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Blog #6: Decreasing Distractions Increasing Productivity & Bottom Line

Studies have proven how appearances and “Dressing for Success” impact productivity. Similarly, “scientific research has firmly established that the office environment can influence people’s health, well-being, and productivity,” with studies showing that keeping an office looking good increases employee productivity. The National Institute of Building Sciences recommends facilities managers “assure a visually appealing environment.” Moreover, the appearance of an office workspace can be the difference between clinching deals and losing clients.

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In one landmark study of 6,000 office buildings throughout the United States during a five-year period, people costs were shown to outweigh facility costs by a ratio of 13:1 for owner-occupied buildings. As shown below, salaries comprised 85% of the total costs, compared with only 8.5% for furnishing, maintaining and operating a facility. Therefore, senior management acknowledges that even small improvements in office worker productivity derived from Facility Management (FM) projects are clearly worth it

 

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Moreover, “empirical, quantitative analyses of data from some 13,000 people in 40 business units between 1994 and 2000 concluded that one of the two most powerful design determinants of productivity and satisfaction comes from the near-universal need for distraction-free work.” This study documented how distractions and anxiety are rampant in office environments. When furnishings look old, dirty, and tired, they contribute to unnecessary distraction, which therefore decreases worker productivity.

In another FM study, a literature review was used to identify a list of 172 Key Performance Indicators. This long list was then reduced to a select 23, which were deemed to be “essential.” For the purposes of this paper, it is critical to note that Customer Satisfaction ranked # 2, with Standards of Cleaning listed among the “essential 23”

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