Why should soft and hard services be included in Integrated Workplace Management software?

Coen de Frel
4 min read

Many of the Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS) solutions on the market focus solely on hard services, or solely on soft services.

This means they might provide a best-of-breed solution for just your building maintenance, or just your catering services. But you’ll need a complex landscape of individual systems to cover all your office’s Facility Management (FM) needs.

The latest IWMS solutions change that. They take things up a level by combining hard and soft FM in one. Empowering Facility Managers to gain a holistic view of your tangible assets, as well as how your employees feel while using them. To create and oversee an optimal workplace experience, all via one user-friendly interface.

Facilitate flexible working

With remote and hybrid working patterns fast becoming standard, an IWMS that enables you to offer workplace hoteling is a vital asset. Soft and hard aspects combine to make this possible. First, the hard aspects. The latest IWMS solutions will enable you to map each desk and each square meter of floor space within your organization’s premises.

This enables you to ensure the right number of people can book desks in each area, while keeping to any social distancing guidelines that are in place. In addition, it enables you to flexibly maximize utility across your floor plan — because, as we know, every square meter counts in optimizing FM costs.

Next comes the soft side. A quality IWMS will offer an agile, flexible, and intuitive booking interface so your employees can reserve workspaces in your building. You’ll be able to centrally control which departments, teams, or specific employees can book desks in which areas. This helps to maintain ‘bubbles’ while facilitating comfort and collaboration.

At the same time, you can ensure employees have the freedom to reserve their favorite spots (next to a window or particular coffee machine, say) for a sense of belonging, familiarity, and comfort when they’re at work.

Ensure seamless vendor provision

From dry cleaning to catering to a florist, a top IWMS means your employees can be sure they’ll receive the soft vendor services they need, when and where they need them.

Take catering, for example. Let’s say one of your employees is holding a meeting with some key external clients, and wants to make sure they have quality catering on offer.

They’ll place their order for the meeting, specifying which products they’d like, for how many guests, and where and when they’ll need them. With an IWMS that prioritizes user experience, this would all happen via an easy-to-use portal. Your catering vendor would receive a notification via your IWMS vendor portal, complete with all the information they need to deliver correctly and on time.

Next comes the hard service aspect of the process. Thanks to security integrations, your IWMS recognizes the caterer’s number plate as they arrive, automatically lifting your security barrier to allow them onto the premises.

Next, their access pass will be pre-printed at reception. They’ll head straight to the right meeting room, thanks to the vendor portal details they can view via your IWMS mobile app. Ensuring the right catering, in the right place, at the right time — delivered without a hitch.

Download IMWS Buyer Guide for FM

Keep your assets secure — both physical and digital

First, let’s look at how this might work with hard services. If, for whatever reason, you needed to bar a vehicle or individual from your workplace premises, a leading IWMS can enable that.

Rather than raising an access barrier based on automatic number plate recognition, it would keep it firmly closed and notify your security personnel accordingly. Similarly, further security integrations would enable you to grant or deny access via any automatic door in your building.

When it comes to securing digital assets, soft services are key. Let’s say your IWMS integrated HR, IT, and Legal alongside its hard FM aspects. A top IWMS solution would be able to store this range of key information about each of your employees in one central system.

As such, it would be able to seamlessly match the correct seniority and clearance level to the IT assets handed out to each employee on their first day. On the one hand, this IWMS functionality would be crucial to avoiding accidental breaches. On the other, it would facilitate streamlining costs. With the right IWMS overview, your organization would be able to invest in precisely the right IT licenses per role, eliminating unnecessary overspend.

Attract and retain top talent

As consumers themselves, your employees are accustomed to easy-to-use interfaces and convenient all-in-one solutions. So it’s easy to see how a complex, outdated, and unreliable FM interface would frustrate them at work.

The optimal solution is an IWMS that centralizes hard and soft aspects behind one user-friendly interface. One simple stop for all their requests, queries or complaints, with a mobile app they can use while working remotely or on the move.

In today’s highly competitive job market, it’s employee experience that truly makes a firm stand out. If you’re looking to hire the best in the business, it’s crucial to focus on IWMS functionalities that will help your people feel that their needs are met, every day.

Enhance your employee experience with an all-rounder IWMS

Overall, making sure employees feel that they’re catered for — and that they feel valued and satisfied in their daily work — involves soft and hard FM, each step of the way.

An IWMS that combines soft and hard services empowers your organization to offer the full package, for a truly innovative and forward-thinking workplace experience.

Want to know more? Download the Buyer Guide: The ultimate guide to selecting your Integrated Workplace Management System, free of charge.

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