Facilities management has a direct impact on business productivity and can affect your employees in more ways than one. Every dollar that goes into unneeded effort and resources is taken away from the business’ profit margin. However, the quality of the environment people work in cannot be underestimated, though it is harder to quantify. Let’s evaluate the impact of facilities management on business productivity.
Employee Health and Wellness
Choices made by facilities management can impact health and wellness. That, in turn, can reduce or increase the number of sick days when people are away from the office or leave for long periods due to health problems.
This article that was published on Bevi talks in details about various Facilities Management Trends focusing on the health and wellness aspects of facility design and maintenance. It mentions how healthy food and drink options can lead to healthier choices, while workplaces that promote physical exercise dramatically improve long-term health outcomes. A failure to keep bathrooms and kitchens clean, on the other hand, will lead to an increase in sick days. Poor air quality certainly contributes to absenteeism.
Design changes can improve health and morale, too. For example, increasing the amount of daylight people are exposed to will fight off depression and reduce fatigue and irritability during the winter months. Done right, increased natural lighting will reduce utility bills and enhance the property’s value as well.
Facility Layout and Productivity
When someone says they want to eliminate waste, we tend to think about the trash that is thrown out. However, taking longer than necessary to reach the copier and wasted time searching for items is a form of waste. Facilities managers can improve the productivity of occupants by determining the best location for commonly used assets like printers and copiers. There needs to be a balance since many of these devices in a small space can create a noise disturbance that bothers the nearby staff. Yet having too many devices or giving everyone supplies they don’t need is a form of waste in and of itself.
One subtle way facility design impacts productivity is by increasing social interaction among colleagues. When they interact socially on a regular basis, their productivity increases. However, this can go too far. Open offices don’t always increase productivity. The sights and sounds of everything going on around people could become a hindrance. That’s why silent spaces are still important and we are seeing a resurgence of subdivisions to creative hybrid-like floor designs where the benefits of cubicle style and open plan offices are combined.
The Environment and Employee Productivity
It is hard to be your best when you’re sweltering or freezing. Something as simple as providing more comfortable temperatures to your employees could have more of an influence on how they perform then you may imagine. One university study found that raising an office from 68F to 77F reduced typing errors by nearly 50%. Poor lighting can also make it harder for your employees to do their job and do it correctly. And people tend to be most productive when they’re comfortable.
The environment we work in affects our mindset, as well. Poorly maintained buildings and shabby, worn-out facilities contribute to a negative attitude. The quality of the environment people work in is seen as an extension of how much management does or doesn’t care about the employees. Furthermore, when employees receive poor service from building maintenance, they don’t feel supported by their own team. This undermines morale.
A lack of amenities like on-site dining or wellness programs leaves people wondering if management really cares about them. On the flipside, the existence of well-maintained facilities for use by employees increases their morale, performance, and productivity. This leads to greater engagement on the job and increased retention.
Poor Air Quality Affects Businesses Bottom Lines
For some reason, many businesses still seem to think that improving factors like air quality in their office is too much of expenditure compared to the possible returns. But many studies have shown that things like carbon dioxide concentration inside offices could have a direct effect on performance.
As a matter of fact, one Harvard study found that office workers exposed to too much CO2 at their desk had severe drops in performance. Other studies have found that excessive CO2 could have a negative effect on brain metabolism and could slow down neural activity. As more studies like these come to light, we can expect business owners to take this issue more seriously and make it a priority.
Workplace design, facilities management, and the attitude of maintenance personnel all impact the productivity of those who work in the building. You can’t afford to cut corners in your facilities management program because it will hurt your bottom line.