Five Ways Effective Facilities Management Can Boost Worker Productivity

Boost Worker Productivity

The links between workplace environment and productivity are hardly news. Even back amongst the grime and squalor of the 19th century, the more enlightened factory owners realised that cramped, poorly lit, poorly ventilated, cold and dangerous working conditions hit them in the pocket, as miserable and sick staff could not work effectively.

And yet this is still an aspect of facilities management not often considered. The focus tends to be on keeping everything running efficiently, and, or course, costs. But when you consider that, on average, 90 per cent of a business’s expenses go on salaries, and just 1 per cent on energy bills, there seems to be an imbalance here.

Surely the well-being of a company’s most expensive asset should be higher up the list of priorities?

There are a number of ways facilities management can help to create working environments more conducive to a healthy, happy, hard working workforce. Many are just general best practice in facilities management anyway – the kind of things you would want to see to keep everything running smoothly and control costs. Here are five examples.

1.      Smart Lighting

The overwhelming majority of people rely on their eyes to work, and that makes light levels very important. Especially when working with screens, whether too low or too bright, inappropriate light levels can make it hard to see what we are doing, cause eye strain and headaches. A key factor here is balancing natural light with artificial light. Today, smart lighting systems can use sensors to automatically adjust indoor lighting depending on natural light levels. You can even set an optimum overall light level so the sum of both is always the best possible for people’s eyes. And the bonus is, smart lighting saves money on energy, as you never have electric lights on when you don’t need them.

2.      Clean Air, Clear Minds

Air quality is a critical factor in people’s long term health and well-being. We tend to think of pollution as an outdoors issue, but it applies indoors as well. Chemicals found in building materials, furnishings, utilities and cleaning products all leak out into the air around us, and some of them are not very pleasant. A well maintained, efficient air conditioning system makes a huge difference.

3.      Hygiene for Health & Happiness

No one needs to be told that poor hygiene standards can increase the likelihood of infectious diseases spreading, leading to an increase in sick days and lost productivity. But good hygiene practice is not just a case of daily cleaning. From pest control to providing hand sanitisers, hygiene standards come down to problem solving how to minimise the spread of germs in busy spaces where large numbers of people congregate each day.

4.      Temperature Control

Another obvious one, we all know that it is hard to concentrate when you are either too cold or too hot. As with lighting, the key here is smart management – the old fashioned approach of having heating systems at full blast from October to March is not only hugely wasteful, but causes more problems than it solves, when people get too hot, air quality deteriorates and germs have a field day. Modern sensor technology allows systems to regulate themselves to an optimum working temperature, and can even adjust individual heaters in different parts of the same room if needs be, to prevent the perennial arguments over the thermostat.

5.      Feel Good Factor

Finally, don’t discount the impact on morale having a clean, bright, airy work environment that is always just the right temperature can have. Promoting productivity is as much about psychological well-being as it is about looking after our physical needs, and if we are in an environment that is pleasant to be in, we are much more likely to feel good about life.

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