Facility Management: Elevating C-Suite Decision-Making with Data

Today, the power of data and analytics is profoundly altering the business landscape. Capturing accurate facility data is important, but owners and stakeholders know data is only valuable if they turn it into tangible benefits. According to some estimates, a lack of data usability costs US businesses approximately $3.1 trillion worth of annual profit losses each year. 

Facility Management (FM) data is as important as any, not only because workplace metrics have radically changed since the pandemic, but also because facility managers (FMs) gather and use data to serve different reporting purposes. And reporting to the C-suite is crucial because by presenting actionable data, facility managers enable the C-suite to understand and address challenges, contributing to overall business success and efficiency. 


  • This article emphasizes the critical role of FM data in elevating C-suite decision-making, particularly in the context of evolving workplace dynamics and the complexities brought about by the pandemic. 
  • We highlighted the challenges faced by both FMs and C-level executives, focusing on the importance of actionable data in addressing workplace issues. 
  • We explored the evolving role of FM beyond building maintenance, debunking myths about technology reliance and the absence of FM in the boardroom. 
  • We explained the need for collaboration between FMs and the C-suite, offering examples of key workplace metrics that can guide top-level decisions. 
  • We couldn’t leave out the significance of workplace sustainability data and the importance for the use of integrated workplace tools to gather, centralize, and deliver critical FM data to support C-suite for informed decision-making.

Flexibility in Workplaces Adds Complexity to Space Decisions

At all levels. It’s not easy for FMs, and it’s not easy for the C-Suite either. Why? Because most workplaces today are increasingly flexible and dynamic, complicating space decisions on both the facilities and C-suite level. While this flexibility is necessary for achieving business goals and addressing changing employee needs, it also poses some challenges, such as:

  • The traditional strategies based on headcount and location preferences are no longer sufficient. The shift from traditional office layouts to more flexible configurations requires a deep understanding of employee working styles, necessitating collaboration between FMs and HR departments. The challenge lies in optimizing space for efficiency while accommodating varied employee preferences, which may impact overall cost, resource allocation, and strategic planning.
  • The design and configuration of office spaces must evolve to accommodate the changing needs of the workforce in hybrid-enabled offices. Shifting from a 1:1 desk-to-person ratio to a more collaborative environment requires investment in new design elements and technologies. Decision-makers must balance the cost of these changes with the potential benefits in terms of increased productivity and employee satisfaction.
  • The hybrid office model demands a robust workplace tech stack to support both remote and in-person work. It involves substantial investments in technology infrastructure, and decisions must align with the organization's goals, adding complexity to decision-making at the executive level.
  • Shifting from cyclical scheduling to on-demand services requires strategic planning to ensure cleanliness and maintenance standards are upheld. Decision-makers must navigate changes in operational processes to meet employee needs while balancing the associated costs.

The response to these challenges lies in making strategic decisions, requiring C-level executives to reconsider the importance of FM data in their decision-making process. This should imply a tight collaboration between FMs and the C-suite, which is not always obvious.

man working in the office having a call with his hybrid team

The Importance of Collaboration Has Never Been Higher

Facility managers don’t normally spend much time in the boardroom with their organization’s executive leaders. But given how drastically the facility management role has changed over the past several years, it may be time to reconsider the option.

A good reason why C-suite executives should turn their FMs into their most powerful allies when it comes to boardroom decisions is because:

  • They are experts in cost-conscious management and at maximizing value within tight margins. In the fiercely competitive global business landscape, FMs bring essential skills to decision-making, ensuring that leaders are equipped to contend with industry frontrunners.
  • Their role extends beyond managing physical spaces to encompass orchestrating diverse teams, technology vendors, utility providers, and consultants. That brings a fresh new perspective to the table, helping companies navigate real estate, environmental, legislative, and compliance requirements at ease. An FM’s ability to measure space efficiency provides decision-makers with concrete data on how much space is used, wasted, or needed. 
  • FMs excel as forecasters, leveraging their comprehensive understanding of daily facility operations to analyze trends, standards, and potential issues. This foresight proves valuable in discussions related to future investments, budget considerations, and organizational restructuring, all while balancing employee productivity and well-being. 

So, when leaders involve their FMs in decision-making, they benefit from perspectives that strike a balance between the facility's cost-effectiveness and performance requirements, ultimately fostering a conducive environment for enhanced productivity. However, many executive teams still hold a few dangerous misconceptions about the FM role and a debunking is essential to establish a fruitful collaboration. What are they about?

Debunking the C-Suite's Misconceptions About Facility Management

Let’s bust some of the most recurring FM myths and help foster a closer connection between workplace leaders and the C-suite:

Facility Management Equals Building Maintenance

… also, but not only! FM has evolved from a focus on managing office space to creating value space, prioritizing the workplace experience's impact on employee satisfaction and organizational success. FMs are frequently the unsung heroes, serving as versatile experts within an organization. 

Today, their responsibilities encompass a broad spectrum, ranging from creating and sustaining an ideal work environment to enhancing value and reducing expenses that directly impact the overall financial performance. At times, these professionals are entrusted with the responsibility of navigating and mitigating environmental and legislative risks associated with facility operations while also making efforts to enable the best workplace experience.

Top-Notch Facility Managers Excel Without Technology

If all that glitters were gold, all our problems would disappear, right? With only 60% of enterprise data that can truly be operationalized, no wonder FMs appeal to technology to optimize workflows, reporting, and, finally, decision-making.

FMs without an all-in-one workplace experience platform are akin to fish without fins—struggling in the waters without the means to navigate the dynamic currents of your facility. Such a versatile platform can be customized to meet an organization’s unique needs and empowers workplace leaders to stay attuned to every aspect of the workplace, guiding them on when and where to optimize, thereby directly impacting the financial bottom line.

Facility Managers Don’t Have a Place in the Boardroom

Although this misconception is still present, there is a gradual shift in the narrative. Increasingly, the C-suite is recognizing the strategic significance of facilities managers. These professionals possess access to vital operational data, and dismissing their input may lead to financial losses, wasted time, compromised security, and low employee engagement. They are the gatekeepers to a wealth of priceless information that could make or break a company’s market value.

Why Is Facility Management Crucial for the C-Suite?

Given the complexity of today’s workplace, there is a growing need for the C-suite to get a clear picture of what is happening in the workplace. To effectively navigate challenges, they need visibility into the office, with data pulled from multiple sources in real-time and start to increasingly turn on FMs for valuable insights.

The types of data the C-suite will need to access have expanded —desk bookings alone do not provide enough data to generate what’s necessary to make insightful decisions about space. 

A holistic view on multiple data sources — like employee feedback, desk and space bookings, calendars, floorplans, badge swipes, and more — can arm leadership in remaining agile and making more informed operational decisions.


Examples of FM Data to Guide Top-Level Decisions

Here are some examples of workplace metrics that FMs should be collecting to help the C-suite more fully understand their current hybrid reality:

Office Attendance, Occupancy Rates

As companies implement return-to-office mandates, employee resistance to inflexible requirements has become prevalent. In response, leadership is exploring strategies to entice employees back by offering multiple perks. However, the effectiveness of these incentives remains uncertain. That’s why short-term metrics, including daily attendance, desk utilization, and no-show rates, serve as indicators of the immediate impact of these strategies. In the long term, occupancy rates provide leadership with insights into broader workplace trends, helping determine if there is sufficient space for the employees who choose to return to the office.

Space Booking Reports

The importance of investing in office amenities tailored to employees' specific needs comes with acknowledging that different teams require distinct workplace configurations and amenities. Collecting data on space booking enables C-suite to customize the office environment based on actual usage. FMs leverage such data to assist leadership in fine-tuning desk booking allocations, while daily and weekly attendance metrics aid in identifying office capacity trends and informing adjustments to both office layouts and hybrid work policies as needed.

Space Utilization by Location

Together with metrics like lease costs, average cost per employee, annual costs, such data can help C-suite decide to downsize the office space. This step can generate great savings if properly powered by technology.

For example, when the pandemic forced widespread shutdowns, ASEE, like many global companies, transitioned to a predominantly remote work model. Confronted with an empty office, the company made a strategic decision to downsize its Bucharest headquarters by relinquishing one out of four leased floors, marking the end of the longstanding allocated seating policy with an employee-to-desk ratio of 1:1. Then, when the return to the office started, ASEE developed its hybrid work strategy, including monitoring employee counts to adhere to permitted limits and enforcing physical distancing rules. 

They relied on the YAROOMS Workplace Experience Platform to streamline hybrid work scheduling and space booking in their downsized office and furnish management with crucial presence and utilization data. Huge savings were generated by ASEE’s decision to downsize and transition to the hybrid work mode with YAROOMS. “By doing this, we are able to save approximately €200k a year - an amount that would otherwise be spent for rent and maintenance of the extra floor”, Adrian Nastase, Country Leader, ASEE Romania.

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Workplace Sustainability Data

In the increasingly environmentally conscious society, we cannot ignore the importance of FM data in achieving net-zero goals and sustainability reporting. Why? Because not only are consumers increasingly looking at sustainability practices when making purchasing decisions, but also are investors when looking for companies that prioritize long-term environmental sustainability. 

FM data, encompassing a comprehensive range of information related to facility operations, energy consumption, resource utilization, and waste management, enables organizations to align their practices with sustainable and eco-friendly initiatives. A thorough analysis of this data enables companies to identify areas where energy efficiency can be optimized, resource consumption can be minimized, and waste generation can be reduced, all contributing to the overarching goal of achieving net-zero environmental impact.

C-suite needs to rely on complete, centralized FM data to ensure the company’s sustainability targets are met and foster a culture of responsibility and accountability, promoting environmentally conscious practices.

Unlocking Facility Management Data with Workplace Technology

Today’s emerging FM platforms are generating data that, more than ever before, can be aggregated in a meaningful way to inform business strategy at a high level — both in terms of managing risk and informing strategic planning. Integrated workplace tools – like holistic workplace experience management platforms – help FMs manage the hybrid office more effectively. Innovative solutions like YAROOMS provide a comprehensive platform for FMs to collect, centralize, and analyze critical workplace data. By harnessing its power, FMs can make data-driven decisions that optimize space utilization, improve the employee experience, and contribute to the overall success of the organization, aligning their strategies with evolving workforce dynamics and preferences. And with that ability to gather source data also comes the technological muscle to create meaningful business analytics and elevate C-suite’s decision-making capabilities.

Wrapping Up

There is a huge opportunity for FMs to take on a pivotal and facilitating role in the evolving landscape of work decisions. As organizations grapple with challenges regarding the how, where, when, and who of work, these decisions hold profound implications for the organization's facilities, demanding continuous review and adaptation as the business landscape evolves. Through their expertise and by leveraging insightful data, FMs have become the linchpin of any organization, helping reduce the friction of work and playing a vital role in steering the decision-making process towards sustainable and seamless work practices.

Topics: Facility management

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