The Official Publication of the Corporate Facilities Council
You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.
Bobby R. LaRon, M.S.
Oregon Public Broadcasting
Scott Lang, CFM
Sue Thompson, CFM
Beth Osgood, CFM
Koch Business Solutions
Sarah Wortman, CPSM
Facility Magazine, the official publication of Corporate Facilities Council, is published quarterly.
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From Your President
With Your Design Professional
You Can Influence Office Design
High-Quality Food Service is a “Soft” Benefit in High Demand
Wayne Whitzell, LEED AP, BEP, GBO
Matthew Kutzler, PE, CDT
Facility Engineering Associates
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WELCOME OUR NEW MEMBERS
Joe Selby, CFM
Wells Fargo Bank
Immediate Past President
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Buck Fisher, CFM, IFMA Fellow
Facilities Management & Operations Assessment
Alice Houguisson, CFM, SMP
Jeff Martin, CFM
Wells Fargo Bank
Melodee Wagen, MCR
Workspace Strategies, Inc.
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Winter in North America. It brings a new year and sometimes new challenges. For many people, myself included, it’s a time of reflection; often used winter to review on one’s recent past and look for opportunities that could be heading your way. It’s also a good time to think about and acknowledge friends and acquaintances.
I recently received a note from a friend I met thru IFMA. This friend was writing a note a day to friends, colleagues, relatives; I’m sure some were written to thank, some just to say hi and maybe some contained a request. As I read the note and was pleased to enjoy the memory that was shared, it reminded me of the weight of the written word and of the power of acknowledgment. While some people may be altruistic and like to work anonymously, I truly believe that acknowledging efforts does both parties a world of good. For the person acknowledging others -it’s an opportunity to realize others play a huge part in your daily successes and for the person being acknowledged it’s a well-earned thank you. I’m adopting the note a day approach for 2020.
and as part of that, I’d like to acknowledge and say thank you to the hardworking and talented CFC leadership team. Scott Rains, Sarah Wortman, Larry Thompson, Wayne Whitzell, Scott Lang, Sue Thompson, Matthew Kutzler, Bobby LaRon, Joe Selby, Steve Pons, Denise Johnston, Alice Hogueisson, Jeff Martin, Buck Fisher, Melody Wagen, Josh Amos.
It is everyone’s commitment that keeps us moving in the right direction and helps us to continue our mission to be the comprehensive network for knowledge and resource sharing for facility professionals responsible for headquarters, large campuses, and office environments.
Beth Osgood is a Workplace Strategy Manager for CBRE and does occupancy planning for Johnson & Johnson’s South, Midwest and West Regions.
Support the Profession
Communication is Key
When starting out a new relationship with your design professional, it is important to set the ground rules and expectations. Every client is different. Every designer is different. We all bring different skills sets, different levels of experience with renovation and relocation projects, and different levels of desire regarding being hands-on or hands-off and level of involvement in the project. In the ideal situation, these rules and expectations would have been addressed before the design professional had finalized their proposal and contract, given that these variables do affect the amount of time and level of handholding required by the designer, which ultimately affect fees.
What Type of Client Are You?
There are always extremes in any situation as well as extremes in any working relationship. Some clients are very hands-on to the point of micro-managing the design professional. This extreme is not helpful in allowing the designer to effectively use their creativity in developing a unique design solution. The other extreme is the “laissez faire” client who is totally hands off. This client-type doesn’t give the designer enough information and feedback to define the project’s goals and objectives and design parameters. Frequently this type of client is unengaged in the process and not available when you need them. This extreme in client style is extremely frustrating to the designer who is left wondering if they are headed in the right direction and creating a design that the client will be happy with. An un-engaged client can also slow down the approval process and ultimately slow down the overall project schedule. The best type of client for a design professional is one who is engaged in the process and trusts the design professional to use their experience, expertise, and best judgement in developing creative design solutions based on guidelines and directions identified in the visioning and programming interview processes.
What Type of Design Professional Should You Be Working With?
Design professionals, and their firms, have many different styles. Finding the right match for your organization is critical to a good working relationship and a successful end product. Here is a short test to determine which kind of design professional style and personality you should be looking for: Which of the following is most important to your organization in the selection of a design professional for your future facility? (place a number from 1 to 5 next to each item based on the importance to you and your internal decision-makers, with a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being an important consideration.) This exercise can help you evaluate design firms if you are considering multiple firms.
Using a big-name firm. It’s the “safe” choice ___
Using an experienced professional who listens to your needs and responds with appropriate design solutions ___
Selecting a cost-effective firm regardless of the qualifications or the actual personnel working on your project ___
Richard Fanelli, AIA, CFM, IFMA Fellow, FMP is the Principal and Founder of FM Studios. He can be reached at 703-563-0379 or email@example.com.
Richard Fanelli, AIA, CFM, IFMA Fellow, FMP
Working Effectively with Your Design Professional
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Okay, Boomer! Snowflake!
Yup. That’s where we are in at the close of the second decade of the 21st century. We’re calling each other names because of what year we happen to have been born in.
The thing is, this is actually a big deal. And if you’re a leader in your organization who happens to meet the criteria for the big eyeroll that is having a younger colleague say “Okay, boomer” to you, then you need to put on your big person pants and get over having your feelings hurt by it and pay attention to where this is coming from.
I got invited many years ago to be the featured speaker for the CFC meeting at World Workplace, which is how I ended up being asked to be a CFC board member and came to write this column (mostly) every quarter in this here newsletter. The premise behind the talk I gave then was that the notion that there is such a thing as a difficult customer is nonsense. It’s an escape hatch we use to avoid having to do the hard work of accepting that when someone has a complaint it comes from a real and honest place; accepting that, no, my fellow FM friends, the temperature is not just fine in your building, and that person who keeps calling to complain she’s cold is actually cold. The point of the talk was that what we perceive as difficult customers are really people who we are just failing to communicate with.
Well, here we are again.
The young people we work with aren’t entitled, or whatever de jour excuse we’ve come up with for not having to take them seriously. In fact, the entire source of the “okay, boomer” thing is that we… are… not… listening.
Not only that, we are not communicating the whys of what we want or need as leaders very well at all.
There are two very big problems here. The first is that we are assuming that folks from the Millennial generation have nothing of value to offer us because they’re inexperienced or just focused on self-interest. The second is that by not being clear about what ours and our organization’s wants/needs are we’re setting these folks up for frustration and failure.
To the first, assuming someone has nothing of value to offer in terms of what we’re doing in the workplace because they’re young and inexperienced before you’ve heard them out fully is just a massive mistake. Say what you want about Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook, but are you actually going to try to convince yourself that he created one of the most valuable companies on the planet, using an entirely new and novel business model, at the age of 25 by accident? Want to make the bet that some of the 25-year-old folks you work with aren’t at least that smart or innovative? I wouldn’t. Also, who isn’t focused on self-interest? Are you going to try to tell me that the choices you’ve made throughout your career were not almost entirely based upon improving your personal situation in life? There’s a version of looking at capitalism that says the success of our system depends on people following their own interests and dragging others along with them is just a side benefit.
On the second point: Can you tell me what your company does and why? If you can, that’s wonderful. Now, what does your department do, and why, and how does that feed the objectives of the larger business as a whole? If you cannot answer those two questions for yourself what’s the chance your younger, less experienced colleagues, who are looking to you (yeah, they actually are) for direction, guidance and mentorship can figure it out? The answer is zero. Here’s something we know about Millennials – they don’t like vagueness and fuzziness. I mean, no one does, really, but as a demographic group this is a generation who wants things spelled out clearly. If you’re not doing that you’re frustrating them, and may have already convinced them you’re a phony, which, by the way, they also detest.
But maybe you don’t care. Maybe you’re enjoying being in the position of the elder who looks the young folks in the eye and says, “when I was your age we had to walk in the snow for 10 miles to and from school, uphill, both ways…” Yeah, no. As someone wisely put it recently, if you suffered in life and want other people to suffer as you did because “you turned out fine,” you did not, in fact, turn out fine.
This world where there are four distinct generations actively trying to manage the world together is a pretty new thing. It’s going to take work to make sure we don’t end up just fencing ourselves off into competing camps. Also, only a fool looks at this world of endlessly connected technology, overabundant and unfiltered information and rapid change and says, “Gee, I should really try to navigate this with the habits and skills I developed in a completely different, slower, less connected world without seeking help from people who are actual experts at navigating the here and now.”
Another way to put it is that you, my Boomer friends, need the knowledge and skills your Millennial colleagues have as second nature, because you absolutely do not.
Joe Selby is a Retail Property Manager for Wells Fargo Bank, managing a large portfolio of buildings, responsible for capital planning, operations and ongoing maintenance programs.
the job market is now a buyers’ market—with the buyers being potential and current employees. Companies are competing for good talent with higher salaries, but the competition has also raised the bar for both “hard” and “soft” benefits. Hard benefits include traditional compensation expectations such as health insurance or vacation days. Soft benefits, on the other hand, include onsite amenities such as high-quality foodservice or fully equipped fitness centers.
The soft benefit expectations of employees and job candidates have risen in recent years due to a number of factors. One factor is the open competition for the limited top talent that is out there. Another factor is the increased soft benefits being offered at the colleges and universities where that corporate talent may have recently attended. Other factors include technologies that add new levels of convenience and the fact that today’s consumers are simply more informed and mindful of their own health and wellness. All these factors are compelling corporate onsite hospitality operations to aim for higher levels of quality and service.
The soft benefit we’ll focus on here is corporate onsite foodservice. We’ll look at four ways any organization can respond to today’s higher expectations in foodservice and stay ahead of the curve moving forward. After all, companies benefit from higher quality soft benefits, too, with employees that are more productive, healthier, happier, and less likely to move on.
Start with Your Culture
As with any corporate initiative, it is critical to outline objectives and goals for improving onsite foodservice. For example, the goals could include superior user experiences, improving participation levels, or encouraging more onsite collaboration. But before you can set the details in those goals, you should fully understand your organization’s demographics, the expectations of each demographic, and how to include a process for exceptions.
Keep up with Tech
Technologies keep driving convenience. Both corporate and higher education onsite hospitality users are expecting remote ordering through smartphone apps or websites, self-checkouts, and order-pay technologies. Also, corporate onsite hospitality venues are changing the physical arrangement of seating and adding seating options to accommodate new working styles. That’s because many of today’s companies realize that productive meetings can be held anywhere, anytime.
It seems obvious, but foodservice should partner with a company’s health and wellness program whenever possible. There can be science behind menu planning if you understand the demographics of your onsite customers and the context in which the menu is presented. These initiatives must balance considerations of cost and effort with expectations of consistency and continuity. This is most important with a national or global organization trying to match the expectations of users that might visit multiple locations in a year.
Today’s savvy consumers have higher foodservice expectations because they have become better cooks at home, more adventurous restaurant-goers, and more conscious of nutrition across the board. To stay ahead of these expectations, companies should offer more “experiential” options when possible, feature globally inspired ethnic foods, source produce and premade foods more locally, and encourage guest restaurant participation.
Continuous improvement in onsite hospitality today means keeping the experience fresh and engaging for users. The efforts you put into these initiatives can pay long-term dividends in attracting and retaining employees, but they won’t be accomplished unless you set specific goals and plan deployment steps out in detail.
Bob Wolkom is a Senior Associate at Innovative Hospitality Solutions (IHS), managing projects of all levels of complexity within the corporate and higher education foodservice sectors. Bob particularly enjoys the dynamic nature of the hospitality industry and is a long-time active member of Society for Hospitality and Food Service Management (SHFM).
In many industries,
By Bob Wolkom
High-Quality Food service Is a “Soft”
Benefit in High Demand
Building in Bengaluru – Lessons from an FM’s First International Project
The Stellar RFP Process:
Building, Issuing and Responding to RFPs
Larry Morgan and Wayne Whitzell
Sue Thompson is the editor of Facility, the immediate past president of the IFMA Delaware chapter, a past president of the CFC, and AVP, Facilities Manager at Radian Guaranty Inc.
Aphorism: a terse saying embodying a general truth or astute observation
Platitude: a flat, dull, or trite remark, especially one uttered as if it were fresh or profound (dictionary.com)
We all use aphorisms, because they are often excellent shorthand for complex ideas with which we all generally agree. "Today is the first day of the rest of your life," we like to say. The point made here is there is little value in looking back to wish you had done more with your life; what matters now is what you do going forward. The rest of your life is ahead of you, and today you can start anew.
"Not to decide is to decide," I heard a long time ago in one of my psychology classes, and it's a platitude that has rung true. The expanded thought is that when one refuses to make a decision for something, it is often evidence that one is actually making the decision against the thing.
Aphorisms carry the ring of truth. Platitudes, on the other hand, are repeated endlessly in varying forms and if we take five seconds to consider what's being said, we could drive a car through the thought being expressed. While I understand the sentiment, I'd love to live every day as though it were my last, but sometimes I have to go to work and get the oil changed in the car on Saturday. Half the little sayings I read on LinkedIn give me pause. The next time you read about "the most important thing a leader can do" or "the worst thing a leader can do" or "what great leaders always do," take moment to reflect on whether or not the statement is true. I have seen posts and read articles about, say, the 27 most important character traits of a leader. Twenty-seven most important character traits? There are hardly even that many character traits to begin with, and if you look closely at dumb stuff like that, you'll see that what's really being said is that this is what constitutes a good person. Really, less to do with leadership and more to do with being someone you'd want as your own best friend.
I read one platitudinous post about how great leaders never take a lunch break. What?!? Another post outlined how wolves travel and indicated the leader of the pack was in the back, ending with, "Being a leader is not about being in front. It's about taking care of your team." Really? That's just solid truth? Being a leader is never about being in front? I commented, "Being a leader is most certainly about being in front. Taking care of the team should be a given, and if the leader brings up the rear as well, all the better. Let's not discount the importance of LEADING," because well, hey-a leader leads. The truth is there are probably numerous ways to be an effective leader, and all of them are valuable. Some leaders demand a lot and are highly respected, and some leaders are more conciliatory and are also highly respected. Leaders are individuals. Leading is an art. Let's not turn it into an "always this" or "always that."
Same with success. The number of platitudes that exist about how one will never be a success unless . . . you write down your goals (I'll bet there are a whole lot of super successful people who don't write down their goals). You make a five year plan (again, probably many successful people do, and surely many successul people don't). You treat all people with respect (lots and lots and lots of successful people treat others with great disrespect, so that's just not true). Perhaps the real question is what you define as successful. Is there really a formula for success? "Follow your passion," we are told over and over. I like what Mike Rowe says: "Follow your passion? How about bringing your passion to work with you and doing your job?" People are looking for the perfect formula that will ensure they are great leaders and great successes, when such things are based on what you decide a leader looks like, what you believe success looks like, and then trial and error, finding out what doesn't work, seeking guidance and testing theories.
More aphorisms, less platitudes. Please.
Managing Risk in Delivering Facility Services
Christopher Hodges and Maureen Roskoski
The Facility Manager’s Keys to
Effective Emergency Preparedness
Mayra Portalatin and Stephen Clawson
As human beings, we have a desire to personalize and make things our own.
have just entered the year 2020 and while all of us have experienced several changes in our work environments over the past 20 years, how we perceive and use our workplace surprisingly hasn’t changed that much. Technology and workplace design have evolved, providing employees more flexibility in where and when work happens, but the idea of employees not having their own assigned space continues to be a hot button in our industry.
For many years, workplace professionals knew that most roles and work can occur anywhere, anytime, yet we run into many roadblocks when implementing a flexible workplace design that includes the use of unassigned spaces for employees. So why do we have difficulty selling and supporting an activity-based work environment where employees can work in a variety of settings without the need for an assigned individual space?
As human beings, we have a desire to personalize and make things our own. When you’re in elementary school, you look forward to high school where you get your own locker that you could personalize. You go to college and look forward to decorating your dorm room. Even in scenarios when you’re sharing a room with a sibling or roommate, you usually create an imaginary line that defines the side that is “yours”. When you land your first office job, you can’t wait to put up photos and decorate your cube.
Although personalization may be the main reason employees wish to retain an assigned space, the true barrier to letting go of assigned spaces are the 3 C’s. Employees want “Consistency”. Whether they come into the office at 7 or 11, they like the fact that their space is available and exactly the way they left it. Next, they want the “Comfort” of knowing their seat and monitors are adjusted exactly how they like it.And finally, employees want to work in a space that is “Clean” (or that the crumbs in their keyboard are theirs and not someone else’s crumbs.)
From the employee’s point of view, space has been viewed as a limited resource and changes have been perceived as cost savings initiatives. If an employee has been with the company for a long time, they have experienced getting their private office converted into a cube to cut back on costs. The large cube they had was downsized to fit more employees without expanding the company’s footprint. Then they were asked to give up their cube because they work remotely and someone else needed the cube. Over the years, we created a cultural perception that if I don’t use a space, I may “lose” it. This makes many people feel they are no longer valued as an employee.
Someone once said that the future of work is right now and that appears to be true. Wireless networks have only been available in some corporate environments for less than ten years and phone technology is now available from our computers. It’s time to view the culture inside our work environment the same as we view the ability to work anywhere, anytime outside of the office.
We can take advantage of technology and create a culture where an assigned space is not as important as it is today. This can be accomplished by focusing on the employee experience and helping employees easily access the resources they need to do their jobs. For example, consistency can be accomplished by making sure there is enough capacity to ensuring that an employee can easily find a space near their team and establish a routine. Some organizations implement “neighborhoods” where employees know they have a community and utilize sensors to monitor supply and demand. Cleanliness and comfort can be satisfied by adjusting cleaning contracts and having workplace staff that have a focus on hospitality.
Ultimately, we want to create an experience that makes it just as easy to arrive at work and access the space and resources quickly and with limited barriers. If we can do this, we will be able to help truly support the future of work that we’ve been striving to achieve for decades.
Jeff Martin, CFM is with Wells Fargo working within the Workplace Experience area of the Corporate Properties Group.
By Jeff Martin, CFM
What do facilities managers have to do with workplace design?
BY DARIN HERLE
These days, a lot... the role of a facility manager has changed over the years, with the primary responsibility being to maintain workplace efficiency through maintenance. This role has evolved into one that has additional responsibilities like property management, in-house technology implementation, and even workplace design.
How facilities management
Rainbow International Restoration of Orange County
Cauldwell Wingate Construction
Rafael Berumen De Cervantes
Colliers Rems Mexico
Tom Dembrowski, FMP
Thermo Fisher Scientific
Alberta Utilities Commission
Rudolph and Sletten
The Verve Partnership
SERVPRO of Washington, DC
Mitsubishi Electric Automation
Tarkett North America
Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings Inc.
Shannon Guiod, FMP
Perfection Property Restoration
D. Scott Haynes
EMCOR Facilities Services Inc
Javier Ibarra Villa
Collins Brothers Moving Corp.
Karren Jamaca, FMP
Renaissance Management Group, Inc.
American Psychiatric Association
Albert D Rogers, MSM, FLMI, ACS
New York Life Insurance Company
Jack Henry & Associates Inc
Cyprexx Services, LLC.
Canadian Light Source
Marsden Services LLC
Phillips Tharakan FMP, CFM
Phileo Project Management
Amplify Credit Union
Andre Whisenton, CFM
Crowell & Moring LLP
The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America
The Hershey Company
In this article, we're taking a look at the areas where facilities management can influence design, which leads to a better work environment for all.
How has the role of a facility manager changed over the years?
Workplace technology has evolved over the years, and as a result, so has facilities management. The role of a facilities manager now includes responsibilities that go beyond building management.
This new type of facility management involves working closely with departments like information technology (IT) and human resources (HR) to make more informed decisions about building operations, company culture, and the overall workplace environment.
Also, with this evolved role, facilities managers have access to data—both historical and real-time—which makes tracking metrics and setting benchmarks easier than before. This information enables facilities managers to look for new ways to save energy, cut costs, and optimize the workplace in other ways as well. These changes mean facilities management is also closely related to company culture elements, including office design and aesthetic.
Let's take a look at the different design components facilities managers have influence over and how that influence impacts the workplace.
Desk booking solutions
The flexibility to work wherever—and sometimes whenever—employees are most productive has quickly become a workplace norm. Desk booking software is an excellent tool to accommodate this shift.
Hot desking and hoteling fall under the desk booking umbrella, and though they are similar, the differences are worth noting. Hot desking is when employees "check in" to an unoccupied desk on a first come, first served basis instead of sitting at the same one every day. Hoteling, on the other hand, allows employees to book a desk in advance through a system like OfficeSpace Software before they can use it.
However, to tailor to this type of working environment, some design changes need to be made. Without assigned desks, the office layout may need to shift depending on the current furniture setup.
Also, because there are no assigned desks, office clutter is significantly reduced. Minimizing clutter can do wonders for productivity and the overall design of an office.
Desk booking software paves the way for new technology, like sensors, which provide additional occupancy data. With this technology, facilities managers can make better decisions in regards to the workplace and the technology that powers it.
Improved natural light
Who would have thought that the lighting of an office could have such a positive impact on the workplace?
A poll from the Harvard Business Review found that access to natural light and outdoor views are the number one attribute to an office. Not to mention, natural light outranked other office perks like fitness centers, building cafes, and even on-site childcare.
Because facilities managers are responsible for tracking environmental and sustainability metrics while cutting energy costs, there are a few solutions available for consideration. For example, adding windows in the construction phase can increase the office's natural light, or using automatic blinds to maximize natural light will save money. If structural changes like bigger windows aren't possible, it's worth looking into different types of artificial lighting that resemble natural light, like LED bulbs.
The bottom line: natural light improves employee productivity, happiness, and performance, and also saves the company money due to a reduction in the need for so much building lighting.
Biophilic design elements
This workplace design trend goes hand-in-hand with natural light. Biophilic design is a design concept rooted in bringing the natural outdoors inside. This type of design can include living walls, an office garden, various plants placed throughout the building, or greenspaces.
So, where do facilities managers come into play here? Facilities managers can make the case that adding biophilic elements to the workplace creates a better environment for employees and can reduce lighting costs.
This design concept has been said to have several benefits like improving employee moods and productivity, reducing stress levels, and increasing employee engagement. What's more, a report from Human Spaces found that employees that work in offices with more greenery and natural elements are 15% more creative.
From open collaboration spaces to quiet hot desking hubs, the acoustics of an office plays a vital role in maintaining the nature of those spaces.
According to a study from Udemy, 80% of respondents say that talkative coworkers are the most prominent workplace distraction, while 70% say that office noise takes the lead.
For facilities managers, this means providing solutions to control noise levels depending on the purpose of the space. This could mean adding sound-proof rooms or areas, changing up the layout of an office, or adding sound-absorbing furniture and acoustic panels.
Collaborative furniture and spaces
Collaborative spaces have quickly become a hot trend in office design over the last few years, and for a good reason. More space to collaborate in an office means improved employee morale, creativity, and productivity.
According to a study from Gensler, companies that are considered to be innovative are five times more likely to have spaces that prioritize both individual and group work. In other words, companies that recognize employees have different work-styles and give them the means to be their most productive selves are successful in doing so.
Despite this, it's crucial to find a balance between collaborative and independent work. Not having boundaries for "we" and "me" work areas can make open space offices feel overwhelming and harm productivity levels.
For facilities managers, this means building a work environment that makes both types of work easily accessible, which is also critical in fostering a positive employee experience. It's about giving employees the resources and spaces they need to do their best work, and this is part of that equation.
Everyone knows—or at least has heard of—the health risks associated with sitting all day. In fact, the average person sits for about 12 hours per day, according to JustStand.org.
Unhealthy employees are unhappy employees. There's a way facilities managers can promote a healthy lifestyle in the workplace through thoughtful design—adding flexible furniture to the office.
Standing desks, ergonomic chairs and keyboards, balance ball chairs, or perhaps even a treadmill desk are all great options to introduce to the office. With this furniture, employees can focus on their work while reducing some of the risks associated with being sedentary.
Efficient restroom design and functionality
One of the primary responsibilities for facilities managers is to ensure the office is running as efficiently as possible. That includes cutting costs wherever necessary—even for spaces like office restrooms.
There are a few things facilities managers can do to make office restrooms more cost-effective and environmentally friendly while keeping the design aesthetic intact. Investing in energy-saving light bulbs, toilets and sinks with low-pressure water function, recycled toilet paper and paper towels, and automatic faucets are great eco-friendly solutions.
This can snowball into in restroom facilities that feature sustainable installations like cisterns to collect rainwater, low-flow toilets, water on demand, hand dryers instead of paper towels, and more.
Facilities managers can oversee the implementation of rain barrels or an outside water collection, which can be used in non-potable instances. For example, using rainwater to flush toilets or to water plants reduces excess water use and saves money.
New construction decisions
A significant component of a facility manager's job is to make recommendations for big-impact decisions based on data and current operations. They're in a unique position to influence or provide input for things that will impact the office or company as a whole, including new construction.
If a facility management team has input into new building additions, they can use spatial data to present their suggestions from an energy and cost savings approach. Several construction decisions can be made from that angle, which has an impact on design.
Collaborative and quiet workspaces can be built using renewable and eco-friendly materials while adhering to sound design principles.
Accessible, usable, and universal design
Design is an essential element when creating a workplace that is inclusive and accessible for all. Every company is different, but the facilities managers that are responsible for implementing accessible design into their workplaces must do so strategically.
To create an office that can be used by all, facilities managers must understand the different types of design—accessible, usable, and universal design.
Though they sound similar, there are distinct differences. Accessible design encompasses the properties of products, services, and facilities that are accessible to people with disabilities. Usable design focuses on products, services, or spaces that can be used for their full purpose. Lastly, universal design means that anyone, regardless of age, height, weight, or ability, can use a product or service to its fullest. All three types are vital to creating an environment fit for every employee.
Leading the charge in getting the right teams involved and being an advocate for this change is a critical part of a facility manager's role.
The way employees use and think about the workplace is changing, and they're expecting more as a result. Coworking spaces with all the bells and whistles—cafes, fitness centers, shipping/packing centers, etc.—as well as the latest standard technological features have grown significantly in popularity over the last few years.
The challenge for facility managers is to figure out a way to incorporate these elements within their office.
This growing trend, otherwise known as Space As a Service (SPaaS), has influenced how employees view their offices. Whether it be technology for virtual working, an in-office cafe, or private desk booths, viewing office space as more than just a place to work in, but rather a place to develop your career, can make a difference for employee retention and happiness.
These design elements have a profound impact on employees in terms of how they perceive their employer and their individual role. Facilities managers can leverage these design trends to not only create an engaging workplace but to build a space that fosters a positive employee experience.
Design plays an essential role in the office of any company. It influences employee happiness and productivity, office and building efficiency, and more.
Facilities managers are in a unique position to make strategic design decisions that lead to a better workplace. Gone are the days where facilities managers are only monitoring building operations. Today, they're actively looking for ways to improve companies as a whole, from the physical building to what’s powering it.
Darin Herle is a software consultant with OfficeSpace Software in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.
New Member Welcome
J.T. O'Donnell offers advice on dealing with applicant tracking systems (ATS) in your employment search.
13m 58s | link
Mindy Williams-McElearney, Immediate Past President of IFMA NYC, talks about why she never misses IFMA’s Facility Fusion and why you shouldn't either.
1m 17s | link
An Interview with IFMA member Edgar Moctezuma, CFM, Director of Stadium Operations & Engineering at BBVA Stadium.
Do facility managers have to know everything?
Dr. Dean Kashiwagi explains.
3m 35s | link
2m 36s | link