The Workplace Management Framework – Resource Management

Resource Management is concerned with the management of all day to day workplace services and assets that deliver the organisations ‘workplace experience’. It’s about to ensuring the efficient, effective and sustainable use of all of the resources engaged in delivering the experience, which include people, energy, digital bandwidth, raw materials, spare parts, consumables social, support services and anything else needed to support people at work.

As we’ve explained in previous posts, when organisations transition to a Workplace Management model, the emphasis is on delivering a fault free ‘workplace experience’ designed specifically to enable the business to deliver its goals and achieve strategic success.

For those experiences to be effective day in day out, come rain or shine and in varying business conditions, careful thought and planning needs to be undertaken to ensure that at no point will the service fail or performance be effected due to a shortage of a particular resource and that resources are used effectively, sustainably whilst minimising waste. It’s not acceptable, for instance, for the experience level on reception to fall to a low level first thing on a Monday morning because the arrival of employees and guests outstrips the capacity provided by the normal number of reception staff. Trend information, experience and intelligence from within the business and the partner network should be amalgamated to make predictions about demand so that resources can be provided accordingly.

Whereas in the past workplace users might perhaps have been prepared to put up with a service failure, in the new world of ‘experience delivery’ they won’t. So, meticulous planning needs to be undertaken and information flows need to be created to enable monitoring of resource consumption and the pre-emption of experience failure such that workplace ‘consumers’ never perceive a failure.     

As such Resource Management necessarily relies upon detailed feeds of information on the consumption of resources, the processes associated with them and the effective and timely acquisition of resources at an economical cost such that the experience is never seen to fail and remains efficient.

Integrated resource management

Today, most organisations see Resource Management as business as usual, and so it is, but the ownership of the workplace resources that are involved in delivering the total experience, typically split into different functional departments with decisions in each department being made based upon different and localised views and objectives, standards and operational budgets. Typically, Facilities management, IT and Human Resources cover a range of services and resources as follows.  

Facilities Management

  • Space use and physical changes in space allocation, standards and occupancy.
  • Operational performance of the building and it’s effective maintenance.
  • Provision of a FM Help desk to aid in problem resolution.
  • Making physical changes in accommodation resulting from changes in business organisation
  • Regulations covering sustainability are met.
  • Negotiation of energy and utilities supply and their efficient use.
  • The cost effective delivery of soft services such as reception, cleaning, security, catering and Health & Safety.
  • Management of costs and budgets
  • Management of service partners and suppliers

Information Technology

  • The forward technical strategy and IT architecture for the business.
  • The development, testing and rollout of new and changes to  business systems
  • The provision and maintenance of desktop and mobile technology, servers, data networks, telephony, videoconferencing, data security.
  • The provision of an IT Help Desk to support problem resolution.
  • Management of service partners and suppliers

Human Resources

  • The development of employment policies that meet the needs of the business now and in the future.
  • The operational processes of salary and recruitment administration
  • Management of service partners and suppliers.
  • The supply and retention of staff with skills that meet those current and future needs.
  • Investment in retraining staff to meet the changing skill requirements
  • The development of staff and their welfare.

Whilst this ‘partitioning’ has served businesses well, as organisations make a shift in emphasis to delivering total workplace experiences, a new, more integrated approach is needed to address the changing and increasingly exacting needs of today’s businesses and workplace consumers.

In addition. competitive pressures on businesses to constantly innovate and deliver enhanced services and products are driving the need for greater levels of organisational agility, higher levels of people engagement and the attraction of highly sought-after professionals with higher order skills in technology and business. Consequently, the workplace services required need to be viewed on a more integrated holistic basis and constructed to deliver a faultless and rich workplace experiences as viewed from the consumers standpoint.

All of this demands much greater integration between the parties involved in delivering the workplace experience and a unified way of measuring its effectiveness. Similar integration needs to take place in resource planning.    

Managing resources ‘sustainably’ in the future 

In the past ‘bricks and mortar’ and physical services were pre-eminent in the workplace hierarchy, but as we move forward the digital workplace is becoming a much greater part of the equation. All the more reason for IT, FM and HR to put away old language and disciplinary snobberies and work together to plan and deliver resources to deliver fault free experiences that represent a new relationship between the individual and the organisation. 

As we move forward, in addition to the efficiency and effectiveness of the workplace experience there is increasing emphasis on sustainability in all it’s forms. The growing international concern over the effects of climate change has implications on energy use, space use, travel, waste and its disposal along with ethical business practices.

Summary

In summary, the management of sustainable, business linked workplace experiences requires more holistic planning and management than has traditionally been the case involving IT, Facilities Management and Human Resources. Information flows in relation to resources consumed and levels of experience (possibly utilising sensor and digital technology and artificial Intelligence) need to be integrated with a more sophisticated approach to the management of resources.  

Workplace resource management must:

  • Recognise the needs of the wide range of workstyles used by the business to be understood and defined.
  • Bring together IT, Facilities Management, Corporate Real Estate and Human Resource Services to holistically design services that positively and consistently support the workstyles of different consumer groups.
  • Define the resources required by those services. Provide Resource Performance metrics and the sources of relevant data and data owners. For example, the daily utilisation of desks, meeting rooms and storage.
  • Advise the business upon strategic sustainability goals and in developing plans to achieve targets.
  • Monitor the consumption of carbon-based energy supplies are monitored to meet reduction targets.
  • Mandate the use of single use plastics by the suppliers of workplace services are monitored regularly to meet reduction targets.
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