Guest post by Tom Stanford, Founder & CEO of Nuvolo Technologies

We’ve experienced a major shift in how, when, and where we get work done since the global pandemic began.

Many enterprises have been able to pivot quickly and make changes that ensure success in the short-term. But with remote work and hybrid schedules becoming permanent fixtures, it will be up to corporate real estate teams to figure out how to best utilize physical space in the years ahead.

CRE leaders may find it difficult to plan for this process. That’s why they need to ask the right questions and have digital tools in place to help them visualize their real estate assets and make data-backed decisions.

In this article, we’ll examine what CRE executives should think about before right-sizing their portfolios and identify how integrated workplace software solutions can help.

Why Asking the Right Questions Matters

Making changes to an enterprise real estate portfolio should begin with establishing cross-departmental collaboration between leaders. Ideally, representatives from CRE, HR, facilities management, and space management operations will be involved from start to finish.

Once the team is established, it’s crucial to address a few questions and ensure that each department is in alignment before moving toward a solution. This will help streamline changes and prevent interdepartmental conflict as any transitions take place.

While these questions may vary slightly between organizations, the following ones are universally applicable and should provide a good starting point:

  • Where and when are people working? It’s important to know how people are getting work done. Are they working from home? Are they in the office part-time? Have their schedules changed at all? Different departments may have varying protocols in place, so it’s essential to understand the status of each one.
  • How much space is actually being used? Leaders need an objective and accurate assessment—not an estimation—of how building occupants are utilizing enterprise space. This information needs to be as detailed as possible to optimize decision making.
  • Can costs be saved by re-aligning the portfolio to current needs? If less people are using office space (or they’re using it less often), leasing a smaller space or negotiating a more flexible lease may be wise. Another option could be to lease small offices or co-working spaces nearer to remote workers.

The Benefits of a Comprehensive CRE Software Solution

To help answer the questions above, leaders can implement a comprehensive solution such as an integrated workplace management system (IWMS). These systems can connect entire workplaces within a single interface, with key capabilities that include:  

  • Data capture and reporting: An IWMS can capture key metrics like badge scans and desk reservations (such as in a digital desk hoteling system), quickly generating visual reports that show highly accurate enterprise space usage.
  • Space planning and management: Some IWMS providers offer hands-on tools for designing and modifying workspaces. Via a visual floorplan map, users can simply drag and drop to re-arrange entire floors or buildings.
  • Lease tracking: Workplace management software can also be used to streamline the lease management process. These solutions allow CRE leaders to perform key functions like creating lease lifecycle workflows, automating recurring payments, and setting alerts for important dates.

Bringing It All Together Right-sizing an enterprise real estate portfolio is no simple task. But when smart cross-departmental collaboration is combined with intuitive workplace software solutions, CRE leaders can more confidently make decisions that benefit their organizations for the long-term

About the Author:

Tom Stanford is the Founder & CEO of Nuvolo Technologies and has more than twenty-five years of experience in building new technology ventures. Tom is responsible for overall leadership and management of the organization. His new venture development activities include SaaS, enterprise software and professional services. Tom holds a graduate and undergraduate degree from Northeastern University.