Facility management should first and foremost be focused on what employees need to succeed. Ecological sensitivity, beauty and popular amenities are all secondary to facilitating the work that should go on in the office. Here are four ways facility management can improve office productivity.
Productive Engagement by Design
You can improve productive engagement in the workplace by having multiple areas to facilitate productive engagement. For example, have work spaces for mobile workers where they each have a desk available, but aren’t hidden away in a cubicle. Design offices to have break areas where everyone can sit and chat over coffee in conversational groups instead of leaning against the wall.
Reduced Disruptions and Distractions by Design
Open office plans have been popular, but they’ve also failed to deliver on their promises. Yes, they are cheap to implement, and they sometimes increase interaction, though it is more likely to be casual chit chat instead of developing ground breaking solutions to problems. For everyone else and for the rest of the day, the endless background chatter disrupts trains of thought if it doesn’t interfere with their ability to have a productive conversation. Sound absorbers on the walls and ceilings are not enough, especially when compared to sound absorbing cubicle walls.
Spaces to Be Away
iOffice wrote about the must haves for the modern office. In this study on workplace trends that was published in the iOffice Blog, it was mentioned you need to give your employees a chance to get away in order for them to be more productive. This could be a dedicated recliner for whoever needs a nap. Such spaces must include small meeting areas where someone can close the door and talk about sensitive matters, whether legal or personal. If you don’t plan for these needs, you’ll end up with bathrooms or large break areas segregated and used for this very purpose.
Messiness can create health hazards, trip hazards and drains on productivity as people search for what they need. You can end up with messiness inadvertently by failing to offer enough structured storage spaces. For example, work spaces for mobile employees sometimes lack a place to put backpacks and purses, lunch boxes and coats. Now these items pile up on the floor around them, creating a trip hazard. Minimalist office furniture is popular for its aesthetics, but when people don’t have places to store periodically used items, they end up piling up on the desk. This looks bad to visitors at a minimum and can impact productivity as people clean up, organise and sort through items that should, literally, have a place. Built-in organisation units, in contrast, keep a space clean and attractive. And it looks far better if you build it in than add shelving or a wall of cubbies as an afterthought.
Facility management can have a direct influence on your employee morale and productivity. So make sure that you consider working with facilities managers that will be able to implement strategies that will eventually improve workflow and efficiency.