8 Ways Drag and Drop Icons Can Enhance Your Floor Plans

Whether planning for the unexpected or simplifying everyday tasks, adding icons to a workplace floor plan can increase efficiency, safety and communication with staff.

When the local fire department requested that a national Fortune 500 company provide life safety and emergency preparedness floor plans, the client — a longtime user of Wisp — arrived at a solution fairly quickly. By leveraging the drag and drop icons in Wisp, the client was able to indicate emergency exits, stairwells, fire extinguishers and more on interactive floor plans, which were then printed for the fire department and distributed electronically among staff.

Although we were easily able to arrive at this solution with Wisp, we often find that organizations are not prepared with these documents and don’t have a good way to generate them. Oftentimes we see multiple versions of the same floor plan being maintained by various groups. While it is typically the real estate and facilities groups’ responsibility to keep the ever-changing architectural and furniture changes on floor plans up-to-date, it is also common for teams like risk management and IT, to have their own versions of floor plans to identify and communicate where their equipment is.

Wouldn’t it be great if all these groups were using the same floor plan source for their respective needs? It would certainly reduce confusion about which floor plan is correct and eliminate duplication of efforts.

Here are eight ways that adding icons to an interactive floor plan can benefit everyone in an organization:

1. Prepare for the Unexpected

The protocols for different types of disaster preparedness are all unique. Creating individual plans for all possible circumstances doesn’t just give facility managers and occupants peace of mind—it can also save lives. Icons can be used to indicate shelters, evacuation routes, safety rooms and sprinkler systems. Providing these plans to the fire department and police officers can speed up resolution if a situation arises.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we developed new icons to visualize the location of new equipment and to support new protocols that have now become commonplace in the workplace. These icons can be placed on a floor plan to indicate the following:

covid icons

2. Publish Emergency Action Plans

Well-developed and communicated emergency action plans can result in fewer employee injuries and can minimize structural damage to a facility during emergencies. Plans can be shared with staff digitally through your Intranet, or printed and displayed in elevators, near exits and other high visibility locations. As floor plans change over time, having a simple process to maintain these plans for accuracy is crucial.

3. Indicate Meeting Room Capabilities

Audio/visual icons make it easy for occupants to locate rooms equipped for their needs, from video conferences to charrettes. Icons can indicate anything from projectors, microphones and video cameras to special lighting features, partition walls, white boards and more. Posting a photo of the space on a floor plan allows occupants to view room capabilities without having to leave their desk.

show meeting room capabilities

4. Display the Location of Life Safety Equipment

Publishing the location of life safety equipment such as first aid kits, AED’s (Automated External Defibrillator), fire extinguishers and evacuation routes is often a workplace requirement. Safety equipment requirements vary depending on space type, so be sure to review industry codes and regulations to ensure you are properly communicating the location of life safety equipment to staff. Publishing life safety icons on a shared floor plan creates one source of record and reduces the likelihood that duplicate efforts are taking place within an organization.

5. Track Artwork Assets

Studies show that artwork in an office setting can have a positive impact on employee satisfaction. Icons that depict paintings, sculpture, antique furniture, artifacts and more can help keep track of your company’s cultural and artistic investments. You can even associate a photo of the artwork with the icon. Assign details to each icon such as artist, year, value and owner to track the history and location of valuable artwork for years to come.

tracking office artwork with icons

6. Locate Office Equipment

Empower new hires, temporary workers or visitors with a map to frequently used office supplies and equipment such as fax machines, scanners, printers, paper cutters, recycle bins and more.

7. Map Out Mechanicals

Icons can help facility managers, contractors and service providers visualize and locate mechanical units such as boilers, chillers or rooftop units by placing representative icons on an interactive floor plan. Simply print and distribute the floor plan to easily communicate the location of units. Assigning unique attributes to icons makes it easy to record warranty, year purchased, last service date and more.

8. Track Security Equipment

All icons are permission based, meaning they can be configured to be seen by only certain users. The Security icons make it possible to indicate on a floor plan where items like security cameras or badge required access points are located. Access can be set up so that only the security team has permission to view these icons on a floor plan.

With eight themed palettes and over 200 icons, Wisp allows for an unlimited number of icon use cases for a variety of audiences. As floor plans change over time, Gensler maintains accurate CAD to ensure clients are working with consistent and accurate drawings. Watch a video to see how drag and drop icons in Wisp work.

icons on workplace floor plan