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7 Ways CAFM Empowers Employees to Support Their Workspace

18/08/21 | Rebecca Drewett

Discover how CAFM software enables employees to influence how effectively their workspace is maintained and how well it delivers the ideal working conditions for them.

A CAFM system is often solely associated with managing a building’s infrastructure and the assets within it. While that is a key responsibility of this software, it doesn’t tell the whole story. In fact, at its heart, CAFM technology is firmly people-focused.

But this focus extends beyond creating as optimal an environment as possible for people to work, live and function. Today’s most comprehensive CAFM solutions, including our own Concept Evolution platform, are putting the power to influence the quality and comfort of their workspaces firmly into the hands of the people occupying them day in and day out.

Traditionally, the role of the FM team in an organisation is overlooked or ignored by those using the site until something goes wrong. CAFM has the capacity to devolve this responsibility beyond this core team of managers, operatives and suppliers, and instead forge a more collaborative, interconnected environment.

How can CAFM achieve this exactly? Here, we explore 7 ways CAFM solutions empower employees to directly impact and improve the condition of their workplace.

1. Inform the FM team of problems immediately

First, modern CAFM systems can increase recognition of the efforts of the FM team and inspire employees to actively report on issues in their workspace through a visible, informal communication platform. One that can be used and engaged with by anyone, relieving the burden on helpdesks to always be the bridge between these groups.

Take ChatLog as an example of this in action. This CAFM application delivers an immediate, holistic picture of the current status of a site, especially when compared with the fragmented helpdesk model. Through this, employees can directly engage with the FM team about any problems they have encountered through their smartphones – something that’s second nature to today’s workforces.

By using this system, issues are addressed in real-time. FMs can prioritise tasks based on how frequently they are cited by employees. They can judge the general feeling in a workspace based on employee feedback. It is true, two-way communication designed to keep a building as clean, organised and hospitable as possible, driven by the employee perspective.

Plus, ChatLog also:

  • Allows employees to provide feedback on how quickly and effectively an issue was resolved, to determine if and where service improvements can be made

  • Directly logs tasks into your central CAFM platform

  • Enables employees to click ‘me too’ a task to avoid duplicate posts and excessive admin

  • Encourages widespread use by introducing point-scoring for users, with rewards and prizes for those that reach certain thresholds

2. Manage rooms and spaces throughout your facilities

Meeting rooms and spaces in a building often feel like hidden treasures. Crossed wires with the helpdesk, impromptu get-togethers and general miscommunication can lead to awkward, frustrating outcomes like double-bookings and no-shows.

CAFM systems with dedicated facilities booking software make these problems a thing of the past. By presenting a reliable, real-time perspective on what rooms are available at what times, what features each room offers (projectors, whiteboards, number of seats, etc.) and streamlining the process of booking a room and inviting all participants, this software empowers employees to arrange these themselves with total confidence.

No need to rely on the central helpdesk or keep track of multiple calendars – everything is managed in one place, so users can safely schedule their own meetings without risk of confusion later on.

This solution can also be applied to desks, cubicles and workstations, allowing your workforce to benefit from flexible or hybrid working models.

3. Share opinions, reach consensus

It can be hard to gauge how your workforce feels about a particular initiative before or after it is implemented. Physically asking their opinion is unfeasible, particularly for large firms, and many emails you send out may end up in people’s trash folders.

But, at the same time, employees want to know that their voice is being heard within their organisation. They want affirmation that their opinion matters and the company cares about what they have to say. CAFM platforms and apps can help give them that assurance that their input is valued, and give management a firm grasp on what they do and don’t want.

Apps like Our Say enable employees to vote and feedback on key decisions in how their building functions in a straightforward, streamlined way. Once an open idea is uploaded to the app, it can be voted and commented on to inform what steps are taken next. While traditional emails can be ignored, this dedicated platform creates a sense of community and helps engagement become a habit.

Employees feel like they are guiding their company’s future, making them feel empowered and strengthening their ties to the business. Meanwhile, decision-makers have a stronger sense of which path to take, and will benefit from a more motivated, committed workforce.

4. Organise events with ease

Similar to space management, trying to organise events in a company can quickly descend into a disorganised mess. Email reminders are overlooked. Calendars are ignored. Mistakes are made and events overlap or never take place.

CAFM systems can bring order to this potential chaos with apps such as Our Events. This keeps employees fully aware of the upcoming events that will be taking place, which they can access at all times, and empowers them to create and share their own events with confidence that they will be seen and responded to.

  • Get instant responses from users, with quick actions buttons available (Going, Not Going, Maybe, etc.)

  • View all responses and attendees for each scheduled event on the calendar

  • Upload a map and directions for the event location to help people get there

5. Make work environments comfortable and reassuring

Beyond alerting the FM team of any spillages, messes and other unsightly issues that are hurting the appeal of their workspace, CAFM systems can also help employees create the most comfortable, favourable spaces possible through smart building technology.

There are many factors that can gradually make a person’s working environment an unpleasant place to be. Temperatures that are too hot or too cold. High humidity. Lack of fresh, clean air. Lighting that is either too dull or too intense. It all plays a role, and failing to find the right balance can leave people feeling unmotivated and unproductive.

The behavioural data that smart building sensors and cameras collect over time can make sure this never becomes an issue again. This creates a two-way conversation between a building and its occupants, with the building adjusting conditions automatically in accordance with how many people are occupying a space, time of day/year, and further criteria.

Employees can directly influence the parameters that the smart building utilises, fine-tuning this until the ideal balance is struck in all circumstances. Then, it is just a case of the CAFM system automatically adapting as the workspace environment changes throughout a typical day, maintaining the ideal environment for maximum comfort and productivity.

6. Structure days better with clear workflows

Another way CAFM solutions can empower employees is by giving their workdays structure. While it is impossible to predict everything that will happen over the course of a day, applying this attitude too liberally means that days can rapidly become uncoordinated and chaotic, which will again hurt overall productivity.

Whether it is by ensuring that all engineers and maintenance personnel automatically receive a clear list of tasks each day in accordance with established PPM schedules, or making the milestones behind any project distinct and achievable, introducing a CAFM system can make it much easier for your teams to manage their responsibilities.

By providing these workflows, employees can address each task on their to-do list in the order that they feel is best, and reduces the need for micro-management. This empowers them to take more ownership of their actions, which in turn will inspire them to work with more motivation.

7. Use reports to expand people’s understanding

Finally, CAFM systems help you move beyond the outdated management styles of yesteryear, where managers made all key decisions alone and delegated work out to employees, who were often kept in the dark. While this can be effective for certain situations, it is not considerably forward-thinking or collaborative.

Many professionals today want to foster a clearer understanding of where their business is going and how they’re getting there. While the final decisions should remain with management, offering your employees behind-the-scenes insight into the company can build trust and inspire new perspectives that enhance overall decision-making.

CAFM reporting modules and digital dashboards can make this possible. These can display real-time data and KPIs from across your facilities to users, with parameters in place to ensure that each individual only sees information that is relevant to them.

This glimpse into your key metrics will inspire employees to play a more active role and contribute ideas based on the data they have access to. In turn, this could substantially benefit the direction your organisation takes, and encourage new interpretations and decisions that you may not have reached on your own.

Empower your employees with Concept Evolution

CAFM systems are going a long way in dissolving the boundaries that tend to box FM into a silo of responsibility, and extending this outwards. This technology is enabling employees across a building to play a crucial role in how it looks, feels and functions – creating a more comfortable, welcoming environment for everyone.

Concept Evolution is at the forefront of the increasingly people-focused future of facilities management. Our total building management platform connects and controls your entire facility through one wholly integrated ecosystem, and lets your employees directly influence how positive their workplace experience is.

For more information on the comprehensive capabilities of Concept Evolution, get in touch with our team.