Outsourcing your building’s facilities management and maintenance, such as general janitorial services and cleaning product purchasing, will control costs and overhead while allowing your core team to focus on improving occupant well-being.
Outsourcing Facilities Management Tasks Helps Improve Occupant Well-Being
For years, facilities management has been focused on the maintenance and upkeep of buildings and equipment, as opposed to the well-being and productivity of the building’s occupants.
That trend has shifted significantly in recent years, with managers adopting green, sustainable, and clean-for-health-first initiatives to boost occupant performance and engagement by providing a safe and healthy workplace that focuses on environmental elements and indoor air quality.
[…] the industry has changed from a focus on inputs, to outputs, and now to outcomes.
Instead of focusing on how much effort or cost is required to fix a piece of equipment or provide a given service, building owners and operators instead want service providers to deliver tangible and beneficial outcomes.
The ultimate outcome for an office building is delivering a compelling, productive space that enables occupants to do great work.
Studies have shown that environmental factors, such as office lighting and temperature, have a significant impact on worker engagement and productivity.
However, it turns out there is no one-size-fits-all solution, and to achieve the maximum benefit of environmental control, each office worker needed to be granted individual control of the level of lighting, as well as the temperature of their specific work-space through the use of smart technology, controls available at their desk.
According to research conducted by Purdue University at the Center for High-Performance Buildings (CHPB), not only did the workers in the test group outperform those in the control group, where the lighting and office temperature were controlled from a conventional wall mounted system that was the same for everyone, they also used less energy.
[…] workers who could easily adjust room lighting and temperature from their computers were more engaged than those using the wall-mounted controls.
They used less building energy by relying more on daylight than on artificial lighting.
With light and temperature just right, these participants also reported higher levels of productivity and performed better in cognitive tests than the control group.
Indoor Air Quality
Indoor air quality is a byproduct of three factors:
- The presence and levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and;
- The presence and levels of CO2.
Due to energy conservation regulations dating back to the 1970’s, tight restrictions were enforced on commercial office spaces which required the reduction of natural resource consumption, leading to a reduction in building ventilation and an increase in the levels of VOCs and CO2–ultimately resulting in the environmental phenomenon, commonly referred to as Sick Building Syndrome.
Employee illness and disengagement are not the only profit affecting side-effects of low indoor air quality–research has also shown it has a negative impact on cognitive function, specifically how people use the data to make important decisions.
A 2017 study conducted at the Syracuse Center of Excellence tested 24 knowledge workers in a test and control environment where the occupants were exposed to varying levels of ventilation, VOCs, and CO2 throughout an otherwise typical workday.
According to Professor Joseph G. Allen, assistant professor and director of the Healthy Buildings program at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health;
We found that breathing better air led to significantly better decision-making performance among our participants.
We saw higher test scores across nine cognitive function domains when workers were exposed to increased ventilation rates, lower levels of chemicals, and lower carbon dioxide.
The results showed the biggest improvements in areas that tested how workers used information to make strategic decisions and how they plan, stay prepared, and strategize during crises.
These are exactly the skills needed to be productive in the knowledge economy.
Economic Tips for Improving Occupant Well-Being
Individually controlled smart technologies which provide occupants with the ability to affect local lighting and temperature from their work computer are likely outside of the reach of many businesses.
However, there are several methods that can be employed for little to no additional cost which can have an immediate positive impact on occupant health and performance–likely offsetting the expense of increased energy consumption.
- Double the ventilation into the room to at least 30 cubic feet per minute per person.
- Eliminate the use of toxic cleaning products.
- Implement green cleaning and recycling programs.
- Identify VOC sources, such as printer toner, and either eliminate their use or relocate them to unoccupied areas.
- Allow occupants to choose where to work–studies have shown they tend to naturally seek out areas with more sunlight and exposure to the outside–specifically, next to windows–which, research has shown, can lead to a reduction in energy consumption.
References & Resources
- Measurable productivity benefits of enhanced indoor air quality
- Enhancing the human experience: algorithms to drive individual workplace comfort
The rise in the use of smart technologies to facilitate worker control of their environment is not merely novel, it is rapidly becoming mandatory for organizations who wish to court the rising Millennial demographic.
According to a recent study published by Dell and Intel;
44% of employees worldwide feel that their workspace isn’t smart enough, while more than half (57%) expect to be working in a smart office within the next five years.
And when it comes to acquiring new talent, tech matters – Millennials in particular are likely to quit a job with substandard technology.
However, environmental controls by themselves are not sufficient to positively impact indoor air quality, which requires the elimination of the VOCs commonly emitted by commercial cleaning and disinfection products.
The successful adoption of profit-forward green cleaning services and product management can be successfully streamlined by partnering with an experienced vendor with a proven record of success.
If you would like to learn more about the advantages of outsourcing aspects of your organization’s facilities management and maintenance requirements–contact us today for a free quote!
In Bakersfield CA, call (661) 437-3253
In Fresno CA, call (559) 206-1059
In Valencia CA, or Santa Clarita CA, call (661) 437-3253