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31 January 2019 

COLUMN: INSIDE FACILITY MANAGEMENT

HAPPY & STRESSFREE EMPLOYEES? YOU NEED OFFICE PETS!

2019 seems to have just started, but the first month is almost to an end already! January is often a month in which everyone is back in the office slowly but surely and making plans for the year ahead with loads of fresh energy. Right?! Despite all of that, there is still a lot to read in FM-land as we are collectively making lists of the main trends for this year. Main FM theme for 2019? For sure the development of the workplace and how to contribute to the happiness of the employee. Keep on reading to find out all other hot topics of this past month…

So apparently you can’t just get away with free coffee and a fancy architectural building anymore to satisfy your internal customer. You now also need office pets. Yes, you’ve read it correctly. Several articles have been written about this lately (including real life experiments, which we recommend you try for yourself). One of the articles reports about a dog at the office, others about an office fish, but they all agree on the effect: namely stress reduction! Now things are getting even more interesting. By watching a pet or taking care of the pet, your blood pressure drops and thus the level of stress decreases. In addition, it will be a hot topic at the office, which is conducive to the team spirit. And then we haven’t even mentioned the excitement about who’s walking the dog (and will get a work-out at the same time!). Sounds like a winner, doesn’t it?

Talking buildings

We’re taking a deep-dive into everything written about buildings in the last month, and we notice that there is a strong emphasis on real estate strategies. How to handle increasing or decreasing demands for square meters, and how to equip real estate for sustainability purposes and the War on Talent?

Colliers has written an inspiring article about new types of offices and comes up with a smart solution. Besides the traditional private office and the most recent development of the last years namely co-working, a new trend has been identified. “Pairing” will be the trend of 2019 according to Colliers. This new type of workspace is a combination of the aforementioned types in which organizations consciously choose to maintain fixed offices as well as working with co-working spaces. It gets harder and harder to predict the future in terms of real estate demands and thus this trend really taps into the need for space flexibility. It also deals with another issue: it would be a great solution for offices that are partly vacant as they can be filled with other companies via this co-working concept.

Colliers is not the only one talking buildings, IOfficecorp has also written an interesting article about the 5 most important work trends for 2019. They too argue that flexibility in real estate is very important, as it leads to optimization in workplaces and will therefore help you win the War on Talent, IOfficecorp says. Employees find it increasingly important to work with an organization that provides them with an office that suits their needs. So what is it that they need? The demands of young professionals are mainly related to hospitality, smart workplace design and wellness features that create a welcoming environment. Dutch consultancy firm Heyday writes that organizations are already testing library environments: you work in one room with one another but you are working in silence. According to Heyday, this new way of working seems very productive, there is a sense of belonging because you are working together in a concentrated way and the social control is essential to not get distracted during working hours.

And then we’re very excited about this research that was published by WorkplaceInsight. They wrote about a recent study that has shown that the level of CO2 is often not at the right level within office buildings and that this has a negative effect on the productivity of the employees. For example, when CO2 levels are too high, this leads to poor decision making, a longer response time and more fatigue! After the CO2 level was limited, 60% of the employees was able to work faster. Have we given you enough reason to monitor the CO2 at your office buildings yet?

Will facility managers still be facility managers?

IOfficecorp expects the role of a facility manager to change, as employee experience becomes more important every day and see the role of an FM growing into the role of a community manager. We already play a key role in this matter, but the facility manager should be even more focused on the support to the internal customer in order to maximize the productivity of the employees. In order to do this successfully, you will have to be aware of your internal customer: keep the conversation going about their needs and demands, measure the effects and stay service-oriented.

That’s it for now! Let us know what useful tips you used in your daily work. Oh and also: we’re challenging you to try an office pet for one day. Obviously we definitely want to hear all about your experiences with that, so let us know!

Now, let’s wake up, kick ass and repeat. See you next month!

About the author
We of The World of YES are helping you as a facilities manager to develop yourself or your organization to make the next step. We do so by giving you the best tips, tricks and newest trends via our blogs, video's and training courses. Lastly, in our community we connect Facility Managers from all over the world to share their stories and successes to help each other even further.
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