What Is Space Management?

Get an overview and explore key highlights

What Is Space Management?

Space management is the process a company uses to organize its physical space. Space management teams track how much space an organization has, and they oversee how that space is being used by employees.

With the myriad of global changes brought about over the past few years, it has become more important than ever for companies to evaluate how they’re utilizing their spaces. Executives need to answer key questions like: What is my inventory like? How are my employees currently using the spaces I own? How do I right-size my portfolio?

“For large enterprises, poor space utilization can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars per year and yet many have no idea how much space is actually wasted across their portfolio. They may not have standard space classifications across locations or lack visibility due to insufficient or disparate space management software systems.”—Facility Executive Magazine

These factors have put increasing emphasis and pressure on the facilities, real estate, and space management teams dedicated to maintaining and optimizing their organization’s spaces.

Benefits of Space Management

Effective space management is vital; it lets organizations get better insights into their facilities. When they can see how their buildings are being used, they have a better handle on what’s working and what’s not, and they can develop strategies going forward.

In order to optimize their spaces, teams need to answer key questions about how their space is affecting employees—including taking a step back and evaluating things like:

  • Where is the natural light shining in?
  • Which teams need to collaborate with each other most often?
  • How much space do we have per employee?

History of Corporate Space Management

In fact, the way we design our workspaces is a direct reflection of our changing relationships to work—including how we define work, and what we want to emphasize about the way we collaborate.

For example, the 1960’s saw the rise of the cubicle design (which reached its peak in the 1980’s), where flexible, low dividers separated workers. Those “cubicle farms” then led to the rise of the open concept office, in which walls were removed and an emphasis was put on collaboration above all else.

Flexible Office Spaces and Hybrid Work

With the COVID-19 pandemic, employers are trying to find a balance between the two philosophies—which is ever more complicated by the rise of remote and hybrid work, where not all employees are in the office every day.

Accommodating hybrid working scenarios has given rise to the concept of flexible office spaces. These are spaces that can be used for multiple purposes—instead of having one area be dedicated solely to cubicles or desks, it can be rearranged to be a collaborative location one day, and a presentation area the next. Employees can use the spaces as they see fit, which means the office becomes more dynamic, rather than static.

Space Management Software Solutions

Of course, flexible office spaces lead to increasing complexity for space managers. How do they accommodate these changing needs? How do they help employees reserve and modify the spaces?

Increasingly, teams are investing in integrated workplace management systems (IWMS) and other software solutions in order to help track and plan office and equipment utilization. This includes space planning software and workplace management solutions.

Space management software solutions provide capabilities for space managers and employees alike, including wayfinding features, space reservations, conference room booking, office move planning, hoteling and hot desking, and more.

Interactive Wayfinding

Wayfinding is the process of navigating to a particular place or location. It refers to all the informational systems and items that point people through a physical space.

When your space management solution includes wayfinding features, employees can locate what they need more quickly. For example, digital wayfinding software solutions offer capabilities including:

  • Mobile-friendly floor maps you can update instantly
  • Ability to easily find spaces
  • Kiosks and digital signs you can update in real-time

With interactive floorplans that update as changes are made in real-time (such as to conference room spaces or where employees are sitting), employees can get a better picture of where people, assets, and locations are in each facility, which is especially important in hybrid working scenarios, where things can change daily.

What Is Wayfinding?

Learn how Nuvolo wayfinding functionality helps users navigate to and around any campus, indoors, and out.

Space Reservations

Additionally, space management software that includes space reservation functionality directly supports hybrid and flexible working scenarios. Users can reserve workspaces ahead of time, so they know they’ll have the equipment and desks they need before they arrive at the office. Space reservation and conference room booking functionality:

  • Allows users to view available workspace options and make reservations remotely
  • Provides visibility into other employee reservations to help drive teamwork
  • Often can remember user preferences so they can easily reserve the same workspace


Space reservations in Nuvolo Connected Workplace.

Plus, if your space management solution connects directly to your maintenance management processes (such as your asset management tools), you can directly submit work orders to clean or reset spaces after they’ve been used.


Hoteling is the practice of enabling multiple people to use the same workstation at different times using a reservation-based system.

While hoteling has been used for decades, it has recently gained a new importance in the face of changing work environments. When implemented effectively, hoteling can help free up space and save costs while adding convenience and flexibility for employees. By reducing their number of permanently occupied desks, organizations can accommodate the varying schedules and work arrangements of their people while leasing less overall square footage.

Space management software can track how employees are using these hoteling spaces, giving you vital insights into which spaces are used most often, and what might need to be optimized.

Space Planning and Office Moves

Not only does space management software include the end-user features listed above, but space managers can use it to plan and implement office moves and redesigns.

For example, with some space management software solutions, you can use features such as drag-and-drop functionality, floorplan visualization, and direct integration with AutoCAD to plan and rethink your spaces.

Plus, stack planning and space blocking capabilities allow you to easily edit your portfolio and plan for changes in space allocation across your organization.

You can easily plan office moves for entire departments and teams across floors.

Block and Stack Planning

See how stack planning and space blocking capabilities allow you to easily edit your portfolio and plan for changes in space allocation across your organization.

Using Data to Make Decisions

Space management software enables you to gather metrics in order to visualize how your office is functioning. Real-time reports make it easier to see what’s happening in your buildings.

For example, as companies push toward a hybrid working schedule, building occupancy levels fluctuate more, which means teams need to optimize their heating and cooling equipment to account for low-occupancy states. When your space management software enables you to track utilization, you can better forecast and plan for these fluctuations.

Connected Workplace and Space Management

It’s clear that workplaces are evolving—and the way you manage them should, too. The Connected Workplace Space product provides tools that help you better manage your spaces.

Plus, it includes much more—such as asset management, sustainability, and real estate capabilities, so you have everything right on one platform. With all this data at your fingertips, your teams can more effectively make long-term decisions about your facilities.

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