Facilities Management is no longer solely about the running of properties and the services provided, it’s also about improving the wellbeing of the building’s tenants and ensuring their satisfaction in order to retain leases.
People spend such a long time in the workplace and as people’s career motivators and lifestyles have changed over time, their working environment, expectations and demands have developed.
Physical factors have been the core focus for Facilities Managers; air quality, lighting, noise levels and overall security and health & safety. However, now psychological factors need to be considered such as access to natural light and greenery, stimulating environments and break-out areas to encourage people to take a break, switch off and re-centre. Keeping tenants’ comfortable and safe remains a core factor, but as employers understand the impact the office environment has on productivity and happiness; wellbeing has become a key focus.
Facilities Managers need to build relationships with tenants to understand their business, their way of working and culture, so they can adapt environments accordingly. For example, if a tenant encourages fitness for employees, is there space to hold yoga classes or shower facilities if tenants’ cycle to work? Could empty units be used to offer free fitness classes? If the tenant encourages collaborative and cross-department working, is their flexibility to change the office layout? Could the commercialisation spaces be better utilised to hold networking events, pop-up shops or food outlets? There are masses of opportunities to encourage tenant interaction, social engagements and build the occupier community.
Managing workplace environments to support corporate operations has become a key responsibility for Facilities Managers. It has become a people focussed profession with strategies always centred around the tenant and guest experience, safety and wellbeing.
The intangible nature of wellbeing can make results hard to measure, however, the global ISO FM Standards allows the quality of facilities to be measured, consequently, improving workplace environments to provide places where employees not only feel safe, but engaged, happy and productive.
Properties are competing to get the best tenants and the highest profit margins. Happy employees are productive employees and businesses want to work in buildings where their employees feel positive and secure. If properties want low vacancy rates, long lease agreements and increasing profit margins, facilities management teams need to continue advancing and diversifying their wellbeing and community strategies.