Wellness Is FM Opportunity

Facility managers have argued for years that the physical environment can help employees be more productive. The rub is quantifying the financial impact of factors like indoor air quality, comfort, daylight, and so on. There are plenty of studies showing that various facility-related measures have produced benefits in other organizations, but those studies don’t make it possible to project gains from specific measures at your company.

Of course, facility management isn’t the only department interested in improving employee health and well-being. Human resource departments have been offering wellness programs for a couple of decades. If you are interested in using the workplace to improve employee performance, you likely have a natural ally in HR.

There’s a good chance your organization currently has a wellness effort of one kind or another. In a survey by the Society for Human Resource Management, more than 70 percent of HR professionals reported that their companies offered some sort of wellness program. The study found that wellness programs were spreading and were expected to play a growing role in employee retention.

The case for including the physical environment in wellness efforts got a lot stronger with the development of the WELL Building Standard certification. (Click here to read the June 2017 article about the WELL standard in Building Operating Management.) WELL offers evidence-based best practices, third-party credibility, and recognition to companies that take action. Those points give facility managers plenty to talk about if a company is interested in wellness, even if the organization isn’t ready for WELL certification.

What’s more, just by being part of that conversation, you can help educate management about the range of ways that facility management can add value to the organization.