costs and competition in business is fierce, CAFM tools are becoming ever more critical for managing a company’s overheads and making cost savings. SMART buildings and innovative technological solutions are no longer the future, they are now.

Joblogic’s CAFM software keeps facilities managers ahead. Join the future and book a demo now.

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