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5 Benefits of a Dynamic Company Floorplan

Posted on 2/5/2016 11:13 AM by Aaron P. B. Morin

Making sure a workspace is positioned to handle change is important. An agile workplace is a happy workplace. Essential to preparing for change in the workplace is the implementation of a system that can organize workspace in an efficient way while allowing employees to choose where they want to work. This system should feature an ability to track and control space usage with meaningful data that allows managers to quickly reorganize a company floorplan based on the insights. Though there are a wealth of products and combinations of office management practices that try to achieve these requirements, only a dynamic company floorplan can holistically address space usage management in the workplace.

Dynamic company floorplans are graphical facilities management interfaces based on blueprints or office layout diagrams. They usually facilitate desk and room booking, asset tracking, searchable seating and equipment location plans, and a collect data about space usage and user interaction with the system itself. Dynamic company floorplans are usually produced by an Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS) or a Computer Aided Facilities Management (CAFM) tool and offer 5 key benefits for FMs:

1) Reduce Facilities Management Workflow Complexity

Office and facilities managers know that keeping track of every asset in the workplace can be a logistical nightmare. Manual recording or using multiple tools to track asset location and details, usage and condition can result in complex and inefficient facilities management workflows. While dynamic company floorplans can record space usage data, more importantly they serve as an up-to-date point of reference for employees as well as FMs. All changes in the workplace are instantly reflected with a dynamic company floorplan which keeps everyone up-to-date, from staff using the system to get around and reserve space in a fluid workplace to managers using the system to plan their next big redesign. By taking care of all these aspects of space usage management, a dynamic company floorplan can significantly streamline facilities management workflows.

2) Eliminate Space Usage Data Siloing

Sharing data is caring about data, and collecting and storing data in multiple locations by many tools and teams only serves to create barriers to accessing this information. This is because teams or individuals relying on this data to make meaningful changes in the workplace spend more time finding it and less time on getting insights to plan and carry out action. Additionally, segregated data about workplace usage provides a fragmented picture of facility operations. If a workflow features space management through a dynamic company floorplan, space usage data is stored in a central, accessible place for employees that need it. Details like contact information, HR records, space and equipment booking metadata and more are typically all accessible from dynamic company floorplans. Additionally, updates to this single source of information can be pushed to anyone else using the data which keeps teams on the same page.

3) Understand Space Usage Holistically

Facility costs are usually the second largest expense for an organization next to payroll. Catching a wasteful trend in space usage early is only possible with a big picture understanding of how employees use equipment and shared spaces. Implementing a dynamic company floorplan to track this behaviour allows for immediate and holistic analysis of space usage. Reporting tools designed to gather insights from space usage data can help in the process of eliminating or repurposing unused space in the workplace. Managers can quickly get to know how individual employees, teams, and departments choose to interact as well. Strategies to make communication, collaboration and efficient equipment usage easier can be visualized and planned for with a dynamic company floorplan.

4) Provide a Searchable Visual Reference of a Workplace

Whether a workplace uses a closed, open, or hybrid office layout, visual references and seating maps are the easiest to use and understand, especially if they are interactive. Searchable dynamic company floorplans organize staff, equipment, workspaces and remote employees in a very accessible way. Large facilities can be navigated in a matter of seconds by searching for details about people, places and tools in the workplace. Easy to use and easy to navigate seating plans are a breeze to prepare with space management software providing dynamic company floorplans. Orientations are much easier, visitors and clients can find who they are looking for faster, and staff can handle moves and changes much more efficiently; offering a searchable dynamic company floorplan just makes sense.

5) Flexible Workplaces Make Employees Happier

HR professionals know that every employee has their own ideal workplace. Affording staff the option to work in any environment that best suits them has obvious benefits. Desk sharing, also known as hoteling or hot-desking, requires precise coordination and instant updates that only a dynamic company floorplan can offer. Open and hybrid office layouts with shared quiet and collaborative spaces allow teams and individuals to work best in their own style. Dynamic company floorplans are an integral part of fluid workplaces because staff can reserve their workspaces in advance and view where their teams and other staff are located in order to prepare for collaboration. Additionally, project managers can determine the best locations for efficient work and equipment use easily.

Flexible Facility Management Needs Dynamic Company Floorplans

If a workplace needs to keep up with how employees use space, facilities managers need to simplify and optimize their workflow with a dynamic company floorplan. Space usage data should be available in a central location to keep staff up to date about the state of their workplace and make planning easier. Anything measured can improve, as Pearson’s Law states, and dynamic company floorplans provide holistic measuring of space usage. Using this information, facilities can be organized in more efficient ways onto easily navigable office floorplans. Implementing a dynamic company floorplan in the workplace affords facilities managers the ability to understand how space is and is not used, and organize assets in a facility in a clear and responsive manner, and give staff the ability to work how they want.

Aaron P. B. Morin is Director of Support Services for BrowseLab Inc., creators of the StaffMap office and facilities management software. He can be reached at

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How to Avoid and Mitigate Graffiti Damage

Posted on 2/2/2016 1:11 PM by Jake Oberle

According to the Bureau of Justice, graffiti is the most common type of property damage in the U.S., causing building owners and facility managers considerable time and resources. Unfortunately, despite increased efforts to deter the crime on a local and statewide level, incidents of reported graffiti have steadily increased throughout the years resulting in millions of dollars in damage. Fortunately, there are several proactive and reactive options available for preventing and mitigating graffiti damage.

Although once perceived as a victimless crime, graffiti damage affects both residential and commercial property owners in a multitude of ways. Several of the most common repercussions of this type of property damage include:

Adverse effects on local businesses

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, graffiti contributes to lost revenue and can lead to reduced retail sales and decreased property values. Graffiti also generates a negative perception and is associated with a general decline of a neighborhood, even if that is not the case.

Negative Perceptions

According to Keep Britain Tidy, public perceptions of crime are strongly influenced by the impression of public spaces which are unmanaged and appear ‘out of control’ due to vandalism. This assertion was supported by a study utilizing 1994 British Crime Survey data that analyzed the factors contributing to anxiety about crime. Results identified a direct correlation between perceptions of disorder and crime, independent of other factors including the actual level of crime. Study participants also associated vandalism and litter as direct signs of crime in the neighborhood, increasing fears of victimization.

Environmental Impacts

In addition to safety concerns, graffiti has several negative implications on the environment. According to Scientific American, modern-day, CFC-free aerosol sprays emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that contribute to ground-level ozone levels, a key component of asthma-inducing smog.

Finding a Solution

As the issue of graffiti affects cities and neighborhoods across the nation, it’s imperative for building professionals to have a comprehensive plan in place for prevention and removal. Five ways to mitigate this type of vandalism include:

1.) Surface Protectant Films:

Surface protectant films offer a clear, distortion-free layer that protects windows, graphics, mirrors and other surfaces in retail, public facilities and street-level glass applications. This proactive solution is useful for either interior or exterior applications and is available in different thicknesses for graffiti abatement in low- or high-risk situations. Additionally, this type of film is particularly effective in resisting damage from glass-etching methods used by vandals and can easily be removed, leaving little or no residue when replacement is needed.

2.) Chemical Removers & Organic Solutions:

Although there are a variety of different chemical removers on the market, the strength of the solvent generally indicates how quickly the paint will dissolve. When using this type of graffiti mitigation system, it is important to consider the surface type where the graffiti is found as some materials may produce unappealing aesthetic results.

As some chemical removers can be harmful to the environment, organic solutions are also a consideration. Unlike chemical removers, these products often have lower safety and health risks.

3.) Pressure Washing:

A pressure washer may be used to remove graffiti and is often used in combination with a solvent. Alternative blasting media includes ground walnut shells, baking soda crystals, dry ice, ground rubber, carbon flint or sand.

4.) Dustless Blasting:

Dustless blasting mixes a recycled glass abrasive with water in a specialized blast tank. By directing a concentrated blast of water and coarse material at a target, this technique is able to eliminate graffiti without creating the cloud of dust that is commonly associated with other removal methods.   

5.) Paint-Out:

Another tactic for graffiti mitigation is to paint over the vandalized surface. Although painting may be timely, the cost is relatively low. A paint-out works best on flat surfaces that have already been painted.

Before beginning any mitigation process, it’s important to review city guidelines as best practices for removal and restoration may already be in place. Ultimately, whatever type of method you choose, it is crucial to remove the graffiti from your property in a timely manner as the faster and more frequent graffiti is eliminated, the less likely it is to reappear.

Jake Oberle is U.S. Commercial Marketer for window films in 3M's Renewable Energy Division.

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