There is tremendous evidence to support the idea that health, well-being, and productivity of staff is drastically affected by workplace design. In particular, the role that Facilities Management (FM) organizations play in designing and maintaining the workplace is gaining attention from companies in a variety of sectors.
The British Institute of Facilities Management defines FM as: ‘The processes that maintain and develop an organization’s services to support and improve the effectiveness of its primary activities.’ Key areas include cleaning, health & safety, HVAC as well as general office management.
Covering such a wide variety of processes means that effective FM is crucial to the overall success of any business. It is facilities managers who are at the helm of ensuring that organizations have the most appropriate working environment for employees and their activities.
Productivity and FM
There has been a great deal of research exploring the relationship between productivity and FM. A survey by Sodexo and the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors revealed that 61% of respondents felt that enhancements to workplace facilities had positively impacted their well-being at work.
Taking a closer look at how FM relates with productivity, there are many little-known aspects that contribute to the productive office. For example, when determining on the position of equipment such as printers and copiers in the office, it is up to FM managers to assess whether a specific location would obstruct ease of access or become a noise disturbance to nearby staff.
Even factors such as the temperature of a workplace can seriously affect productivity rates. During one study by Cornell University, it was discovered that raising the temperature of an office from 20oC to 25oC resulted in employees making 44% less typing errors – an astounding impact.
How significant is efficient FM?
As well as having the potential to directly improve productivity, FM influences several other areas of employees’ lives that together contribute to the overall output of a company. Research by Sodexo revealed that FM can help to enhance social interaction among colleagues and increase ease of efficiency in day-to-day tasks. This shows that good FM practice is vital for employees to be able to work in a motivated, focused, and effective manner.
It is clear that facilities managers have an important part to play in improving productivity, including deciding on the best products and solutions to introduce into the office environment. As part of their critical decision making role, looking out for products and solutions proposed to boost employee productivity is key.
Originally posted in rexeleurope.com