Facilities Management and Wellbeing in Your Workplace
Paul Lucas, managing director of Artic Building Services, revisits the link between physical and mental wellbeing, and workplace performance.
Wellbeing in the workplace has rightly become a central focal point within recent years. Employee health matters and a healthy, as well as happy team, is a productive one and vital to the success of most organisations.
The built environment plays an integral role in the wellbeing of your workforce. The state of your building’s fabric, availability of installed services, and the quality of the indoor environment – including access to natural light, ambient indoor temperatures, and indoor air quality (IAQ), all impact on the physical and psychological welfare of your people – which is where facilities management comes into play.
Staff spend a significant number of hours within the environment you create and cultivate for them, and your working environment as well as any services you provide directly affect their happiness.
Ensuring a safe, secure working environment
Knowing their working environment is safe, as well as secure, reaps psychological and, by extension, productivity dividends from your employees, with responsible employers regularly undertaking employee perception surveys to determine what performance improvements really matter to staff.
Mental fatigue and stress also plague many a working adult, with the Health and Safety Executive’s Labour Force Survey (LFS) reporting 602,000 workers in the UK suffered from work related stress, depression or anxiety in 2018/19. Forward thinking employers therefore prioritise comfort and refreshment areas; with many also encouraging more colleague interaction and recognising the value of breaks for better work-life quality and balance.
Clearly, an awareness of these issues is as desirable as technical expertise in contractors or outsourced service providers your Facilities Manager selects to support your organisation. And to keep abreast of the latest guidance on psychological and functional factors that influence staff, at Artic we have enrolled ten members of our senior management team on dedicated workplace mental health training courses.
Emotional intelligence and resilience are key requirements of Facilities Management today, and service providers need to be aware of the importance of health and wellbeing management within modern workplaces. Equally as important as growing the number of sites they manage, is an awareness of the physical, as well as the invisible needs of every person at every site – a cause that we intent to champion.