Well-managed and periodically-maintained offices and buildings empower organisations to function at their most efficient and effective level, aiding collaboration between end users and offering real added value to the real estate managers and developers.
By Tariq Chauhan
The facilities management (FM) industry has transformed in the past decades, from being a peripheral building management service, to now being viewed as a serious discipline and business enabler. Facilities management today is a key function in managing facility resources, support services and working environment, to achieve the core business objectives of organisations. Protecting and enhancing the value of real estate assets requires significant resources and efforts, which FM services providers are adept at. Well-managed and periodically-maintained offices and buildings empower organisations to function at their most efficient and effective level, aiding collaboration between end users and offering real added value to the real estate managers and developers. These benefits encompass various areas, including building maintenance, safety and sustainability.
In a business context, the core foundation of facilities management entails overseeing day-to-day operations and maintenance activities, where FM service providers offer relevant information visibility to aid top management to formulate business strategies, facilitate decision-making processes, plan and control organisational activities, plan the utilization of limited resources efficiently, improve business performance, enhance shareholder value, safeguard business assets (intangible and tangible) and ensure corporate compliance. To achieve optimum success, FM and organisations must have a mutual understanding which helps to bridge the gap between primary business and support activities.
FM has become significant as a well-established service that contributes toward business achievement through the delivery of both strategic and operational goals. On a daily basis, FM can assure clients of a safe and cohesive working environment, which helps employees and management concentrate on improving the quality of their services.
Globally, an increasing number of building tenants have indicated their preference for workplaces that are neat, organised, and offer complete safety assurance, to gather their focus towards performance improvement. A recent survey by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors revealed that 61% of respondents felt that improvements to workplace facilities positively impacted their wellbeing at work. Some of the other related significant benefits included:
# FM leads to cleaner, safer work environments, resulting in stress free working conditions. Better conditions boost employee morale, re-enforce team spirit and improve collaboration.
# FM enhances social interaction and efficiency in daily tasks. Professional maintenance ensures good coordination of support services and systems.
# FM can ensure that buildings operate at optimum room temperatures, thereby improving the energy efficiency of facilities, while also making occupants. comfortable. According to a study by Cornell University, merely raising the temperature of an office from 20oC to 25oC resulted in employees making 44% more typing errors. As the complexity of tasks scale up with more occupants, the demand for efficient cooling increases, as does the need to make overall energy consumption more cost efficient.
# FM housekeeping can ensure workplaces remain clutter free, aiding movement without obstructions to enable process workflows to proceed smoothly.
# FM services can help owners, managers, and developers with mandatory safety audits, and timely maintenance can help eliminate the pending risk from ageing utilities such as electrical and mechanical systems.
# FM can also remove irritants such as noise pollution in offices, which arise from poorly maintained equipment and systems. This can have a considerable influence in improving the quality of work generated at workplaces.
# Integrated FM systems can help unify information from various systems, to overhaul and introduce business best practices at their premises, which becomes a value added service for end users and clients alike.
In summary, organisations that create positive workplaces ultimately deliver improved results and services, which fuels organisational growth. The role that FM services play is crucial and hence, FM shouldn’t be seen as overhead cost, but as a business investment that boosts productivity and positively impacts the growth trajectory of a business.
(The author is Group Chief Executive Officer, EFS Facilities Services)